Growing up vegetarian, I used to always hear, “meats no treat for those who eat,” but that only works if you’re an herbivore. For those of you that don’t partake in any consumption with a face, are very health conscious, or perhaps dating someone vegetarian or vegan, then this guide is for you. Fortunately, holistic food has become a trend, making dining out a breeze. If you don’t know where to start, however, here’s a list of vegetarian and vegan-friendly places I like to frequent. Take what you will and choose what you want. We all have different palettes. If you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan-friendly options that are simply gratifying, however, these are lovely places to venture to in every district here in DTLA.
City of Angels (photo courtesy of Waringis)
Located off First and Hope, this Vietnamese cuisine restaurant is completely plant-based and vegan, with plenty of gluten-free options. Âu Lạc originated in Fountain Valley before opening up shop here in DTLA. Their menu prices range from $5 to $16. They’re conveniently close to all the galleries and concert halls off Grand Avenue. Swing by and try their egg rolls, Bun 33, or Cali Roll. For more information go here.
Da Bowl Salad (photo courtesy of Âu Lạc)
Centrally located near the California Market Plaza and MOCA, Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar has delicious vegetarian-friendly options to indulge in with prices ranging from $5 to $15. Eat here to feel immersed in the heart of the city, and then walk off all the food whilst looking at art. Be sure to try their buffalo cauliflower, avocado toast, or V7 veggie burger. The only thing I ask is to promise me you’ll look up while you’re eating. You can admire the DTLA skyline and rooftops for days. For more information go here.
BBQ Brassica (photo courtesy of EatingLA)
Shopping at Figat7th? Then be sure to swing by City Tavern located on the bottom level floor across from Taste Hall. If you’re looking for comfort food, this place will hit home. Choices range from charred brussel sprouts (hold the bacon), kale and quinoa salad, mac and cheese, the Very Best Green Beans Ever, and their veggie burger. They also do Happy Hour from 3-6pm Monday thru Friday. For more information go here.
Located between Broadway and Hill off Third Street, Grand Central Market is a definite go-to spot if you’ve never been before. It’s one of the largest and oldest open air markets in the area (established in 1917). Some of my favorites are Sticky Rice, Egg Slut, Bombo, Ramen Hood, and plenty more to choose from. My pro-tip: go to Bento Ya Japanese Cuisine, ask for their Vegetable Tempura bento box that comes with rice, salad, and 3 pieces of shrimp. Instead of shrimp, request 3 pieces of tofu in it’s available, and receive all of that for a price that falls a little over $7. For more information go here.
If you’re the type who likes to live everyday as if it were taco day, then you are going to love Guisados, located off 5th and Spring. Their entire menu is simple, gluten-free, and was made to remind us of home and how mom spent her afternoons. Things to note: their vegetarian options are not vegan. However, they can prepare vegan tacos upon request consisting of sautéed red and green bell peppers and onions. All tacos are $2.75 – that’s a price you cannot reckon with. For more information go here.
There aren’t too many place to in DTLA for Vietnamese food, but Blossom definitely hits the spot when it comes to pho, vermicelli, and also crepes! One thing I love: the vegetarian broth used for the pho soup is all made from scratch. Try their vegetarian vermicelli with egg rolls, vegetarian fried rice, or a vegetarian crepe. Prices range from $6 to $15. For more information go here.
Craving Japanese cuisine? Then venture on over to Shojin. They’re 100% vegan, gluten-free, and organic. They are located in the Little Tokyo Shopping Center on the 3rd floor, making them the perfect place to stop at before you go bowling or hit up the karaoke booth. Try their Spicy “Tuna” on Crispy Rice, Crunchy Tiger, Hidden Dragon, or their Ramen Revolution. Prices range from $4 to $22. For more information go here.
Crunchy Tiger, Hidden Dragon (photo courtesy of Shojin)
Located in the Historic Far East Building in the heart of Little Tokyo, Far Bar offers a nice assortment of vegetarian options and also provides an atmosphere that will make you feel like you’re eating in New York City. I recommend walking in through the side entry, down the narrow hall with the brick wall until you see all the lights shining bright in their outdoor patio. Try their Sesame Grilled Vegetables, Thai Veggie Curry, Mac and Cheese Lollipops, or veggie sandwich. Prices range from $6 to $11. For more information go here.
Some people go to Urth Caffe and others go to Zinc Cafe & Market. They’re conveniently located on the corner of Mateo and Willow, directly across from Blue Bottle Coffee. Upon entry, you have the option of ordering your food up front (before being seated) or requesting your own toppings from their abundant salad bar. If you’re looking to have the full dining experience, you can also ask to be seated (so you know). Try their wood fire pizza, burrito bowl, quiche plate, or see what they have at the salad bar. Everything here 100% vegetarian, plus the interior decor and outdoor patio are super cute and very date-worthy. Prices range from $7 to $16. For more information go here.
Pesto Pizza (photo courtesy of Zinc Cafe & Market)
This Asian fusion eatery is located at One Sante Fe and offers an artisanal array of “BOLs.” Their BOLs are fresh, colorful, and bursting to the brim with flavor. ediBOL gives you the option of having a big BOL or little BOL. Try their VegiBOL, Miso Peanut Ramen, quinoa and green lentil pilaf, or honey citrus. Prices range from $3 to $11. For more information go here.
As you can see, there are a ton of vegetarian and vegan-friendly establishments to choose from here in DTLA. The list could go on, but I am going to end it here. Question for my readers: Where do you like to eat that’s veggie-friendly? What are some of your favorite dishes? Let me know @ineedsomemoore! xo.