California is a great place for foodies, with plentiful restaurants and cafes to cater to almost any taste. From traditional American diners to specialist establishments that serve up cuisine from far-flung corners of the globe, finding somewhere to dine in California is easy. But what about vegans? Fortunately, there’s also a good selection of vegan restaurants all along the Pacific Coast Highway. As well as some all-vegan options, there are numerous vegetarian restaurants that have vegan options, in addition to vegan- and veggie-friendly eateries.
Some of California’s completely vegan restaurants include:
Moncai Vegan, San Diego
Offering exclusively vegan fare, Moncai Vegan has enough tasty options to satisfy even die-hard omnivores. The Sunday brunch is especially popular. All are welcome; there is a kids’ section on the menu and pets are allowed outdoors on the patio. The small menu is bolstered by daily specials, which use fresh locally sourced items. Tuck into a nacho salad, falafel, pasta or mock chicken with root vegetables and gravy. There’s a tempting dessert selection too. You’ll find Moncai Vegan in the North Park area.
Previously located in San Francisco, Millennium moved to Oakland in 2015. The menu features dishes from all around the world, all created using fresh vegetables, pulses and other vegan ingredients. Millennium practices sustainable techniques too, supporting small farms to purchase seasonal organic produce. This does mean that the menu changes according to the season, but this only brings more excitement to the options! Favorites include Thai-style curry with sticky rice, chickpea cake and the West African-inspired tempeh with roasted pepper.
Hella Vegan Eats, Oakland and San Francisco
Hella Vegan Eats started life in a food truck before branching into pop-up diners and opening up its own restaurant. You can now enjoy tasty vegan face in the weekly Oakland pop-up eatery and at San Francisco’s Farmers’ Market, as well as at the permanent Oakland premises from Wednesday to Sunday. The restaurant features a beer garden, which is great for lazy sunny days. The menu changes every two weeks, keeping things fresh and interesting.
Anna’s Vegan Café, Sacramento
Perfect for vegans with a craving for Asian cuisine, Anna’s Vegan Café uses mock meats to create some interesting dishes. The Mongolian Delight, Thai Hot and Sour Soup, Pineapple Fried Rice and Roti Drumstick are among the creative menu items. Other popular dishes include the Teriyaki Delight, Lucky Lemongrass, Guru Potato Curry and Orange Nugget. It’s one of the few totally vegan restaurants in California’s state capital.
Good Karma, San Jose
A top spot for beer-loving vegans, Good Karma combines a vegan café with craft and artisan beers. Unlike many vegan establishments, Good Karma doesn’t use mock meats. It focuses instead on making fresh vegetables delicious and filling in their own right. From the yellow Thai curry and Indian-style chana masala to the Jamaican jerk, burrito and kale salad, you’re sure to leave feeling satisfied.
Loving Hut, Fresno
One of the most well-known vegan food chains in the USA, Fresno’s Loving Hut is a reliable choice for locals who live by a plant-based diet. The menu has an Asian focus, with dishes like Vietnamese pho, claypot curry and stir-fried noodles. Alternatively, chow down on a veggie burger or meatless BLT sandwich. The names of the dishes are sure to put you in a calm mood, with monikers like Garden of Eden, The Zen, Pearls of Wisdom, The Guru and Celestial Melody. Loving Hut can be found in several nearby cities too, making it a good fall-back option when you’re looking for vegan restaurants in California.
Sage Bistro, Los Angeles
There are several branches of the plant-based Sage Bistro around Los Angeles. You can find Sage in Culver City, Pasadena and Echo Park, and you may also spot the mobile food truck out and about. The extensive menus cater to diverse tastes with all American, Mexican and Italian dishes among the options.
Ahimsa Vegan Café, Long Beach
Ahimsa Vegan Café not only offers great vegan food, but it also has a terrific juice bar too. Dine healthily on plant-based meals like burritos, wraps, soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches. There’s a selection of smaller items for kids too. Most ingredients are organic, and many ingredients come from the restaurant’s own farm.
Top Tip if Finding Vegan Restaurants in California is Difficult
Finding good food as a vegan can sometimes be frustrating. If there are only a sprinkling of vegan-friendly eateries in an area you can easily become tired of eating the same dishes in the same environment and served by the same serving staff.
A fantastic safe option is to stay in California vacation rentals that have self-catering facilities. Sure, you don’t want to spend your entire vacation cooking and preparing meals, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that you can prepare a quick lunch to take with you for the day? Or return home after an action-packed day, complete with a bag of fresh veggies, and rustle up your own favorite dishes? Sometimes, having the freedom of your own cooking facilities can beat trawling the streets or searching online to find great vegan restaurants in California.
Eat well, stay healthy and have a ball in California!