5 Tasty Vegetarian Restaurants in Los Angeles

Los Angeles might be the unofficial Healthy Food Capital of the World. Even popular burger places like In-N-Out have vegetarian options (that is, if you order a "veggie burger," you'll get a burger without the meat patties). If you're looking for a restaurant with no meat on its menu, here are a few of L.A.'s best.

Cafe Gratitude Venice
Serving 100-percent organic, plant-based gourmet dishes, Cafe Gratitude Venice has probably converted a lot of carnivores into vegetarians. Bask in the laid-back vibe as you enjoy There are also locations in the Larchmont and Arts District areas of L.A. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Prices range from about $5 to $16.

Voted the VegNews Restaurant of the Year in 2013, Crossroads serves vegan cuisine in an elegant setting gently lit by chandeliers. If you or your carnivore friends think vegan food is blah, you'll change your minds after eating here. Especially tasty are the "crab cakes" made of hearts of palm, beets and apples, and the Spicy Meatball Pizza (which really should be renamed Veggieball). Open for dinner and Sunday brunch. Prices range from about $5 to $20.

The Gadarene Swine
The presentation of some of the small vegan dishes is as interesting as the food is tasty at this Studio City restaurant. Dips are served in faux bird nests. Hummus arrives in clay garden pots. Everything from the peanut butter to the pickles is homemade. Surprisingly, owner and chef Phillip Frankland Lee is a meat eater. Open for lunch and dinner. Prices range from about $3 to $20.

SunCafe Organic
This airy restaurant in the San Fernando Valley's Studio City serves what it calls "rustic world cuisine"—entrees that are made entirely of organic fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables. For your drinking pleasure, SunCafe Organic serves 18 vegan wines by the glass as well as three on-tap Kambucha flavored beers. Unless it's a scorcher in the Valley, enjoy your meal on the pretty outdoor patio. Open for lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends. Prices range from about $3 to $18.

The Veggie Grill
Your die-hard carnivore friends who are skeptical of vegetarian fare might be surprised the "fish" tacos and "chicken" sandwiches they're eating here are actually plant based. Be sure to save room for dessert: The carrot cake does contain carrots, but no eggs or dairy products—not that you'd notice. The Veggie Grill has 12 locations throughout the L.A. area. Open for lunch and dinner. Prices range from about $4 to $12.

Laura Goldman is a freelance writer and lifelong Angeleno. Check out her i Still Love Dogs blog and follow her on Twitter.

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