5 Awesome Vegan Eateries You Must Try
Finding 100% vegan restaurants is a difficult task regardless of what city you’re in. It is true that California, especially Los Angeles and Orange County, are ahead of the game when it comes to vegan eating, lucky for us. There are quite a few well known spots that are gaining more and more popularity as celebrities and public figures are pictured frequenting certain places in the media. However, several of the best local vegan restaurants have gone unnoticed by many. I’ve compiled a list of some already popular and up and coming vegan restaurants in Orange County that are a must try regardless of if you’re a herbivore or not!
#1 Native Foods
With several locations throughout southern California, Native Foods is definitely a popular vegan food chain that offers a delicious variety of one of a kind dishes to satisfy the widest variety of taste buds. Their menu consists of an array of salads, sandwiches, soups and bowls that appeal to a range of individuals. By using seitan, tofu and tempeh products, Native Foods achieves the texture and taste of meat in their dishes, but does so without using any animal products. In addition to their main meals, their desserts are absolutely scrumptious. Their double chocolate brownie, carrot cake cupcake and peanut butter pudding cup are a few of my favorite. You’d never know that eggs and butter weren’t used to make them!
As seen above, Native Foods offers non-traditional vegan options. You wouldn’t guess that a pastrami sandwich or chicken tacos would come vegan style, but Native Foods has proven us wrong. Their menu goes beyond salad and green-juice. Although it takes a little bit of time, their food is all made to order. So, you know you’ll be receiving a fresh, top quality dish that is essentially guaranteed to be delicious. Check out: www.nativefoods.com to see everything they have to offer!
#2 The Stand
Tucked inside of a quant barn-like building on Thalia Street in Laguna Beach, The Stand offers patrons a pure plant based menu that will have you feeling full and healthful after just one meal. Their walk up window makes it easy to access, and outdoor tables and chairs are situated on the wrap around patio that allows customers to enjoy their food in the sunshine. Their food is strictly raw; no ovens, microwaves or stoves are used in the process. Some delicious menu items to try include the watermelon soft serve and the hummus avocado pita. If you want something hearty, their cauliflower soup is a must have, along with the tamale plate with guacamole. After all, a dish topped with avocado is never disappointing.
If you’re in the area and you want a quick and fresh vegan meal that will leave you feeling full and energized, stop by The Stand! Take a seat on their outdoor patio as you munch with a view of the Pacific Ocean to top everything off! For more about their menu and location visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Stand-Natural-Food-Restaurant/111489888891123
#3 Veggie Grill
One of the more popular vegan restaurants, Veggie Grill is known for having tasty dishes that appeal to meat eaters and non meat eaters alike. With an easy to navigate menu and variety of options, Veggie Grill has vegan eating down to a science. Their menu includes items ranging from the typical All-Hail Kale salad to a buffalo wings, sweet potato fries combo. Like many vegan restaurants, Veggie Grill is not inexpensive food. But, the tasty flavors and healthfulness that each one of their items has is worth it.
The Veggie Grill also brews several of their own drinks, with flavors such as black tea and strawberry lemonade. If you’re really feeling indulgent, pick up one of their chocolate chip cookies to-go. You definitely won’t be disappointed. If you aren’t down for a trip to your closest establishment, you can order online, too! Go to: www.veggiegrill.com to start your vegan kick today.
#4 Seabirds Kitchen
Seabirds Kitchen is really as good as it gets when it comes to top of the market vegan eating. Located in The Lab, a diverse anti-mall in Costa Mesa, Seabirds delivers artfully prepared food in a bright but cozy atmosphere. By using organic, plant based and seasonal ingredients, they cater their menu items to essentially everything a vegan would want in a meal. Seabirds offers a variety of unique food that are unlike many standard vegan dishes found at other restaurants. Beyond the typical tofu bowl or kale salad, their kitchen menu includes items such as beer battered avocado tacos and BBQ jack sliders. They even have an extensive brunch menu, complete with intricate bloody mary towers and seasonal house made mimosas.
To add to the glory that is Seabirds Kitchen dine-in establishment, their website allows you to place online orders right from your own home. Score. Need to feed a big group, or arranging a dinner party? Seabirds offers party platters and catering services that feature many of their most popular items! What more could you ever ask for. To order online and view their delicious dishes go to: www.seabirdskitchen.com.
#5 118 Degrees
Across the street from the Lab, lies the Camp, a grouping of eco-friendly shops and restaurants that attract a similar crowd. With an eco-friendly mall, comes a vegan eatery, of course. 118 Degrees is a full service, vibrant and airy establishment with plenty of indoor seating and hippie-esque decor. Aside from the relaxed ambiance, the food is not too shabby itself. Once again, 118 Degrees uses all organic ingredients, much like other vegan spots around town. Some of their most popular menu items include the mole enchiladas, coconut ceviche, and their curry wrap.
They’ve got quite an extensive drinks menu, offering juices, smoothies, coffees and teas, as well as a load of tasty desserts like warm apple cobbler and chocolate cheese cake. Scope ’em out at: www.shop118degrees.com.
Even if you’re a natural born meat lover, trying out vegan and vegetarian restaurants can open your eyes, or taste buds, to some great flavors and food combinations that you may have been missing out on. Vegan food isn’t all kale and tofu. There are endless ways to create new dishes and explore the art of vegan cuisine, which all of these five eateries do effortlessly!
Photo sources: www.localemagazine.com; www.seabirdskitchen.com; www.yelp.com; flickr.com; www.fourletterlife.com; www.veggie101.com; www.gfreeinthecity.com