Festive foods abound over the holiday season, and Los Angeles offers a cornucopia of plant-based options for those wanting to celebrate sans meat. Whether you want to order something special for the vegan in your life, dine out with loved ones, or hang with furry and feathered sentient beings, it’s easy to create a compassionate Thanksgiving experience in LA. For that, we are thankful.
Café Gratitude Larchmont
Café Gratitude is hosting the 15th annual Give Thanks community event from 11am to 3pm at its Venice location (512 Rose Ave., Venice 90291). Café Gratitude will serve a free, plant-based Thanksgiving meal accompanied by live music. No reservations - first come, first served. Early arrival suggested, all ages are welcome. Proceeds will be donated to Immigrant Defenders Law Center, a social justice law firm delivering full-scale deportation defense to nearly 600 immigrants annually, accepting all clients regardless of eligibility for relief. Volunteers are needed to seat, serve guests food and drinks, and bus tables. Sign up here.
You can also bring gratitude home this Thanksgiving by pre-ordering prepared vegan sides and pies. Orders must be placed by Monday, November 25 and picked up 1pm-10pm on Wednesday, November 27.
Don’t forget dessert! Order the Maple Harvest roll or the Pumpkin Pie roll ahead from the Echo Park location of the all-vegan chain Cinnaholic (2134 W. Sunset Blvd, Suite E, Los Angeles 90026, 323.844.3944).
CIRCA 55 - Save the Turkey Brunch (Nov. 23-24, 2019)
CIRCA 55 at The Beverly Hilton (9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills 90210) is serving a vegan Save the Turkey Brunch on November 23 and 24 (the weekend before Thanksgiving) from 11am - 4pm. Executive Chef Giovanni Spataro has planned a rich, veggie-focused menu featuring Squash Lasagna, Vegan Pot Pie, Potato Au Gratin, Green Bean Casserole, and more! Pricing is $56 for adults and $28 for children under 12 years old. Make reservations online or call (310) 887-6055.
Instagram star vendor Compton Vegan is revered for his delectable soul food by order from his catering menu. Main dishes include the seitan-based Wingz, sweet potato-based Ribz, and Jambalaya, along with sides and desserts in various family-sized options. To order for the holidays, call (310) 596-6690. Follow @comptonvegan for more info.
Crossroads Kitchen (Nov. 28, 2019)
At Crossroads Kitchen (8284 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90046), award-winning chef Tal Ronnen (whom Oprah called “the best vegan chef in America”) once again offers a four-course prix fixe Thanksgiving menu that begins with butternut squash bisque, followed by an autumn chopped salad. The main dish is a choice of holiday spiced lentil tempeh or scallopini. Sides include mashed potatoes with porcini gravy, classic stuffing, Brussels sprouts and sweet potato biscuits. Finish with pumpkin mousse verrine or cranberry sorbet. Dine in on Thanksgiving from noon to 5 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made online.
Flore Vegan (3818 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90026) is closed on Thanksgiving Day but you can indulge in the holiday until December 31 with their ever-popular Turk'y Dinner Sandwich - it's loaded with savory house-made seitan, cranberry stuffing, vegan cream cheese and basil on toasted focaccia and served with a side salad. Wash it down with their home made hot apple cider or nog latte and you're good to go until next year.
Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe
One of LA’s first vegetarian restaurants (also the creators of Vegenaise, Vegan Egg and many other beloved products), Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe (21825 Sherman Way, Canoga Park 91303, 818.348.3240) offers their extensive Heat and Eat Thanksgiving Menu for pre-order, featuring a complete Thanksgiving Dinner, a family-sized "Turkey" Pot Pie, and a la carte items. Place your order now through Monday, November 25 for pick up beginning at noon on Tuesday, November 26; all day Wednesday, November 27; and 9am to 3pm on Thanksgiving Day (November 28). Their market will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 9am to 3pm, so swing by for last-minute ingredients.
Follow Your Heart is also serving a Vegan Thanksgiving Feast on Tuesday, November 26 from 4-9pm; Wednesday, November 27 from noon to 9pm; and 10am to 2:30pm on Thanksgiving Day. Options include sliced vegan turkey with all the fixins, or a gluten-free stuffed acorn squash half. Pricing is $22.99 with an optional glass of wine for $6.
Inn of the Seventh Ray (Nov. 28, 2019)
Herbivores and omnivores can dine together at Inn of the Seventh Ray (128 Old Topanga Canyon Rd, Topanga 90290, 310.455.1311). The fairytale-like restaurant in the woods is serving prix fixe Thanksgiving and vegan dinners featuring an apple cider-brined free range or faux turkey, respectively. Pricing is $65 for three courses, $75 for five courses and $35 for the three-course children's menu. Reservations are recommended.
Be the hit of any gathering by bringing one of Magpie Softserve's (2660 Griffith Park Blvd, Los Angeles 90039) pies for dessert! Holiday flavors include vegan Key Lime softserve layered with maple coconut chips, caramel whip cream, in a tasty graham crust; as well as Pumpkin Pie softserve topped with salted caramel, crunchy brown sugar oats, graham streusel and a dust of cinnamon. Of course, their standard Fried Softserve pie featuring corn almond-flavored ice cream, vegan fudge, honeycomb candy (not actual honeycomb), non-dairy whipped cream, and fried candied corn flakes is always a crowd pleaser, too.
Mama's International Tamales
This MacArthur Park favorite (2124 W 7th St., Los Angeles 90057) is offering several Thanksgiving pick-up packages.
Holiday Package #1 ($99.99)
- 1 dozen tamales
- Half-sheet of rice
- Half-sheet of beans
- Side of plantains
- Red & green salsa
Holiday Package #2 - Panes con Pollo Kit ($69.99)
- Half-dozen bolillos
- Stewed jackfruit "pollo" with Salvadorian spices, creamy curtido, pickled curtido, and all the vegetables
Holiday Package #3 ($99.99)
- 1 dozen pupusas
- Half-sheet of rice
- Half-sheet of beans
- Side of plantains
- Curtido & tomato salsa
Also available: Tamales and Pupusas by the dozen. Pricing is $39.99 - $49.99 / dozen.
Native Foods - Thanksgiving Buffet (Nov. 28, 2019)
Known for their year-round comfort food, the Native Foods vegan restaurant chain is offering a Thanksgiving Buffet at their Westwood location, located minutes from the UCLA campus (1114 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles 90024). Served from noon to 7pm on Thanksgiving Day, the buffet features their Native Thanksgiving Roast (stuffed with sweet potato, kale, cranberries, apple, garlic mashed potatoes), gluten free Shepherd’s Pie, gluten free sides and two desserts, all for the bargain price of $29.99 per adult, $14.99 for kids 12 and under. Free for kids under 2. Reservations can be made online.
Real Food Daily
Real Food Daily is open on Thanksgiving this year and you can still get in on their 26th annual Thanksgiving To-Go, for pickup the day before or day of Thanksgiving at both locations (WeHo: 310.289.9910; Pasadena: 626.844.8900). Thanksgiving To-Go is priced at $49 per person. Hickory-smoked maple carved jackfruit looks to be a standout again this year, along with roasted vegetables, pecan praline yams, sage walnut corn stuffing, and more. Not sure what you want? No worries--they are offering a teaser plate at the restaurant throughout November. More info at realfood.com.
Sage Vegan Bistro
Sage Vegan Bistro (Echo Park, Culver City, Old Town Pasadena) will be closed on Thanksgiving but you can order ahead from an extensive holiday catering menu with everything from seitan turkey and lentil "meat" loaf to tamales and all of the traditional sides, many of which are gluten-free or can be adjusted for allergies. Available a la carte by the quart or half-tray, Family Meal for 4, and an Individual Meal. Order online and early!
Veggie Grill is offering the take-away VG Holiday Feast which includes: stuffed holiday roast, apple sausage stuffing, green beans with almonds and orange butter, mashed yams, Yukon mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and cranberry sauce. The VG Holiday Feast is priced at $74.95 and feeds 4 adults. A la carte sides and Family Pumpkin Cakes are also available. Orders must be placed online at catering.veggiegrill.com and are available for pick-up at all locations on Wednesday, November 27 except for the UCLA campus location.