The Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in the Valley

TKO Curry Soup at Vinh Loi Tofu
TKO Curry Soup at Vinh Loi Tofu | Photo: Vinh Loi Tofu

At one time not so long ago, vegetarian and vegan restaurants were mostly seen as a  wasteland for alfalfa sprouts, sprouted grains, faux proteins, and mushy casseroles—all within the confines of patchouli-laced air. Times have changed and now diners in the San Fernando Valley have a global fusion of vegetarian and vegan choices at varying price points with bold flavors, inventive recipes, and top-shelf ingredients. Even "faux" proteins have upped their game and carnivores are coming along for the ride. Check out this list for some of the best in the 818.

Chik'n and Waffle breakfast special at Follow Your Heart Cafe
Chik'n and Waffle breakfast special at Follow Your Heart Cafe | Photo: @fyhmarketcafe, Instagram

Follow Your Heart Café

Opened in 1970, this small market/café is internationally known as the company that created the Vegenaise ® brand of eggless condiments and vegan cheese products. The café itself is located at the back of the market, where the '70s are alive and well with a wood-themed interior décor and patio. The menu is now 100% vegan, with gluten-free choices and a special S.O.S. (“Salt-free, Oil-free, Sugar-free”) menu. 

Breakfast favorites include Lorenzo's Tofu Eggwich, the breakfast burrito (scrambled tofu, black beans, vegetarian "chorizo"), Tofu Rancheros, Golden Cakes (whole grain pancakes), and The Om-Lette - an omelette shaped tofu pancake with choice of three fillings and cheese. 

Garlic Jalapeño Ramen at Gokoku Vegetarian Ramen Shop
Garlic Jalapeño Ramen | Photo: Gokoku Vegetarian Ramen Shop, Facebook

Gokoku Vegetarian Ramen Shop 

You can’t miss the blue exterior of this cozy family-owned restaurant on Lankershim on the outskirts of Studio City. Ten different types of ramen bowls are filled with bok choy, jicama, and wood ear mushrooms, and topped with fried onion, garlic, cilantro, sesame seed.  Call it the lighter, brighter, less salty ramen. Complete your bowl with a variety of flavor combinations, including garlic jalapeno, mushroom with spicy tofu, pineapple with kale, kombucha with kale and curry, and kale and black bean. Add an egg for $1.50, or sub gluten-free noodles for $2. If you don’t want ramen, then look to the rice dishes—bibimbap, kimchee, kombucha, curry, and spicy miso, or a bento box with tofu, spicy miso eggplant, and mushrooms.

Crispy Seaweed Quinoa Rolls at H.O.P.E.
Crispy Seaweed Quinoa Rolls | Photo: H.O.P.E.


With its acronym meaning Healthy Organic Positive Eating, this small organic vegan restaurant offers a wide menu of Asian specialties, a few ‘burgers’ and wraps,  and a short list of Mexican specialties. Most everything is prepared with vegetables and soy proteins. Among the top bites, don’t miss the sweet and savory Muay Thai Wing and the Crispy Seaweed Quinoa Rolls. The Papaya Salad, Pumpkin Curry, and Pad See-Ew are also keepers. The Mango & Sticky Rice is a great seasonal dessert. Lunch and dinner combos are $14 to $18. Note that parking is valet only in this Ventura Blvd strip mall also occupied by Lala’s and Asenabo.

Double layer strawberry chocolate cake at Leo's Superfood Vegan Cafe
Double layer strawberry chocolate cake at Leo's Superfood Vegan Cafe | Photo: @superfoodleo, Instagram

Leo’s Superfood Bakery & Deli

This super casual corner spot in a Northridge strip mall is located inside a former donut shop with only a handful of tables. The menu is 100% vegan and gluten-free, but with some substitutions is also perfect for those on a paleo, low-carb, or keto regimen. All-day breakfast includes protein pancakes and pesto tofu scramble. Personal 9” pizzas are made with their house-made crust. They use the Beyond brand (pea protein) for meat and sausages and sandwiches are made on house made Superfood bread.  Check out the bakery case filled with glorious looking cakes, berry cheesecake, muffins, cookies, brownies, and more. Baked goods and ginger-turmeric spice tea are available online and at various retailers across the nation. Leo's also offers catering.

The BLTA Sandwich at O'cado Restaurant in Sherman Oaks
The BLTA Sandwich at O'cado Restaurant | Photo: @ocadolosangeles, Instagram

O'cado Restaurant

Plant-based fusion with sustainable wine, craft beer, and fresh cocktails is the name of the game at this Ventura Boulevard restaurant/bar featuring Latin, Mediterranean, and American flavors. Popular items include the BLTA (with vegan bacon and avocado), falafel burger, jackfruit street tacos, potato tacos, and a loaded iceberg wedge salad. Appealing specials take center stage with happy hour from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday that includes shared plates such as chimichurri fries for $8, buffalo cauliflower ($10), and spicy falafel bites ($12); $5 drafts, $8 cocktails and $8 select glasses of wine. Other special days included Taco Tuesday (with a trio of tacos for $6 all day) and Wine Wednesday. For those who love to eat with Fido, they have a dog-friendly patio.

White Truffle Pizza at SunCafe Organic
White Truffle Pizza at SunCafe Organic | Photo: @chapskeez, Instagram

SunCafe Organic

Located in a former 1920s house, the ambiance at SunCafe Organic is as big a draw as the menu. Co-owners Ron Russell (also a chef) and Rebecca Smith retained the building’s architectural integrity complete with a glorious front patio perfect for a date or gathering. The 100% plant-based dairy-free menu is filled with a mix of global dishes, including Super Sun nachos with house-made “chorizo”; Kale Colossus salad; the famous Mac & Cheese; Raw & Rich zucchini lasagna; and White Truffle Pizza. If you’re in a lunch rush, check out the $12 ready-in-five-minute entrees, but don’t forget to add a shake—like Mint Shamrock or Coffee Date. Watch for seasonal monthly dinner specials, including the likes of Tempeh Reuben sandwich, Winter Ramen, and Potstickers. Brunch specialties include French Toast dipped in cashew cream and the breakfast burrito with tempeh bacon. Beverage selections include organic wine, beer, and cocktails.

Portobello Philly Burger at Burger Plant
Portobello Philly Burger at Burger Plant | Photo: DoorDash


Located on Cahuenga Blvd West in the shadow of Universal City, vege *ta* ble has transformed into a pop-up called Burger Plant, featuring their same 'guilt-free comfort food' ethos. Currently available for delivery and takeout only, the menu boasts an array of veggie burgers, from the pineapple teriyaki cheeseburger to the portobello Philly burger, with criss-cut waffle fries, quinoa-based mac-n-cheese, and onion rings as side options.

Vegan Japanese Gyoza at veSTATION
Vegan Japanese Gyoza | Photo: veSTATION


Located in a strip mall at Van Nuys and Ventura in Sherman Oaks, this small modern Thai restaurant is a self-described "urban organic kitchen." The menu features of a fusion of vegetables and superfoods, such as kale and quinoa, mixed with traditional curries and Asian spices.  The “meat” elements are tofu, tempeh, soy fish, soy chicken and soy pepper steak. Start off with Quinoa Sticks, a Buddha Wrap, or Japanese Gyoza. Salads are chock full of ingredients, including avocado, beets, curry almond, and sunflower sprouts. Grains and noodles are all vegetable-based with different levels of spice. A few familiar dishes are Khao Soi, drunken noodles, and pineapple fried rice. Add $2 for a protein and $1 for gluten-free sauce. The lunch menu is limited compared to the dinner menu, but has a lower price point. That being said, there is plenty of choice, plus a salad can be added for $3. It’s more fun to share family style in order to experience the different dishes and flavors. Drinks include Thai iced tea and fresh coconut. Mocktails have the flavor profile of an Aperol spritz.

TKO Curry Soup at Vinh Loi Tofu
TKO Curry Soup at Vinh Loi Tofu | Photo: Vinh Loi Tofu

Vinh Loi Tofu

This tiny vegan Southeast Asian restaurant tucked inside a Reseda strip mall is a colorful collage with walls of orange and green covered with images of menu dishes and media accolades - including many "best" lists - as well as articles and medals about owner, Kevin Tran, (aka The Ironman), who is as well known for his triathlon victories as he is for his food. Vinh Loi Tofu offers a large menu of noodles, rice, tofu, rolls, but if you want to do it right, just let Tran order for you because there are many highly worthy off-menu dishes. Proteins consist of mock meats, but the go-to here is the house-made tofu with more than 20 dishes with their specialty. Don't miss the fried tofu blocks with lemongrass. They also make their own soy milk and custard.

Woodlands Indian Cuisine in Chatsworth
Woodlands Indian Cuisine | Photo: Postmates

Woodlands Indian Cuisine

Eating vegetarian or vegan at Indian restaurants is an easy pick, but few are purely about vegetables only. The family-owned Woodlands Indian Cuisine in Chatsworth hits all the marks for flavor, substance, and price—and unlike most other meat-free restaurants, there are no fake meats. The eatery does differ from many in Los Angeles because the specialty is Southern Indian cuisine - followed by many Hindus, it's based around lentils, rice, and variations of stews, with tamarind as one of the widely-used spices. A popular dish here is Utthapam—pancakes made with rice and lentil a topped with varying flavors such as tomato and peas. House specialties include Gobi Manchurian (marinated and fried cauliflower with a garlic, soy, chili sauce) and vegetable biryani. The daily lunch buffet caps out at $13.95 a person. Desserts are all non-vegan - if you choose to indulge, go for the carrot halwa with vanilla ice cream.