Latino Food Is Getting The Vegan Makeover Thanks To These 11 Southern California Restaurants
It’s hard to imagine that just less than a decade ago, it was a mission to find vegan options in neighborhoods such as Highland Park or Santa Ana. The lack of restaurants forced these innovative chefs to start creating homestyle Latino dishes with some vegan-friendly flair. Now those same neighborhoods and so many others throughout southern California catering to this cuizine and they are as Instagram friendly as they are delicious. Here are 11 spots you must visit in southern California.
1. Xochitl Vegan
This vendor is not a wallflower when it comes to using hibiscus to add flavor and color to burritos, tacos and nachos. Now we want to add some purple power to our nachos. Yum. Hibiscus is truly the unsung hero of Latino cuisine, both vegan and non-vegan.
2. Un Solo Sol
This Boyle Heights restaurant is taking pupusas up a level. They make spinach pupusa, mushroom pupusa and zucchini pupusas. For some extra protein, pinto beans take over for the cheese in a traditional pupusa. Genius.
3. Blue Window LA
If you’re looking for a plant-based breakfast while jetting out of LAX, this Highland Park-based eatery has got your back (and your stomach.) Blue Window LA’s soyrizo breakfast burrito is made with caramelized onions, breakfast potatoes, corn salsa, spinach, peppers and of course, soyrizo.
Cuban and Brazilian chef Evanice Holz makes Cuban comfort food that is delicioso. From Cuban sandwiches made with jackfruit asado to meat pies made with plant-based picadillo, you’re sure to find your favorite Cuban treat with plant-friendly ingredients.
5. Alchemy Organica
Scroll through celebrity chef Denise Vallejo’s Alchemy Organica Instagram feed and you will never see Mexican cuisine the same again—all the traditional dishes are reimagined with plant-based ingredients, like this ceviche made out of coco. Other dishes include family recipes handed down to Chef Denise, such as Mexicali-style ‘asada’ tacos and a traditional Mayan pumpkin seed dip called Sikil Pak.
6. Vegan by Victoria’s
If you’re looking to have pan dulce without all the artificial sugar but still want some sweetness, head on down to Santa Ana to visit Victoria’s Bakery. Baker Earvin Lopez is mixing up donchas, manteconchas, beloved spinkles cookies and more in a way PETA would be proud of.
7. Just Vegana
Quick: Can you spot the difference between your abuela’s tamales and these vegan ones by Just Vegana? Neither can we! This chef also makes mouthwatering pozole and tacos. Now your family has some non-meat tamale options when winter rolls in.
Clever name, clever culinary skills. This pair of vegan Latinos are turning jackfruit into birria, tortas and tamales. Sign us up for that next pop up.
9. Cena Vegan
If you can’t make it out to one of Cena Vegan’s pop-up events, then head on out to one of their partner stores and buy yourself a bag of their plant-based meats such as carne asada or al pastor.
10. Mi Riconcito Azteca
This Pasadena restaurant that serves both Mexican food and antojitos from Central America has a plant-based option if you’re craving a huarache. Corn, calabacita and salsa verde come together on this mouth-watering plate.
11. Plant Food for People
Chef Genise started Plant Food for People in 2011 when she didn’t have any vegan options in her hometown of Highland Park. Now she is running a thriving food establishment serving up tortas, tacos and nachos to hungry Southern Californians.
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