Plant-Based in the US by Rebecca & Francis on VeganTravel.com

In October 2014, Francis and I journeyed from Melbourne to America and explored various regions from the East to West Coast. We were a little concerned before we left that we would have trouble finding vegan food for breakfast, lunch & dinner but after spending a month in the U.S – we were actually overwhelmed by the options! Veganism is incredibly popular over there, particularly in Los Angeles where health and image is a big priority and San Francisco where equality is paramount. It was so much fun discovering cruelty free places to dine and capturing the vast array of healthy options. I would like to share my absolute favourite dishes from each region we visited and the memories that came with them!

Los Angeles 

Santa Monica Boulevard – Hugo’s – Kale Burrito w Daiya Cheese 

Santa Monica Boulevard Hugos Kale Burrito Daiya Cheese
This was our very first meal after a 13 hour flight from Melbourne so it’s very special to me! After checking into the Ramada on Santa Monica Boulevard, we walked literally 10 minutes down the road to Hugo’s. This Kale Burrito was heavenly but so incredibly filling I could only eat a quarter of it! Daiya Cheese is used in everything in the U.S and is my favourite brand of Vegan Cheese.

Hollywood – Vegan House – Soy Chicken Wings 

Hollywood Vegan House Soy Chicken Wings
That evening, we sat down to our first dinner off the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Vegan House served up ice cold drinks and these Soy Chicken Wings that tasted so authentic it was scary!

Santa Monica – Cafe Gratitude – Cashew Crepe w Coconut Yoghurt, Fresh Fruit & Maple Syrup.

Santa Monica Cafe Gratitude Cashew Crepe Fruit Coconut Yoghurt Maple
This is one of my favourite memories. Sitting down to this delicious breakfast with a freshly pressed Ginger Juice and my best friend of 15+ years walks in. I remember running over to her and throwing myself in her arms. She had been travelling for months and it was so good to see her! We spent the day at Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier.

Venice Beach – Tender Greens – ‘Happy Vegan Salad’ w Green Hummus & Beetroot Quinoa. 

Venice Beach Tender Greens Happy Vegan Salad Green Hummus
Me, Francis & Graham spent the morning walking up and down Venice Beach. We finally found a chain restaurant named Tender Greens. The Happy Vegan Salad was probably the most delicious salad I’ve ever eaten. I ended up ordering it again the next day! Green Hummus is a beautiful thing!

Disneyland – Port Royal – New Orleans Section – Vegan Gumbo On Sourdough. 

Disneyland Port Royal New Orleans Veggie Gumbo Sourdough Bread
I will give you a tip now…Universal Studios is not vegan friendly. That day we ended up eating Onion Rings and Watermelon…I know, strange combo! Disneyland on the other hand knows how to do vegan food! This Vegan Gumbo from Port Royal was to die for. Filling and super tasty!

La Brea – M  Cafe (Macrobiotic Cuisine) – Organic Oatmeal w Toasted Flaxseed, Fresh Fruit & Maple Syrup. 

La Brea M's Cafe Macrobiotic Cuisine Organic Oatmeal Toasted Flaxseed Fruit
For those who have never traveled to the US before – the rumours about obesity and unhealthy, fattening and sugary foods are true. Even the vegan meals come in ridiculously large portions so if you’re worried about gaining weight I would recommend eating at M Cafe. All the vegan menu items are well-portioned and super duper healthy! Try their Carrot & Ginger Fresh Juice (pictured)

Vegas 

Wynn Hotel – Terrace Point Cafe – French Toast w Fresh Fruit & Vegan Butter. 

Wyn Hotel Terrace Point Cafe French Toast Strawberries And Vegan Butter
Out of all the places we visited – Vegas offered the least amount of vegan options. The good news is, the stunning Wynn Hotel is owned by multi-millionaire and vegan Steven Wynn. He has ensured that every restaurant and cafe in his hotel has a separate vegan menu. We walked all the way from our hotel (The MGM Signature) to the Wynn for breakfast and I have to say it was worth every step in the hot sun! I mean…look at it!

The Bellagio – Sensi Restaurant (permanently closed) – Vegan Tofu Scallops w Coconut Curry. 

The Bellagio Sensi Vegan Tofu Scallops Coconut Curry
Wow talk about a fancy vegan dinner that tasted divine! Great memory associated with this meal. I devoured it before running off to Planet Hollywood to see Britney Spears live performing her Greatest Hits! Night to remember!

Treasure Island – Kahunaville (permanently closed) – Toasted Soy Cheese Sandwich w Tomato Relish. 

Treasure Island Kahunaville Toasted Sandwhich Soy Cheese Tomato Relish
Not all meals need to be super fancy. This toasted sandwich with soy cheese was the perfect lunch in between exploring hotels on the Las Vegas Strip!

The Venetian – The Canyon Grill – Portobello Mushroom w Quinoa & Veggies 

The Venetian Canyon Grill Portobello Musroom Quinoa Veggies
I loved the presentation of this meal rather than the taste although it was yummy! You need to see The Venetian if you visit Vegas so stop at the Canyon Grill for lunch while you’re there and ask for the vegan menu!

San Francisco 

Loving Hut – Westfield Union Square – ‘Philly Cheese Steak’ w Slaw. 

Loving Hut Union Square Philly 'Cheese' Steak Slaw
Welcome to Vegan Central! The moment we arrived we saw posters advocating veganism and images of what happens to cows in dairy farms. It felt like home! San Francisco is such a diverse, beautiful city that you could Rollerblade down the street in a Panda Suit and nobody would blink an eye. It promotes freedom and individuality. It also has one of the biggest homeless shelters in the world which takes really good care of those less fortunate. The Loving Hut was our first vegan stop and it was so familiar as we have a Loving Hut back home in Melbourne that we frequent often. There is also a Loving Hut in Vietnam so stay tuned as we will be seeking it out in August!

Mission Street – Zpizza Cafe – The ‘Berkeley Vegan Pizza’ 

Z's Cafe Mission Street Berkeley Vegan
As you may have seen from my Instagram Post – our first dinner was of the colossal variety! I ate two slices of a delicious pizza that was bigger than me and left the rest to Francis! Try it!

Fisherman’s Wharf – Pepples Organic Donuts – (Coconut Flavour) 

Pepples Vegan Donuts Coconut Fisherman's Wharf
You Must Try Pepples! So many flavours and so much deliciousness in every bite! You will find Pepples at the Fisherman’s Wharf along with the Vegan Organic Market. We had so many healthy choices before boarding a ferry to Alcatraz!
Fisherman's Wharf Organic Vegan Stalls
Beautiful day in the sun at Fisherman’s Wharf!

Mission District – Herbivore – Organic Oatmeal w Grilled Bananas, Quinoa & Maple Syrup.  (out of business)

Herbivore Mission District Oatmeal Grilled Bananas Quinoa Maple
Herbivore is 100% Vegan and the perfect place to eat brekkie! Check out the Mission District for amazing plant based Mexican food as well!

Washington DC 

Independence Avenue – Sweetgreens – ‘Wild Child Salad.’ 

Sweetgreens Independence Avenue Wild Child Salad
We were only in DC for 2 days but in that time we managed to see everything worth seeing! We stayed in The Capitol at an AirBnB house. Independence Avenue is situated in The Capitol and Sweetgreens is a Washington chain restaurant that offers delicious vegan salads with breads as sides. Filling and healthy!

K Street – Busboys & Poets – Coconut Tofu. 

Busboys & Poets K Street Coconut Tofu
Busboys & Poets is the most beautiful bohemian restaurant. As you can see from the photo, the menus are filled with inspirational leaders and quotes of peace and love. They have an adorable library where you can read and even borrow the books. Their Coconut Tofu was light and yummy!

New Orleans 

Julia Street – Carmo Cafe – Carmo Salad w Pineapple, Avocado, Currants & Vegan Ham. 

Carmo Cafe Julia Street Pineapple Currants Vegan Ham Avo
New Orleans is my absolute favourite place in the whole wide world! We spent 7 glorious days here and discovered so many veggie treasures! Despite the typical Nola Cuisine of Crawfish, Alligator Meat & Cajun Chicken, Vegans are incredibly welcomed and there are endless options if you’re willing to explore! I remember eating this salad and soaking up the southern sun with the love of my life.

Prytania Street – Seed – Deep Fried Southern Tofu Nuggets w Buffalo Sauce. 

Seed Prytania Street 100% Vegan Deep Fried Southern Tofu Nuggets Buffalo Sauce
Seed is 100% Vegan and was literally a 2 minute walk from our Air BnB House on Prytania Street. The entire city was decorated for Halloween and you could sense the hauntingly voodoo spirits in the air! Home to my favourite author and mentor Anne Rice (see ‘Meeting Your Idol’), after eating at Seed, I was ready to settle in the Garden District for life!

Magazine Street – Juan’s Flying Burrito – ‘SweetNGreen’ Spinach Burrito (make sure you ask for no cheese!) 

Juan's Flying Burrito Magazine Street Sweet N Green Spinach Wrap WT Cheese
All my life I’ve read about the illustrious Magazine Street in Anne Rice’s novels so to be strolling down there in the warm sun felt like a dream come true. We stopped at Juan’s for lunch and devoured this delicious veggie filled burrito!

French Quarter – Bennachins – ‘Jama Jama’ w Sauteed Spinach, Ripe Plantains & Coconut Rice. 

Bennachins French Quarter African Restaurant Jama Jama sautéed spinach, ripe plantains and coconut rice
Bennachins is an African Restaurant in the French Quarter. It is enchanting and romantic. The ripe plantains were juicy and so sweet! I crave them often!

St Charles Avenue – Santa Fe – Quesadilla w Daiya Cheese. 

Santa Fe Tapas St Charles Avenue quesadilla daiyacheese
Feel like Vegan Tapas? Check out Santa Fe on St Charles! You will need to ask for the separate vegan menu. Free refills on drinks!

Magazine Street – Pho Noi Viet – Vegan Pho. 

Pho Noi Viet Pho's Magazine Street
This was the meal I ate before I met Anne Rice on Halloween Eve so I saved it till last! I suspect we will be eating a lot of Vegan Vietnamese Pho in August and if it’s as delicious as the one pictured, fill my bowl please!

Thank you for checking out my Vegan Guide to parts of the U.S. I hope you check out some of these places as they are well worth travelling to. I wanted to put up all my pictures but that would’ve been a novel so I’m glad I got to share my top favourites. You can eat cruelty free food anywhere you go, you just have to know where to look and have the spirit of adventure in your heart!

Peace and Love xoxox

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