10 Festive Vegan Holiday Drinks in Los Angeles This Season
We’re cold, you’re cold, everyone’s complaining about the weather as if it were the Arctic, but does that mean we’re going to stop sippin’ on milkshakes and cold brew? Not in our lifetime!
Here’s your Holiday Drink Hit List, complete with lattes, milkshakes, teas, and more!
Eggnog—you probably hated it 10 years ago, but now that’s made from almonds, cashews, and other plant-y foods, it hits different. Plus, who doesn’t want an extra excuse to slip rum into the cup? At Sugar Taco, you can get your fix of Spiked Vegan Eggnog with a side of dank tacos. If that’s not an LA Christmas, I don’t know what is.
The Palm Coffee Bar
CCOOFFF-ehem, coffee. No matter the season, you need it (like, mental breakdown awaits you if you don’t hit peak caffeine consumption type of need). Thankfully, we can celebrate the holidays while feeding our addiction with creative lattes, such as The Raspberry Beret from The Palm Coffee Bar in Burbank. The base of the drink starts with freshly pulled espresso and frothy steamed milk, but the real jazz comes from toasty cookie butter, bright raspberries, and deep brown sugar. Available in decaf and can be made vegan with coconut, soy, almond, macadamia, or oat milk!
The Black Bean
It puts the gingerbread in the milkshake! No, but in all seriousness, a gingerbread milkshake is a mighty festive idea brought to life by indulgent American eatery The Black Bean in Fountain Valley.
500 Mateo St. location
If you’ve never had an espresso con panna, there’s reason for FOMO. But fear not friends, someone’s finally—FINALLY—made this classic vegan, and lucky for us that place is right here in LA’s Arts District. Verve’s Del Sur location isn’t only visually stunning—complemented by open architecture, light wooden decor, and exposed brick walls—but they’re obsessed with updating their menu with creative drinks, many of which are plant-based by default. Such is the case with their Mint Mocha con Panna, in which zesty espresso is poured atop fluffy peppermint chocolate coconut whipped cream and topped with crunchy candy cane pieces. The resulting concoction is warm, cold, sharp, sweet, and incredibly well-rounded.
Monty’s Good Burger
Koreatown, Echo Park, and Riverside
Candy Cane Milkshake from Monty’s Good Burger? Holidays done right. Candy Cane Milkshake plus french fries? Big moves player. Candy Cane Milkshake alongside Monty’s secret-menu Dog Pile? You, my friend, have been anointed a Santa Hat, because you just won the holiday.
Full Service Coffee Co.
If you ever made the commute down Beverly Blvd. from Koreatown to Fairfax, you probably spotted Full Service Coffee Co. on the south side of the road and thought to yourself “that vintage gas station turned coffee shop is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!” Aesthetics aside, Full Service Coffee Co. incorporates sustainability into everything they do—from reusable straws, compostable cups, and their choice of milk alternatives—and crafts the tastiest, homemade specials, such as their Spiced Cold Brew, which features small batch cold brew shaken with maple syrup, a festive spice mix, and Califia oat milk to smooth out the coffee’s stronger notes.
Nic’s on Beverly
Available only Christmas Eve, Nic’s will be serving up a boozy, vegan, and house-made egg nog, inspired by the great Snoop Dogg, appropriately titled Snoop Noggy Nogg.
Plant Power Fast Food
Plant Power’s owner just made it on the Forbes “30 under 30” list. Congratulations! What does this have to do with their Holiday Nog Shake? Oh, just subliminal messaging that discreetly builds credibility for their brand. Swing by one of their drive-thrus on your next road trip out East or down South!
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
At this point in the list, it’s safe to say that vegans are more obsessed with ice cream than your everyday muncher. Maybe it’s due to the fact they can enjoy more than half a cup without getting sick. Calm strike at lactose? You bet. Jokes aside, Van Leeuwen stays serving up some of the richest, creamiest, and decadent-iest (wait a sec … okay, continue), dairy-free ice cream, which is made from a base of coconut milk, cocoa butter, and cashew cream. Their creative spins on seasonal flavors, such as their current Vegan Earl Grey & Cookies, make for festive milkshakes that enchant one’s holiday spirit.
Brentwood and Melrose Place
If you’ve been waiting for something warm to appear on the list, then rejoice! Because Alfred Tea is a place that thought “You know vegans what really want on cold days? Not more milkshakes.” That, and they’re also not an ice cream shop so … onto the drinks! Alfred Tea is brewing up two—I REPEAT, TWO—holiday specials: 1.) Caramel Hojicha (iced), made with roasted Japanese green tea, spiced vegan caramel, and a milk of your choice, and 2.) Chai Cider (hot) with house-made chai, apple cider, coconut cream, and cinnamon.
Thus concludes our holiday drink list! If you venture out to one of these fine places, tag @VegOutLosAngeles in a picture with your beverage for a chance to be reposted! ‘Tis the season to gain some vegan clout.
Photo credit: Kimberly Tran
Ryan is a cook, writer, and musician born and raised in Tampa, FL. With years of recipe testing for his Asian-American food blog, No Eggs or Ham, behind him, he strives to sharpen the image of vegan food by highlighting chefs who push the boundaries of plant-based cuisine. Unlike the advice your mom lent you, he encourages you to play with your food every chance you get!
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