Hosting Thanksgiving dinner has seemingly become a novelty—it’s nice in theory, but a pain in practice. It’s easy to get swept up in the whimsy of tradition, but in reality, it can lead to a significant amount of unnecessary stress. There’s the menu planning, making multiple trips to the store (because you know you’ll forget something), cooking for hours, crumpling in dismay when something doesn’t turn out right, and finally, you’re left with a mountain of dishes. This year, leave the hosting to the professionals. Whether you’re looking for a white tablecloth affair or a no-fuss casual meal, the vegan restaurants of Los Angeles will provide. Read on to discover a variety of eateries that you can head to on this Thanksgiving.
Not into the “linner” trend for Thanksgiving? Beelman’s is open from 5 – 10 pm for a special Thanksgiving feast. This lively downtown pub and eatery famous for its tater tot nachos will be serving its traditional menu, along with a selection of holiday favorites. For $25, diners can choose one main, one side, and one dessert. A la carte add-ons are also available. The special menu is extensive, but just a few items include Chickpea Loaf with Maple Glaze, Curried Sweet Potato Tots with Mango Chutney Aioli, Yam Bisque, Spiced Cranberry Sauce, Chicken Drumstick with Bechamel Sauce, Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon & Ginger Brûlée, and Mint Chocolate Ice Cream with Deep Fried Oreos. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite.
Give and you shall receive. Cafe Gratitude is hosting its annual free Thanksgiving meal at its Larchmont location from 11am-3pm, first come, first serve. Have enough to eat? Volunteers are needed to serve food as well, and no restaurant experience is necessary. Sign up for a shift here.
For a white tablecloth experience, make your Thanksgiving reservations at this WeHo fine dining establishment. From 12-5pm, Che Tal Ronnen will be serving a four course prix fixe menu that will surely satisfy. The elaborate meal includes Butternut Squash Bisque, Autumn Chop Salad, a choice of Holiday Spiced Lentil Tempeh or Scallopini, Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Gravy, Classic Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato Biscuits, and a choice of Pumpkin Mousse Verrine or Cranberry Sorbet. Dress to impress; this is a celebrity sighting hotspot!
Follow Your Heart Market & Restaurant
Sit down to a hearty, yet casual meal at the Follow Your Heart Market & Restaurant in Canoga Park. This welcoming diner-like joint will be open from 9am-3pm on Thanksgiving day, serving its extensive menu to all hungry patrons. The cafe kitchen offers something to satisfy any craving, be that sweet or savory breakfast, mile-high sandwiches, comforting entrees, and plenty of dessert. Can’t wait until November 22? The restaurant is hosting several “Thanksgiving Demos” November 16-18, allowing customers to sample a variety of holiday dishes, from a selection of mouthwatering pies to “Turkey” and its signature mashed potatoes.
Inn of the Seventh Ray
Are your relatives adamant against going to a vegan restaurant for Thanksgiving? Well the Inn of the Seventh Ray is a regular restaurant that will also have Thanksgiving offerings for vegans. Their three- or five-course prix fixe tasting menu includes Vegan Mushroom Ravioli, Roasted Butternut Squash, Market Baby Greens & Winter Apple Salad, and Apple Cider Brined Faux Turkey, along with a plethora of sides, plus various pies — all served with coconut ice cream. The omnivores in your party might just order from the vegan menu after all! Reservations are required.
Plant Food & Wine
Fancy a gourmet Thanksgiving meal on a candlelit patio surrounded by trees and excellent wine? Then make your Thanksgiving dinner reservations at celebrity chef Matthew Kenney’s Venice stronghold — Plant Food & Wine. The nine-course tasting menu (plus three dessert options) include a variety of holiday staples with a plant-based artisanal twist so characteristic of Kenney’s cuisine. Just a few items include a Celery Root Bisque, Cider Braised Brussels Sprouts, Honeynut Squash, Foragers Pie, and Root Vegetable “Lasagna.” Desserts range from traditional apple pie with cinnamon ice cream, to a decadent pecan torte, and of course, classic pumpkin pie.
Westwood, Costa Mesa
You can order a Thanksgiving feast to go, but this chain is also hosting a turkey-free dinner at several of its locations nationwide. From 12-7 pm, those with a reservation can enjoy a full Native Foods buffet. The meal includes the new Native Thanksgiving Roast, Shepherd’s Pie, Apple-Cider Braised Brussels Sprouts, Polenta Butternut Squash Terrine, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Native Stuffing, Mushroom Gravy, Cranberry Orange Compote, and Green Salad with Pecans & Pomegranates. The meal also includes two desserts — classic Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Cheesecake. No need to dress up at this fast-casual restaurant; stretchy pants are totally acceptable.
Culver City and DTLA
On Thanksgiving Day, East meets West at this cool macrobiotic vegan sushi restaurant. The chefs have prepared a Thanksgiving Special Tasting, fusing together the best of both worlds. Make your reservations and look forward to a “Meatloaf” Wellington, along with your selection of two appetizers and two sushi items. Those who dine in between 12-3pm can also order the much sought-after Ramen Burger, only available during this three hour time period for the foreseeable future.
Stuff I Eat
Chef Babette is hosting a perfectly plant-based Thanksgiving at her community-focused Inglewood cafe, Stuff I Eat. Diners can choose from two menus: one traditional, the other raw or “Live,” as she calls it. The traditional menu includes Vegan “Turkey” Cutlets, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Mac ’n’ Cheese, Yams, Dressing with Homemade Cranberry Sauce, String Beans or Kale, and a hearty slice of her famous Sweet Potato Pie. The “Living” menu offers raw alternatives, but doesn’t skimp on tradition. Raw guests can load up on Cauliflower & Cashew Mash with Gravy, Savory Wild Rice Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Nut Loaf, Marinated Spinach & Napa Cabbage, Jicama “Potato” Salad or Broccoli Salad, and a slice of Organic Raw Sweet Potato Pie. Dinner will be served from 12 – 6 pm.
Need some fuel before you hit the mall for those pre-Black Friday deals? Swing by Veggie Grill. All locations are open until 8pm Thanksgiving day, and the Hollywood location will be open until 11pm. The chain will be serving its full menu, but what better day to try their seasonal Turkey Dinner Sandwich and Pumpkin Spice Cake?