It’s been a really good year for Los Angeles’ healthy food scene, which is saying a lot considering the oodles of innovation, copious juice bars, and the fact you can’t go a block without pointing out the car window saying “I totally want to eat there.”
But with all of the amazing new plant-based restaurants and clean fast-casual cafes comes a dilemma—which ones are so good that they deserve a place at the top of your dining priority list?
Luckily, you’ve got us. Out of all the new and healthy LA restaurants our editors have tried over the past 12 months (which is to say, pretty much all of them), these are the ones we keep coming back to—and, given the well-deserved hype (and social media love) surrounding them, it looks like a lot of other people are crazy about this crew, too.
Our criteria for this list was pretty strict: only restaurants that have been open for less than a year, have been recently revamped, or are in serious expansion mode made the cut. (Don’t worry—we still love you, Sqirl, Crossroads, and Gjelina!)
So, take some extra long lunches, book some post-workout dinner reservations with your workout buddies, and prepare to eat your way through the last few weeks of summer.
Read on to discover our picks for the best, most buzz-worthy healthy restaurants in Los Angeles right now, presented in alphabetical order.
Judging by its name (and its kid-friendly vibe), you wouldn’t think Jessica Biel’s celeb-approved restaurant, bar, and market would be at all healthy. But there’s plenty of non-sugar-laden eats on the organic, locally sourced menu, including lots of vegan and gluten-free options. Spring pea fritters with beet hummus and roasted veggies, anyone?
Au Fudge, 9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA, 90069, 424-288-4268, aufudge.com
This popular organic juice bar and grab-and-go café chain is continuing to grow, with a sixth location now open at Equinox in La Costa (its first collab with the swanky gym chain). That’s not the only rad partnership it’s forged this year—check out the new porridge bars designed in collaboration with Breakfast Criminals, or its new menu of cold brews and kefir sodas from San Diego’s Superfood Coffee Co.
Beaming, various locations, livebeaming.com
Biohacking pioneer Dave Asprey just opened his second high-tech Bulletproof coffee shop at Downtown LA’s One Santa Fe development (the other location is in Santa Monica). It serves a Bulletproof diet-approved menu heavy in protein, healthy fats, and veggies; collagen-infused bone broth; and all sorts of butter-boosted coffee drinks (natch).
Bulletproof Coffee, 3110 Main St. #116, Santa Monica, CA, 90405, 310-399-1764; 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90013, 213-265-7040; bulletproofcoffee.com
This Aussie surfer fave has hopped the Pacific to open a farmers market-driven outpost in Santa Monica. Breakfast is its strong suit—don’t leave without trying the avocado halloumi toast, the summer squash pancakes, or the “rad bowl” filled with greens, turmeric grains, fermented veggies, and poached egg. Salivating yet?
Bondi Harvest, 1814 Berkeley St., Santa Monica, CA, 90404, 310-586-7419, bondiharvest.com
This all-day Abbot Kinney eatery, juicery, and bar has all the ingredients of a massive hit—NYC notoriety, a drop-dead gorge design aesthetic, and equally stunning, yet approachable plant-based cuisine. (We’re partial to the vegan stone oven pizzas and anything between two slices of the killer gluten-free bread).
The Butcher’s Daughter, 1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA, 90291, 310-981-3004, thebutchersdaughter.com
Sorry, LA—when this vegan comfort-food phenom arrived here from NYC, it brought along its insane queues. But while you’re waiting to tuck into your guac burger, taco salad, or Purple Rain smoothie bowl, at least you can check out the first ever 365 by Whole Foods concept (it’s located inside).
By Chloe, 2520 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90026, 323-378-3891, bychefchloe.com
If you haven’t heard of this Mediterranean fast-casual joint yet, you definitely will soon. It’s currently serving hummus with harissa in Westwood and the Valley, and it’s coming to Culver City soon, with Venice and Santa Monica locations on deck for 2017. (There’s a reason we deemed it the next Sweetgreen.)
Cava Grill, various locations, cavagrill.com
“No Fake Sh*t” is this organic falafel house’s slogan, and it’s not just a clever hashtag. The all-vegan menu was created by holistic health coach Gina “Granola Bitch” Ragnone, and everything is made fresh in-house from local produce, without any preservatives, soy, GMOs, or processed ingredients. More locations are currently being developed, but for now, you can get your fala-fix in WeHo and Venice. (Pro tip: go straight for the kale burger).
Fala Bar, 7751 1/2 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90046, 323-424-7131; 1146 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA, 90291, 310-399-0809, falabar.com
This True Food Kitchen offshoot was practically made for post-spin class lunch dates—its menu is full of energizing dishes like protein-topped grain bowls (much love for the Forbidden Rice!), salads heaping with organic veggies, and sharable sides (the gluten-free mac and cheese is a best-seller). And like spring flowers, it has locations popping up everywhere.
Flower Child, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA, 90401, 480-905-6920, iamaflowerchild.com
On your next jaunt down to the O.C., be sure to check out this new, upscale concept from the founders of Café Gratitude—but be sure to book a hotel nearby, because its bar program is out-of-this-world. (Boozy snow cones… enough said). The all-vegan menu’s piece de resistance? An $18 salad made with 7 types of kale, all harvested the same day. (You can take the restaurant out of LA…)
1617 Westcliff Dr., Newport Beach, CA, 92660, 949-386-8103, cafegratitude.com
This 9-year-old organic chain is expanding at a rapid clip, and its newest destination is the most impressive yet—an elegant, craftsman-style outpost on Abbot Kinney with a full bar, on-site chef’s garden, and patio seating. Pretty soon, you’ll also be able to get your Kitchen Sink Cobb salads and thin-crust pizzas at a 7th location in Glendale.
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, various locations, greenleafchopshop.com
The shakes at this next-gen tonic bar will rock your world, each one filled with adaptogenic herbs, superfood powders, and plant-based fats and proteins. The only thing better than that: the fact that they all taste like they’re made with ice cream. (You can’t go wrong with the minty, chocolatey Greenhouse Chip).
Lifehouse Tonics, 7515 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90046, 323-378-5691, lifehousetonics.com
One of our favorite new Sunday dinner spots on the Eastside, Moby’s Little Pine is all organic, all vegan, and all charm. The menu’s got a heavy Italian accent, with standout dishes including the broccoli arancini, risotto, and mushroom crostini. But maybe the best part is that the musician-restaurateur is donating 100 percent of profits to animal welfare groups—yep, really.
Little Pine, 2870 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake, CA, 90039, 323-741-8148, littlepinerestaurant.com
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t M Café, like, a thousand years old?” Yes, it’s been around since 2005 (eons in restaurant years), but the macrobiotic pioneer’s flagship outpost recently underwent a design revamp (trendy geometric tiles, cedar wood, adorable new logo) and unveiled a new menu, including a must-try Japanese-inspired, bread-free take on avocado toast. We have a feeling macro fan Gwyneth Paltrow would dig it.
M Cafe, various locations, mcafedechaya.com
Plant Food + Wine
Matthew Kenney is a veritable artist when it comes to in plant-based cuisine, and this crazy-chic Venice restaurant is where his most brilliant masterpieces, like his recent collab with Sakara, come to life. (His fast-casual Make Out is pretty great, too). The raw restaurateur has big plans to take his brand global, but first he’s bringing Asia to LA with Arata, a pop-up noodle bar that’s taking over Plant Food + Wine from July 28 to August 7.
Plant Food + Wine, 1109 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA, 90291, 310-450-1009, matthewkenneycuisine.com
If poké is the new sushi, then Sweetfin is the Nobu of the genre (with way less pretension). And the number of places you can wait in line for its super-fresh fish atop bamboo rice, kelp noodles, or kale is multiplying—along with the OG Santa Monica spot, it’s got outposts under construction in WeHo and Westwood, with Larchmont and Topanga up next.
Sweetfin Poké, 829 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA, 90401, 310-395-1097, sweetfin.com
After planting its flag in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Downtown LA, the East Coast-born sustainable salad shop decided it might as well just move here, opening a new HQ at Platform earlier this year. Rumor has it the cool food brand’s planning a next-level restaurant for the wellness-focused lifestyle center—watch this space.
Sweetgreen, various locations, sweetgreen.com
The Venice institution formerly known as The Rose Café reopened after an extensive remodel in September, and it’s hardly recognizable—from the beer garden to the artisanal marketplace to the Verve coffee bar. Grab a patio seat, a glass of (yes way) rosé, and some crudo from the raw bar, and you’ve got the perfect healthy Friday night date spot.
The Rose, 220 Rose Ave., Venice, CA, 90291, 310-399-0711, rosecafevenice.com
We were a little concerned when this DTLA wellness Shangri-la shut down its awesome vegan restaurant for several months, but it turns out they had a good reason—they were onboarding three new chefs, who just revamped the plant-based menu and made it better than ever. If you try one thing, make it the genius Philly “cheesesteak” wrap.
The Springs, 608 Mateo St., Los Angeles, CA, 90021, 213-223-6226, thespringsla.com
Top Chef alum Marcel Vigneron recently opened this seasonal, zero-waste restaurant on Melrose Avenue, which sources all of its ingredients from sustainable, organic, and local family farms. The menu is traditional with a twist—dishes include “Burnt Carrots” with tropical fruit and charcoal, and a baby kale salad with pickled Asian pears and dried apricots.
Wolf, 7661 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90046, 323-424-7735, wolfdiningla.com
Where else are wellness tastemakers hanging out in LA? They’re tapping it back with this cult-fave SoulCycle instructor, getting their infrared sweat on, and tooling around town in these super-stylish local leggings.