Pasadena, California is home to A LOT of delicious vegan food, including some great vegan breakfast and brunch options. There are at least five 100% vegan restaurants in Pasadena, a 100% vegetarian drive-thru, and a bunch of other restaurants with great vegan options. Pasadena is even home to an annual vegan beer and food festival.
Below is a list of vegan food in Pasadena. Jump to different sections! Click on the link in the name of each business for opening hours and other info on Yelp. I’ll be gradually updating and adding to the list.
- Totally Vegan Restaurants in Pasadena
- Totally Vegetarian Restaurants in Pasadena
- Pasadena Restaurants with Good Vegan Options
- Pasadena Dessert and Coffee Shops with Good Vegan Options
Totally Vegan Restaurants in Pasadena
My Vegan – 633 South Arroyo Pkwy
One of our reliable favorites, My Vegan is a casual, reasonably priced, all-vegan Thai-focused fusion restaurant. The menu includes Thai specialties, American classics including American vegan breakfast classics and 13 kinds of vegan burgers, fresh salads, desserts, and fresh young coconuts. Service is consistently friendly and quick. My favorite diner dish is R.I.P.P. (Rest in Peace, Porky) which comes with sweet and tangy vegan short rib, broccoli, and vegan coleslaw. I also love the chickn nuggets and soy vinegar dipping sauce. My husband gets the spicy basil noodles every time. I also love to get their vegan pancakes with tofu scramble for breakfast.
Veggie Grill – 200 South Lake Ave
Veggie Grill is an all-vegan fast-food chain that has over 20 locations in the United States. They make an excellent Beyond Burger which in my opinion is only one notch below the famous Impossible Burger I’ve had at Crossroads. A customer favorite is the Santa Fe vegan chicken sandwich.
Park BEHIND the restaurant in the huge public parking area that has free parking for the first hour (or is it 90 minutes?). The lot is often crowded but you can usually find a spot. They have a loyalty app where you get a $9 coupon for every $99 you spend.
One Veg World – 950 East Colorado Blvd
One Veg World is a tiny, very casual all-vegan Asian-influenced fusion cafe owned by Quan Yin Method spiritual leader Supreme Master Ching Hai‘s company. They also own the Loving Hut chain. One Veg world offers vegan breakfast and brunch food which is a rarity, except in Pasadena! It’s nothing fancy, almost like fast food. They have vegan egg muffin sandwiches and vegan breakfast burritos.
One Veg World also has a little mini-mart with vegan staples like nutritional yeast and some vegan candies, as well as religious books.
Real Food Daily – 899 East Del Mar Blvd
Real Food Daily is a nice, all-vegan restaurant with full liquor license including a Nero D’Avola wine (I’m always looking for it, maybe you are, too) and kombucha on tap. They have a creative menu with big hearty salads, sandwiches, comfort-food inspired entrees, and a pretty big dessert menu. I like to get a Coco Joy on the way out – it’s like a fresh vegan Mounds bar. They have excellent vegan nachos, and they actually have vegan brunch food, which is kind of hard to find. My favorite brunch dish is the Sea Cake Benedict (it doesn’t taste like the sea.)
Green Earth Vegan Cuisine – 37 South Fair Oaks Ave
Green Earth is a small, casual, all-vegan, Asian-influenced fusion cafe with an extensive menu that includes sushi rolls, nachos, vegan philly cheese steak, summer rolls, spring rolls, poutine, various salads, and pretty much anything that’s made it’s way into mainstream American dining. It’s the closest all-vegan spot to the main Colorado Blvd drag of Old Town Pasadena. Green Earth offers online ordering, delivery, and catering.
Sage Cafe and Kind Kreme – 319 South Arroyo Pkwy – CLOSED
Unlike the trendy and bright Sage Cafes in Echo Park and Venice, this location is a small, somewhat dark, counter-service joint in a strip mall.
The menu is paired down from the other locations, but still includes the classic Mole Bowl and Bowl of Soul as well as their vegan BLT. Kind Kreme is an all-vegan ice cream shop from the same owners and it’s operated together in the same space here. My favorite flavor is superfood.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Pasadena
Orean’s Health Express – 817 North Lake Ave
Despite “health” in the name, and their policy of no refined sugars, no hi-fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, and no artificial flavors, Orean’s all-vegetarian fare still tastes like yummy bad-for-y0u fast-food. I recommend the vegan version of the “salad burger.”
Orean’s has vegan milkshakes. Vegan options are not marked and it’s not even obvious that it’s a vegetarian restaurant except for the giant cow sign that says “stop eating our babies.”
Juice Lab 360 – 277 West Green Street
Located next to Yoga Works, Juice Lab 360 sells juice of course, a daily soup, raw salads, acai bowls, and a few other prepared foods. It’s all plant-based except for some use of honey.
Omni Restaurants in Pasadena with Good Vegan Options
Looking for a restaurant that pleases everyone? There are actually a bunch of restaurants in Pasadena with vegan options. I’m going to start with my favorites which means places that we go to on our own, not just because we’re eating with non-vegans. I’ll gradually add to and update this list. Click on the links in the name to see hours of operation on Yelp.
Pencil Cafe – 12 Harkness Avenue
Pencil cafe is an incredibly charming family-owned counter-service cafe just across from Pasadena City College and around the corner from Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Their raw tofu salad is one of my all-time favorites. The tofu is raw (I didn’t know that was a thing, but it is), but the salad also has some kind of noodle, cooked vegetables, and a delicious house-made carrot apple ginger celery dressing. They have vegan kimchi and you can get it on the side or added to things. They also have a variety of vegan smoothies.
Yard House – 330 East Colorado Boulevard
This Yard House location is in the Paseo Colorado shopping complex next to the Pasadena ArcLight movie theater. Yard House is a huge, classic American sports bar and restaurant. They have an entire section of their menu dedicated to Gardein vegan meats. I was actually introduced to Gardein through Yard House’s Gardein vegan chicken fingers and fries, so Yard House has a special place in my heart. Unfortunately, the menu only lists vegetarian options but you can ask a server which ones are vegan or can be made vegan.
Tibet Nepal House – 36 East Holly Street
Vegan options are clearly labeled on the menu at this charming sit-down restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. But, be aware that they still put a little container of the not-vegan mint sauce on the side of some vegan appetizers unless you tell them not too. I recommend the Chana Masala and vegetable pakaudas. Tibet Nepal House also offers online ordering and delivery.
True Food Kitchen – 168 West Colorado Boulevard
Vegan and vegetarian options are both clearly marked at this upscale chain restaurant. The “health-driven” menu changes seasonally. It includes vegan starters, vegan salads, vegan pizza, vegan bowls, vegan sandwiches, and a few vegan desserts.
Mint Leaf Indian Cuisine – 2535 East Washington Boulevard
Mint Leaf is an upscale and spacious Indian restaurant in northeast Pasadena, not far from Eaton Canyon Nature Center. They serve a vegan mango lassi!!! Okay, now that that’s out of the way – their menu also has clearly marked vegan options including channa masala, aloo gobi, okra masala, aloo methi, vegetable samosas, vegetable pakoras, onion bhajais, and a bunch more. Mint Leaf has three tofu vegan entrees, and I particularly enjoyed the Tofu Moilee (tofu in coconut curry sauce). Mint Leaf offers online ordering and delivery.
Himalayan Cafe – 36 South Fair Oaks Avenue
Himalayan Cafe is a small and cute restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. I don’t believe the menu marks what is vegan, but they definitely have a few options if you ask. Himalayan Cafe offers online ordering and delivery. Their online ordering system includes a symbol for vegan items but currently (6/6/17) none of the items have that symbol next to them. I’m assuming they’re in the middle of setting it up. Usually inconsistent marking of vegan items on a menu comes down to data entry, or a lack thereof.
Tender Greens – 621 East Colorado Boulevard
Beloved by omnivores, this California chain’s Happy Vegan Salad is popular with everyone. The filling plate includes farro wheat, avocado-hummus, quinoa, beets, and more. Tender Greens also usually has a vegan dessert, agua frescas, and a few vegan vegetable sides.
Seed Bakery – 942 East Washington Boulevard
Seed is a bakery and cafe. Most if not all of their breads are vegan. They have a rotating menu that has included vegan avocado toast, vegan donuts, soups, and salads. I once had a hardy eggplant sandwich there.
U-Pick – 720 North Lake Avenue
U-Pick is a casual counter-service Persian cuisine eatery that also offers catering. They have clearly marked vegetarian options, all of which can be turned vegan, and many of them already are vegan. The vegan options include falafel wrap, falafel plate, hummus, shirazi salad, tabbouleh, and vegan ghormeh sabzi and vegan gheimeh – both are persian stews. A falafel wrap with two sides for less than $9 can often serve as two meals for me.
Pho Banh Mi Che Cali – 1525 East Colorado Boulevard
This branch of the casual counter-service Vietnamese chain is just across the stress from Pasadena City College. They have a tofu banh mi sandwich on baguette for $4, a great deal in Pasadena. Ask for no mayo to make it vegan. I believe they have a vegan sweet and sour sauce they can use instead. They also have a vegan spicy pho, and some vegan meats which you can also use for a banh mi.
Shuffle Bar at Whole Foods – 3751 East Foothill Boulevard
Shuffle Bar is a restaurant and bar in Whole Foods with plenty of clearly marked vegan and vegetarian options. They include a vegan cheeseburger (with the Beyond Meat Beast Burger and chao vegan cheese), vegan sushi rolls, jackfruit “crab” cakes, avocado toast, mushroom toast with almond ricotta, chips and guacamole, and on “Taco Tuesdays” there’s a special with Beyond Meat vegan tacos. Shuffle Bar naturally has as a shuffleboard. Order at the bar.
Urban Plates – 269 South Lake Avenue
Urban Plates is a huge, modern, counter-service establishment with a focus on fresh and healthy foods. Unfortunately they got rid of the one vegan salad, and one vegan plate, and now have only a single vegan entree, the vegetable braise. The tomato basil soup is vegan, the sides of broccolini, cauliflower, and rosemary potatoes, and they have occasional vegan desserts. You can make some of their salads vegan by asking for no meat, but keep in mind you will pay the same price, and only two of their many dressings are vegan: the mustard champagne vinaigrette and cilantro cashew dressing. I really loved their old kale coconut tofu salad, and am only including Urban Plates here because I know other vegans who still like it.
Pasadena Dessert Shops with Good Vegan Options
Bengee’s Ice Cream – 901 East Del Mar Boulevard
After a break, Bengees has resumed carrying vegan ice cream flavors.
Some recent flavors include vegan matcha, vegan chocolate, vegan strawberry, vegan maple cardamom, vegan tiramisu, vegan ume (japanese plum), vegan Thai tea, and vegan infinite mint chip. I still need to find out what they use as the base for their vegan ice cream (note to self). Bengee’s is right next to the all vegan eatery Real Food Daily.
Carmela Ice Cream – 2495 East Washington Boulevard
Carmela Ice Cream sells dairy-based ice cream but always has several vegan sorbet flavors. These are not your typical consolation sorbets. Flavors include a very rich chocolate, raspberry rosewater, blueberry thyme, cantaloupe, lemon basil, and more. It’s pricy, with scoops starting at $4.75, and take-home pints for around $10. Carmela has two other locations in the LA area and sells at the Altadena and South Pasadena farmers markets.
Amara Chocolate – 55 South Raymond Avenue
Reader Jackie commented that Amara Chocolate has vegan churros and dipping sauces! Can’t wait to check it out and report back. I’m always looking for and never finding vegan churros with vegan chocolate sauce!
Katie’s Bakery – 11 West Dayton Street
Katie’s is a dedicated gluten free bakery. Their clearly marked vegan items include a vegan cookie, vegan cupcakes, vegan ice cream, and a vegan ice cream sandwich! They also offer vegan catering. Some other items are marked dairy free – I assume these contain eggs. Katie’s also serves coffee and makes their own almond milk.
Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters – 260 North Allen Avenue
Even though Jameson Brown only has one or maybe sometimes two vegan pastries, I thought they were worthy of mention. First of all, the vegan chocolate chip banana muffin is really moist and tasty – it’s more of a dessert. They have great coffee and offer almond milk, soy milk, and hemp milk, though I think there’s an extra charge for hemp milk. It’s got a very non-Starbucks atmosphere. The space is light and airy and a great place to do some work.
Descriptions coming soon for:
The Pizza Press – 1655 East Colorado Boulevard
Description coming soon.
Blaze Pizza – 667 East Colorado Boulevard
Build your own pizza has vegan options. Blaze offers vegan Daiya cheese (costs extra).
The Luggage Room Pizza – 260 South Raymond Avenue
Menu includes the Dalai Lama vegan pizza with house-made vegan cashew cheese which is also available on build your own pizzas along with vegan pesto.
Pizza Rev – 3455 East Foothill Boulevard
The “craft your own” menu has many vegan options, all clearly marked. The standard crust and most of the sauces are vegan, they have vegan Daiya cheese, and a vegan sausage topping as well as many veggies. Vegan cheese is $1 extra, but you get unlimited toppings.
That’s it for my list of vegan restaurants in pasadena, for now.