The Best Vegan Food in Pasadena, California

UPDATED ON January 13th, 2020

Pasadena, California (partially updated 1/13/2020) is home to A LOT of delicious vegan food, including some great vegan breakfast and brunch options. There are at least seven 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

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.

Best Vegan Food in Pasadena - My Vegan
R.I.P.P. (Rest in Peace, Porky) from My Vegan in Pasadena
Best Vegan Food in Pasadena - Vegan breakfast at My Vegan
Vegan pancakes, hash browns, and tofu scramble with a young coconut at My Vegan in Pasadena.

Sage Vegan Bistro – 41 Hugus Alley

If you went to the old Pasadena Sage, just know that this a totally different experience. With the same menu as the Echo Park location, this new Sage fits in with the fancier set of businesses in Old Town Pasadena. It’s located off the street in a plaza that sometimes has live music in the center. I recommend their bowls, like the Mole Bowl or the Bowl of Soul. They also have great buffalo cauliflower.

Equelecua Cuban Cafe – 55 South Madison Avenue

LA’s first all-vegan Cuban cafe recently had to give up their longtime space in Inglewood, which means finding a new place next time we got to the Forum. But for now Equelecua’s delicious food is available in Pasadena! They’ve relocated to Kitchen United – a shared space where many different businesses sell food to-go and there is a little room to eat there. I love Equelecua’s arroz con pollo (vegan chickn with rice). It’s very garlicky and comes with plantains too.

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.

Beyond Burger at Veggie Grill in Pasadena (you have to ask for pickles)

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.)

Vegan Nachos at Real Food Daily in Pasadena
Vegan Nachos at Real Food Daily in Pasadena
Vegan sea cake benedict at Real Food Daily in Pasadena
Vegan sea cake benedict at Real Food Daily in Pasadena

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. 

Coffee and Plants – 62 West Union Street

Not a full on restaurant, but a small coffee shop with fancy pours and teas, and several vegan pastries. They also sell small cacti. It’s geared toward the Instagram crowd. They just opened in 2020.

Vegan & Spice – 754 East Colorado Blvd – CLOSED

Sage Cafe and Kind Kreme – 319 South Arroyo Pkwy – MOVED

One Veg World – 950 East Colorado Blvd CLOSED

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Vegetarian Restaurants in Pasadena

Ricchardo’s Total Vegetarian – 817 North Lake Ave

Formerly Orean’s Health Express. 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-you fast-food. I recommend the vegan version of the “salad burger.” BUT that is one of the only vegan menu items and it’s actually really hard to tell what is vegan because nothing is marked. It’s not even obvious that it’s a vegetarian restaurant except for the giant cow sign that says “stop eating our babies.” I do believe they have vegan milkshakes.

Vegan Burger at Orean's Vegan Drive-thru in Pasadena
Vegan Salad Burger at Orean’s Health Food Express in Pasadena

Namaste Spiceland – 270 North Hill Ave

Indian buffet and grocery store. More info coming soon.

Juice Lab 360 – 277 West Green Street  – CLOSED

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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.

Millie’s Cafe – 1399 E Washington Blvd – NEW – opened in 2018

This is the second location of a classic Silver Lake diner that was founded in 1926. Millie’s boasts a separate vegan menu full of great breakfast and lunch items like the Angel’s Mess scramble, California Benedict, and vegan Reuben.

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.

Gardein vegan chicken fingers and fries at Yard House in Pasadena.
Gardein vegan chicken fingers and fries at Yard House in Pasadena.

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.

vegan buffet at tibet nepal house in pasadena
Vegan items from the brunch buffet at Tibet Nepal House in Pasadena
Some vegan dishes at Tibet Nepal House in Pasadena
Some vegan dishes at Tibet Nepal House in Pasadena

The Luggage Room Pizza – 260 South Raymond Avenue

The Luggage Room has some of our favorite vegan pizza in the LA area. Their 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. And the many vegetarian pizzas can be made vegan by substituting vegan cheese. I recommend the vegan version of the Avocado Festival pizza.

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.

Vegan Ancient Grains Bowl at True Food Kitchen in Pasadena
Ancient grains bowl at True Food Kitchen in Pasadena
Butternut squash vegan pizza with almond ricotta at True Food Kitchen in Pasadena
Butternut squash vegan pizza with almond ricotta at True Food Kitchen in Pasadena

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.

Vegetable Pakoras at Mint Leaf in Pasadena
Vegetable Pakoras at Mint Leaf in Pasadena
Tofu Moilee at Mint Leaf in Pasadena
Tofu Moilee at Mint Leaf in Pasadena

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.

The Happy Vegan salad at Tender Greens in Pasadena
The Happy Vegan salad at Tender Greens in Pasadena

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.

Vegan eggplant sandwich at Seed Bakery in Pasadena
Vegan eggplant sandwich at Seed Bakery in Pasadena

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. There’s another location in Highland Park.

Vegan falafel wrap with hummus and shirazi salad at U-Pick in Pasadena
Vegan falafel wrap with hummus and shirazi salad at U-Pick in Pasadena

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.

Beyond Meat Vegan Beast Burger with Chao Cheese and Fries at Shuffle Bar in Pasadena
Beyond Meat Vegan Beast Burger with Chao Cheese and Fries at Shuffle Bar at Whole Foods  in Pasadena
Cauliflower Nachos at Shuffle Bar at Whole Foods in Pasadena
Cauliflower Nachos at Shuffle Bar at Whole Foods in Pasadena

110 & Bellevue at Whole Foods – 465 South Arroyo Parkway

Basically the same restaurant as Shuffle Bar (see the listing directly above) but without the shuffleboard. 110 & Bellevue is located on the second floor in the back right corner of the Arroyo Parkway Whole Foods.

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.

Pencil Cafe – 12 Harkness Avenue – CLOSED

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.

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Pasadena Dessert Shops with Good Vegan Options

Amara Chocolate – 55 South Raymond Avenue

Thanks to a comment from reader Jackie, I have finally found vegan churros!! And they are AMAZING. Amara Chocolate has two vegan dipping sauces, chocolate and guava, both fantastic. The chocolate has that rich, deep, raspy flavor like in really fancy hot chocolates. They suggest a plate of 6 churros for one person, or 12 for two people. I thought this would be way too much but I finished six before I knew it. Amara also serves some food and other desserts. Nothing is outright vegan but you may be able to modify a salad or sandwich. Definitely come for the churros! There is sometimes street parking in the area but bring change – the old meters don’t take credit card.

Vegan Food in Pasadena: Vegan Churros at Amara Chocolate
Vegan churros with vegan chocolate and guava dippings sauces.

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.

Raspberry rosewater sorbet at Carmela Ice Cream in Pasadena
Raspberry rosewater sorbet at Carmela Ice Cream in Pasadena

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.

Vegan chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting at Katie's gluten free bakery.
Vegan chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting at Katie’s gluten free bakery.

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.

Vegan banana chocolate chip muffin at Jameson Brown in Pasadena - Best Vegan Food in Pasadena
Vegan banana chocolate chip muffin at Jameson Brown in Pasadena

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Full descriptions coming soon for:

The Pizza Press – 1655 East Colorado Boulevard

Description coming soon.

Vegan pizza at The Pizza Press in Pasadena
Vegan pizza at The Pizza Press in Pasadena

Blaze Pizza – 667 East Colorado Boulevard

Build your own pizza has vegan options. Blaze offers vegan Daiya cheese (costs extra).

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.

Two Guys from Italy – 950 East Colorado Boulevard

Crust is vegan and they don’t charge extra for vegan cheese – not sure what kind it is. Online ordering, pick up and delivery available.

That’s it for my list of vegan restaurants in pasadena, for now.

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  • Jackie
    June 17, 2017

    The last time I checked out Orean, there were only 2 vegan options on the menu plus their soft serve. Everything else has dairy or egg in it. Such a disappointment.

    I also wanted to mention that Amara Chocolate in Old Town has amazing vegan churros, dipping sauces, and drinking chocolate.

    We are so lucky to live in a place with so many vegan options!

    • rebsy
      June 17, 2017

      Thanks for your comment Jackie! I can’t wait to try the vegan churros, I’m always on the lookout for those but never find them with vegan dipping sauces!!
      I will have to double-check on what’s vegan at Orean’s and update the entry. It’s annoying that nothing is labeled clearly there. I always get the vegan version salad burger so I haven’t had to ask in a while.