My top five favorite casual restaurants offer many organic, gluten-free and vegan options.
Check each menu and ask for modifications to fit your healthy green lifestyle.
My Favorite Location: 17th Street
234 E 17th St Costa Mesa, CA 92627
M-F: 10:30 am – 9:00 pm (Happy Hour: 3pm-6pm, 9pm-close)
Sa-Su: 9:00am – 9:00pm
(Weekend Brunch til 3pm)
Indoor, Outdoor and Bar Seating
Free Parking Lot w/ Valet Options
Highlights: “Healthy, Local, Fresh” Casual order at the counter restaurant with variety of seating inside, outdoor and in the bar for healthy green dining options.
Menu Choices: The menu is clearly labeled for vegan and vegetarian choices and what contains nuts. Many of the menu items are also gluten free but you will have to ask specifically to make sure. Choose from starters like the smashed avocado toast (ask for the gluten free bun as a bread substitute), the hummus & flatbread (sub gluten free chips), or the shredded chicken tacos. They have a nice variety of customization options with building your own salad or build your own entree, ordering sides and adding protein.
- Salads: Add a protein (chicken, salmon or tofu) to a salad or build your own by choosing from the organic greens (baby mixed, romaine, argula, kale) or ancient grains (brown rice, quinoa, farro), 4 toppings, proteins and premium toppers (all natural, free-range and hormone free) and a dressing. I appreciate how all the dressings are vegan, gluten free with no preservatives and no artificial ingredients.
- Bowls and Larger Plates: Paleo Chicken Fajita Bowl or a Stir Fry
- Sandwiches and Burgers – substitute a gluten free bun and baked sweet potato fries (+$2.50) for the side.
Online Ordering: Greenleaf also offers online ordering for easy pickup or delivery. I like how their online ordering includes a picture of each menu item for reference.
Catering: Greenleaf offers catering for all different event needs from the boxed lunches, breakfast, taco bar, salads, platters, desserts etc.
Top: LOFT Petite Floral Flutter Wrap Top. Sizing Starts in Petite XXS
Purse: Francesca’s Ida Rattan Crossbody. This crossbody’s strap can easily be tucked into the bag letting you wear it at your side as a clutch. It holds all my essentials! It is described as being handcrafted giving each handbag a slightly different unique appearance “made from Ata grass from eastern Bali, then smoked in a traditional oven over coconut husks.”
Necklace: Francesca’s Galena Bar Pendant Necklace. This necklace is dainty and features mother of pearl for a simple and elegant design.
My Favorite Location: Pasadena
41 Hugus Alley Pasadena, CA 91103
Weekend Brunch: 8am-4pm
Breakfast: M-F 8am-11am
Indoor, Outdoor and Bar Seating
Street or Lot Parking w/ Valet Options
Reservations: Reservations can be made through Open Table for each location and are recommended for busier times like weekend dinner.
Highlights: Locally sourced, plant based and organic. Sit down restaurant service with an outdoor patio at the Culver City and Pasadena Locations. You can reserve the private dining room at the Pasadena location. In addition, to the variety of food options they serve house made goods and their own ice”kind” kreme .
Menu Choices: Everything is Vegan! The menu clearly labels for gluten-free and soy-free items and items containing nuts.
- Shareables and Appetizers such as Jackfruit Stuffed Avocados or fried Brussels sprouts
- Salads and Soups: Asian Kelp Noodle Salad or Taco Salad, Soups are gluten free
- Bowls: My favorite bowl is the Miso Rainbow Bowl: Organic brown rice topped w/ seaweed salad, tofu, fried eggplant, spicy pickled cabbage, cucumber, carrot, corn, edamame, sesame seeds & crispy onions. Soy ginger vinaigrette and miso dressing on the side
- Sandwiches, Wraps and Sides: I love the 3 Veggie ‘Meatballs’ made from veggies and brown rice
- Tacos, Pizza, and Baked Soft Pretzels
- From the Oven and Dinner Options
Online Ordering: Sage partners with chownow to help you choose your closest location for pickup or delivery. Add your special instructions for any modifications or requests.
Catering is available.
Rewards Program: Signup for Fivestars to receive special promotions and deals for dining at Sage. After your meal checkin with the host desk with your phone number and show your receipt to get added points.
5998 W. Pico Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90035
Open 7 days a week: 7am – 9pm
Phone: (323) 424-4129
Highlights: The first plant-based Italian cafe in Los Angeles. “Do it with Love” at this 100% organic vegan restaurant serving non gmo, dairy free, and gluten free food. Owners Led and Britney live out a passionate superfood-healthy life as certified registered Holistic Nutritionists, life coaches and creators of recipes to enjoy at Green Table Cafe. What started off as an online community has grown to serving the LA community delicious vegan, mostly raw and guilt free food.
Menu: The menu is labeled GFO for gluten free option or GF for automatically gluten free.
- Juices and Smoothies
- Superfood Bowls
- Burgers/Pressed Painins
- Specials of the Day: Avocado Toast with optional gluten free bread and hot soups that are all gluten free.
- Vegan Desserts
Reservations: Make reservations through Resy
Highlights: I love how the downtown LA locations has a peaceful courtyard dining area with an open kitchen, marketplace, and meeting private area dining space. This location is also home to Bar Mateo housed in a barn built in 1914.
Marketplace: Enjoy selecting from prepared foods including salads, entrees, appetizers and desserts to enjoy at Zincs or take home. Some of my favorite marketplace items are the green bean salad with toasted almonds, avocado salad, brussel sprouts with white beans, and pan seared baby vegetables.
Menu: The menu has a variety of vegetarian items. The menu has an asterisk to menu items that can be requested to be gluten free. Zinc’s has gluten free toast options for avocado toast, gluten free crust for pizza and alternative gluten free fusilli pasta (+$1)
- Breakfast: *AVOCADO TOAST: buttered toast with smashed avocado, lemon juice, radish salad, chives, onion, dill
- Specialties and Main Entrees: Lunch and Dinner Burritos as a bowl or wrap, sprouted hummus plate
- Soups and Salads , Pizza, Pasta, Burgers, Sides and more
Shop: Zinc’s offers some home, pantry and wellness gifts. Shop the online store.
Photos: Zinc Cafe and Market
Private Events: You can have your next private event at Zinc’s Cafe. All the locations are offered for partial and full buyouts and for small to large reservations during business hours. Find more information here.
Locations: sweetgreen has many locations in Los Angeles, Bay Area, Chicago, Houston, New York, Philly, Boston, DC, MD and VA.
Highlight: sweetgreen seeks to inspire healthier communities by connecting people to food that is real, simple, seasonal and healthy. The company thinks eco-chic and sustainably with a “transparent supply network” from where it comes from locally to how it’s prepared in scratch cooking. Some of the core values focus on cultivating authentic food and relationships and celebrating your passion and purpose.
Menu: The menu has offerings that changes seasonally and is labeled for vegan items and an an asterisk for what contains gluten. There is also a symbol of a bowl with steam rising for warm bowl items.
- Seasonal offerings: Late Summer Menu is Los Angeles includes a ratatouille bowl
- Warm Bowls: Fish Taco Bowl, Hollywood Bowl
- Salads: Guacamole Greens, Lentil + Avocado
- Make Your Own: Choose up to two bases (all gluten free), up to 4 ingredients, and premiums (local cheeses to vegan-friendly proteins) and dressings (all are gluten free and made in-house)
Download the App: Earn rewards and have the option to order through the app. Available on the App Store or Android App on Google Play. Get the free salad on your birthday reward! For the reward levels please click here.
Online Ordering: Create a sweetgreen account, order and pay at checkout for easy pickup. Select the location and view the menu with added pictures of the choices and the ingredients. You can select your diet preferences (restrictions include dairy, meat, nuts, gluten, fish and soy) by clicking on the sign top right. The results that will come up will have the dietary restrictions or preferences you listed in red with the specific ingredients that you can’t have in red writing. You can then view the ingredients and add or subtract from the order to get just what you want! Order Here
Avocados and More
Whole Foods Market has an excellent selection of organic green vegetables and avocados. Make your own avocado toast or entree at home for yourself or to share with friends. The book An Avocado a Day: More than 70 Recipes for Enjoying Nature’s Most Delicious Superfood by Lara Ferroni has beautiful pictures and helpful recipes to help you see the many uses of avocado in a nutritious and delicious meal. There are 20 suggestions on how to turn your gluten-free bread into avocado toast with different flavors and toppings. Incorporate avocado into your breakfast, toast, dips, spreads, appetizers, soups, salads, soups, sandwiches, mains, desserts and drinks. Enjoy your avocado drink or green juice with a reusable green glass straw.
Here are some avocado tools that will help you slice, prepare and save the avocados like a pro.