Photography By: Wonho Frank Lee, Veg'd
Photography By: Wonho Frank Lee, Veg'd

8 Vegan Restaurants in Orange County That Might Convert You

I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan! These Restaurants Are Plant-Powered and Full of Flavor

Whether you like to partake in “Meatless Monday” or you have made the decision to go fully plant-based, the innovation behind vegan food is at an all-time high. Even the most devout of carnivores are now tempted by some of these delicious and eco-friendly options. While finding tasty plant-based meals used to be difficult when dining out, these eight vegan restaurants are perfect for grabbing a quick yet healthy bite in Orange County. Best Vegan Restaurants OC Best Vegetarian Restaurants

Best Vegan Restaurants OC

1 | VEG’D

Must-Order: Veg’d Burger

Photography Provided By: Wonho Frank Lee, Veg’d

VEG’D in Costa Mesa is a recently opened 100% plant-based restaurant that offers the coveted convenience of a drive-thru window! The chef behind this adorable fast (yet nutritious) food joint is none other than world-renowned Michelin-starred Chef Matthew Kenney (known for his popular Venice restaurant, Plant Food + Wine). VEG’D vegan burgers are made in-house without any preservatives or artificial ingredients; the chicken tenders not only look like the real deal, but they taste like it too; the sausage, egg and cheese muffin is a tasty pick-me-up to start your day. The best part? No gross, unhealthy feeling after devouring your on-the-go meal! Forget the McDonald’s across the street and choose VEG’D instead—trust us. 

Pro tip: Ask for your burger to “Get Veg’d” and it’ll come with grilled onions and extra sauce!
Location: Costa Mesa 

EXP 10/3

Best Vegetarian Restaurants

2 | Vegan Nirvana

Must-Order: BLT Awakening 

Serving up some “World Peace Cuisine” like the Law of Karma (a twist on Southern fried bacon), Humble Warrior (crispy french fries) and Buddha Nature (Hawaiian sandwich with grilled “chicken” bites), Huntington Beach’s Vegan Nirvana is your next go-to place to eat and feel good. Whether you’re looking to sit down and dine in or you’re in the market for some fresh and healthy grub to take to the beach, Vegan Nirvana has an impressive vegan menu with a wide variety of flavorful options. If the delicious food doesn’t have you coming back for more, the super funky space and colorful murals will!

Location: Huntington Beach

Best Vegan Restaurants OC

3 | Vegan By El Zamorano

Must-Order: Asada Burrito 

With a colorful and vibrant patio located right in the heart of Costa Mesa, Vegan By El Zamorano is the perfect place for soaking up some sun all while indulging in some vegan delicacies like tacos and burritos. Sip on some refreshing sangria or freshly made agua fresca on their Mexican-styled patio while you chow down on chips and salsa and prepare for your main course: their famous “asada” burrito! OC’s first vegan taqueria does not disappoint. 

Location: Costa Mesa 

EXP 10/23

Best Vegetarian Restaurants

4 | Veganixima

Must-Order: Tres Tacos Plate

Veganixima is a quaint, fast-casual restaurant in Orange that is reminiscent of a traditional taco shop. The brightly colored green walls and neon chalkboard pair together to make for a perfect setting to indulge in 100% vegan tacos. Between the authentic Mexican flavor and the traditional plating and style of the food, you’re sure to forget that you’re eating plant-based substitutes! 

Location: Orange 

EXP 10/24

Best Vegetarian Restaurants

5 | Vegan Pizza

Must-Order: Mediterranean Pizza

Vegan cheese has made some real progress over the last few years, meaning that the pizza at Vegan Pizza in Garden Grove lives up to the standards of even the most obsessive cheese-lovers. This casual counter-style restaurant gives off classic “pizza joint” vibes while serving up gourmet, plant-based pies. With unique options, such as the Indian-style pizza and the spicy Thai pizza, Vegan Pizza is sure to be a dining experience unlike any other.

Location: Garden Grove

Best Vegan Restaurants OC

6 | Naughty Vegan

Must-Order: Sakura’s Sweet Potato Roll

Photography Provided By: Vegan Panda

For those who love some satisfying sushi minus the raw fish, Naughty Vegan in Santa Ana is here to make all your dreams come true. With several options of 100% plant-based sushi, Naughty Vegan has made quite the name for itself through its innovative use of flavor and spices in their sushi creations. Sakura’s sweet potato roll, which offers a sweet crunch, is made with fried tempura sweet potato, avocado, cucumber, naughty glaze, scallions and sesame seeds. In addition to sushi, they also have delicious rice bowls made with non-GMO orange (chickenless) chicken! 

Location: Santa Ana

Best Vegan Restaurants OC

7 | Munchies Diner

Must-Order: Giant Mozzarella Sticks 

It didn’t take long for Munchies Diner to become a beloved classic in the heart of Huntington Beach. Most recognized by its colorful heart wall on the outside of the restaurant, Munchies offers vegan everything—vegan meats, vegan cheeses and vegan sauces. They have basically every American classic on the menu, making it a great spot for those craving something traditional with a progressive and plant-based twist. Who says vegans only eat salads? The giant mozzarella sticks with marinara, chicken parm sandwich and decadent cookies and cream shake are all must-trys! 

Location: Huntington Beach

Best Vegetarian Restaurants

8 | Nice Guys

Must-Order: Charbroiled Burger

Photography Provided By: Nice Guys

Costa Mesa’s Nice Guys serves up the first 100% vegan, charbroiled burger in Orange County, making it a real staple spot for plant-based eaters. Are you sure this isn’t a real burger?! With a handy drive-thru and speedy service, Nice Guys gives customers the convenience of a finger lickin’ good fast-food burger and fries. In addition to their tasty burgers, the restaurant’s tater tots are a real game-changer. Up early for breakfast? Grab a breakfast burrito or Nice Muffin to start your day on the bright side.

Locations: Costa Mesa, Santa Ana 

Best Vegan Restaurants OC

About the author

Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.

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