Los Angeles is known for many things – the home of Hollywood and celebrities, a laid back lifestyle with easy access to Venice Beach and Santa Monica, the Hollywood walk of fame – we can now add a vegan epicentre to the growing list of accolades.
When booking our tickets to attend the second Vegan Fashion Week, little did we know how huge our L.A. experience would be. By the time we arrived at Vegan Fashion Week, it felt like we’d lived a lifetime! In the week prior, we meet extraordinary people doing amazing things in the vegan space.
We attended a pig vigil to bear witness with L.A. Animal Save where we met Earthlings Director Shaun Monson. We had lunch and a chat with the co-founder of the Vegan Flag and hung out with the founder of L.A.’s first vegan museum and the F.A.K.E Movement. And we found ourselves on the world’s biggest vegan news platforms, Jane Unchained, where we made an Australian classic, Avocado on Toast for their daily cooking show.
If you’re vegan or vegan curious and haven’t yet considered L.A., here’s why you need to:
Delicious Plant Based Food – everywhere!
Travelling as a vegan can be hard. But in L.A. everywhere we went had vegan options. And not just the stock standard Beyond Burger! Some trip highlights and worthy mentions:
For affordable delicious food, you can’t go past Avo café in Santa Monica – so many inspiring options and it was a favourite with all of the vegan activists we met. Then there’s Beelman’s – a plant-based pub in downtown LA. My favourite meal of the trip – Viet-non-nom Wrap – was eaten there (and yes, I’m still dreaming about it).
We also sampled the new plant-based menu at the Mayfair Hotel in DTLA which has a distinctly Middle Eastern feel and then, if you want to be spoiled for choice, head to Venice where you will need to make a touch decision between Plant Food + Wine and The Butcher’s Daughter. Both are incredible and on the night, we ended up at The Butcher’s Daughter. A fully plant-based restaurant that describes itself as a vegetable slaughterhouse! Super cool – and we ate with non-vegans who agreed that we’d opened their eyes to how incredible plant-based food can be.
An animal activist paradise
If you’re vegan because of “the animals” (I hear you!), then L.A. is where you need to be. We were made to feel so welcome by the local community. Everyone is “can-do” and it was simply a case of reaching out and attending any one of a number of activist activities that take place each week in the city. From pig and chicken vigils to the cube of truth protests held by Anonymous, there’s activities happening across the city on most days of the week. The F.A.K.E. Movement also hosts regular pop up events, so be sure to check out their website before heading over.
Home to Vegan Fashion Week
Coinciding with the international fashion circuit, Vegan Fashion Week ran in February and October 2019. Comprising an Awards Night, a trade event, conference and runway show, it is all accessible to the general public. Having based our trip around this event, it’s something we’d recommend for 2020.
Where to stay:
We stayed at Level in downtown L.A. This was perfect for as it was literally a block to the fashion district and Wholefoods with a short walk to the local metro. Having a kitchen meant we could make some meals in.
If looking for more of a hotel experience, in downtown L.A., The Mayfair has recently had a glamorous make over and one to consider.
We did however find ourselves travelling out to Santa Monica, a lot! For meetings, food and fun. If you’re not planning to be in town often, we’d recommend this area for its casual, laid back vibe and great shopping.
The city of Los Angeles took us completely by surprise – the people, food and activities meant there was never a dull moment. We made new friends and are already planning our next trip!
Photo by Steven Pahel on Unsplash
About the Author
Co Founder, The Vegan Company.
Prior to launching The Vegan Company, Melissa co-founded Meat Free Week, an award-winning, global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the impact excessive meat consumption and production has on animals, the environment and human health.
Having traded life in the city and a successful career in magazine publishing for the serenity of coastal-country living, Melissa now lives in northern NSW, Australia with her husband, two daughters and a colourful menagerie.
Melissa believes there’s a huge shift occurring in the way the world views and treats animals and is excited to be a part of the global vegan movement driving this.
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