Cuisine Scene: Vegan
Long Beach is an absolute haven for vegan cuisine – one with plenty of variety, from meatless burgers to plant-based brunches. Whether you’re in the mood for fancy or fast, the local cuisine scene has it. Here’s 10 terrific spots to savor.
TRIED, TRUE & TASTY
It was just over a decade ago that Seabirds Kitchen (975 E. Fourth St.) moved into its present location and, with it, helped bring vegan cuisine into the local mainstream. Renowned for popular brunch items like Rosemary, Cheddar Biscuit Bombs and Chilaquiles Roja, it also features a full menu of such faves as Kimchi Tacos, Cauliflower Ceviche and Jackfruit Nachos. All of that and lots of yummy desserts and cocktails.
Though Wild Chive (2650 E. Broadway) has only been at its present location a couple of years, it has been serving great vegan fare around the city, via pop ups, for a long time. Also known for serving a great breakfast/brunch – Stuffed French Toast, Chive BLT – it also serves delicious Beignets, Mac ‘N Cheese and a terrific Vietnamese Coffee with housemade condensed milk.
Perhaps one of the highest compliments to be paid to Vegan Castle (2400 Santa Fe Ave.) is the many customers who have ordered and enjoyed their sushi dishes and rolls without realizing that these are vegan creations. The Spider Roll, with soy-based spicy “tuna”, is terrific as are the Dragon, Crunch, Long Beach and Volcano rolls, just to name a very few.
While Vegan Castle puts a twist on Japanese cuisine, Tocaya Modern Mexican (6480 Pacific Coast Hwy.) does as much with its contemporary interpretations of beloved Mexican dishes. Located in the 2ND & PCH shopping center, Tocaya offers delicious, meatless versions of such comforting dishes as tacos, burritos, quesadillas, along with salads and bowls, all in a comfy atmosphere. Especially popular is the Mexico Burrito Asada.
WHOLE LOT OF EVERYTHING
One of the city’s most popular vegan spots, The Grain Cafe (4403 E. Fourth St.) offers a little bit of everything, from Mediterranean to Mexican (try the burrito drenched in Mole Negro), pizza and sushi rolls, nachos and soup, salads, curry and quesadillas. And that’s not even taking into account the breakfast options – omelets, waffles, crepes – as well as a long list of desserts made exclusively from organic vegetables.
Likewise, Higher Taste (340½ E. Fourth St.) casts a wide net from Vietnamese Spring Rolls to Avocado Jalapeno Cheeseburgers and Southern Fried Chik’N Strips. The great majority of their ingredients for sauces, dressings and condiments are organic, and increasingly their produce comes from their own pesticide-free, heirloom farm.