There are many reasons why people make lifestyle choices to follow vegetarian diets. Fortunately, visitors and residents of Laguna Beach who make the decision to eliminate meat from their diets don’t have to eliminate eating out. There are plenty of great restaurants with vegetarian-friendly options, and we have rounded up our top 5 picks for you.
Veggie Plate at Nirvana Grille
Nirvana Grille is not strictly a vegetarian restaurant, but it tends to have some great vegetarian options on its menu. It’s most popular vegetarian entree is the colorful and vitamin enriched “Veggie Plate”. This flavorful dish features glazed organic carrots, wilted rainbow chard, mushroom ragout, balsamic caramelized onions, asparagus with lemon oil, sautéed mixed vegetables, sautéed french lentils, organic jasmine, baby garbanzo & daikon seed rice. Nirvana also has a separate vegan and gluten-free menu making this a great choice for a clean Californian cuisine.
Kale and Papaya Salad At Maro Wood Grill
This small, charming Argentinian inspired restaurant has the best vegetarian salad around. The kale and pesto salad comes with organic kale, pepitas, sun-dried tomatoes, house made pesto vinaigrette and feta Crumble. Executive Chef Debra Sims’ has a passion for sustainable, seasonal cuisine and combines this with her mastery of wood-fired grilling. Other great options include mesquite grilled edamame, mesquite shishito peppers and wood grilled okra. Make sure to leave room for the banana bread pudding.
Stuffed Grape Leaves at Zeytoon Cafe
At Zeytoon Cafe the scent of crispy fried falafel blends with the sounds of onions, peppers and tomatoes, sautéing to perfection. With a variety of vegetarian choices, the stuffed grape leaves are an excellent choice. This meatless version is stuffed with rice, sautéed onions flavored with fresh parsley, mint, dill, Aleppo pepper, pomegranate syrup, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, cooked on slow fire to melt in your mouth. Dine on the upstairs patio for a gorgeous view of the ocean.
Veggie Burger at Madison Square and Garden Cafe
Known for it’s beautiful garden setting and antiques, Madison Square has been a Laguna Beach fixture since 1980. Buddhas, hanging wind chimes, and glass blown watering sticks, are just a few of the gems you will see in the charming restaurant. The Veggie Burger is their most popular vegetarian dish and it comes served with grilled mushrooms and cheese all on a Foccacia bun. Choose from house fries or fresh cut fruit for your side. Dogs are very welcomed here and the owner walks around with dog treats and talks with the guests and their pets.
Tofu Mushroom Quesadilla at Taco Loco
(credit, Nicole Q./Yelp)
Taco Loco, one of Laguna’s favorite sidewalk cafe’s has a nice sized vegetarian menu specializing in tofu dishes. With well over a dozen options, Taco Loco is delicious for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Enjoy a blackened mushroom and tofu burger served with fresh guacamole or delicious blackened potato tacos served with a tangy sauce. There are also mushroom and tofu quesadillas served on black corn tortillas, and blackened hemp burgers with fresh salsa. Head over with friends and order all of the vegetarian/vegan items to share. You won’t regret it.