VeggieGrill: Casual Vegan Comfort Food!


Veggie Grill

Veggie Grill

Until I had eaten at a VeggieGrill, I had not experienced a glimpse into the hopeful future—a world where a cool restaurant that offers down-home, casual vegan food could be found in every town. Not fancy but mimicking the “fast” food favorites everyone seems to love. Even people who didn’t seem particularly concerned about what they ate, as long as it tasted good, had eaten there. (You might know who you are!) This chain of 16 restaurants, mostly in California, specializes in delicious meals with “no meat, dairy, eggs, cholesterol, animal fat or trans fat.” My husband was determined to introduce me to this orange and green, happy-hued, modernist eaterie where he said I could and would want to eat everything on the menu!


As we approached the West Hollywood restaurant, I took note of the VeggieGrill sign, decidedly exuding healthy and happy—I also quickly noticed the substantial size of the place filled with all types of people and the line extending from the ordering counter to the door.  My downright hunger turned into the excitement of experiencing something new.  I scanned the varied menu and saw items like Mac & Cheese, Crispy Chickin’ Buffalo Wings, Cheeseburger, Nachos, Baja Wrap—and I immediately thought, “But what can I have?”  And then I was reminded, to my utter disbelief and delight, the answer was, “Everything!”  I  ordered the Crispy Chickin’ Plate:  Fried Chickin’, cauliflower mashed potatoes, porcini mushroom gravy with fresh rosemary and steamin’ kale.  I felt so good about my choice but I actually wanted to sample so many more things on the menu.  At least I got to taste my husband’s VG-Cheeseburger topped with pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion, caramelized onions and chipotle ranch.  You’ve got to be salivating by now.  The Sweetheart Fries were the best sweet potato fries I’ve had, and I order them wherever and whenever they are served! Chocolate Pudding Parfait topped it all off, with walnuts, chocolate sauce, crushed cookies and vegan whipped cream. Everything was delicious and closely reminiscent of the “real thing.”

Veggie Grill Items

Veggie Grill Items

The wide variety of soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches and wraps would satisfy anyone who wants a healthy meal every time or once in a while.  Instead of creating unusual recipes with exotic ingredients, the success of Veggie Grill relies on comfortable, recognizable and well-loved food using meat substitutions and plant-based nutrition, surrounded by familiar condiments and sides. I think that pretty soon, there’s going to be new “real thing” and the old unhealthy choices will become a relic from the past.  Once you’ve eaten at Veggie Grill, voted the Los Angeles Times Reader’s Choice Award 2012, you’ll keep going back.  There are already 16 eateries spanning Southern & Northern California, Oregon and Washington and the company is planning a major expansion, doubling its store count in the next 18 months. Soon there will be a Veggie Grill not far from where I live! Sometime in the very near future, perhaps, when tourists get off their planes at LAX, they’ll head over to a Veggie Grill and get their famous LA burger with the works there!


xox Ellen

Leaning Into Veganism


  1. I am salivating right now! I wish Veggie Grill would come to New York, especially Long Island where vegan eateries are lacking! I think I would have ordered one of everything and worked my way through it! Chocolate Pudding Parfait? I’m so jealous! Great post!

  2. Karen Katz says:




  3. vegan yokel says:

    This sounds good. The way to get a vegan diet into the mainstream is by setting up entirely vegan eateries that are targeted at the same clientele who would usually eat at an omnivorous establishment. Stereotypical vegan (or vegetarian) cafes frequently fail in this regard. Whilst a ‘steakhouse’ could never be vegan, a ‘grill’ can be as this shows.

Recommendations Archive