When I first moved to Los Angeles, I really missed autumn. Leaves changing color, the crisp cold air, and apple picking are just not happening in the City of Angels. After almost 10 years of living on the West Coast, I’ve realized that fall here means something totally different—indulging in your favorite Thanksgiving foods to get inspired for the holiday feast. Here are some of my favorite eats around town that invoke that perfect November spirit of delicious food and gratitude minus the turkey.
1. Pumpkin Spice Frozen Yogurt
Head over to Yoga-urt in Glendale for this seasonal flavor that truly tastes like pumpkin pie in froyo form. Pair it with Vanilla Harmony for pumpkin pie a la mode. If you want to enjoy something really decadent, get the Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla Harmony swirl in Yogaurt’s gluten-free waffle cone. (Psst…Watch this video of the Pumpkin Spice flavor being made in house.)
2. The Gobble Gobble
This burger at by CHLOE is packed with everything you want in life—lemon-caper seitan, sautéed kale, rosemary gravy, harvest stuffing, and cranberry sauce on a potato bun. This giant ode to Thanksgiving is so delightful. Go now before this mother of a sandwich is gone.
3. Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner
Oh, Crossroads. If we could eat all of your meals at your fine establishment, we would. If you’d rather have Oprah’s former chef cook you Thanksgiving dinner, then head to Crossroads on Thanksgiving Day to enjoy some sweet potato biscuits, mashed potatoes with porchini gravy, chickpea cakes, and pumpkin mousse verrine.
4. Native Foods Wellington
If you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner for omnivores, you’ll want to order this puff pastry-wrapped seitan roast for your centerpiece meal. Complete with stuffing, kale, yams, orange compote, and mushroom gravy, the Native Foods Wellington, along with the pumpkin cheesecake, are must haves for your Thanksgiving table.
5. Turkey Dinner Sandwich
Head over to Veggie Grill for this limited edition sammy stuffed with vegan turkey slices, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and gravy. While you’re there, snag a slice Pumpkin Spice Cake too (available November 23).
6. Harvest Trio Dessert
From the creative geniuses at Shojin is a new gluten-free vegan dessert café called Pomegranate Café. This holiday season, they’re offering three desserts—a Pumpkin Tart, Baked Apple Pie, and a Cranberry Cardamom Tart. Everything at Pomegranate is delicious, so be sure to try these sweet treats before they’re gone.
7. Vegan Pilgrim Sandwich
If you don’t have time to try every single thing on this list, then grab the sandwich that you can try year-round thanks to Ike’s Love & Sandwiches (with locations in Westwood and Burbank). This sandwich shop is famous in the Bay Area for churning out ridiculously good sandwiches. One of my favorites is the vegan Pilgrim, which has Sriracha, cranberry sauce, and vegan turkey slices. Order it on Ike’s famous Dutch crunch bread with pickles. You won’t be disappointed.
Photo credit: Noshtopia.com
Jennifer Chen is the food editor at VegNews magazine and writes for women’s magazines such as Oprah, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, and more. She loves living in Los Angeles and documents all the vegan food she samples at @jchenwriter on Instagram.