The Dish: Veggie Foods the Real Stars in the City of Angels

Written by Jaya Bhumitra

Veggie FoodsForget the map of celebrities’ houses. The guide that everyone really wants is the 2012 edition of our Vegetarian Guide to Los Angeles!

Hot-off-the-presses, our handy, 20-page pocket-brochure—which we distribute for free to tens of thousands of Los Angelenos—makes it easier than ever to choose animal-friendly foods, as it features 125 veg-friendly restaurants (from fast-food to four-star), hotels, bakeries, food trucks, and farmers market favorites in “The City of Angels.”

The popularity of meat-free fare in Los Angeles and around the country has surged.

According to a recent Harris Interactive poll conducted for Vegetarian Times, 7 million Americans consider themselves vegetarian, and 22.8 million more are “vegetarian-inclined.” In addition, a 2009 Restaurants & Industries poll reveals that 42% of omnivores say they’ll forgo a meat dish for a vegetarian one if given the option.

The restaurant industry is recognizing the shift. Last year, Nation’s Restaurant News, one of the leading food service industry trade publications, featured a cover story—“Meatless Menus”—highlighting the growing success of vegetarian and veg-friendly eateries across the U.S. And, in the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2011″ survey of more than 1,500 professional chefs, over 50% rated meatless/vegetarian entrées and vegan entrées as top 100 trends.

Nearly 25% considered the former and 17% considered the latter a “perennial favorite.” Even large corporate chains are getting on board: 7-Eleven has rolled out four vegan meals at a 100 locations in the Northeast U.S., Starbucks has added a vegan bento box, Pita Pit is offering a vegan black bean patty, and Subway just launched a vegan burger in Canada.

This growing abundance of options is the food and hospitality industries’ direct response to an increase in consumer demand, proving that vegetarian eating has moved from the margins to the mainstream, and will continue to gain momentum as more people discover that it’s the kinder choice—for animals, the planet, and themselves.

Order your FREE copy of the new Vegetarian Guide to Los Angeles, and check out our other vegetarian city guides to find out just how accessible delicious, veggie foods have become. It’s a proposition too tasty to resist!