Costa Mesa, dubbed as the “City of the Arts,” is brimming with world-class shopping, an excellent dining scene and of course a highly celebrated globally acclaimed arts and theater scene. With impressive art, colorful murals and award-winning restaurants that give way to the creativity of chefs, there’s no doubt that Costa Mesa is one of California’s most vibrant cities.
So whether you’re new to the city, having a family holiday or just searching for the best exclusively vegan restaurants in Costa Mesa, this list will help you discover five hotspots in the area.
From wholesome vegan food, quick bites, American classics, to a nice selection of globally-inspired cuisine, we’ve got a diverse and super exciting mix of Costa Mesa’s best vegan restaurants just waiting to be discovered.
So let’s dig in!
The 5 Best Vegan Restaurants In Costa Mesa: Food Worth Waiting For!
1. Seabirds Kitchen
Innovative & internationally-inspired plant-based food served in a laidback setting with a dog-friendly patio.
Seabirds Kitchen stays true to Costa Mesa’s art and creativity with their artisan approach, unique flavor combinations and innovative techniques. So if you love trying new and creative plant-based food, this excellent restaurant will be ideal for you as you’ll get to improve your palate with vegan seasonal dishes that you’ve never tasted before!
Open since 2010, this eatery on our list of vegan restaurants in Costa Mesa has a casual atmosphere with minimal decor and tasteful wooden seating. But we’ve got to mention the charming and spacious dog-friendly outdoor patio which is especially nice thanks to the greenery and parasols which provide some shade during your lunch.
From its more laidback and casual ambience during the day, this place then transforms into a more upbeat and lively restaurant in the evening. From the appealing bar area with stools where you can watch bartenders do what they do best, exceptional service and super knowledgeable, friendly staff who can help accommodate special dietary requests, Seabirds Kitchen really knows how to set the tone.
You won’t have to worry about the quality of each dish here since they use some of the freshest and best quality ingredients around, as well as locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Their menu is diverse, but you can expect loads of Mexican choices, classic American food and other globally-inspired options full of flavor and seasonings. They really make sure to set the bar high and break the stigma that vegan fare is boring or lacking in flavor.
One of the popular favorites here has to be the Purple Taquitos which are prepared with purple potatoes, chipotle sour cream, fermented curtido, almond feta and cilantro. Another must-try is the Beets Me Burger consisting of their house-made shiitake, beet and chia patty, almond butter, grilled onions, arugula, dill pickle and herb mayo, with a side of delicious natural cut fries.
We recommend you leave some room for dessert as their options never fail to impress. Many love their gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies and mouth-watering Crumbles, but one thing for sure is that their popular dessert, The Chaffle, is always the star of the show! This dessert is essentially a churro waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and chopped walnuts – sounds good right?
Given its excellent location in The LAB mini mall, you might find it a little hard to find parking, but once you do, you’ll definitely realize why this eatery is worth the hassle. And if you’re not impressed yet, this restaurant also offers cocktails and weekend brunch.
Seabirds Kitchen is open Monday to Friday from 11am to 9pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 9pm.
Address: 2930 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
2. Native Foods
A uniquely shaped cafe serving appealing monthly specials and mouth-watering burgers.
This pick on our list of vegan restaurants in Costa Mesa is the place to be for that indulgent American classic food we all crave. With environmental sustainability at the forefront, Native Foods is also committed to providing non-GMO ingredients sourced from local producers whenever possible.
This restaurant has a very unique cafe-style setup in a round-shaped building, and you’ll get lots of natural light when dining here due to the large clear roof. You’ll find lots of booth seating around the cafe, but before you take your seat, make sure you hunt out the large black board highlighting the New Monthly Specials. Although Native Foods offers counter style service, the staff here are very friendly and helpful.
When it comes to the food, if you’re here with your friends and family, we recommend starting with their famous Cauliflower Dippers which are tossed in Buffalo or Thai chili cilantro sauce, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, green onion and served with a side of ranch – the perfect food for sharing.
This place is really known for their burgers though! Some of the standout burgers here are the Gastropub Burger which is prepared with Native Foods’ signature burger patty, plant-based provolone, tomato bacon jam, crispy onion rings and plant-based mayo.
Or opt for the BBQ Brisket Burger consisting of plant-based sliced brisket, Native Foods signature burger patty, fried onion rings, plant-based provolone, Southern slaw, pickle chips and bbq sauce – this choice never fails to surprise patrons that all the ingredients are plant-based.
If you fancy something other than a burger, you can also find many choices from their handheld combos and entrees. One of the popular menu items is the Cauliflower Chickpea Shawarma Wrap which is packed with shawarma-style chickpeas and cauliflower, creamy tahini sauce, quinoa, arugula, tomato cucumber salad, ranch, mint and parsley.
Another equally tasty option is their Buddha Bowl which consists of teriyaki sweet potatoes, avocado, pineapple, roasted almond slices, roasted corn, daikon sprouts, green onion and jasmine rice.
The food here is very reasonably priced, so if you’re impressed by how much you saved, why not pick up one of their Peanut Butter Parfaits to take away – they’re well worth the hype! Native Foods is open everyday from 11am to 9pm.
Address: 2937 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
3. Vegan by El Zamorano
Restaurant specializing in authentic Mexican cuisine with a beautiful outdoor patio and many gluten-free options.
If you love all the flavor and seasonings that Mexican food is so famous for, then our next pick on this list of vegan restaurants in Costa Mesa will be right up your street.
This down-to-earth restaurant has a very welcoming and homey feel thanks to the cozy setup and some fun Mexican themed decor. You can also chose a seat on their spacious and appealing outdoor patio.
With red floors, picnic-style tables adorned with stunning mosaic tiles and parasols to provide you with some shade when enjoying the patio, there’s no doubt that locals love to dig into their tacos, alongside some refreshing agua fresca while enjoying the sun.
Vegan by El Zamorano offers an extensive list ranging from tempting breakfast items, sharables, tacos, burritos and quesadillas to tortas and plates, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Plus, if you are gluten intolerant, this authentic Mexican eatery has many gluten-free options to suit your dietary needs.
And what better way to catch up with friends than over delicious Mexican food? If you’re doing that, then two of the most popular favorites for sharing are the Asada Nachos and Asada Fries which are both topped with their housemade vegan nacho cheese, refried pinto beans, vegan asada, pico de gallo, guacamole, red salsa, and their housemade cashew crema.
The tacos here are always consistent in seasonings and flavor, and are one of the most affordable items one the menu. Why not try the Asada Taco which is popular among regulars? This simple, yet classic Mexican dish is prepared with vegan asada on a handmade corn tortilla topped with onion, cilantro, and red salsa.
Do you have a big appetite and feel like those lighter options might not fill you up? Well here’s a filling and satisfying option for you – the Burritos! The packed burritos are always a crowd-pleaser here. Get your hands on the Chorizo Burrito if you can which is full with rice, beans, vegan chorizo, onion, cilantro, and red salsa.
The California Burrito is also known for being good as the combination of housemade vegan cheese, vegan asada, french fries, red salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, and housemade cashew crema makes for a complex and delectable treat.
Vegan by El Zamorano is open Tuesday to Friday from 10:30am to 8:30pm, Saturday from 9:30am to 9pm, Sunday from 9:30am to 6pm, but is closed on Mondays.
Address: 3011 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
4. Nice Burger 100% Vegan
Some of the best towering burgers in the area from a restaurant that’s open as early as 9am.
The name says it all for this restaurant – as you’ll find some of the best purely plant-based burgers under just one roof. But what really makes Nice Burger 100% Vegan stand out are the large portions, towering burgers and incredible tater tots.
Formerly known as Nice Guys, this burger joint can be compared to your regular fast-food chain restaurants, due to its counter service, quick turnaround and fast casual environment. But what differentiates Nice Burger from fast-food chains is the fact that it is home to Orange County’s first 100% vegan charbroiled burgers and their items are prepared with freshly made, organic ingredients.
So don’t let anyone stop you from having a burger as early as 9am! Especially as one of the most loaded and Instagram-worthy burgers – the Nice Breakfast Burger – is served all day and is loaded with a patty, bacon, cheese, eggs and tater tots for the ultimate scrumptious breakfast! For something a little lighter though, opt for their Breakfast Burrito which is packed with sorizo, egg, tots, guacamole, mushrooms, onions, tomato and salsa.
Another delicious pick is the Cali Burger which consists of a patty, bacon, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and Thousand Island sauce. And if you love a little sweet hint in your burger, we recommend The Mainlander which is made up of a patty, cheese, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise and Teriyaki sauce.
This burger place is open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 9pm and from Friday to Sunday from 9am to 10pm.
Address: 615 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
5. Nourish Wellness Cafe
Wholesome, fresh and all-organic ayurvedic cuisine with a charming outdoor terrace.
Nourish Wellness Cafe may not be super well-known in the area yet, but this eatery tends to impress those who are lucky enough to discover it. Why? Well, this all-organic lunch spot is dedicated in offering ayurvedic cuisine so the food here is prepared to ensure maximum digestibility. So expect healthy, all-organic plant-based food that incorporates great taste, texture, beauty, aroma and lots of nutritional value.
But it’s not all about the food, as the setting is a nice place to eat well and catch some rays. They have a nice outdoor terrace with plenty of seats and parasols, as well as some plants adorning the area.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, this place on our list of vegan restaurants in Costa Mesa has organic specials for each day. For example, visit on Saturday and dig into a selection of small dishes with rice, dal (lentils), vegetables and even a soup of the day. You can get other options such as their Nourishing Plate which is a nice display of all of the day’s proteins/vegetable dishes, the soup of the day, and rice pudding.
For something nourishing but significantly lighter, the Organic Breakfast Crepe which is a pair of protein-rich crepe-dosa made from lentils and rice, topped with a mix of greens and vegetables is also a great pick.
Nourish Wellness Cafe is open everyday from 10:30am to 2:30pm.
Address: 1170 Baker St G2, Costa Mesa, CA 92626