It seems like a lot of celebrities are making the switch to a vegan lifestyle. On top of that, many of them are also speaking up for the animals, sharing amazing vegan recipes, and talking about how a plant-based diet can affect our environment. Billie Eilish recently launched a “climate positive” tour, and vegan perfume, Ricky Gervais and Moby recently called for elephants to be released from zoos and sent to sanctuaries, and Lizzo is always sharing her mouth-watering plant-based meals on social media. Some celebrities have taken it a step further and decided to open vegan restaurants!
Here are 8 examples of successful plant-based restaurants launched by vegan celebrities.
1. Moby’s Little Pine
In 2015, long-time Animal rights activist and music artist, Moby, opened Little Pine restaurant in Los Angeles. Little Pine is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the vegan community and was even voted Restaurant of the Year by Veg News in 2016. Some of their Mediterranean dishes include a Meatball Marinara, Cashew Brussels, Pank Crusted Piccata, and Truffle Rigatoni. They also have two menu items for dogs, their ingredients are sourced locally, and the profits are donated to animal protection organizations.
Like many restaurants, Little Pine had to close down during the pandemic. It’s open again but is led by a new ownership group and chef, with Moby focusing more on “philanthropy, documentary production, and of course, music.”
Click here to visit Little Pine’s website.
2. Lewis Hamilton’s Neat Burger
Source: ABB Formula E/YouTube
Formula One race car driver and long-time vegan, Lewis Hamilton, was one of the original investors in Neat Burger, a vegan fast food-type restaurant that opened in London in 2019. The chain now has several locations around London and plans to expand into the US, Italy, and the Middle East. Some of their signature items include a Neat Burger, Filet-No-Fish, Neat Dog, Chick’n Burger Bowl, Buffalo Nuggets, and milkshakes. Their food is also free from many of the top common allergens, their packaging is biodegradable and compostable, and Leonardo DiCaprio recently joined the company as a strategic investor.
Click here to visit Neat Burger’s website.
3. Toriano Gordon’s Vegan Mob
Source: 90X Vision/YouTube
Toriano Gordon is a former rapper turned restauranteur, who opened a vegan soul food walk-up restaurant in Oakland called Vegan Mob in 2019. The restaurant has seen huge success, has launched a food truck in San Francisco, and is moving to a larger location in Oakland. Some of their more popular menu items include Fully Loaded Mob Nachos, Gumbo Cup, Shrimp Po’Boy, Spicy Fried Chicken, and Impossible Mob Tacos. They also serve massive portions, so you can save some to eat later too!
Click here to visit Vegan Mob’s website.
4. Spike Mendelsohn’s PLNT Burger
Spike Mendelsohn, who appeared on Top Chef in Season 4, opened his first PLNT Burger in 2019 inside Whole Foods in Maryland. The popular fast-food burger joint now has 11 locations on the east coast, with expansion plans. One of them is a stand-alone restaurant in New York City, and the rest are located inside Whole Foods. They offer fairly typical fast-food fare, including a Mushroom BBQ Burger, a Crispy Chicken Sandwich, a PLNT Chil Bowl, Soft Serve, and Oatasty Shakes. They also source local ingredients and try to fundraise for local partners.
Click here to visit PLNT Burger’s website.
5. John Salley’s Cafe Organix
Source: CBS Los Angeles/YouTube
John Salley, the former professional basketball player, 15-year vegan, and Animal rights activist, opened Cafe Organix in San Bernadino, California, in 2020. One of his reasons for opening the restaurant was to give brown and black people living in a “food desert” an opportunity to eat healthy, plant-based food. Some of the menu items they offer include Artisan Avocado Toast, a Hickory Bacon BBQ Burger, Hot Hunny Chick’n & Waffles, and a BLT. They also offer juices, smoothies, coffees, and Mocktails, and sell art from local artists!
Click here to visit Cafe Organix’s website.
6. Matthew Kenney’s Restaurant Empire
Source: CBS Mornings/YouTube
Matthew Kenney is a rock star vegan chef who’s written 12 Cookbooks, has opened over 50 restaurants around the globe, and has several more set to open this year. Some of the more notable include his 7 Double Zero pizzerias (one which made it onto Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list, and he has plans to release a frozen line of pizzas soon), his 6 Folia restaurants (which were created with the help of Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed), and his massive vegan food hall and marketplace called Plant City in Providence, New England. He has also launched an online culinary academy called the Food Future Institute and is set to open an in-person campus this summer in California.
Click here to visit Matthew Kenney’s website.
7. Angela Means Kaaya’s Jackfruit Cafe
Source: We Are Good News/YouTube
Angela Means Kaaya, who was one of the stars of the 90s stoner comedy Friday, opened her soul food restaurant Jackfruit Cafe in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2017. Kaaya shared the space with a donut shop, and as her food became more popular and her customers began filling up the space, she was asked to leave. She has since opened another location in Los Angeles that does only take-out and delivery. In 2021, Veg News awarded Jackfruit Café as one of the 34 Best Vegan Spots of the year. A few of their popular offerings include a Crunch Wrap, Birria Tacos, a Pulled BBQ Sandwich, and a Soul Bowl.
Click here to visit Jackfruit Cafe’s website.
8. Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads
Source: BOSH. TV/YouTube
In 2013, Tal Ronnen opened one of the most well-known vegan restaurants in the world, Crossroads. The upscale Los Angles spot is a popular spot for celebrities, serves delicious Mediterranean fare, and has a full bar. Ronnen has plans to open two more locations, one in Las Vegas that is set to open at the end of May and one in Calabasas that should open in the fall. Some of their notable menu items include a Sicilian Pizza, Spicy Rigatoni Vodka, Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, Pumpkin Seed Tofu Marsala, and an Eggplant Filet. Ronnen has also written the New York Times best-selling cookbook The Conscious Cook, is the co-creator of the popular plant-based cheese Kite Hill, and is probably best-known for preparing the dishes for Oprah’s 21-day vegan cleanse.
Click here to visit Crossroads’ website.
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