Big vegan / plant-based foodie news to watch in California this year, 2019

California has long been a leader on environment, ethics and progressive food ideas and movements. While California is the home of many great vegan-forward things, from restaurants to legislation, the state also takes inspiration from other cities and countries. We have our eye on a few veg-centric moves and news in California this coming this year. Here are some to watch:

Beyond Sushi is coming to California

This NYC-based vegan sushi restaurant, Beyond Sushi, made a big splash on Shark Tank, scoring a $1.5 million investment from Shark-regular Lori Greiner and guest shark Matt Higgins. There have been recent reports that Beyond Sushi has its eyes set on Southern California, and will be launching its first SoCal restaurant in Los Angeles sometime in 2019. Keep on the look out for this elevated dining plant-based sushi spot…hopefully coming to a city near you! (Photos courtesy of Beyond Sushi.)

Founders of San Diego-based veg-forward Civico 1845 are opening a highly-anticipated new restaurant

Rumors swirling around Civico 1845 founders opening a new restaurant were recently confirmed. The very popular San Diego Little Italy Italian restaurant, which is adored by many for its separate and dedicated vegan menu, will be opening a new dining experience in Bankers Hills (San Diego). Brothers Dario & Pietro Gallo, who hail from the Gallo family, will pull from the Italian costal region of Calabria to create the menu and scene. Owner Pietro Gallo, a vegan himself, is keen on ensuring the creation of a plant-based menu. The restaurant, dubbed, II Dandy, will be located at the based of the Mister A’s building and is expected to open Spring 2019.

More fast-food and fast-casual restaurants are adding clearly marked and labeled vegan options

When McDonalds adds a ‘McVegan’ and a plant-based ‘Falafel Happy Meal’ to its menu, it’s a good indication that the world is changing. After the success of the McVegan that debuted in Finland last year, McDonalds recently launched the McFalafel now on menus across Sweden. (Unclear when those items are coming to California, but we hope soon as the road-tripping fast food options for veg eaters are painfully limited.) Taco Bell and Del Taco now serve Beyond Meat tacos as a vegan option at various locations across California. Luna Grill last year added a Beyond Burger to its menu, and a report just released shows that their plant-based burger outperformed the beef by 40 percent. Finally, Starbuck is expanding its vegan section. In the UK, they recently added a Vegan Mac to its food selection and the tofu-based All Day Breakfast Burrito. While the UK as many more plant-based options, Starbucks spokespeople have reassured the public that more veg options are on the way to America and California.

Coachella will undoubtedly have a heavy veg-food lineup

Forget the music lineup at the forward-coming Coachella (April 2019); we guarantee people will geek-out over the food lineup. While the vendor list has not been released yet, there is speculation that once again Coachella will be offering tons of plant-based options. Last year, some of those vendors included Sage (a Los Angeles plant-based bistro), Van Leeuwen (ice cream), OC-based Sea Birds, and more.

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