Vegan dining in Laguna Beach

While in Laguna Beach recently for a book event (don’t miss the fabulous Laguna Beach Books while you’re in town), we were able to stop in at the glorious vegan restaurant The Stand.

Fitting for a beach town, The Stand Natural Foods is indeed a stand: You order at the same counter where you pick up your food, and there are a few tables, seats, and stools to sit on, but given how crowed it was at 3 p.m. when we stopped in for a very late lunch, it is likely hard to find a seat during peak hours, which speaks to this place’s popularity.

The menu is incredibly extensive, as you’ll see in the photo below, and it’s hard to decide what to order, given the choices, which include everything from burritos to bowls to salads to sandwiches to wraps to soft-serve natural “ice cream.” And everything on the menu is 100% vegan.

We ordered the avocado sandwich on squaw bread, and then proceeded to wait for more than 30 minutes; the service is friendly and welcoming but very slow, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to eat here. (One woman actually fell asleep while waiting for her order.)

Fortunately, there is a basket of books (mostly children’s books) to keep you and your little ones entertained, and the unhurried vibe is part of its charm.

When it finally arrived, the avocado sandwich was worth the wait — fresh avocado on delicious squaw bread (other breads available are whole wheat and rosemary-garlic sourdough), with tomato, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, guacamole, and a lovely lemon herb dressing.

The sandwiches and many other items are served with The Stand’s signature Have’A Chips™ (if you think a tortilla chip is just a tortilla chip, think again); these are thick, crisp, and flavorful.

We hope to be back again to try out more on this incredible menu.