There’s a sense of safety and freedom that comes with walking into an-all vegan spot. Our tense shoulders soften and our minds enter into a more relaxed state knowing that there is no need to navigate a menu or accidentally purchase something with fish sauce or whey powder. Besties Vegan Paradise, a vegan market in East Los Angeles, offers such a haven. Our VegNews editors were mesmerized by the immense variety of products—from the mass-market staple goods to the wild innovations. Here are the 25 most unique products we discovered on our shopping spree. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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1. JuiceBot
Besties has a number of vegan products to marvel at, but the futurist JuiceBot was the first to catch our eyes. This touchscreen vending machine dispenses fresh, cold-pressed juice in four flavors and two sizes. If you’re not satisfied with the watermelon, greens, citrus, or carrot options, you can mix and match to create your perfect juice blend. This automated machine is certainly an indicator that veganism is the future! (And yes, the juice is delicious.)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2. Herbivorous Butcher vegan meats
Some shops around Los Angeles carry a few products from this famous Minneapolis-based vegan butchery, but Besties seems to have shipped the entire meat case to SoCal. From steak to ribs to deli slices, customers are guaranteed to find their favorite plant-based cut. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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3. Hot dog roller
Just beside the cashier you’ll find this convenience store staple loaded with vegan franks and sausages from Beyond Meat, BeLeaf, and a New York-based company, Yeah Dawg. The shop serves quite literally all the vegan fixins’ including bacon bits, sour cream, shredded cheese, nacho cheese, sauerkraut, chopped onions, chili, mac and cheese, and the usual ketchup, mustard, and relish condiments. Each hot dog is nestled in a fluffy Pretzilla pretzel bun. These hot dogs are best when promptly devoured on-site. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4. Snackrilege sandwiches
Cancel your trip to Portland—you can purchase this popular food cart’s massive vegan sandwiches at Besties. The hoagies and grinders are priority shipped over ice from Portland to Los Angeles to ensure Besties’ customers receive a fresh, never soggy sandwich. Look for the vendor’s signature handholds such as the Philly cheesesteak-esque Steak Bite Love, the sloppy Pig Champion, and the classic Rick Reuben in Besties’ prepared foods fridge. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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5. Wall of vegan jerky
Not only is there a high-quality vegan option for everything, Besties proves that there are multiple high-quality options. For example, an entire shelf is dedicated to vegan jerky displaying a wide range of flavors from brands such as Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, Primal Spirit Foods, and Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. Whether you’re a hickory smoked fan or lean more towards the spicy variety, you’re sure to find a jerky you’ll love. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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6. Eli’s Earth Bar candy bars
These novelty candy bars are a rare yet thrilling find. The range includes chocolate-covered treats from nougat to nuts and every sweet thing in between. Try the Treasure Bar for a vegan take on the much-beloved Snickers. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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7. Bobo’s Toaster Pastries
It’s true: Unfrosted Pop-Tarts are vegan-friendly. But why settle when you can support an all-vegan line? It’s the Besties way! Resurrect your childhood and enjoy a warm Bobo’s pop-tart. Pro tip: The Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein and Chocolate Almond Butter Protein are great when eaten straight from the freezer. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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8. Good Catch Fish-Free Tuna
Do you miss Starkist tuna pouches? Grab a bag of vegan Good Catch. They mimic this flaky fish incredibly well in taste, texture, and even smell. Flavors come in Mediterranean, Naked in Water (plain), and Oil & Herbs. Use them to top a salad, stuff in a pita pocket, or pair with crackers and a side of fruit for a grab-and-go lunch. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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9. Jupiter Rings Buffalo Sauce
We’ve tried to create buffalo cauliflower at home but can never get the sauce quite right. This brand nails the flavor and spice level every time. Simply coat blanched cauliflower with a few splashes and throw it in the air-fryer or oven for a restaurant-quality appetizer at home. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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10. Parmela Creamery Nutcheese Alfredo 
There are thousands of reliable vegan alfredo sauces you can find online, but this bottled sauce is a life-safer when one is short on time (or motivation) to cook. Customers can find both the Classic and Rosé varieties at Besties. It’s a terrific grab for a date night in. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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11. Kelly’s Croutons
What’s so special about a crouton? One crunchy bite and you’ll find out. These herby salad toppers are unlike any crouton we’ve ever experienced. Half the time we skip the salad and eat them straight out of the bag.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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12. Spero Foods egg salt
Sprinkle this condiment onto anything for that je-ne-sais-quois experience. It adds an exceptional depth and umami flavor to everything from tofu scrambles to grain bowls. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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13. Vegan Rob’s
Fondly referred to as vegan Cheetos, this vegetable-based chip company has created a cult following (particularly among the VegNews staff). Owner Robert Ehrlich won Best of Show at the 2018 and 2019 Natural Products Expo West trade show, and we were thrilled to see his full line displayed at Besties.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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14. PigOut
Some say PigOut chips taste “too real,” which should be seen as the ultimate compliment. Made from mushrooms and spices, these savory chips are virtually indistinguishable from crispy pork-based bacon. Flavors come in Original, Kansas City Barbecue, and Cheddar

 

 
 
 
 
 
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15. Cena Vegan Latin meats
This company gained a loyal fanbase through pop-ups at street fairs, drawing crowds with its massive plant-based burritos, flavorful tacos, and mountainous nacho boats (the corn tortillas hand-pressed on-site also helped). Last year, the family-run enterprise launched its vegan Latin-inspired meats in select stores and online. We’ll happily skip the hour-plus-long line and buy the barbacoa at Besties to make our taco salads at home. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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16. Frozen Fruit Co Ice Cream
This may be the creamiest ice cream you will ever consume. The company prides itself on its pure, fruit-based flavors and minimal ingredients. For example, the chocolate pint only contains three ingredients—coconut milk, dates, and cacao—and yet the texture is so smooth and melts luxuriously on the tongue. There have been more than one occasion when we’ve gone through the entire pint in one sitting with no regrets. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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17. Better Bites cake bites
There’s really only one word to accurately describe this dessert: addictive. Despite the fact that they come refrigerated—which typically dries out cake—these chocolate-coated cake bites are pleasantly tender and moist. Flavors come in Double Chocolate, Simply Vanilla, and Very Strawberry—it’s impossible to choose a favorite.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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18. Jule’s Foods vegan brie
Other than the prepared dishes at Nic’s on Beverly, Besties is the only place in the greater Los Angeles area where one can find this much-sought-after vegan brie. Show off by adding a wheel to your dinner party cheese board, or keep it to yourself and enjoy in a gourmet grilled cheese or flaky brie en croute. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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19. Shroomeats mushroom patties and balls
Besties is the first place we’ve come across this mushroom-based meat brand, but we wish it was more widespread. These products hold together when cooked and are the definition of umami bombs. Keep one of each in your freezer for a reliable protein staple to enhance any quick weeknight dinner. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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20. BeLeaf egg
When your roommate opens the fridge to find these on your shelf, they might assume you’ve quit being vegan. Fully formed into a fried plant-based egg, these products are perfect for brunch or topping off a steaming vegetable and rice bowl. Soy sauce is highly recommended. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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21. Blode Kuh Cheese
Wake up too late for the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, or dreading the horrific parking situation? You can find a selection of this LA-based cheesemonger’s products at Besties—from Chardonnay Cheddar to Smoky Kale Sriracha. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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22. Sophie’s Kitchen vegan smoked salmon
Elevate your bagel and cream cheese to a bagel with lox. Found in the refrigerated section, this plant-based fishy gourmet item is also terrific on cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches for a sophisticated tea time. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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23. NoDoh Nozzarella Sticks
Long gone are the days when we kept mozzarella sticks in our freezers—until now. This company began selling its hot-and-crispy, ooey-gooey mozzarella sticks at street fairs and recently added this product to the Bestie’s fridge. Keep them on hand for game day and have your phone ready to capture the perfect cheese-pull on InstaStories. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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24. Rabbit Hole Foods Un-Egg
During weeknights, we like to have a few convenience items to speed up meal prep. This freshly prepared vegan, chickpea-based egg salad helps shave off time when creating sandwiches, filling salads, and stuffing wraps. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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25. Weekly community pop-ups
Besties has committed to supporting local vegan vendors as well as its local community by hosting weekly vegan food pop-ups nearly every Saturday. From established favorites such as Orange County’s Vegan by Victoria’s and Los Angeles local Clean South to up-and-comers such as Es Todo, Besties is offering a safe space for its business and residential community to come together, encourage entrepreneurship, and further establish the rise of the vegan movement. If the products in store aren’t enough, customers can find vegan pan dulce, monstrous plant-based burgers, sweet oat drinks, and tacos galore at one of these regular pop-ups. 

 

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.

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