Oh, the joy of watching your kid scarf down a plate of something green! Between sneaking spinach into smoothies and counting french fries as veggies, it’s not easy to find something they like. So when we hear of great dishes at local restaurants where the veggies are the star instead of just a supporting role, we have to share. These dishes serve up vitamin packed veggies with a whole lot of flavor that little taste buds can’t resist.

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photo credit: Aikawa Ke via flickr

Spinach Ravioli at Rosti Tuscan Kitchen
Skip the kids’ menu and go straight for the spinach and ricotta ravioli at Rosti. Little chefs in the making will love choosing from eight different sauces to complete their meal. Can’t decide? They’ve been known to split the plate with two different sauces to keep kids happy. So whether it’s pesto or marinara (or both), they’ll still be getting a hefty helping of savory spinach and creamy ricotta tucked into these fluffy pasta pockets. For parents, the chicken plates are the draw, but the roasted salmon is superb and you can sneak the kids bites of brain powered protein, too.

There are locations in Encino, Calabasas, and Santa Monica
Online: rostituscankitchen.com

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photo credit: Shannon R. via yelp

Big Macro Burger at M Café
Hamburgers are a staple of any kid diet, but even the most finicky of beefeaters have been known to scarf down this veggie patty. Made from whole grain brown rice and vegetables, the patty is topped with lettuce, soy mozzarella, tomato, pickles, onion, and alfalfa sprouts on a toasted whole-wheat bun. For kids, we get everything but the soy cheese on the side and we don’t actually utter the word soy when the kids can hear. It’s a far cry from the standard diner burger, but no one will know the difference once they get a taste. Did we mention the burger is topped with beet ketchup? We wished they bottled the stuff.

There are locations in Mid-City, Beverly Hills and Brentwood
Online: mcafedechaya.com

Roasted Brussels Sprouts at Café Gratitude
If you’ve ever been to Café Gratitude, you know that all the menu items at this 100% organic plant based restaurant are named after emotions. And if you are what you eat, you’ll be grateful indeed for dishes like this oven roasted Brussels sprout plate. Aptly named, “Ecstatic,” these crispy, crunchy sprouts are tossed in a miso maple glaze for the perfect mix of sweet and sour that has kids nibbling and nibbling til the plate is empty.  Order two, because you’ll want your own.

There are locations in Venice, Downtown Los Angeles, and Larchmont
Online: cafegratitude.com

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photo credit: Patty H. via yelp

Crispy Cauliflower at Veggie Grill
Cauliflower is super trendy right now and it’s showing up in things like pizza crust and rice. But we’re trying to get them to eat veggies you can recognize as such, and the crispy cauliflower at Veggie Grill is a clear winner. The bright white florets are dredged in panko breading, lightly fried, and served up with a finger licking sweet and sour sauce. Some kids like to sub the sauce for creamy ranch dressing because, well, everything tastes better with ranch. It’s just an appetizer, but it’s enough for two kids to share and still have full tummies.

There are locations through out Los Angeles.
Online: veggiegrill.com

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photo credit: Jolie Loeb

The Greek Salad at Olio Pizzeria and Café
“This salad tastes just like pizza,” said one of our tiny taste testers. Moms, keep serving up this salad and nod your head yes, because you might not hear those words about any other salad on the planet. Maybe it’s the big chunks of feta cheese or the salty kalamata olives? Whatever it is, kids can’t get enough of this good-for-you green salad.

8075 W. 3rd St.
Mid-City LA
Online: oliowfp.com

Roots 3 at Pressed Juicery
The Roots 3 Juice at Pressed Juicery has four ingredients: apples, beets, ginger, and lemon. It’s a refreshing combo that’s a little bit spicy but so addictive. Kids love that the beets stain their tongues (and poop!) red, and if you’re lucky, drinking straight from the bottle may lead to a red juice mustache. It also doubles as a perfect on the go meal, because sometimes you just need to fill those bellies with something more nutritious than a drive through meal. And if the ginger spice is a bit much for them, try the Brazil Nut, which tastes like a vanilla milkshake, but is packed with kale and spinach. Side note: some locations now make homemade frozen yogurt with their juices. And if that’s not a reason to keep coming back, we don’t know what is.

There are locations throughout Los Angeles.
Online: pressedjuicery.com

lyfekitchen

photo credit: Jiamin A. via yelp

Edamame Hummus at Lyfe Kitchen
Hummus is great but if you can add a vitamin and protein packed veggie like edamame to the mix, it’s even better. The Edamame Hummus plate comes with a big bowl of the dip and tons of dippers like crunchy carrots, radishes, celery and gluten free Lyfe crackers. If there’s any hummus left over, you can spread it on whatever else you order; it’s that good. Second favorite on the menu? Grab a carrot zucchini walnut muffin to go. Warm it up with a little bit of butter and there’s another serving of scrumptious veggies in their tummies.

There are locations through out Los Angeles.
Online: lyfekitchen.com

What veggie dishes from your favorite restaurants did we miss? Tell us in the comments below.

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—Christina Fiedler