UPDATE: this is probably not a great place for vegans. when i ate there, i was told the buns were vegan, but a commenter wrote in today and said they weren’t…also, he said the hotdogs were cooked on the SAME GRILL as the meat, which i forgot to check on when i was there. eat here at your own fucking risk. i will be back, but only for the beer. the dogs are vegan for sure though, so if you can count on those at least. fend for yourself. beware.
yesterday marked my second day of jury duty at the metropolitan courthouse in downtown los angeles, so naturally i had to check out a new vegan-friendly lunch spot. my carnivorous coworkers have been raving about the newish sausage and beer kitchen, wurstkuche since it very first opened. after hearing their descriptions of monstrosities such as rattlesnake & rabbit, alligator & pork along with duck & bacon sausages, i assumed wurstkuche was a restaurant i would never visit. too bad, i thought, because i had a butchers at the beer list and it was pretty impressive.
my mind was instantly changed though when jona bechtolt, a vegan musician who i’m a great fan of and follow on twitter, tweeted: “Downtown Los Angeles lunch at Wurstküche (***** of 5)” what?! but jona’s a vegan, i thought, so there must be some stuff i can eat at wurstkuche! i prodded jona for more info, and he messaged me back to say there were three animal-free sausages to choose from, not to mention amazing fries with curry ketchup. as you can imagine, i had to haul ass to wurstkuche asap…and my downtown la jury service provided the perfect excuse.
i ordered the vegetarian beer bratwurst, which turned out to be a tofurky beerbrat, also the same sausage the frankenstand uses and calls “the witch”. (in fact, all 3 vegan options were familiar tofurky brand links: the beerbrat, the kielbasa, and sweet italian sausage.)
for 6 bucks you get a piping hot sausage on a fresh roll with two toppings— i chose caramelized onions and sauerkraut. i also got an order of thick, fat belgian fries that came perfectly cooked with big chunks of salt and a side of curry ketchup…YUM. everything was delicious, but the fries were definitely the highlight.
and you can’t really talk about wurstkuche without mentioning the beer. although it’s a bit pricey, they have a lineup of 24 impressive draughts including belgian, german and north american selections. i myself went with a spaten pils, and they even served it to me in the proper glass! bonus points for that, most def.
aside from having a whole ton of great tap beer, awesome fries and vegan sausages, wurstkuche is just a really cool place to hang out. it’s spacious and open with tons of seating and has an industrial vibe, with its concrete floors and brick walls, offset by brightly colored orange chairs. there’s a long bar and tons of huge wooden communal tables. this is the kind of place i could spend all afternoon drinking in…if i didn’t have to get back to jury duty.
so when the frankenstand isn’t available, fill your vegan hot dog needs at wurstkuche. sure, they charge more for the exact same tofurky dog that you would get at franken’s, but they are always open and have great fries! oh, and be sure not to leave without getting a beer. thanks, jona!!
800 e 3rd street
los angeles ca 90013
sunday 12pm-10pmTags: downtown la, hot dog, sausage, tofurky
monday thru wednesday 11am-10pm
thursday thru saturday 11am-midnight