Sunday, 23 August 2015

A Vegan in New York City

My boyfriend and I went to New York City for the first time in June and we had an incredible trip.

Five nights was just about right; we stayed in a great hostel called The Local NYC in Queens, just across the river of Manhattan. It was a converted warehouse with a roof terrace that had views of the sky scrapers without the noise that goes with them. It was on a very quiet road and very short distance from the subway, a couple of stops from the centre. Very friendly staff, cool ensuite room and a nice vibe to the place.

This certainly was a food trip. I had plenty to choose from and think I tasted some of the best food of my life! Here are the restaurants we visited and I would recommend all of them.

A vegan in New York

£ - cheap,  ££ - average, £££ - dear

Terri NYC - £

For our first meal Luke and I shared the comfort plate - the 'pulled pork' was incredible, though we struggled to finish it as very rich. We sat in the window seats amongst the skyscrapers and watched the busy streets, the perfect introduction to NYC. It was great that there was so many veggie fast food outlets in the city.

Blossom du Jour - £

Another Vegan fast food restaurant. I had their vegan muffin for breakfast twice as it was so so tasty; scrambled tofu with fake melted cheese, hollandaise style sauce and facon. Great hangover cure. They were also very reasonable - less than $5. I've had scrambled tofu once before in London and found it too dry - but this was lovely - perhaps because of the sauce. I would never have ordered a veggie version of this before I turned vegan, as I hate the idea of egg and cheese together - but tofu and fake cheese works like a charm.

Blossom du jour vegan breakfast muffin

Murray's Bagels - £

As you have to have a bagel when in NYC. Choose from an overwhelming about of toppings - including toffuti - a delicious cream cheese alternative. I had a classic cheese and cucumber.

Murray's Bagels - Vegan Friendly NYC

SOUEN - Macrobiotic, Natural Organic Food - ££

I think this was our favourite meal - they also served fish so Luke could have this. I had the best pad thai I have ever tasted (lime peanut sauce, tofu and lots of veg) with a mu 16 tea - which is so full of flavours and like nothing I have ever had before. Very good value for money.

Souen - Vegan Friendly Thai Asian NYC

Lombardi's Pizza - £££

Quite historic! The first pizza diner in America - ever - and their bases are vegan! It was very popular and we were lucky that we only had to queue for a short while. First mistake was ordering a pizza each as we noticed everyone was sharing, but when in Rome! The marinara was very very good; tangy tomato sauce and very sweet basil. We took some home to have for lunch the next day.

TeaNY - New York - ££

Cute little cafe in the trendy lower East side of Manhattan, offering vegan and vegetarian food. It is owned by Moby. We sat outside and a man walked past us after reading the menu, saying "What is vegan, is it gluten free?" to his friend. I rolled my eyes and Luke said "You know that was Zac Braff don't you?" and it was!

The food was brill. I had a 'choose your own' bagel with fake mozzarella, facon and avocado washed down with some lush lavender lemonade. We also had dessert for the first time - I had the classic strawberry cheesecake and Luke the peanut butter bomb. We couldn't believe they were both vegan - delicious, but also massive, so we were defeated.

TeeNY Vegan Friendly Cafe NYC

Candle 79: Organic Vegan Food - NYCs Premiere Vegan Restaurant - £££

We did try and book a table at Dirt Candy as a treat but there were none, so went to Candle 79 in the upper East side instead. Glad we did! We had a lovely meal and a really sweet waitress (it wasn't as unnervingly posh as we expected, but the food was incredible) I had the raw lasagna with cashew cheese (first taste of cashew cheese - a winner) and Luke had spaghetti with wheat balls. We also shared roasted sprouts. The portions were just right and reasonably priced - recommended.

Champs Diner

On our last morning we went to an all vegan breakfast diner, as recommend by the waitress at Candle 79. It was in Brooklyn, and quite a trek to get to as it was not near any tubes. We queued to get inside and it was worth it. I went for the breakfast burrito and really enjoyed it (guac and scrambled tofu did it for me) Luke also devoured his Vegan slam breakfast.

Champs Vegan Diner NYC

All the food was really different to what we have at home and I felt there was a much wider choice than in London. They were more adventurous with the food in New York, and having the fast food outlets was really useful and affordable. I didn't want to go home! I <3 NYC!

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