The vegan food & drink festival finally came to NYC! I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to see what other cities have been able to experience. I was not disappointed.
The festival was on Randall’s Island, a place I had only driven over in a taxi or bus to the airport. I had seen countless others walk along the bridge to other events on the island and decided to ride my bike and take a pedestrian bridge on the southern end. Good choice. A very easy route that gave me stunning views of the East River.
There were many local vendors at the event and many I had never heard of. I skipped long lines for places I knew, like Cinnamon Snail. Other long lines snaked out of vendors offering fried goodness. Tempting, but I would rather explore more.
The deliciousness seemed endless.
We finally tried the Impossible Burger, which was a total trip and weirded me out. It really does smell, taste, look, and and have the texture of a medium raw burger. Hubby gobbled, I tried a bite. I also got a Nashville sauce tofu sandwich that was amazeballs.
But it was more than food!
I had great fun exploring all the signs and information.
There was music too, but nothing live while I was there. Just so many people enjoying vegan goodness.
If you get a chance to go to one of these, I recommend it. I got early bird tickets that were only $10.
My aunt came to visit and wanted to experience a cat cafe. There are two in the Lower East Side and we were hungry after all the kitty cuteness. I had seen JaJaJa on Instagram and wanted to try it. Not at all disappointed.
We were excited to dig in. Oddly, good guacamole is challenging to find in NYC, unless I make it myself. JaJaJa has wonderful guacamole! I also had to try the cucumber gazpacho. It’s green.
Beyond appetizers, I got the Chorizo Tacos and my aunt got the Chilaquiles. Both delicious. My aunt thought her dish was too big for her and shared some with me. This was good since the tacos felt a bit small. But, since I got the gazpacho, I was doing okay.
Again, yummers! Since hubby didn’t join us, I decided to bring home a chocolate chip cookie for him to try. I ordered two, knowing that if I wanted to try it, I would need to have my own. Well, it’s a whole bag of gluten-free soft yummyness. Score! And the server liked us so much that he gave me a bag of Mexican Wedding Cookies too. Second score! They are like my snowball cookies, meaning they do not have the anise flavor.
Tha ambiance is open and clean and the wait staff very nice. We even got the Sanctuary discount. If a member of an animal sanctuary and at a vegan restaurant in NYC, many places will take 10% off your bill when you show your current membership card. I always ask, just in case. I’m in my third year of membership with Catskill Animal Sanctuary and keep the membership card in my wallet.
JaJaJa gets five out of five vegan cupcakes. I love the food, the space, and the people. When hungry on the Lower East Side, consider stopping here and enjoying. Good Mexican food is challenging to find in NYC.
Cafe Frida recently added a vegan menu to their traditional Mexican options. So of course I had to check it out.
The place was completely packed and very noisy. We were told 15 to 20 minutes for a table for two, but waited 45 minutes. Oops.
There are three entrees to choose from and several appetizers. We decided to try multiple appetizers.
We started with excellent guacamole. Some of the best guacamole since moving to NYC. But the chips are super salty. Then we enjoyed some elote, which is corn on the cob covered in yummies, and soy chorizo quesadillas.
We also tried the chilies toreados, but they are way too spicy for us.
Overall it was fun to try some new things. I had tasted a couple entrees and salads through Grub Hub ordering. The salads are good, but the entrees would benefit from more vegetables. The platanos are delicious. There are currently no vegan desserts, but I was told they are working on one and I should come back in a couple weeks.
Cafe Frida gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. There are some yummy things and I am glad they are trying, but there is room for improvement. I hope that happens and I can update when it does.
I was lucky enough to be part of the Grand Opening of Orchard Grocer in Lower East Side. MooShoes took half their floor space and turned it into an all vegan grocery store.
It is a wonderful place with lots of fun options and a deli for sandwiches and salads. Even a daily soup!
The place was packed, but I had great fun picking out local products and other brands with which I don’t normally have access. Then we got sandwiches.
I got a bagel with carrot lox and hubby picked out a caprese sandwich. Both were yummy.
I will be trying to get to this gem on a regular basis!
Hubby and I decided to try a new place for brunch today. Our top three rotation places are Blossom on Columbus, PeaceFood, and Candle Cafe West. It’s hard to break habbit, but we were up for a challenge! I jumped online to look up top vegan brunch places in NYC. This site recommended several places we have not tried for brunch and Sacred Chow was on the way to our ultimate destination for the day. Score!
It’s a small and cute space. Bonus, our server was super nice. We began with coffe for hubby and I got fresh ginger tea. Hubby liked the coffee, but my tea was weak.
In an effort to try multiple fun things, we ordered three plates:
- Belgian Waffle
- Soy Buttermilk Biscuit Po ‘Boy
- Huevos Rancheros
We actually got the French Toast, but everything was yummy.
Everything was fresh with a nice combination of flavors. Hubby felt things were a bit bland.
Sacred Chow gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. I would return, especially when By Chloe down the street is packed, but the food has a lot of competition in that neighborhood. It was fun to try a new place. Also, I now don’t trust that site of the supposed best brunch places. Our regular haunts are tastier.
But, as always, check it out for yourself. And then let me know what you think. Yummers!
Hubby surprised me, I adore surprises, with reservations to the vegan French restaurant, Delice & Sarrasin in Chelsea. I didn’t even realize this was a thing! Apparently about 18 months ago this cute place switched from a traditional cream and meat heavy menu to a fully vegan one. We had such fun!
We started with the cheese plate, that was actually fantastic. They make all the cheeses in-house and we wanted more, it was so good!
I’m always hesitant with faux meat options as I don’t normally enjoy them much. But it’s faux meat or ratatouille here. I ordered the Poulet Basquaise and hubby got the Steak tartare vegetable accompagne de frites maison.
We were both pleasantly surprised and I didn’t mind the faux meat at all. My “chicken legs” even had sticks in them that startled me when I first cut into the dish.
Now we really want to go back and try their signature crepes. Maybe for brunch soon? Delice & Sarrasin gets five out of five vegan cupcakes. Delicious, adorable, and pushes me out of my comfort zone with yummer results. Definitely check it out.
One of the things I adore about the Vegan Shop Ups here in NYC is getting to know the folks making veganism easier when they are just starting out. This is the case with Brooklyn Wiskers. I was lucky enough to meet the founder/baker and enjoy the yummyness a year before this cafe opened.
I have been drooling over her croissants and desserts for months and look forward to seeing the yum at the Shop Ups. When the cafe was being planned, the owner said it was coming and promised to keep coming to the events. Score!
Brooklyn Wiskers is adorable and has an expanded menu with the permanent location. I finally made it out to Bushwick earlier this month.
In addition to those delicious pastries, I ordered “bis-cats” and gravy with kale and potatoes. So yummy!
I highly recommend catching Brooklyn Wiskers when in Bushwick. Brooklyn Wiskers gets four out of five vegan cupcakes. It’s a cafe and small, but wonderful and worth the train ride.
“Tested on dirty vegans, not on animals” says it all. Another slogan used is “made with love and plants.” How could anyone not want to try these products? Then you smell them and suddenly long for a bath or shower!
I learned about The Fanciful Fox a few months after moving to NYC, but they have a website, so it’s totally my fault for not knowing about them before. Exploring a ShopUp in Brooklyn was this table full of beautiful soaps and pretty little containers. A friend standing next to me was shocked I was unfamiliar with the brand and insisting I pick out something. I have so many allergies that I was very hesitant. I noticed they have an olive oil night lotion similar to one I had been using for several years from a different company and I was needing to order more anyway. So I got theirs instead and haven’t looked back. Wanting to support a local company, I tried more things, like lip balm, and hubby is even now hooked on their soaps.
The care placed into every detail is just a pleasure to see and the owners are some of the nicest and coolest people I have gotten to meet. I was lucky enough to attend their grand opening last month of a storefront in Brooklyn.
And I even snagged a goody bag.
A different friend was at the opening and had not tried anything yet. Wow, was she in for a treat!
I highly recommend trying something from The Fanciful Fox. Form your own opinion and hopefully fall in love with the products like I have. I can’t wait to get back to their store and leisurely explore all the different product options!