Strong Hearts Cafe in Syracuse

I actually jumped for joy when Google told me a vegan cafe was a block from my hotel in Syracuse. It was almost unbelievable!

Strong Hearts Cafe was great fun. Definitely focused on being vegan.

The menu offers standard fare except for the extensive milkshake options with very fun names.

For breakfast I decided on the green scramble with marble toast. My friend also got a scramble.

I really enjoyed it. We returned for dinner the same night, but I forgot to take pictures. I tried a milkshake and it was wonderful. I also got the Cesar “Chicken” Salad that was just okay. My friend got the “Chicken” Salad Sandwich that she enjoyed.

The space is rustic and simple.

At breakfast the counter person was surly, but at dinner a different counter person was nice.

Strong Hearts Cafe gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. The food was decent, the staff hit or miss, and I was super happy to have clearly vegan food on my trip.

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Alto Cinco in Syracuse

I am in Syracuse, NY for a couple days and very pleasantly surprised by all the vegan options.

A quick search through my phone the first night revealed Alto Cinco and my colleague who lives here was thrilled when I suggested it. She describes it as Cali-Mexican food. But there are Catfish and BBQ options on the menu, so lots of people can find what they find yummy.

There is a standing BBQ tofu dish on the menu, so I knew I would be happy. Excitingly, one of the specials during my visit was tofu ricotta tacos!

I picked spinach with brown rice and beans for the sides. I was not disappointed. It was yummy. A bit bland, but fresh and worth eating.

When in Syracuse, Alto Cinco is worth trying. The dining room was dark, noisy, and cold, but our server very kind. Alto Cinco gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. A good option when dining with others who still think they need to eat animals.

Universo Vegano in Florence

Hubby found Universo Vegano for our first night in Florence. It has good reviews, so we were excited.


It’s a cute little place with an English version of their menu.

The menu is giant, we were both overwhelmed. And there is also a case at the front of the restaurant.


We finally decided. I got a lentil burger called the Multiprotein and the Beach salad. Hubby got the Grand Sombrero and a Chop Salad. The Grand Sombrero is a full meal, so he didn’t need the extra salad. It all sounded yummers!


The food was okay. Tasty, but not mind blowing. A simple fast-food approach to vegan food.

If I was in the neighborhood and hungry, I would eat here again. The amazing competition they face would have me eating elsewhere more frequently. Universo Vegano gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. The food was fresh, if not especially flavorful, and the place cute.

Across the street is a gelato place with clearly labeled non-dairy options. Yummers!

Buddha Bodai in Chinatown, NYC

We recently explored Chinatown more and of course had to sample the food too. Buddha Bodai happily offered a warm and full dining room.


Everyone was stuffing their faces with Dim Sum. We decided to try:

  • Sweet sticky rice dumplings
  • Veg meat rice roll
  • Steamed vegetable bun
  • Steamed dumpling, because I adore dumplings
  • Lotus root pan cake
  • Sushi rolls of sweet potato and vegetable, because the friend with us really wanted sushi


I have almost no idea which was which of the different dishes and it was very fun to try so many things. However, I probably needed help ordering as I was not super impressed. The sushi tasted strange to me, but that’s what we get for ordering non-Chinese food in Chinatown.

Buddha Bodai gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. Everything tasted fresh and it was fun, but if I go back I will take an expert to help me order.

Blackbird Pizzeria in Philly

This unassuming restaurant front contains some of the best vegan pizza I have had the pleasure of tasting.

On my second trip to Philadelphia I finally made it to this pizzeria. I had been hearing about its yummies for some time, so I was thrilled to try it.


There is a menu, but the slices readily available were the best part. My slice focused on mushrooms and hubby had lots of arugula to enjoy.


Again, yummers. Hubby also got the Philly Stake Sandwich, since, you know, we were in Philly. He’s also originally from Pennsylvania, so he’s often keen on things familiar.


He loved it. I was less enthusiastic, but I’m happy to share his scarfing.

I also got a Cesar salad.


Meh is a great description. Stick with the pizza at this place. My salad took the longest of our order to be ready. It must not be frequently ordered.

They also have dessert, but we skipped trying anything.

Blackbird gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. Great pizza and always get that. The staff was super nice and the place clean. I will absolutely return on my next visit.

Cafe Frida in Upper West Side 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.

Sacred Chow in West Village NYC

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:

  1. Belgian Waffle
  2. Soy Buttermilk Biscuit Po ‘Boy
  3. 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!

Zabby in Burlington

I recently Zipcar-ed myself through the changing leaves to Burlington, Vermont. Dear friends live there that I had not seen in too long. It was a stunning drive and I was famished upon arrival. We walked to Zabby’s for some warm comfort food, vegan style.

The place is not fully vegan, but I got the soup of the day and a club sandwich, both clearly marked as vegan. Hubby got a vegan Ruben and we were both full for the night.

The space is warm and comfortable, if a bit crowded.


The food was perfect for the moment. Worth eating and enjoyable, but not the best vegan food we’ve had. The sandwiches were a bit plain. 

Zabby gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. It works, especially when traveling, but there is yummier vegan food in Burlington. More posts to come!

Daylight Mind


Walking around to find dinner one night on the Waikoloa coast, west side of Big Island, I was happy to find Daylight Mind.

An appetizer that I verified was vegan friendly and kombucha was a great way to start the meal.


Hummus, baba ganoush, and bruschetta with a lavash greeted us. The hummus was spicy in a way we were not fond of, but the rest was wonderful.

I ordered the Vegetarian Ribbons with added tofu, a plate of yummy veggies and a big block of marinated tofu, and hubby selected the Starving Artist Pasta with tofu.


A much desired meal and our server was so nice. A cute place full non-vegan pastries. Daylight Mind gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. It provided a nice meal, but I had to ask a lot of questions and there were no vegan desserts. And the hummus appetizer was not good.

Evolution Bakery Cafe in Historic Kailua


Starving and wanting some comfort food I beelined for Evolution Bakery Cafe and GetSum Pizza in Historic Kailua Kona. This is on the west side of Big Island.


I had missed the breakfast/brunch that ends at 11:30 am, but that is when the pizza is available and we got a veggie vegan pizza.


Hubby also got a peanut butter and chocolate shake while I enjoyed some delicious kombucha. I was totally spoiled by the tasty kombucha on Big Island.


The place is not fully vegan, but the vegan options are clearly marked.


The pizza was not great, but I live in NYC. It’s hard to compare. But I enjoyed eating comfort food. I also decided to pick up a couple desserts for later. A peanut butter cookie and a chocolate coconut bar. The bar was wonderful.


Evolutions Bakery Cafe and GetSum Pizza get three out of five vegan cupcakes. I was thankful for the vegan options, and I would go back. But I found other tastier options not too far away.