Vegano in Montreal

We just had to try the restaurant called Vegano! Loud and proud, with that name, about being vegan.

The space could use a spruce up and deep clean, but we took a table at the window to get more light.

French menus arrive on clipboards and are covered in plastic. Luckily the owner was happy to translate for us and the waitress was great at helping make sure we got what we wanted.

I picked the chickpea omelet with sweet potatoes and greens. Hubby picked a pizza and asked for a spinach salad to be made special.

It was so much food! My omelet was tasty, but a bit dry. This may be normal with chickpea omelets, I had never had one before. The pizza was good. A typical vegan cheese pizza.

We could not finish our meals with so much food, but enjoyed everything.

Vegano gets three out of four vegan cupcakes. The food is tasty, but not amazing and the space is not as clean as other vegan restaurants close by. The staff is wonderful.


Lola Rosa in Montreal

One night while in Montreal we decided we were not ready to go back to the hotel and that we wanted dessert. A quick search led us to Lola Rosa.

The menu includes things like poutine and quesadillas, but we headed straight for the dessert case and picked out a slice of lemon custard pie with meringue and raspberry sauce and a slice of chocolate and banana cream pie. Yummers!

Hubby was excited to try vegan custard and meringue. The lemon custard was really delicious. The chocolate and banana was also yummers, but a poor second to the lemon.

The space is cute with a few small tables and each has drawers with notes of gratitude to the restaurant in them.

Lola Rosa gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. The desserts were nice, but the space dirty and the staff rude. I was surprised by all the gratitude notes based on our experience. But I would go back for the dessert.

Copper Branch in Montreal

Our first day in Montreal we had a bicycle tour of the old city. It was wonderful and we were starving once it was over. The first vegan place that popped up on Google was Copper Branch and we made a beeline. Copper Branch has several locations across Montreal.

I ordered the South West Wrap Scramble (yes, Southwest is two words on the menu) and kombucha. Hubby picked out the Smoked Maple Tempeh Sandwich and Revolution Smoothy. We also had to try the nachos.

Most was yummers. The sour cream on the nachos was extra sour, so I wasn’t used to it. Hubby was not fond of his smoothie and ended up not finishing it. But the portions were large.

The space could have used a wipe down and the employees seemed like they would have appreciated a break.

Copper Branch gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. If needing something quick, it’s worth a try. And it was fun to try, of course.

Urban Herbivore in Toronto

We are on holiday in Canada! The first stop is Toronto and, of course, we were starving upon arrival. Urban Herbivore is a popular vegan chain across the city and we headed to the underground tunnels near our hotel to chow down.

We each got a sandwich, BBQ tofu and tempeh, lettuce, tomato, and a smoothie, green and berry, to satiate our hunger. We each had half of each sandwich.

We also got chocolate chunk cookies to take with us.

I really enjoyed the flavor of my green smoothie, but they are pre-made. It means I was unsure how long it had been sitting out and I had to stir it. A bit strange.

The sandwiches were okay. The BBQ tofu had a bitter taste and I’m not a huge fan of tempeh. But hubby really liked the tempeh sandwich. The cookies were also not my favorite because they didn’t have much chocolate.

An unfortunate experience for a place suggested to me by others. Urban Herbivore gets three out of five vegan cupcakes. Maybe I need to go back and try something different.

Mother of Pearl in East Village

I finally made it to Mother of Pearl in East Village, NYC. I have been wanting to try this Polynesian fusion restaurant since it opened.

The place is very dark and the tables super close together. The darkness always makes me wonder if they are trying to hide something. But the light fixtures are very pretty.

Dishes are intended to be shared and are small like tapas. Hubby had me just pick what I wanted to try.

We started with Mushroom potstickers, Pea & edamame dumplings, Guacamole with plantains, and Char sui buns.

Hubby liked the buns and dumplings the most. My favorite was the guacamole.

We had a little more room in our tummies and decided to try the Szechwan eggplant. Tasty!

The food was good, not great, and the ambience very dark. Everyone was pulling out their phone to see the menu. The waitstaff was nice, but not around much. There was a busser that was great at hovering. Mother of Pearl gets three out of four vegan cupcakes. Maybe skip this one for Caravan of Dreams just down the street.

I only got one menu photo because I didn’t want to have my flash on any more.

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.

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.