One of the best things about Couch Surfing is getting a local’s perspective on the best places to visit and, of course, eat. The first Couch Surfing host we stayed with, Daniel, encouraged us to checkout the Union Square Farmer’s Market and join him for lunch at Rainbow Falafel, which is just around the corner. We took his advice and were glad we had a chance to experience these local favourites.
We took a 10 hour overnight bus ride from Toronto to New York, arriving around 8:00 a.m. An hour later, we left Daniel’s apartment ready to explore the city. Our first stop was the Union Square Market. The very first table we visited had vegan apple cranberry squares and carrot raisin cookies. We were surprised. We knew New York would be vegan friendly, but didn’t think it would be this easy to find vegan goods.
At the second table, we found more of the same. Vegan baked goods, all labeled and ready to go. Muffins, cookies, cinnamon rolls and more.
Not every vendor had vegan baked goods, but a lot of them did. They weren’t all of the sweet variety, we saw some tasty looking Focaccia bread by Baker’s Bounty.
As much as we love baked goods, I think we like in season, local produce even more. There was no shortage of it at this market. We saw lots of beautiful apples, sprouts, asparagus and root vegetables.
On our second day in New York, we met Daniel at the market and walked a few blocks to his favorite lunch sport, Rainbow Falafel. Based on his recommendation, John and I decided to share a falafel and eggplant wrap, with all the veggie fixings, hummus and tahini sauce. With the add on of eggplant, the cost was about $6.00 USD. The Falafel was really good, although a tad messy with a little too much runny tahini sauce. I think I used a napkin for almost every bite.
We had a lot of fun eating it while sitting on a bench in Union Square Park, watching locals chow down and dog owners take their pets for a walk.
26 East 17th Street
New York, NY
Tel: (212) 691-8641
Just around the corner from the Union Square Farmer’s Market, you can find a Whole Foods. We visited this location several times and wrote a post about shopping at Whole Foods on a backpacker budget.