While in New York, we were Couch Surfing with a lovely lady named Emily. There were two places she really wanted to take us, Crif Dogs, a hot dog shop, and Please Don’t Tell, a “secret” bar. John left for London a day ahead of me, leaving us just enough time for a girls night out.
New York is home to many awesome vegan treats. For the best of the best, I mean seriously mind blowing treats, I’d recommend heading over to Atlas Cafe. Once a week, they receive a shipment from the talented confectionery artists at Vegan Treats, a bakery based out of Philadelphia. At the back of Atlas, there’s a dessert counter that’s well stocked with decadent vegan brownies, cakes, cupcakes, donuts, sticky buns, cookies and whoopie pies.
I enjoy eating at restaurants but also love to cook and have simple meals at home or on the go. While traveling, it can be hard to find a balance between these options. While in New York, there were days when it seemed crazy to eat at a restaurant. Why bother when there are amazing health food stores like LifeThyme Natural Market and Integral Yoga Natural Foods? Both stores are a great place to shop for quality ingredients, interesting snacks, sweet desserts and takeout meals.
Local produce, artisan breads and cute boutique stores, what’s not to love about fancy city markets? New York’s Chelsea Market has all of these things and is even home to a raw vegan takeout shop. We visited this popular NYC market twice during our stay. The first time, we came across it by chance. We popped in, took a quick look around, noted the free wifi, and decided we needed to return for afternoon snack and internet hangout session.
Awhile back, I remember reading a blog post about Sacred Chow. I saw a picture of their sign and the tag line Vegan Tapas. I was so jealous. Tapas plates are known for being small and cute. Each person usually orders two or three and they’re meant to be shared between friends. A fantastic way to dine, right? Hence the envy. This is why I was so excited to visit Sacred Chow. Funny thing is, after taking a closer look at their menu, we didn’t order any tapas. That’s okay though, because John and I always share and make our own tapas parties wherever we go.
I enjoy all forms of vegan ice cream. Soy based, coconut based, cashew based, they all hold a special place in my tummy. Buying a tub of ice cream from the grocery store is fun, but it’s not the same as being able to walk into a fancy ice cream shop and pick from a display case full of interesting flavours. Nope, not even close! And there’s no such thing as soft serve ice cream at the supermarket. For the good stuff, you’ll have to find a way to make it to a vegan dessert shop like Lula’s Sweet Apothecary.
Before visiting New York, I did a fair amount of research and asking around for recommendations. I knew there would be a lot of vegan options but it’s hard to comprehend just how many there are. BabyCakes NYC was one of the places I’d heard a lot of mixed reviews about. Despite what you hear, there are some places you just have to try for yourself. For me, this was one of them. BabyCakes may be well known for their cute cupcakes with that signature icing swirl, but I found something I liked even more.
Our first day in New York was a long one. We walked around for more than six hours, taking time to play with the iPad at the Apple store, explore the Union Square Farmers Market and Whole Foods, wonder around Soho, grab a treat at BabyCakes NYC and check out the footwear and accessories at MooShoes. After all this, we still found the energy to walk across the Williamsburg bridge to Foodswings. We ended up eating there because it was close to a pub where we were meeting a friend. Regardless of its location, we probably would have ended up there anyway. Several people recommended we pay them a visit to try their popular buffalo drumbsticks.