A few weeks ago John and I rented a car and drove to New York City with some friends. Oh boy did we take advantage of having three days to eat our hearts out! Last year we spent a week in New York and made a good dent in the vegan food scene, but didn’t even come close to trying all the hot spots. There are just so many vegan joints and more are popping up all the time, like Champs Family Bakery (176 Ainslie St, Brooklyn, NY 11211) which opened since we last visited. We ventured across the bridge and met up with some friends to feast on a sugary selection of Champs’ baked goods including cinnamon buns (best ever!), bear claws, donuts and cheesecake brownies.
Last weekend John and I drove to New York City with some friends to check out the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival and explore more of the local vegan restaurant and bakery scene. We visited NYC in April 2010 but didn’t get close to trying all of the popular vegan spots.
Last Sunday we woke up early and headed to Veg Fest where we spent the day talking to all of the lovely food and drink vendors, listening to presentations by vegan superstars, and chatting with other vegans.
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.
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.