New York

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Vegan Road Trip to New York City

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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.

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Vegan Samples Galore at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

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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.

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Flying Vegan with Virgin Atlantic from Newark to London Heathrow

The Market Grab-N-Go

The Market Grab-N-Go at Newark Airport

It was hard to leave New York. Saying goodbye to our new friends and all of the fabulous food wasn’t easy. I headed to the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey a little sad but ready for the next part of our trip to begin. Before taking off, I had a chance to scope out the food offerings and was delighted to see a giant sign that included the word VEGAN. At The Market, in the terminal B food court, before you pass the security checkpoint, there are a small selection of vegan-friendly snacks.

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NYC Local Recommends Union Square Farmer’s Market and Rainbow Falafel

Union Square Farmers' Market

Union Square Market, New York

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.

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Shopping at Whole Foods on a Vegan Backpacker Budget

Whole Foods Vegan Shelf

Vegan Section at Whole Foods, Union Square, New York

I know most people think of Whole Foods as being an expensive place to shop. It can be, depending on what you buy, but there are definitely some deals and splurge-worthy items. I think they have a great selection of vegan products and do an excellent job of labeling vegan items in their bakery and buffet sections. While in New York, we visited the Union Square Whole Foods several times, picking up snacks and lunches to go, all without blowing our budget.

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The Weirdest Veggie Dog and Most Expensive Drink I’ve Ever Had

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Crif Dog, New York

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.

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Mind Blowing Vegan Treats at Atlas Cafe in NYC

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Vegan Brownies from Atlas Cafe, New York

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.

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Heaven for Vegan Chocolate Lovers: Cocoa V in NYC

Coca V - Vegan Chocolate Shop

Cocoa V, New York, NY

Cocoa V is an all vegan chocolate boutique and wine cafe. Let’s just stop for a second and think about that. An all vegan chocolate boutique and wine cafe. How did we get so lucky? This place is almost too good to be true. I know there’s a market for everything in New York, but still.

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A Break From Restaurants: LifeThyme and Integral Yoga

LifeThyme Natural Market

LifeThyme Natural Market, New York

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.

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There’s One Expensive Duck at the Chelsea Market in New York

One Lucky Duck

One Lucky Duck - Chelsea Market, New York

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.

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