Whenever I go anywhere new, I love to have an idea of the places I want to visit which is why this is going to be a first instalment of a number of guides I’ll write for people journeying to New York. Of course, we’re starting with one of the most important things you’ll need to experience when you take your trip to America – FOOD.
Not a restaurant or café, but a food festival that takes place from April through summer at various locations in Brooklyn (ie. Williamsburg and Prospect park). Here you will find food stalls and trucks selling treats beyond your stomach’s wildest dreams. From plant-based burgers and delectable vegan sandwiches to meaty Jamaican delicacies and oyster stalls, from healthy juices, fruit flowers and acai bowls to churros, ice-cream cookies and smores, there is something for absolutely everyone. Visit the website to find out the next location!
Unfortunately for myself, the signature drink at Serendipity 3 (the frozen hot chocolate) is not vegan-friendly but it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the aesthetics of this monster beverage when my friend ordered it from the menu. For movie-buffs, Serendipity 3 is a must – it being the very café Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack made their romantic connection in the Hollywood romance.
You simply cannot come to New York without visiting a diner. If you want a real taste of American culture, there’s nothing that gives it you more than pancakes available 24,7 (even at 11pm at night) or huge milkshakes you couldn’t imagine finishing by yourself. I’ve included two, simply because one is completely vegan. Champs is located in Brooklyn and offers all the diner classics – cookie dough milkshakes, confetti pancakes, breakfast burritos, burgers, loaded fries BUT all plant-based. I actually went with a lot of people who weren’t vegan or even vegetarian – they loved it!
Ellen’s is a place I visited when I didn’t follow a vegan diet and the singing waiters and waitresses make it a very special, unforgettable experience. Those who serve your food are also trying to break into Broadway or have been on Broadway in the past so if you’re a musical theatre fan or would like an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience, I couldn’t recommend this place more.
- LITTLE CHOC APOTHECARY (Vegan)
If you’re after a rustic, quaint and cosy atmosphere, away from the bustle of Manhattan, Little Choc Apothecary is just what the doctor ordered. A plant-based company serving sweet and savoury crêpes with a wide variety of toppings available! If you’re like me and prefer thicker pancakes to crêpes that let’s face it might as well be paper they’re that thin, an acai bowl might be an option? They serve lots of different flavours of this healthy yet delicious breakfast, along with healthy beverages including a huge selection of herbal teas, plus turmeric and matcha lattes.
You cannot leave this incredible city without doing arguably the most New York thing in the book, which is going to “grab a slice” ! Firstly, Juliana’s is located by the waterfront in Dumbo. Many make the mistake of thinking that Grimaldi’s next door is the famous place in NYC that cooked pizzas in a coal-fired oven but Juliana’s is the original (be prepared to queue).
Two Boots is a pizza chain located all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays! I include it in this blog because it also serves vegan pizza with Daiya cheese so if you live on a plant-based diet like me, you can still have your classic Margherita!
- THE END (Vegan)
Are you into health? Are you adventurous in the things you taste? Do you love a good Instagram? If you answered ‘yes‘ to any of these, then The End in Brooklyn is a café you just have to check out! Serving a wide array of plant-power potions that are made with natural ingredients. The café was founded on the Hippocrates premise, ‘Let food be thy medicine,’ serving refreshments such as flower elixirs, blue-green algae beverages and Bulgarian rose-petal water. Hey, I said you had to be adventurous! Don’t knock it til you try it!
A popular celebrity hangout in the Meatpacking District, this place has seen its fair share of stars from the likes of Ryan Gosling to Taylor Swift. Of course, the name of the establishment pretty much says it all but as a vegan they were still happy to cater for my needs. My friend had their signature burger with spaghetti fries whilst I went for a spiced lentil salad which was most definitely not enough food – oh well, I had wine. If you like your meat, this Michelin star restaurant is for you, however vegetarians, look elsewhere – You are most likely going to be charged an obscene amount of money for what is basically a plate of leaves!
- BY CHLOE (vegan)
A great place to stop for a quick lunch or breakfast when you’re on the go, By Chloé prides itself on delivering the tasty comfort food we grew up with on a strictly plant-based ingredient policy. From Mac and cheese, to Guacamole burgers and Taco salads, from giant cinnamon espresso cookies the size of your head to matcha banana bread and raspberry tiramisu cupcakes, if you are vegan/like vegan food, By Chloé is worth a visit!
Of course this is only a small selection from the multitude of food options on offer. New York is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, you are greeted by different scents and aromas on every block that make you feel like you’ve entered a different country, not simply taken a few steps. If you have any questions or requests for more guides, feel free to get in touch!
(AND stay tuned for the next instalment – A Drinking Guide to New York)