Luckily, my girlfriend Stephanie works for animal rights org Mercy For Animals in the film department and gets to travel on assignment to document vegan restaurants and events.
Feeling spontaneous, I decided to join her on this trip because I hadn’t been to NYC since I was a teenager. Long before I was vegan and an adult. My dad used to live there and I would visit at least once a year. Unfortunately, he was there when 9/11 happened living and working just blocks away but fortunately survived the horrific event. The city felt different after that day and it sure felt a lot different visiting again some 19 years later. As a teen the city felt a little intimidating but now it’s not as scary as I remember. I wish I had more time to spend there and visit my Dad’s old neighborhood for a trip down memory lane but with our limited time we had to focus on one thing…food.
Our home for the next few days was Brooklyn and the first night we ate at a place called Bunna Ethiopian Cafe where we got some food that hit the spot after our day of traveling. I’d definitely make this place a staple if I lived here.
The next day we set off to a local crepery and tea room called Little Choc Apothecary. The owner was a former model turned entrepreneur and got the idea for the concept after traveling around Paris and falling in love with crepes. It wasn’t until later that she became vegan and decided to open up her new business. MFA has released the video my girlfriend and crew shot here. I have a little cameo appearance in it as well. I was happy to taste food on camera of course. All of the crepes were so good! It was cool to see them making the crepes right in front of us. They have a good handful of savory vs sweet flavors. We got the Burrito Crepe, PB+J crepe and Pizza crepe. The tea room was amazing and offered a huge selection of flavors. You can even order pastries to go with it for an authentic experience. The best part is everything is vegan! I highly recommend this place if you’re in the neighborhood.
After some shopping, relaxing and debating where to eat for dinner we decided to check out chef Issa Chandra’s popular cuisine at Modern Love. I was in heaven with the food here. Everything we had was beautifully crafted and had me shaking my head saying “Oh my god”. For the appetizer we ordered a seasonal Tomato Tart with citrus salad then the main course was a Scampi Pasta which reminded me of flavors from before I was vegan. To satisfy our never ending sweet tooth we opted for the Cherry Pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The menu changes often so you never know what you’ll get when you go except a happy belly.
We called it a night so we could get ready for the first annual Black Veg Fest which was the next day. I wasn’t a vendor there so it was nice to be on the other side of things and hang out. A highlight was seeing Senator Cory Booker who showed up to support the event which was really cool. We ate some mac n’ cheese and cheesecake along with some other naughty things. I would say despite the rainy weather it was a successful event. We even ran into my friends from Compassion Co.
Stephanie and I love pizza so we had to check out Matthew Kenny’s spot Double Zero in Manhattan. I’m a sucker for a good Caesar Salad so we shared that as well as the White Pizza & Mushroom Pizza from the specials menu. Everything was delicious. Since we sat at the bar we had front row seats to the stone oven and saw behind the scenes of making the pizzas. The atmosphere is great for a date night spot. It was a nice night and we had heard about a tiki-bar in the neighborhood called Mother of Pearl. Even though we don’t drink we wanted to check it out and go for a mocktail. I really wanted my drink served in a kitschy shark head glass but they wouldn’t serve it to us that way. I guess that one was for a special type of drink. whomp whomp. The drink we did have was pretty tasty.
The next stop on our food tour was Rip’s Malt Shop. They offer classic diner food like milkshakes, burgers, fries and chili dogs. The burger patties are from Beyond Meat. Since Stephanie was filming we ordered tons of food and had some friends meet us to help us eat. ha. If you’re looking for comfort food classics then Rip’s will not disappoint. They have a back patio area with graffiti walls and social media photo opps. The owner and manager were super cool too. This is a great place for families.
Onto MooShoes where we stopped in to see BEETxBEET merch for sale and hit up Orchard Grocer next door. We got the Breakfast Sandwich and Lox Bagel. It was so good, really some of the best sandwiches I’ve had. One of the employees was wearing a BxB tee so I had to snap a pic with her.
Sweet Maresa's is a cute tiny shop in the city and wow! The best Macaroons I’ve ever had. Luckily they sell these puppies at a local LA spot called CocoBella.
On our last day we got to tour Fine&Raw which is an all vegan chocolate shop. We saw how the chocolate was made and the owner who told us his story on how he started the business. You can also see this video here.
This was just a small part of what NYC has to offer in the way of vegan options. I wish we had more time to visit more places and eat more things. It will just have to wait until next time. What are your favorite New York spots?