This is a guest post by Christa of Veggin’ Out With Christa. Be sure to check our her fabulous vegan blog!
I’m sure you all can agree that being vegan can be easier in some places than others. I’ve had the pleasure of living in three major cities and was able to find some favorite go-to vegan spots. Two of the cities I’ve lived in are New York and I currently live in Los Angeles. I feel like I can see you rolling your eyes as these places happen to be two of the best cities to live in if you’re vegan! Well, the other city I lived in was Atlanta and the all vegan offerings are a little more slim so I did A LOT of cooking when I lived there, which isn’t a bad thing either. In any event, M asked me to compile a list of some of my favs for you here and I’m more than happy to oblige! These are by no means exhaustive lists, they just happen to be my top picks. So, let’s go on a tour shall we?
SOUL VEGETARIAN- A MUST if you are a sucker for collard greens and mac n’ cheese. I have visited this place more time than I can count!
652 N Highland Ave. NE 879 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.
Atlanta, GA Atlanta, GA
WORLD PEACE CAFÉ- A killer veggie burger and great soups!
220 Hammond Drive
#302 Sandy Springs, GA 30328
NOODLE CAFÉ- This restaurant is not vegan but extremely vegan friendly and was my favorite Thai spot in the city. They are very accommodating to dietary restrictions and the food is delicious. Their veggie dumplings were always my appetizer of choice! This is a great compromise when you are dining with non-vegan friends and with three locations to choose from, you can’t beat it!
VEGGIE GRILL- This spot gets top billing because it was the first place I visited when I came back to Los Angeles. I also think this is a great spot because it’s vegan food that sneaks up on you. The way the menu is laid out, a non-vegan may not even realize it’s an all vegan spot and once they taste the food, I guarantee there won’t be complaints! Their Santa Fe Crispy “Chickin” Sandwich and “Chickin” Caesar Salad are the two dishes that top my list. They have expanded and have a few locations in the city to choose from, I highly recommend you check them out!
FLORE VEGAN- Hands down the best vegan brunch I’ve ever had! I’ve been several times and they never seem to disappoint! I have sampled many things from the menu as well as their vegan cupcakes and the goodness just never ceases! Don’t even ask me to choose a favorite dish because I can’t. All I can say is go and make sure you have a healthy appetite because they are far from stingy with the portion sizes. I would also advise you go early for brunch because they are typically pretty busy with hungry patrons on Saturdays and Sundays when they serve their brunch items. Run, do not walk over there and you’ll be glad you did!
REAL FOOD DAILY- This restaurant is a definite vegan throwback spot that stays going strong. This was one of the first all vegan spots that I knew of back when I first started dabbling in the vegan lifestyle. RFD opened in 1993, so I count it as a classic spot with some great offerings and desserts to die for to boot! Their vegan cheesecake is some of the best I’ve had and I took my non-vegan mother there for brunch and she left very satisfied. They have two locations to choose from and my favorite is in the heart of Santa Monica. You can’t beat great vegan food and the beach just blocks away can you?
NEW YORK CITY:
UPTOWN JUICE BAR: Let me explain something to you. I lived in College Point, which is located at the outermost part of Queens, all the way at the end of one of the subway lines. Uptown Juice Bar is in Harlem. It took a bus ride and two trains and a nice little walk from the train station to get here. I made this trip on several occasions. Need I really say more about this place? I always got a veggie plate which would allow me to sample quite a few of their ridiculously good sides; greens, spicy chickpeas, mac n’ cheese and so many more to choose from. They also have these lentil balls that are akin to hush puppies that will make you wanna smack somebody (this is an expression that denotes something being so good you can’t stand it). Take the train ride from wherever you are; it’s worth it!
QUANTUM LEAP- This was the first vegetarian/vegan spot I was introduced to in NYC. They are not entirely vegan because they do serve fish. However, their menu seems to be heavily skewed towards the vegan palette. I’ve been quite a few times and they have great food, a quaint atmosphere and tremendous service. I went there on my first date in the city and I was very pleased with the food (and incidentally the date also). I had a “chicken” satay dish once while there and it was divine. They also have a great veggie burrito. They have two locations in the Village for you to choose from! http://quantumleaprestaurant.com/FoodDelivery/RestaurantLocations.m You can check out their menu here: http://www.allmenus.com/ny/new-york/23023-quantum-leap/menu/
VEGETARIAN’S PARADISE 2 aka VP- I have three words for this place- Crispy Soul “Chicken”. This dish was the first I tried from there and these nuggets are sooo good! You can get them in an appetizer portion or as part of an entire meal. I would suggest getting them as an appetizer and splitting them with someone because they can fill you up pretty quickly. Their steamed rice with veggies is also a winner. An honorable mention goes to one of their sister restaurants, “Red Bamboo” (http://redbamboo-nyc.com/site/) which is conveniently located next door. http://www.vp2-nyc.com/index.html . So, there you have it! This was not an easy list to compile, especially for L.A. and NYC. There are so many more places to explore other than these mentioned, as I’m sure you can imagine. However, I do hope you enjoyed this short trip and are inclined to try some of these places when given an opportunity.
Happy vegan travels!
Christa blogs daily at vegginoutwithchrista.blogspot.com and can also be found on Twitter at vegginoutwcrs and Facebook at vegoutwithchrista!