Though I am not a true vegan because I still occasionally eat dairy and fish, I do truly love vegan food. One of the best things about vegan restaurants is every single person can find something delicious to eat. And most importantly, you can eat guilt free. What more could a person want?
Marley is my source of motivation for moving towards a vegan diet. Girl knows her shit and she is very passionate about the lifestyle (as most vegans are). We love going to New York and trying different vegan restaurants. Marley’s birthday was the 14th and we were both down to use that as an excuse to have one of our vegan city days.
Our first stop was Cha Cha Matcha for, believe it or not, matcha. I’ve made matcha at home and have never been a huge fan and figured I was doing something wrong since so many people love it. Well, turns out I am just not into matcha. I was still able to finish my drink, I just don’t think I will order one again. Cha Cha Matcha is such an Instagrammable spot and everyone was taking pictures (including us).
My weakness in my personal life is time management. No matter what I do I always feel like I am rushing to my next destination. We thought we had plenty of time to make it from Grand Central to Cha Cha Matcha in the Flatiron District and then to Ten Over Ten nail salon in Soho. Turns out we were wrong. It didn’t help that the entrance to Ten Over Ten was basically hidden and you had to go through a restaurant’s entrance to get to their door. Anyways, the staff at Ten Over Ten was super chill and didn’t mind we were almost a half hour late. Ten Over Ten is 8-free meaning the nail polishes they carry don’t have ingredients linked to “toxicity.” The environment is calming and they did a beautiful job with our manicures.
For lunch we headed over to Urban Vegan Kitchen (formally Blossom on Carmine). God, every restaurant in the city is cooler than the last. Who designs these spaces?? How can I make designing restaurant spaces my job? Just like with Champs, it is extremely hard choosing one dish because everything on the menu looks phenomenal. I ordered the UVK quarter pounder and Marley got the BLT and we split the mac and cheese. We joked that neither of us have uttered the words “quarter pounder and BLT” in years. Even though we were both fully satisfied after our entrees we knew we wanted to try one of their desserts. We chose the brownie with vanilla ice cream. Much like our entrees and mac and cheese, this dish did not disappoint. I can’t wait to go back and try more items off of their menu.
After lunch we decided to explore the streets of NY for a while because we didn’t have anything planned until dinner. We ended up climbing about 5 floors to get to the Glossier showroom near Chinatown. This place was bonkers. I didn’t end up buying anything because the crowd was making me feel overwhelmed and a bit anxious. Speaking of crowds, some areas of the city were littered with drunk people dressed in green since the St. Patrick’s Day parade happened at some point during the day. We were never clear of when it was going on or where it was happening, because people were celebrating all over the place. We wondered around a market in Union Square park and found the coolest dried flower bouquets. I wish there was (maybe there is?) a place like this in New Haven because it would be cool to buy some for my apartment.
Before we headed to dinner we thought we would go ahead and get a pre-dinner dessert and a snack for the train. We went to Cinnamon Snail inside Pennsy food hall to get a few of their donuts. I got a blackberry fig donut for myself and a zebra donut to bring home for Walter. We sat outside to eat them because inside was way too loud with all the St. Patty’s Day shenanigans going on. After we finished our donuts we walked next door to the Penn Station Sprinkles to get their vegan red velvet donuts for the train ride home. Marley had never tried a Spinkles cupcake and I’ve never had one of their signature red velvet cupcakes. It is definitely the best vegan cupcake I have ever had.
For dinner we went to Franchia Vegan Cafe which is a restaurant we happened to pass last year on our walk back to Grand Central. I noted it in Google maps and Saturday was the perfect time to try it out. It is in such a convenient location because it is a couple of blocks away from the train station. It’s Asian fusion and I got the spicy ramen noodles in miso soup. I’ve been craving ramen for months so I was beyond happy to finally have big bowl of noodz in front of me.
Our last food stop was the pretzel cart outside of Grand Central. Can you believe it cost $12 for two pretzels?? I know it’s New York City, but c’mon!
In case you are wondering, I took all of my photos on the Huji app. It gives the photos a 90’s disposable camera vibe. I downloaded it a few months ago, but haven’t really played around with it. I thought this trip would be the perfect time to test it out.
Do you have any favorite vegan restaurants? What’s the most you’ve spent on an iconic New York food item?