Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Vegan in New York City

I've been struggling to write about food recently. After volunteering at the refugee camp and writing about my experience there writing about doughnuts and cupcakes seemed tougher than usual. Almost as soon as I got back from France I spent a couple of days catching up with friends, headed to London to march to Parliament Square with Help Refugees, the charity I'd been volunteering with, and the very next morning I was on a plane to NYC. I was excited but feeling pretty guilty that that's just a thing I can do because I happen to have been born in the UK. I didn't get a lot of time to process my experience before flying over here but since I've been here I've been setting aside time for self care; reading books, reading blogs, walking in the park, watching movies, eating all of the foods, and just giving myself time to do these things has reminded me that writing this blog is activism, it's just a different kind of activism! I don't know why I forget this sometimes but I do.

Travelling the world as a vegan can be the best, I know that I've mentioned that the hunt for vegan eats often makes you veer off of well trodden tourist routes and into neighbourhoods that the average tourist probably doesn't visit and this is no different in Hanoi, Budapest, or NYC. I've found it to be true everywhere. Brooklyn Whiskers is one of these spots and you need to venture deep into Bushwick if what you want is a top notch vegan danish.


As you can tell by the name the people who set up this cafe are really into cats, even their biscuits are kitty shaped and you must check out the bathroom if you're a cat person!


Peaceful Provisions is probably my favourite discovery of the entire trip so far, I do a lot of research before I travel so it's not often that I stumble upon a company or restaurant that I've never heard of before or that I hadn't specifically planned to visit. Peaceful Provisions is a bakery run by two sisters who basically make the best doughnuts ever. I ate one of their doughnuts and a DunWell doughnut on the same day and they're not even orbiting the same planet - Peaceful Provisions is where it's at. Nick and I tried the apple cider doughnut which is stuffed full of the most amazing homemade apple butter and topped with cinnamon and sugar - it's basically an apple pie doughnut and I don't think that you can get better than that. The other treat that I just had to try was the rainbow cookie doughnut, a chocolate coated, triple layered, almond flavoured, jam filled, dream-dessert that exceeded all of my expectations. If I had to describe it in two words I'd go with freaking delightful.


Inside shot!

Peaceful Provisions don't have a brick and mortar store (yet!) but they pop up at events all over the city, from the Vegan Shop Up to the Renegade Craft Fair. If nothing's happening whilst you're in NYC it's well worth dropping them an e-mail to see if you can arrange a custom order.

One place that was very firmly on my must eat in NYC list was Cinnamon Snail and I fiiiinally got to eat there last week. I say fiiiinally because I have tried to eat at The Snail many, many times. Back in 2012 CS were still a food truck and on the day I tried to eat there they kept getting moved by the police. It was a ridiculous wild goose chase that Nick implored me to give up on after approximately three hours! When I was in the city in 2014 they were taking a break as they readied themselves to open their spot at The Pennsy so I missed out on the food people were raving about for a second time. Then, on the day we arrived this time around, we headed to The Pennsy only to be told that they had no idea which items did or did not contain the things I'm allergic to so they couldn't serve me. I was so freaking sad especially as I munched on a Clif bar whilst Nick tucked into a ridiculously epic looking burger. Buuuuut they totally redeemed themselves, I sent them a message to see what the deal was and they were super apologetic. Not just regular apologetic, they actually offered me a meal on the house to apologise. Yay for excellent customer service! I was beyond excited to try their thanksgiving sandoo and I chased it with an ridiculously excellent ganache filled s'more doughnut featuring Sweet & Sara mallows. So yummy.


For those of you who don't have ridiculous allergies to contend with the whole menu at CS looks like the kinda food I wanna get my teeth into. Nick loves the smoked sage seitan burger and if I could I'd be making him share! His epic PB twist doughnut thing was also a total delight and I'm heading back there today for more food so keep an eye on my Instagram for more food porn.

Last but by no means least Ess-a-Bagel is very much on the tourist map for vegans and non vegans alike and that's simply because they make the best bagels in the city. From vegan friends online to omnivores who I've bumped into in line waiting for iced tea in South Slope everyone agrees that Ess-a-Bagel is the place to go to get your bagel fix.


I've tried the plain, sesame, everything, and onion bagels and the plain, scallion, and sun-dried tomato tofu spreads. That's a lot of bagel eating and I can confirm that you basically cannot go wrong here. Located on 3rd Avenue and 51st Ess-a-Bagel is in the perfect spot for when you want to grab some breakfast before heading to Central Park to get your tourist on. 

That's it for now, I have tickets to the matinee of The Color Purple on Broadway and I need to pre game with some Cinnamon Snail. I'll be blogging about some more of my favourite places (Oh hey Modern Love! Hi Confectionary!) soon but until then have a rad day and keep on spreading the word that vegan travel doesn't have to be difficult!

16 comments:

  1. The food looks so wonderful! I am glad you were finally able to get some Cinnamon Snail!

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    1. Thanks Susan! I was pretty happy about that too!

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  2. By Chloe has been all the rage in NYC. Did you try it? I'm more into simple, basic macro plate, so old schools like Angelica Kitchen, Souen, and Quantum Leap are my go tos. :)

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    1. I did try it, only the mac and cheese and some of the desserts and whilst I liked it okay (some of the desserts especially) it's never gonna be a fave'.

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  3. Everything looks so delicious!I need to go to Brooklyn Whiskers, it seems like a great place for this cat lady.
    I think it's amazing all the wonderful work you do. It's amazing and inspiring!!

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    1. Aww, thanks vegan peace! That's so kind of you to say & you will totally love Brooklyn Whiskers.

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  4. The food looks delicious - the rainbow cookie doughnut, woah! I can understand after that experience the lack of drive to post about food. I get in blogging slumps as well, and sometimes I wonder if it relates to my work (I'm a social worker, working with homeless families - many who have arrived as refugees) - it can seem unappealing to write about something so frivolous as food. When things are particularly 'busy'/stressful at work, I lay off blogging/reading blogs entirely. Glad to see your post though, I always love reading them :) . Ooh PS I have finally booked a trip to Japan and so will be using your posts heavily in my planning!

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    1. Oh that's so exciting! I can't wait to read about your experiences in Japan, I love it when other vegans travel there and please get in touch if you need help with anything that isn't already covered on my blog. It sounds like you do amazing work and yeah, I think we're feel the same about this kinda work & blogging. It's not that I actually think that writing a food blog is frivolous but in comparison to this kinda work it can seem like it sometimes especially when you're overwhelmed with feelings!

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  5. Oh no it's too bad you made it to NYC just a month or so after I've moved from there to Philly! Maybe one day you'll be able to check out the amazing vegan and punk scene that's going on down here :) I've also had some bad customer service experiences with Cinnamon snail, over email and at the Pennsy, and frankly I don't think it's worthwhile to go back, as I think their food is very hit or miss depending on the day you go. Peaceful Provisions are truly vegan sorcerer princesses and they are also the nicest people to talk to as well! I'm so glad you are enjoying NYC and I wish I were there to grab a doughnut with you, but if you ever make it down to Philly, I'd love to say hey!

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    1. Aw, that is a shame. I'd love to visit Philly one day. One of my favourite friends is from there and she's always telling me about the great food in the city. I'm sorry that your bad experiences made it so that you didn't want to return to CS, aside from that one experience with a somewhat new member of staff I actually thought their customer service was great and I returned another four times!

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  6. You found some good food
    For what it's worth, I don't think you feel guilty or bad about an accident of birth - being fortunate enough to be born in the UK - then anyone else should feel bad about where they were born and coming from somewhere much less fortunate. Guilt isn't productive. What you've done is used your awareness of that disparity to do something positive by volunteering in Calais, and that's a far better use of emotion. Yes, food blogging may feel frivolous, but it's a release, and as you say it's activism of a different kind. Reminding people how good and easy vegan food is to find makes it easier for the next person to go vegan. Also, it means you get to find some good eats - as you clearly did in NYC. Loving the doughnuts!

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    1. Oh yeah I know that guilt isn't super productive but I think a few days spent reflecting on how unfair privilege is was useful for me. It definitely reminded me not to take things for granted and to push myself to find more ways to help people who are less fortunate.

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  7. I agree with Joey, you can't help being born where or when. Blogging is a different kind of activism and it sounds like you spend a lot of time volunteering as well which is more than what I or a lot of other people are doing. Plus I find your posts to be helpful and informative of all the vegan food available in the world. Especially those donuts. :-) And the bagels.

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    1. Aww, thanks Chow Vegan! It's always great to hear that people find my blog useful.

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  8. Oh man, we finally made it to Cinnamon Snail our last trip as well and it was so worth the wait! Also I haven't tried Ess-A-Bagel yet, we usually go to Murray's. I want to go back now!

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    1. Oooh I've never been to Murray's! I'll have to give it a whirl next time I'm in the city, if you also try Ess-A-Bagel we can discuss which is the superior bagel!

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