One of the best things about NY for many people is its restaurants, but to me it’s also the diversity of the people. Living in Brooklyn working on the Meatless Monday Campaign and studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I met so many educated, interesting folks dedicated to healthy, conscious living.
I thought asking them and compiling a list of favorite plant-based, sustainable places to eat would be worthwhile. I’m going back to visit from San Francisco – major foodie capital – so I’m not that easily impressed! Aside from tasting great food here, I’ve worked for amazing, plant-based restaurants like Roxanne’s (now closed, sadly) But this list includes some really quality, innovate food. I won’t be able to make it to all, but here’s the rundown:
New health and eco-conscious restaurants have popped up in recent years in Brooklyn particularly, and they’re getting great reviews. One is Rockin’ Raw in Williamsburg. My friend Dena who’s a passionate animal lover and dedicated vegetarian ate there on her birthday and loved it! I spoke with one of the owners yesterday and learned she and her partner are both IIN graduates, like me, and she’s a self-taught chef. Rockin’ Raw doesn’t use nuts as heavily as most raw restaurants to include those with nut allergies. Their drink menu sounds seriously awesome too, integrating sake into most recipes. And I just learned they do a 4 course lunch on Wednesday for only $13, so I’ll go there then to try it out.
HanGawi was recommended to me by both Alex Jamieson – vegan health counselor, author, and health coach to Morgan Spurlock, featured on SuperSize Me – as well as chef-author Louisa Shafa, author of sustainable cookbook Lucid Food – a low-carbon footprint kitchen guide that I’m looking forward to reading. I worked with Louisa at Roxanne’s and found her through Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Life blog.
The Manhattan Korean restaurants’s described as “a vegetarian shrine in another space and time.” How did I never hear of it before? It’s been there for 16 years. I’m curious about unrefined rice wine cocktails like Mindfulness and Awakening! Entrees like kabocha pancakes with mung beans sound intriguing and balancing.
White Light Tini – 15
lemongrass, ginger, green tea, unfiltered sake
My friend, newly certified Kundalini yoga teacher, and Eat Well Guide Director Destin recommends Sun in Bloom on Bergen street, which is totally vegan with reasonable prices. Their tempeh reuben and probiotic-rich slaw sound really good.
The Eat Well Guide is leading a NYC farmers’ market bike tour on Saturday May 15th for NY Bike Month. It starts at 9 AM in Union Square and ends at noon in Grand Army Plaza market, Brooklyn. It’s only 6 miles : )
Fellow 5 rhythms dancer and one of the most inspiring yoga teachers I see out there, Aarona Pichinson, recommends Counter, which I know has a great brunch in the East Village, the well known organic vegan Caravan of Dreams, farm to tableFlatbush Farms (lunchtime tempeh BLTs, yay! and omnivore-friendly too).
I recently saw author, Evolver social network creator, and friend Daniel Pinchbeck at the premiere for this 2012: Time for a Change film at Greefest, (check it out when it premieres near you in coming months). He reminded to check out Organic Avenue. These live, organic, vegan “boutiques” offer smoothies, supplements, skincare, juice items which they make, and books. The main one is Space of Love in the lower east side, which offers workshops.
Organic Avenue’s Juice Fast for Peace starts June 13th for a week with Parashakti and Gabriel Cousens, MD, who’s famous for advocating raw, vegan foods. It includes inspirational daily talks, music and dancing with Parashkati, as well as instruction on how to fast, breaking a fast, and all about the live, vegan diet. It’s $799 and reservations required. Check out the site if you’re interested in fasting from home.
Of course, I can refer to NY Magazine’s top 5 Brooklyn recommendations, stop by Foodswings late night for some killer vegan diner food like midnight buffalo (mock chicken) drumsticks (still remember them, yum), and refer to the Kind Life blog for suggestions like Wild Ginger, pan asian vegan, close to where I’ll be staying. (Yelp links to the wrong one.)
Last but not least, I haven’t forgotten my favorite place for affordable, healthy food I can prepare myself at the Park Slope Coop, conveniently close for a picnic at Prospect Park. It’s the biggest worker-owned food cooperative in the country, if not the world. Organic, healthy food is actually affordable to people of many income levels there. The requirement is each member works three hours a month.
Oh, and check out a recent list of great vegan NYC restaurants by MindBodyGreen, one of the sites I contribute to.