slow growing v food guide I have been vegan since I was 22 (note : born in '93) but I started slowly inching my way there when I was 17 and stopped drinking cow milk because I was pretty much constantly sick, constantly malfunctioning. I switched to almond milk and everything cleared up and I became HEALTHY again. Unfortunately, a life trend that I am constantly working to eradicate is that sometimes it takes me a while to actually do what I need to do, so even though I was constantly feeling sick after I ate anything from an animal (especially meat) and the fact that I LOVE ANIMALS SO MUCH and DON'T WANT ANYONE TO HARM OR MESS WITH THEM EVER it wasn't until a road trip to Olympia where I mainly ate vegan food that everything CLICKED. Now I have a wide love for the food I eat and am constantly working to make sure that whatever it is I buy is free from nasty pesticides, corporate exploitation of plants/humans/animals and just genuinely "good." It's a hard and frequently frustrating/expensive practice but worth it, and I am a firm believer that everyone should have access to this sort of food all the time, and that being vegan REALLY, REALLY does have a big impact on yourself and the world!
I wanted to make this page because it's hard to find good, affordable vegan food on the road and it seemed liked a fun project. So ! i am going to update this whenever i find a good new place, it is very incomplete and will be that way forever (that is why it is slow growing) but rest assured that all these places are TOP NOTCH I would LOVE to hear what places you like!
(for further readings on the subject of "vegan", I'll be adding stuff down here
ESSENE (SE PHILADELPHIA)(Photo) CONFIDENCE: VERY CONFIDENT My favorite place in my old neighborhood to eat. A natural food store that opened as a vegan macrobiotic market in the 70's and is now slightly less vegan but still mostly : vegan. Affiliated with Maher Shalal Hash Baz (nb: check the archived Tori Kudo interview on noise.as for more info on this). Can't ask for much more ?? The store itself is on the pricy side, just look for the deals, but the back is all about THE BUFFET. A beautiful bounty of bibimbap, fried curd, tempura. Ahhh! Plus surprise down home dishes like spaghetti and seitan sausage. It all rules !!! And there are a ton of sauces and seasonings to add onto whatever you've got. Seating area in the back is in a mirror surrounded room, with no music. Just forks clinking against plates !! Total weird peace and beauty !!
Lucky's (W PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: TOTALLY CONFIDENT A west philly staple, at least for me. Very cheap and great General Tso's Tofu ! I've never ordered anything else from there because that is such a solid option and deal. Especially late at night !
New Harmony (N PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: ALWAYS VERY CONFIDENT Very very reliable spot in Chinatown with a HUGE menu and buffet on Sundays. My favorite is the lunch option, which gets you tons of great food for not much money at all. Reaaaally good vegan bao too !
Grindcore House (SE PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: YES, CONFIDENT This is vveeeerrryy close to where I currently live so I'm very biased ! But going to Grindcore on a cold day and getting a donut and Russian Caravan tea can't really be beat. The inside is all nice, shoddy wood (at one point you can find a hole in the floor and look into the basement) and the feeling is just generally NICE. Plus, there's a radical lending library in the back with some really cool books. Sandwiches there are also very reliably great. UPDATE NOVEMBER 2018: I MOVED TO A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PART OF THE CITY BUT STILL END UP HERE A SURPRISING AMOuNT, IT'S STILL THE BEST !!!
Weaver's Way Co-Op (NW PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: DEFINITELY CONFIDENT I used to live practically right next to the Carpenter St. branch of this co-op and I was there every day. It's a very happy place !! Smells just like a health food store should, and they usually have at least one vegan soup plus lots of v sides and prepackaged wraps and sandwiches. One time they had a really good tofu sandwich that they made there but that was a pretty rare occassion ! The Chestnut Hill branch also has a buffet that's always got some tasty stuff, and it's half off if you get there at 7:30 PM.
The Nile Cafe (NW PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: VERY VERY VERY Wow, the nile ! It's a beautiful community center / all vegan soul food restaurant in Germantown that also sells and cooks with their own filtered water ! Classic platter style with fake meat entrees and veggie sides. It's YUMMY ! Plus ..cornbread..ice cream...cakes ?? I don't even like cake and I still loved it there. I'm very sore I missed a lecture there on getting in touch with your body's water, and now I will forever remain out of touch. Oh well ! GO TO THE NILE !!!
Jong Ka Jib (N PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: SO WARM AND CONFIDENT The awning says "soft tofu" so you can probably imagine how beautiful this place is gonna be just based on that ! But this is truly one of the best places, though pretty out of the way for most folks. The ambience is perfect and the food is served so steaming hot and DELICIOUS ! AHHHHHHH !
Hardena (S PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: SO HAPPY AND CONFIDENT One of the sweetest places I know and very vegan friendly ! They tell you exactly what is and isn't vegan and you get a paper plate loaded with rice and two sides at a very nice price ! Even vegan fritters ??? Yeah ! Go here in a bad mood and it'll be VERY HARD to stay that way !
HERR'S CHIP FACTORY (NOTTINGHAM) CONFIDENCE: THE CHIPS STRAIGHT FROM THE MACHINE DON'T LIE For a measly FOUR dollars you can get a very fun tour of the Herr's Chip Factory and eat HOT CHIPS ! FRESH CHIPS ! All this time they've been LYING to us that room temp chips are the best - they're not ! It's the HOT CHIPS that count ! This is a very fun experience that feels like it hasn't changed since the heyday of factory tours - mid 90's ? The power went out when I was there and I didn't even have to pay extra. Food Court is DEFINITELY not vegan so pack a lunch and tell 'em what you care about.
Maplewood Health and Nutrition (NW PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: IT'S ALL IN THE KUSH Very old and nice health food store in the beautifully worn maplewood mall area of Gtown. Hidden inside is THE KUSH WRAP, aka LADY RAW VEGETARIAN GRAIN GRAB. Can't tell you much more about this other than it's perfect wrap for a cold day and that I'm pretty sure you can only get it here !!!
Fino's (NW PHILADELPHIA) CONFIDENCE: I THINK MAYBE I'M "CONFIDENT" A few years ago I got a Fino's menu jammed in my door handle and was pretty spooked that the vegan section would always have "Vegan style" in quotes ! WHY ? When you put "chicken" in quotes that means it's imitation chicken so is this vegan style actually imitation vegan style ? What the hell does that even mean ? I did a quick online look and all the reviews said THE VEGAN PIZZA HAS REAL CHEESE DON'T EAT ! So I ran away ! But some braver souls took the plunge and confirmed, yes: vegan. The reviewers were all scaredy cats ? Probably.
The scuttlebutt I've picked up is that it's run by two brothers from Italy - one vegan and one meatmouth. They LOVE pizza and stromboli and everything else and do a really great job of making their menu open to everyone ! Even GLUTEN FREE pizza ! Does that mean a gluten free, vegan pizza is possible their ? I hope so !
I'm not afraid anymore, neither should you ! This is GOOD pizza ! They have signs saying they have vegan breakfast, and one of these days I'll try it out. Can't believe I haven't already ? See you there :)
High Falls Food Co-Op (HIGH FALLS) CONFIDENCE: SO MUCH CONFIDENCE Last year on tour we stopped here and I bought a Vegan Platter by someone named Zelda Duke and I just couldn't believe what I was experiencing. I think about it and Zelda Duke all the time ! I went there again a few months later on a camping trip and could only find Zelda Duke's cole slaw but GUESS WHAT : still top notch. I went down to the bathroom to shave and passing through the kitchen I wondered if one of the folks talking was THE Zelda Duke, but I got too shy and just moved on. They also have lots of nice baked goods here ! Don't miss out!!!!
UPDATE APRIL 2018: I WENT THERE AGAIN ON TOUR IN MARCH AND ZELDA DUKE HAD MADE SOMETHING THAT WASN'T VEGAN ! AND I ALMOST BOUGHT IT ! ALWAYS CHECK YOUR LABELS !! I STILL GOT AN INCREDIBLE VEGAN TAMALE PIE, IT'S STILL A GREAT SPOT, BUT AS ALWAYS : TRUST NO ONE, NOT EVEN ME !
Jivamukti (MANHATTAN) CONFIDENCE: PRETTY CONFIDENT !(Photo) MAYBE this is an experience that only I enjoy but for whatever reason I love going to this yoga school's cafe in Union Square. You walk through a weird lobby and take the elevator up and all of a sudden you're in a strange open restaurant with lots of old immortal yogis and big big windows. I like to get a bowl of Aruveydic soup and load it up with liquid aminos and nutritional yeast (their sauce platter is exactly what you want!!) and then sit by one of the windows and look out onto the street. It is a rare peaceful moment in a city where I feel like I'm constantly being BUMPED or RUSHED. The tea is good too !
Ice Cream House (BROOKLYN) CONFIDENCE: I'D SAY SO THIS place is so much fun ! Very bright colors, very playhouse feel. AND: a whole case of 24 non-dairy hard ice cream flavors ! Amazing. Soft serve is non-dairy too ! And you get alot for not much money, though I'd say it's best to go easy because this is very sugary ice cream and I went hard and felt a little sick! Worth it though.
Lagusta's Lucious Comissary (NEW PALTZ) CONFIDENCE: IMPRESSIVELY I feel so lucky to have been able to played a show at the Comissary ! I also had one of the best hot chocolates there ... ever... after playing there I familiarized myself with alot of Lagusta's writing and style and ethics and it's very inspiring in so many ways ! Kate from Guilt Mountain also has a really great zine library here too. Set aside a dang day to go here and read and enjoy your life ! There's also the actual Lagusta chocolate shop around the corner ! or even just start with this great blog post
GreenStar Cooperative Market (ITHACA) CONFIDENCE: WON'T LET YOU DOWN Beautiful, beautiful Co-Op in Ithaca with tons of great sandwiches, prepared food, etc. I got a great sandwich there for dinner, then woke up went BACK and got a MUFFIN and an incredible prepared meal by a local catering group named Macro Mamas. I was SAD because I couldn't go back all the time!!
Hawthorne Valley Farm Store (GHENT) CONFIDENCE: YEAH I CAN'T BELIEVE IT Staying at our friends farmhouse in Ghent, we were mainly trudging through tons of snow and hanging out with goats. They kept mentioning the market next door and based on everything we'd done I assumed it was just gonna be a nice lil small town farm store BUT lo and behold it was a huge hippie paradise that even sold the elusive RUSSIAN CARAVAN tea I'd been searching for. The V options aren't that many, but I got creative with a nice bagel covered in guacamole, carrots, greens, pickles, etc etc. Mainly I just want you to know this place exists in case you're ever out that way !
Newtown (BROOKLYN) CONFIDENCE: IT DOES THE JOB As mentioned before eating in New York City usually stresses me out, and I'm even more stressed in Brooklyn ! Usually I just go with solar powered macro sushi from a bodega, but recently I returned to this place and was really happily suprised ! I very briefly lived and worked in Brooklyn before the inevitable burn out and miserable feelings sunk in, and ate here all the time probably without even realizing alot of it was vegan. The building smells really sweet and natural and the shop is very cozy and comfortable, the food delicious and not even that expensive ! Wow !
Allies Vegan Pizzeria & Cafe (SPOKANE) CONFIDENCE: TRUST ME ON THIS The first vegan pizza I ever had was the Thai Peanut Pizza from here and I still think about it all the time and even went so far as to recreate it during pizza week ! The good, good feelings came flooding back ! I don't know when the next time I'll ever even be near Spokane is but I really am looking forward to going back here and trying OTHER pies ! They also have lots of baked goods and other options. SO GOOD !
Central Co-Op (SEATTLE) CONFIDENCE: IT'S RELIABLE !
Not that I only eat pizza when I'm traveling in Washington but Mike and I were on a big pizza crave and we came here because I thought I saw on the internet there'd be pizza ! But..no v slices left..aghh..Someimes there is though apparently ! And there was tons of other great stuff because it's your classic nice co-op. Co-ops rarely let me down ! (Ask me in person for the only one that does)
Araya's Place (SEATTLE) CONFIDENCE: IT WAS GREAT WHEN THERE A WHILE AGO Lunch Buffet :) 11:30am-3:00pm daily : ) $11.99 : )
Saar's Marketplace (Oak Harbor) (Photo) CONFIDENCE: IT'S ALWAYS THERE For some reason I've been to this random Oak Harbor market twice in my life but also...I love it...there are literally hundreds of signs saying ROCK BOTTOM PRICES and there are so many well priced snacks. It's kind of the perfect snack spot ! The bulk option "Crunchy Cravey" has entered permanently into my vernacular.
Skagit Valley Food Co-Op (Mount Vernon) CONFIDENCE: IT'S IMPRESSIVE Wow ! Ended up here alot on the may 2018 tour, I still can't believe how big and bustling this co-op is ! Sort of feels like being inside one big tasty ant hill. Great lunch options !!!!!
Big Springs Headwaters (Mount Shasta) CONFIDENCE: SO CLEAR, SO DELICIOUS Everywhere you go in Shasta city you'll see people bragging about the water but don't be upset ! It's the best water, without a doubt. Go over to the city park with a bunch of containers and just shove them into the spring and fill up. Or ? Dip your hands in a cup-like-way and splash it on your face, revel in the purity !
India Sweets and Spices (Los Angeles) CONFIDENCE: PERFECT LOCATION, PERFECT FLAVORS Really loved stumbling upon this store while preparing to go to one of my all time favorite places, The Museum of Jurrassic Technology. It's part grocery, part deli with amazing indian food combos. I got a savory lentil donut ! Also has a really nice, quiet outside sitting area.
Isla Vista Food Co-op (Isla Vista) CONFIDENCE: FUN - IN - THE - SUN Classic co-op, classic California. It's just right, it gets the job done ! Have I mentioned Have'A Chips on here ? These are all over California but it felt particularly right picking them up along with some sweet prepared dips and sitting out front on a sunny sunny day. Great spot !
Pokez (San Diego) CONFIDENCE: MORE THAN EVER I left here thinking "BEST BURRITO OF MY LIFE" and the more I think about it, the more I can confirm this. IT was a great burrito !! Wow wow. There is also the option of ordering your burrito "Frenchy Style" which means that it is delivered to you on billowy bed of French Fries. I didn't partake, but it sounds like good style.
The Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave (Guilford) CONFIDENCE: JUST FOLLOW THE SIGNS A veritable institution in my life, it's a little hard to believe ! I've spent a surprising amount of my life on 95, and it's always a welcome treat to stop off at the enclave. Sometimes the portions are kinda whack ! But it's great diner food, made vegan. A rare find !
Georgie's Diner (West Haven) CONFIDENCE: GREAT BUT NEEDS A LITTLE BIT MORE ENCLAVE Georgie's is the "sister" location of the Shoreline. It's the same menu, same great stuff ! The actual restaurant is better, more of a trolley car style diner, but the name is worse :( pick wisely !
Veggie Fun (Providence) CONFIDENCE: IT'S FUN This is where I was going when I first started making the real moves to be vegan. I think I went there too much to be honest ! But the name says it all, and they're TOTALLY vegan now. Even more fun !
AS220 foo(d) (Providence) CONFIDENCE: THE CLASSIC My young years were totally defined and inspired by AS220. It's where I learned to silkscreen, saw some of my first concerts (nb: Javelin before my senior year of high school, The Blow during that year, The Body and Angels of Light Choir the summer after that year) and in general where I saw many things I've taken to heart in action for the first time. Through many shifting scenes and venues of Providence AS220 has stayed strong, and a really easy way to support it is to just go eat their delicious food ! Many vegan options available ! Hell yeah
Wildflour (Pawtucket) CONFIDENCE: YES BUT IT'S A LITTLE FANCY :( This is pretty different from most places on here but unless I am TOTALLY out of the loop it is a little hard to find vegan fare in Rhode Island and having this bakery with fancy lattes is a little bit of a miracle. SOMETIMES a person just NEEDS a MUFFIN !
Adelle's (Dover) CONFIDENCE: IT JUST SHOWED UP I spent a huge part of my childhood in the NH, VT, ME Axis but these days rarely ever get up there. But I was very happy, after a family trip to my nana's 85th birthday party, when we stopped here and not only was there plenty of non-dairy milks but nice vegan bagel sandwiches ! ! And issues of Coffee News ! The issue I got that time talked about some businessman who kept getting pizza pranked - i.e. pizza deliveries just kept showing up in his name while at work and he didn't order them! Why is the NYT not writing about this - HUH ?
Sundance Natural Foods (Eugene) CONFIDENCE: SO MANY OPTIONS
I don't think I've done anything else in Eugene ? I just end up here ! There's so much, from prepared food to hot food to salads to baked goods and there's tons of things you can put on top of IT ALL. Also : hilariously huge balls of energy !
Spielman's (Portland) CONFIDENCE: THERE'S ONLY ONE GOOD ONE
Bagels, Bagels, Bagels ! Some people will tell you that these are the best bagels in the whole frickin' world. I don't agree ! And I think it's weird that I have to order *VEGAN* bagels (the "normal" kind uses milk and honey) but they are very good and definitely the best I've had out west ! Just don't drink the coffee :( I thought it was really, really bad :(
NB : most locations have been sold to "investors" but there is one true location and it is the one on DIVISION ST!
Sizzle Pie (Portland) CONFIDENCE: EMBRACE THE SPIRAL
The Sizzle Pie Pizza / Salad combo is so perfect, so simple. Just do it, go enjoy ! I got way into it and even make the spiral tap pie at home sometimes. You really can't top it !