There was a time when vegans were forced to settle on a side of fries or a sad “garden” salad at restaurant outings. But with veganism going mainstream in 2019, that time is long gone. The number of vegans in the United States has grown exponentially from 4 million vegans in 2014, to 19.6 million in 2017 according to Report Buyer. That’s 600 percent more mouths to feed since our last vegan guide in 2013, and a whole slew of new vegan businesses booming in Bushwick.
Here’s our 12 favorite joints to hit up for good vegan grub.
Snuggly located on the corner of Bogart and Cook Street, this vegan joint is a must. Decor marries rustic and minimal effortlessly, and provides the perfect date night for two, or five. The menu provides a mix of pan-asian cuisine, from batter-fried king oyster mushrooms to General Tso’s chicken, pad thai, mixed veggie lettuce wraps, fusions like kimchi fries, and a light touch of classic american fare, like their beyond burger. Take your vegan-curious and cynicists here and watch them lick the plate with delight.
19 Bogart St
Sunday -Thursday from 11:30 am – 10:30 pm
Friday – Saturday from 11:30 am – 11:30 pm
With their new digs only three blocks away from their original spot, it’s a good time as any to try their classics, like the smoky maple tofu sandwich and an assortment of vegan pastries. Their new spot boasts a spacious kitchen dedicated solely to baking, which promises more cake, and cookies, but the savory menu has some new items as well. Try their new tofu scramble with black bean and chipotle, or go for their new additions like the southern-style Carolina sandwich or their Pesto Mutt showcasing Cheezehound mozzarella.
Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4 pm
Saturday – Sunday 9 am to 6 pm
Far from the glitz of Bushwick, this vegetarian and vegan-friendly BYOB spot is tucked away between an elementary school and a church, making it easy to miss. Bring a pack of pale ales or a plum red wine to pair with the spice laden food of the east. Order the gobi manchurian, fried cauliflower tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce with rice and samosas. But stay alert, some dishes sneak in ghee or dairy. Also bring cash!
733 Knickerbocker Ave
Monday – Saturday 12 pm – 2 am Sunday 12 pm – 10 pm
You can’t talk about vegan food in Bushwick without acknowledging Champs, an almost decade-old, ‘70s-style institution, dishing out veganized diner classics. From grand slam breakfasts like the All Vegan Slam with tofu scramble, soysage, hash browns, toast and a side of your choice of seitan or tempeh bacon, to pancakes, burgers, and milkshakes. Seriously, this place has it all. Expect a wait, but also, expect to walk out fully stuffed.
197 Meserole Street
Monday – Sunday from 9 am – 12 am
This Ethiopian cafe is bursting with flavor and experiences to be shared. Everything on their menu is plant-based, but not all vegan. Leave your cutlery at home and dig into their feast of spices, legumes, and stewed veggies laying artfully on injera, a large spongy crepe-like sourdough flatbread covering the entirety of the plate. Use the injera served on the side to scoop and delight in the sensational toppings. Cash only.
1084 Flushing Ave
Monday – Friday from 12pm – 11pmSaturday – Sunday from 11 am – 4pm, 5pm – 11pm
The same vegan-enthusiasts that brought you Champs and Screamers (in Greenpoint) opened Hartbreakers, a bright and colorful addition to the vegan junk-food landscape in Bushwick with a ‘60s flower power motif. Hartbreakers opened late September last year and gave home to the Thunderbird, a fried “chik’n” sandwich with tangy slaw, cilantro-jalapeno aioli on a sesame bun (yum), and a slew of other delicious sandwiches – their specialty.
820 Hart Street
Monday – Sunday from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
All hail an all-vegan bar, from liquor, beer to bite-sized empanadas, and their star event: Vegan Shop Up hosted every second, or third Saturday of the month. Vegan Shop Up is host to a myriad of vegan vendors from bites to crafts from around the city, and home to Seitan’s Helper’s next pop-up on August 17.
12 Grattan Street
Wednesday – Friday from 4 pm – 4 am
Saturday from 2 pm – 4 am
Sunday 12 pm – 2 am
Monday – Tuesday 4 pm – 2 am
Not a fully vegan establishment, but sure to be a vegan destination spot with all their veg-friendly offerings from pizza to cake and gelato, the word “vegan” is splattered all over their menu. Tony’s uses daiya cheese and offers toppings like chicken, meatballs and bacon to top off your pie. Lest you find yourself in a bind, ask for Salvatore, the self-proclaimed vegan expert of Tony’s, at the ready with suggestions and friendly advice.
443 Knickerbocker Ave
Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am – 12:00 am
Friday – Sunday from 9:00 am – 1:00 am
Santa Salsa, translates to saintly sauce, a Venezuelan street food joint which got their Perro con Todo dog voted “best hot dog” by the Village Voice, also offers, the best vegan dog in New York, by any standard. Sergio Barrios, owner and chef, puts “plant-based” on its head and serves a vegan hot dog that substitutes the classic weiner for a carrot. The Zanahoria dog is topped with eggplants, carrots, onions, peppers, cabbage, sprouts –– and the kicker –– crushed potato chips, ketchup, mustard and their special green sauce, guasacaca. Their yuca fries and Vegan Santa Salsa hot dog are also high on the list of absurdly delicious things to eat.
234 Starr St
Monday – Friday 6pm – 11pm Saturday 12pm-12amSunday 12pm-11pm.
This affordable (they offer sliding-scale prices) and woman-of-color-owned vegan joint is dishing out healthy and delicious options for the Bushwick community. And chef Francesca Chaney, just rolled out a new menu July 31 that includes homefries, stuffed plantains, and jackfruit panini.
203 Wilson Ave
Wednesday – Monday 10am – 8pm Tuesday 12pm – 7pm
Queen of Falafel is a small vibrant middle eastern food spot offering accidentally vegan options like their falafel sandwich and hummus plate. A zingy and tasty option in the heart of Bushwick.
2 Wyckoff Avenue
Monday – Saturday from 11 am – 11pm
Sunday 11 am – 10 pm
Named after the kung fu martial arts, which involves hopping and crawling like a toad, Toad Style is on the border of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy and serves up delicious brunch and sandwich options. Their banh mi and buffalo cauliflower are sinful to miss. But what sets them apart is their soy-free chickpea-based burmese tofu. The texture, a cross between pancake and egg omelette, with deep warm flavors said to have Shan origins, boasts a unique experience in contrast to the ordinary soy-based spongy square vegans have come to love. Try the scramble in their breakfast bun, you won’t regret it.
93 Ralph Avenue
Monday – Sunday 11 am to 11 pm
Cover image courtesy of @reneefromthebay_.
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