Whether people choose to eat plant-based foods for animal welfare, the environment, health or simply a love of tofu, the choice isn’t just a trendy fad – it’s here to stay. In fact, according to the Bloomberg Intelligence Report, “plant-based food sales” are expected “to increase fivefold by 2030.”
Luckily, Bushwick residents are never short on options to find such plant-based options to satisfy every craving. In fact, back in 2019, we put together a list of those. But good news, there’s more: from vegan twists on bodega classics to meatless smoked barbecue, there’s even more vegan-friendly restaurants in the neighborhood.
With “world vegan day” happening on November 1st, we decided to celebrate by puting together at least seven more vegan spots around the neighborhood.
Right on the corner of Maria Hernandez Park on Knickerbocker is Grilled!, a walk-up window on the side of a dentist’s office, which sells an array of eats like arepa burgers, loaded vegan hot dogs, along with bar nosh like loaded fries and fake chicken tenders. As we reported at its opening, most of the menu locks in at under $8. The man behind Grilled! is a dentist, too – Andrew Della Pietra owns the adjacent Bushwick Dental Group and who likes to decorate their Knickerbocker Avenue-facing windows with vegan messaging-inspired art. So, you’ll know you’re at the right place when you’re met with Pietra’s colorful cartoon murals.
Grilled is located at 264 Suydam Street. Their hours are Thursday through Tuesday, 12:00pm – 8pm. Keep in touch with their hours via Instagram.
Once called Seitan Rising Cafe, the queer, employee-owned sandwich shop serves up hand crafted vegan deli meat-based sandwiches and wraps – and they’re anything but boring. Favorites include the Triple Threat – vegan mortadella, salami, pepperoni, violife cheddar, red onion, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, greens, mayo, vinaigrette on a focaccia hero, Italian-style – as well as over-the-top specials like the Nora Wrap, which will melt in your mouth. (nomelette, cheese, Mac & cheese, spicy vegan Turkey, and seitanic sauce.) They also frequently run limited-time only sandwiches, so be sure to check out their Instagram to stay up to date on that.
Monk’s Vegan Smokehouse
Yes, it’s true, a smokehouse can be entirely vegan! A popular vendor for years at Williamsburg’s Smorgasburg, Monk’s Vegan Smokehouse’s homebase is located inside of Starr Bar on Starr Street, where they serve up items like a Kansas City-style BBQ seitan sandwich that comes smothered in maple BBQ sauce, red cabbage slaw and whisky pickles alongside crispy disco fries – their vegan take on the Jersey shore special – which come topped with mushroom gravy, cashew cheese curds and pulled barbecue mushrooms. All of the smokehouse’s proteins are smoked for several hours over mesquite and hickory wood, which packs the “meat” with a punch of rich, savory flavor.
Monk’s Vegan Smoke House is located at the Star Bar, at 214 Starr Street. Their hours are Sunday through Thursday, 5:00pm -10:00pm and 5:00pm – 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Keep up with the smokehouse on Instagram.
With a location in Bushwick, as well as Ridgewood, Cafe Moca is also a long-time favorite of Bushwick Daily. Offering vegan and vegetarian eats, the Black-owned cafe sells an array of coffees, teas, sandwiches, bagels, bowls and more in a cozy atmosphere. If you’re a fan of breakfast – they offer it all day! I recommend the waffle (vegan “#dankbananabread”-brand, served with maple cinnamon butter and organic maple syrup) and their take on the Harlem Classic chopped cheese (veg beef, cheese sauce, greens, vegan mayo & ketchup on ciabatta.) The cafe also frequently hosts live music and other events.
Cafe Moca‘s Bushwick location is at 108 Central Avenue. It’s hours are 9:00am through 3:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays and 8:00am – 3:00pm, on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Keep up with them on Instagram.
Music enthusiasts might be familiar with Gold Sounds as a club, but it’s also a hidden gem for vegan eats. The bar features a full vegan menu that includes wild twists on bar favorites like fried mac n cheese balls, cheeseburger empanadas and vegan chili tots. What’s more, Gold Sounds is the ultimate spot for vegan hot dog enthusiasts, with wacky jumbo-sized kimchi and chicago-style dogs.
Familiars Vegan Coffee Shop
Look no further for a vegan version of the city’s iconic staple: the bagel. Right on the intersection of Bushwick and Bed-Stuy is a cafe called Familiars Vegan Coffee Shop which serves baked Noshman’s brand bagels and is owned by the peopel behind another Bushwick vegan hotspot, Toad Style. Familiars’ menu boasts drinks like a garden palmer (Elderflower lemonade and butterfly pea powder iced tea) and regular coffee but the real show stoppers are their coveted bagel combos. Highlights from those include a drool-worthy caprese (Toasted everything bagel with tofu cream cheese, balsamic caviar, roasted tomato and garlic chutney and marinated basil) and a sweet and savory item called the fancy fig (Toasted everything bagel with tofu cream cheese, plant based prosciutto, fig jam & arugula.)
Dreaming about a loaded cream cheese bagel or chorizo melt from the nearest bodega? Wish it was vegan? Plantega is “a plant-based deli-in-store concept” that has been popping up in bodegas across the neighborhood to sell plant-based varieties of deli favorites like chopped cheese, sausage egg and cheese, and regular deli slice sandwiches.
Local delis with Plantega “concepts” include:
Zak Mini Market Deli at 338 Central Avenue
Marinello’s Gourmet Deli at 114 Wyckoff Avenue.
Organic Town Deli & Grill at 55-43 Myrtle Avenue, in Ridgewood
Find the nearest Plantega and hours using their website here.
Top image taken by Andrew Karpan.
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