Happy Summer! My family and I just got back from a 2 week vacation traveling up and down the Eastern Seaboard. We got to see a lot of family and friends and visit some of my favorites cities. It was a long trip though and with two little ones in tow, I think we were all happy to get home.
In addition to getting a chance to see our beloved families, I was also excited about trying some new food. I’m what you would call “an eater”. I love food! Sometimes when I discuss traveling, people ssay, “What do you eat? It must be so hard to find vegan food on the road!”. And although there are some cities that are more vegan friendly than others, I have yet to visit a city or town with something I CAN’T eat. Even in Central Pennsylvania, I was able to find hemp milk, coconut yogurt and Gardein! How about that?! Anyhow, enough banter…on to the food. I apologize for the lack of pictures. I ate most of the food before I even remembered that I should stop and take a picture. I did chronicle some of our journey on twitter, if you’re so inclined.
Our first stop was in New York City which is one of my favorite places on the planet (and the bulk of this post). I had my restaurant wish list and couldn’t wait to get started. We arrived late in the afternoon and once we got situated at our hotel all four of us were starving. God Bless Virgin Airlines, but you can only have so much hummus and crackers. And my kids were kind of over coconut yogurt and Lara Bars. So I pulled out my Happy Cow app and to my great excitement found a Loving Hut around the corner. Although the restaurant was small and likely more for take-out, they did their best to accommodate us. We scarfed down fried rice, mac n’ cheese, veggie burgers and some sauteed veggies with black rice that was so delicious my husband and I had to roshambo it for the last bite.
The next day we visited Eataly, which lucky for us, was right up the street from where we were staying. Now, let me say that as a food lover and as an Italian, it was amazing. I saw products that I haven’t seen for years and only ever saw being unpacked from my Nonna’s suitcase on a trip home from the old country. Most of the products I don’t eat anymore, but I was filled with nostalgia nonetheless. We stocked up on some focaccia and later returned for some vegan gelato.
I had the onion focaccia, which was delicious and the stracciatella gelato that was made from whipped bananas with dark chocolate shavings. Who even needs the dairy? My husband got plum and my kids got limone. We returned there every day for this treat and then walked across the street to the park.
The next day we stopped at Blossom in Chelsea. I had been looking forward to visiting this place for the weeks leading up to our trip. Unfortunately this location isn’t super kid friendly, so we ordered to go and ate at the park, which was actually lovely. We had the Cape Code cakes, the Cashew Cream Raviolli and the Spicy Tempeh Sandwich. Everything was outstanding. We all just kept passing the plates around so we could try it all. I would like to go back and enjoy more of their menu.
The last night in town, my husband and I were able to sneak away for a date and we went to L’artusi in the West Village. It’s my husband’s favorite Italian restaurant in the city and he really wanted to take me there. I was looking forward to indulging in some home made pasta. Luckily we had a very kind waiter that didn’t roll his eyes at me when I told him I’m vegan. He asked the chef what they could prepare and came back with some recommendations. And I’ll tell you what, this was some of the best pasta I’ve ever had in my life. My nonna’s home made pasta has always been the bench mark, but this pasta was right up there (sorry, nonna!). It was a simple spaghetti dish with chilis, garlic, parsley and crunchy olive oil bread crumbs. That’s it! But it was so delicious. The water had been perfectly salted, the pasta was cooked to perfection and all the ingredients were in perfect harmony. I literally licked the bowl! I also had a delicious beet salad and passionfruit sorbet. It was a great night and a perfect way to cap off the New York leg of your trip. I’m already planning my next trip out so I can cross off more places on my list.
The rest of our trip was spent cruising through Central Pennsylvania, then back down to the coast of Virginia and ending our trip with a night in DC. We all ate sufficiently and we were actually all impressed with how many vegan options were readily available to us.
And if you’re ever on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, check out the Sea Star Cafe. They have a separate vegetarian/vegan menu. The Santa Cruz sandwich is awesome!
What are some of your favorite restaurants or vegan dishes that you’ve discovered while traveling?
Until next time, friends…