Here it is folks! After 12 years of dining out in Westchester, the past ten as a vegetarian and the last two as a vegan, I offer you
My Favorite Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in the Lower Hudson Valley!
In alphabetical order, here we go!
Andy’s Pure Food in Rye, Larchmont, and Scarsdale. When I talk to new vegans about what to eat, I always refer to the Five Fabulous Vegan Food Groups: vegetables; fruits; grains; beans and legumes; and nuts and seeds. You can get all of these, cooked or raw, at Andy’s. While this isn’t exactly a restaurant, you can order at the counter and have a seat for a quick and casual meal or stock up your refrigerator for the week by purchasing salads and entrees in bulk.
Cafe of Love in Mount Kisco. Yes, Cafe of Love made it on my list, despite the unfortunate veggie burger incident. Vegan options abound at Cafe of Love and you simply have to ask the right questions. I returned to the restaurant just last week and enjoyed the roasted cauliflower bisque and this kale and crunchy vegetable salad – all confirmed vegan by my server!
Cafe Mozart in Mamaroneck. I consider Cafe Mozart an extension of my home office.
I can surf the free WiFi over coffee in the morning or after lunch. Options include two vegan salads, a hummus platter and soup made with vegetable broth.
Harry’s Burritos in Larchmont and Nyack. This is the only Tex Mex (okay, they call themselves Cal Mex) restaurant in the area that offers soy options such as “ground beef” (it’s texturized vegetable protein), tofu, and soy-based sour cream and cheese. I frequent the Larchmont location and my special requests have never been refused – I have enjoyed vegan versions of enchiladas, burritos, tacos, chili, tostadas and taco salads.
Haven Restaurant in Pleasantville. I have dined at Haven more times than I can count (and had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Daniel Petrilli for this column). Why? Because there is always a vegan option, like these bean “meat” balls and soba noodles, in each section of the menu and the chef’s philosophy is that making vegan food is fun and he’s delighted to do it.
Jolo’s Kitchen in New Rochelle. Jolo’s goes beyond “friendly” because every single thing on the menu is vegan! You can get beans, grains, and greens as well as a variety of interesting “meats” including soy, wheat-gluten (setitan), and mushrooms. It’s my go-to take-out joint.
Sweet Grass Grill in Tarrytown. I love a restaurant that embraces Meatless Monday. I love the restaurant even more when the chef will always offer a vegan dish at your request if there isn’t a plant-based option, like this tofu wrap, on the menu.
Turquoise in Larchmont. Ethnic restaurants such as Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern are often vegan-friendly. Turkish food, served up beautifully at Turquoise, is no exception. The red lentil soup is vegan and there are several hot and cold vegan appetizers, as well as vegetarian entrees on the menu.
Water Moon in Rye. Just about every Asian restaurant can be vegan-friendly – just watch out for oyster and fish sauce and ask how dishes like pancakes and dumplings are made, as some restaurants use egg. Water Moon is my hands-down favorite place to get vegan sushi. Vegan sushi? Yep, sushi isn’t raw fish, sushi is a way to prepare food. Specifically, sushi is cold, flavored rice (usually a sweet and vinegar flavor), rolled with vegetables, eggs or fish. Water Moon has wonderful vegan sushi options – the avocado and peanut is a favorite. The Vietnamese Salad is great, too.
Zitoune in Mamaroneck. This Moroccan restaurant offers two vegan tagines, lentil and this vegetable tagine. I love them both.
Go forth and eat plants!
I Eat Plants columnist JL Fields is a certified vegan lifestyle coach and educator. She shares plant-based education, recipes and cooking techniques, as well as animal rights information and resources, on the popular blog JL goes Vegan. Her original recipes have been featured on Foodbuzz, BlogHer and Meatless Monday. She is the editor of the community blog Stop Chasing Skinny. JL is the founder and lead consultant for JL Fields Consulting and serves on the board of directors of Our Hen House. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.