Gunnar and I love to travel, and we try to make room for at least one trip a year, only me and him. When you are vegan, one of the primary requests when we discuss where to go, is the food. Of course we like to eat well when we travel, like everyone else. We haven’t been dissapointed once, and we have been to a lot of places. But New York has so far been number 1 when it comes to vegan food (and everything else)!
At times we felt like we didn’t do anything but eat. Eat, eat, eat! The selection of vegan food was insane! Remember, we come from a small town in Norway where 5 years ago you couldn’t even get soy milk in regular stores. It has changed for the better, but we have a long way to go. We ate so much we felt like balloons every night.
Luckily we walked a lot. A LOT! We completed a half marathon every day, but we always do that when we travel. Taxis are not for us, we like to use our legs, since that’s the best way to do sightseeing, and also because we had to shed the punds we (felt we) gained during our stay. But of course, I never learn to wear good shoes, so Gunnar made me buy some nice Nike’s when my feet almost started to bleed after a few days!
New York – we love you, and we are definitely coming back! Maybe for our honeymoon next summer?
Our hotel was placed only a 5 minute walk from Times Square, so there was a lot of noise but we really didn’t hear in that much in our room or on the roof terrace, where we sat every morning and evening, drinking coctails and talking to other guests from around the world. So much fun!
One of our absolute favorite places to eat, was Juice Press! Clean, raw food. Cheesecakes, salads, bagels, kale chips, so many goodies! And we felt so GOOD after eating their food. Lots of energy, awake, clean. No doubt in our minds that this food is the best fuel your body can get. I really hope we can get food chains like this in Norway. The only thing that regularly pops up here, are McDonalds and Burger King. 🙁 I never understood why people prefer that kind of garbage before real food. Even I enjoy a nice vegan burger every now and then. We miss Juice Press!
Another nice vegan place we loved, was Terri. A take out café with lots of insane sandwiches, burgers, salads and desserts. Not like Juice Press, but actually not unhealthy. We surely could eat clean in there and feel like kings too! Egg & bacon sandwiches, chicken wraps, southern fried chicken bagels, pulled pork sandwiches … ALL VEGAN of course!
My favorite was the colorful juices, and a ridiculous sandwich with “chicken” that blew me away.
When in NY one has to go to … COSM! Chapel of sacred mirrors. I actually never heard of it before my husband told me about it several months before our trip. And I was interested immidiatly. What a place! I am usually not a big fan of art, but this was mind blowing. We went from room to room and just gasped. It was a huge house a couple of hours by train from New York. This trip was just as exciting as the COSM visit, sitting in a train for 2 hours that runs along Hudson River the entire time, is just magic! We brought with us packed lunch from, of course, Juice Press and had the time of our lives on that train. 😀
Both Gunnar and I have become huge fans of the artists behind COSM – Alex Grey and his lovely wife, Allison. Getting the chance to visit them in their home, meet them (almost, they went past us while we were eating …) and to walk around in the garden area, the Wisdom trail … It was mindblowing. The Mushroom café was also great! Since we after all was in New York, they had of course vegan options. Actually it would be strange if they didn’t, since they focus on a healthy and spiritual life style, something I personally don’t think you can combine with the support of killing innocent sentient beings like animals. For me, that’s a total crash. We bought the vegan black bean burrito from the extemely friendly staff, and when we got the plates they had ancient Egyptian art in them, just like my tattoo! Eye of Horus. 😀 So cool!
I also have to mention the mushroom drinks! They put mushrooms in everything! I know what you think. “Did you get high”. No, this was mushooms like Chaga and Reishi etc. I fell in love with the Reishi hot cocoa, and even it if was like 5000 degrees outside, I bought like three of them in a row. So delicious, and I felt so great after drinking it! I remember Gunnar and I sat in a huge and way to comfy (he actually fell asleep!) sofa while we were drinking our Reishi cocoa and watching a video showing how it all started, the life of Alex Grey and his wife, and how they got here. Very interesting.
On our way home, we had to try out the vegan café “The cinnamon snail”, after hearing an interesting rumor that they were selling vegan donuts. I have never eaten a vegan donut before, since we don’t get them where I live. I almost died when we got there and saw that they had not one, not two but 10-12 different sorts! 😮 I wanted to try them all, but since we ate dinner first (omg, the food selection was amazing and the dishes we had was just perfect!) I was so full that I only bought 3 sorts. The plan was to share them with Gunnar, but he was also so full that he could only take one bite! So we ended up just taking a bite out of the 3 donuts, and throwing them out. What a waste. Sometimes I wish I had a bigger stomach!
We would surely eat here more often if it wasn’t for Juice Press, who took almost all our money every day. :p
Hey, look what I found in a regular food store in New York! I couldn’t believe it! They had so many vegan ice cream flavors (we have very few in Norway …) and all of the Oreos, I can’t even … I don’t even like Oreos that much, or not at all, really, but I had to buy a whole bunch for the kids. At home we have only a few sorts, and not all of them are vegan either.
We did, of course, a sightseeing trip with the Staten Island ferry, and as we were walking home, we past a few vegan restaurants. We have heard a lot of nice things about Red Bamboo, but unfortunately it was full house and at least 1 hour waiting before getting a table so we just went to the neighbour restaurant Go Zen. All vegan menu, and the dishes we had was really great! I had a crispy steak and veggies and Gunnar had “chicken” with veggies and cashew nuts. I liked his dish the most, but mine was great too. We SO wanted dessert after dinner but we were, again, to full. The curse of the full stomach!!!
Ok, here is our favorite place number one EVER! Le Botaniste! Both Gunnar and I agreed that this was one of the best restaurants we have ever been to. All their dishes was drool worthy and the fact that almost everything was more or less healthy, wasn’t a bummer at all, because we didnt feel like “raw food people” eating it. Fingerlicking good! We ordered several small dishes so that we could try half of the menu, and when we left we almost crawled out the door. We were so full! But as we walked away from there, we went past a scones kafé where we just HAD to buy dessert! :p
We just had to go here, since we were in the neighbourhood. Of course they didn’t have anything vegan on tme menu (what the hell) but at least we got to be Seinfeld for 15 minutes!
If there is one thing we will miss more than Juice Press and well, all of New York, it’s WHOLE FOODS! If we don’t get them to Norway soon, we are seriously considering moving to the nearest city they are located in!
“Everyone” in New York walks around with brown boxes with “Whole foods” on them around lunch. We were really cusious what was in them, and when we got into the nearest Wholefoods, we found out really quickly. They were from the salad bars in the store. The salad bars were bigger than my entire country! And they had lots of vegan mock meats (!), fried sweet potatoes, sandwich salads, different types of hummus, all the veggies you can imagine etc. Here in Norway we are lucky if we get pasta with no dressing, and maybe some boring beans …
We also got some vegan burritos. Nice. 🙂
Here are some last pictures from our fantastic trip to the big apple. We are sooo looking forward to go back there, New York has it all!