3 outstanding places: vegetarian and vegan food!

some vegan chocolate cake recently (from Bing images)

Now then, now then, I have to say we’re not major vegetarian and vegan eaters at all. But we know what we like, and I believe that a few things we like are extraordinary!

For us, the best vegan food is the sweeter stuff. Vegan cake can not only be delicious, but you don’t have to potty like it’s 1999 ever. You’ll feel healthier having a vegan sweet treat (try not to think of that Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, but there are definitely times for that too).

We say we could be vegetarian a day a week sometimes. Never vegan because we love things like cheese too much. And we love meat too much to change, though that idea of one vegetarian day a week may happen one day.

Anyway, as the English – like myself – often say, here are three absolutely outstanding Vegetarian or Vegan establishments we highly recommend:

Super Natural Cafe, Newcastle, United Kingdom

What a brilliant name! It’s a real gem of a place, so relaxing, fun and friendly (and not far from St James Park football/soccer stadium which is never a bad thing). Okay, we’ve only been once but that’s only because we live nowhere near, in New York! The cake there is incredible, yet somehow it manages to be vegan too. The feel of the place is light and airy, and you can relax there for hours if you want.

photo by Adam Hardy
Marie at Super Natural cafe; photo by Adam Hardy

Vatan, New York City

Vatan Indian restaurant in Manhattan has always been a unique experience. It’s set up like a microcosm of a tongue-in-cheek Indian village, where you can take your shoes off and sit on low benches with fake trees around and even monkeys (uhm, similarly fake) hanging around! We love it. There is one set meal, in which you are brought a multitude of small, sample style vegetarian dishes. If you’re a devout carnivore, even you won’t be disappointed with the food which hits you with flavours you never knew existed! It’s not that cheap, but it’s really worth it. Just a real occasion to go there.

say no more! And a bottle of Taj Mahal beer please. Photo from Bing images.

Witches Brew, Hempstead, Long Island (New York)

We started going back to Witches Brew again about a year or so ago. We’ve always loved it, but as it’s slightly out of the way from us in Queens we’d forgotten about it.

Completely wonderful. It does coffees and teas – many, many weird and wonderful choices – and the food never disappoints. Try the falafel! Or really…anything.

Almost as important, it has a really magical atmosphere. It’s in an old house, and as you can guess from the name it has a vaguely Gothic theme. It used to sell t shirts featuring Robert Smith of the Cure and the Witches Brew name I think, or at least there is one framed next to the toilets. Even the “bathroom” [there’s no bath in there though] is beautiful, always with incense burning. Seating and tables is creative and each little nook is randomly inspired. You get quite a lot of younger adults in there but also a whole range of ages. Again, it’s a place you could linger for hours (and take games if you want; not Twister perhaps – especially during covid – but certainly a card or small board game). When we went on Sunday, Marie chose a vegetarian burger and fries for us to try – really good, even though I might not tell my friends about eating a beet burger – and for dessert we had bundt cake to go (small, but packing a tasty punch) and I chose the three mini cannoli to eat in. Marie had her favourite, decadent Black Magic mint chocolate drink and myself a pot of hot Moulin Rouge tea which had cinnamon and smoked spices.

My sister, Emma would love it here I think.

Just try it if you’ve never been, but keep it to yourself because we’ve never had to wait long to get a table and we want to keep it that way!!

Marie at Witches Brew (at a quiet time of day!)

Published by heathgrip

An Englishman in New York for around 15 years, I met a wonderful, beautiful, cannily smart and talented girl from Flushing, Queens whilst I was living in Manchester, UK, through the internet in 2005 and we married in Spring 2006! We both have a passion for travel, restaurants, history, music, all kinds of fun events. Who doesn't? I'm an artist and photographer, and also love to write. Anything creative really (you can keep your science and technology!). I've sent journals back home to family and friends for many years and they've often suggested I start a blog with writings pasted from my journals. So here it is!

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