These five black-owned eateries in New York City add soul to the vegan lifestyle.
Black-Owned Vegan Juice Bar in Bronx, NY
Juices For Life
1026 Castle Hill Ave
Bronx, NY 10472
Founded by rapper Styles P of The LOX, Juices For Life is a juice and smoothie bar that caters to both the health conscious and hip. With four locations around the New York metropolitan area, this vegan-friendly franchise is using its hip-hop swag to create awareness around healthy living through affordable juicing for communities where many food deserts exist. The fourth location opened in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn (277 Malcolm X Blvd), it’s owned by radio personality Angela Yee of The Breakfast Club.
Our Faves: If you want to go the straight natural juice route, “SuperThug” (Apple, Lemon, Ginger and Pineapple) is a popular, tasty option by regular patrons. “Militia” is a flavorful smoothie (Spinach, Pear, Pineapple, Papaya, Strawberry and Beet) for your pre or post-workout, which you can add some VeganSmart Vanilla Protein as an extra boost. Wheatgrass shots start at $3. All juices, smoothies and shakes are comprised of all natural and non-dairy ingredients – starting at $5.
Black-Owned on Vegan Restaurant in Harlem, NY
55 St. Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY 10026
When New York City comes to mind, most people think of the skyline and the daily traffic in midtown Manhattan. The further you go uptown, the hustle and bustle doesn’t stop, which is why many health-focused eateries have been opening up in Harlem recently to cater to hustling urbanites. One of the more notable establishments, Seasoned Vegan, is nestled in Harlem’s west side. The decorum, with its huge windows, is a perfect spot for a quick afternoon bite with natural sunlight or a date night.
Our Faves: With a bevy of salads, wraps, sandwiches and entrees, Seasoned Vegan, offers cooked and raw vegetarian options that are all 100% vegan, organic and kosher. On the raw entrée side, “Raw Zucchini Mac” ($14 – Spiraled zucchini covered in cashew “cheese”) is scrumptious. If you are looking for a cooked entreé, the “BBQ Crawfish” ($17 – Chopped, grilled burdock root and fermented soy “crawfish” smothered in their homemade Bayou BBQ sauce) is a must-try staple.
Black-Owned Vegan Restaurants in Brooklyn, NY
1031 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
The Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn has been a historic base for many people of Caribbean descent, and the restaurants in the area are evidence of that. Greedi Vegan is a popular establishment that uses some island, southern and international flavor for its own vegan-fueled mash-up.
Our Faves: Natural protein-packed menu items like “Jerk Eggplant Bowl” ($15 – Barbecue Jerk Eggplant with a choice of Grain of the Day or Mac & Goodness with Cabbage and Carrots, Kale or Spinach), or the “Greedi Fish Taco” ($14 – Vegan Fish with Carrots and Cabbage Slaw topped with Avocado and Chipotle) are great starters for first-time visitors. On the other hand, if you want you a hefty meal and simultaneously soak in the Crown Heights neighborhood vibe, it is recommended that you experience the “Greedi Brunch” on the weekends. Whether you order the “Sausage Tofu Scramble” ($15 – Sage and Apple Sausage with Tofu Scramble topped with vegan cheese and Multi grain Toast), or the “Pancakes Berries N Coco Cream” ($12 – Gluten Free Pancakes, topped with Fresh Berries and Dairy Free Coconut Cream), your mouth will not be disappointed.
203 Wilson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237
Eating healthy is no longer the domain of the over forty-somethings. Millennials have joined and added their palettes to the space in their own way. East New York, Brooklyn native, Francesca Chaney, 23, opened Sol Sips in the rapidly gentrifying, historical Latino enclave of Bushwick. With its sliding scale brunch menu, Sol Sips fits perfectly in this working class neighborhood. Every Saturday from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M., Sol Sips offers a full meal and beverage for anywhere between $7 and $15; where customers pay what they’re comfortable with.
Our Faves: If you are short on funds, but want to fill your belly, you must try the “Breakfast Burrito” ($13 – Chickpea scramble with peppers, tomatoes, hemp seeds, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese wrapped in a chia-seed turmeric wrap). Also, the Jerk Jackfruit ($13 – Organic young jackfruit smothered in our spicy jerk sauce with a side of farro, chickpeas and red cabbage) is lip-smacking good. Chase down the spice with a glass of “Jsus Jus” ($6 – Hibiscus, pomegranate).
Black-Owned Vegan Restaurant in Queens, NY
Veggie Castle II
132-9 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
When you come across a restaurant that serves your take-out needs and provides a decent enough setting for dining-in, you will become a repeat customer. This is why on any given day in South Richmond Hill, Queens you may find a huge line forming outside the doors at Veggie Castle II. The food, which is a mesh of Caribbean, American and Asian recipes––and most importantly all vegan––is really that delightful. Queens natives and notable celebrities like music mogul Russell Simmons and former NBA star Lamar Odom are regulars among the numerous clientele who are both local and outer-borough visitors.
Our Faves: If you want a quick, light lunch, the “Vegan Chicken Salad” ($8.50 – romaine lettuce, spring greens, tomato, cucumber, and onions, as well as a choice of four vegan-based dressings) along with a Female or Male Tonic shot ($4) for added energy for the remaining workday will work wonders. For a more sit-down experience, foodies can choose between various meal options – Mini (1 side, 1 protein), Small (2 sides, 1 protein), Medium (2 sides, 2 proteins) or Large (3 sides, 2 proteins). You can select from a plethora of vegan meats (veggie salmon, pepper steak, etc.) tofu specialties (sweet and sour tofu, etc.), rice, grains or pasta (quinoa, mac & cheese, etc.) and vegetables. All meals are priced from $6 to $15; which won’t break the bank but will leave you stuffed.