Eating Vegan in New York City

I have been in love with New York City since I first visited in 2014, before I was vegan, and over the past few years of living a vegan lifestyle I have always wanted to go back to the city and try all the amazing options I had heard about there! Luckily just after I had left Chicago, one of my best friends had invited me to NYC for her 21st birthday, and as she is vegan too we got to visit all the best spots that I can now share with you today! New York is filled with so many more amazing vegan places, and I wish that I can return one day and try them all out, but for now these are my favourites! 


By Chloe was one of the places I most wanted to visit in NYC, as it has an extensive all vegan menu, and the food just looks delicious! I visited a few times whilst in New York, and had both the breakfast and lunch options. For breakfast we had the funfetti pancakes with whipped cream, the breakfast burger, the guac burger, mac & cheese with 'bacon' (which is definitely worth a try!) and a cupcake. The pancakes are a must try, alongside the pesto meatball sub with mac & cheese I had for lunch!! They also have salads, a selection of burgers, brunch items (like scrambled tofu, oats, smoothie bowls), pasta, juices, and so many amazing desserts. You can also buy By Chloe desserts in Whole Foods in NYC, and the brownie is definitely worth trying! By Chloe has locations over multiple states, and now even in London so if you are visiting any of these places I would recommend! You can check out their full website and menu here;


We discovered this vegan cafe whilst hungover one afternoon in NYC as it was really close to the hotel I was staying at, and the promise of mac & cheese was enough to lure me out of bed. Their menu was pretty extensive considering how small the actual cafe was, and we decided to get takeout as eating a vegan feast in bed is the ultimate dream right? We got the 'bacon' mac & cheese, the jackfruit mac & cheese, the 'un-chicken avocado sandwich'; which was layers of vegan chicken, pesto, avocado and mayo between two pieces of rosemary focaccia (heavenly), onion rings and fries. They also have a selection of salad bowls, burgers, tofu scramble, cauliflower wings and more. They have a few locations all over the city, and the food is moderately priced (but definitely worth it), and you can check out their website here;


Another entirely vegan cafe I visited in New York was Cinnamon Snail, which has a few locations throughout the city, the one I went to being in Penn Station. They have an array of sandwiches, burgers and sides that are great if you like vegan meat and cheese substitutes, with options such as bbq burgers with mac & cheese (as pictured below), a selection of different marinated tempeh and tofu sandwiches, cheesy tater tots, mac & cheese and baked ziti. They also have an incredible selection of pastries, donuts and other desserts that are 100% worth the visit! I had the smores donut and it was sooo spongey, filled with chocolate spread and topped with vegan marshmallows (heart eye emoji). You can check out their full website to see the different menus across their different locations here;


As some of you may know, I'm constantly on a search for the best vegan tuna melt - and I have so far tried some pretty good ones (here and here), so it was only expected I tried one in NYC. The 'tuna' was so realistic, as they used soya instead of chickpeas which I usually try, and the cheese and bread combo was just so perfect, which makes this one from Seasoned Vegan a definite contender in the search. However this little spot in Harlem does so much more vegan comfort stye food, from burgers, burritos, BBQ ribs, smothered 'chicken', steaks, mac & cheese, as well as many raw vegan options like sushi, tapas, lasagna and more. They also have a selection of desserts such as pies, cookies and cakes. To see more of their menu and where they're located, you can view their full website here;

That's all the best vegan food I've had in NYC so far, but I am determined to go back sometime soon just to visit Champs Diner - the 100% vegan diner FILLED with amazing brunch and diner options. If you have any more suggestions for people please comment below! - Sophie :)

Eating Vegan in Chicago

Chicago is somewhere that I didn't know too much about before I visited but having lived here for 5 months on a study abroad program I made it my goal to try out as many vegan friendly food spots as possible and this city did NOT disappoint! Aside the amazing memories and lifelong friends I have made in Chicago, one of the things that is already making me consider buying a ticket to come back is the endless supply of vegan food that doesn't even compare to so many other places I have visited so far. The only issue I've had with being vegan out here is that I don't have enough time to try all the options!! Whilst most of the cafes and restaurants listed below are independent businesses, there are also a few chain food places that I just had to include, whether they're independent to the city or across America in general. I hope you enjoy, and I recommend you visit every single place in this post if possible!!


I just had to put this cafe first on my list because they're open and serving vegan food until like 2am ??? and MOST importantly, they sell VEGAN MOZZARELLA STICKS ??!! Now, if you know me, you will know that all I ever talk about is how much I wanted to find vegan mozzarella sticks, and now I have finally accomplished this dream. And before you assume these are just filled with shitty melty vegan cheese that tastes kinda gross and has no resemblance to mozzarella sticks, think again, because there is something so magical about the almost spongey, melted not-too-cheesy-but-definitely-tastes-like-cheese vegan mozzarella in these that is just honestly life changing and you HAVE to try them if you are ever in Chicago. Aside from the mozzarella sticks, this place also sells an array of vegan dishes despite the fact they're not even a vegetarian cafe, such as pizza garlic bread, brunch items and incredible milkshakes. This is definitely a place you have to visit if only to try out the mozzarella sticks and peanut butter milkshakes! It's located off the Belmont red line stop and you can view their full website here;


Native foods is the vegan restaurant that I have visited most since being out here purely because its only one block away from my apartment and it's such a good place to bring non-vegan friends as the food is so good, and the menu is mainly made up of comfort foods like burgers, nachos, mac & cheese etc. As much as I try to eat a variety of things on the menu every time I visit, its hard to not stick to my favourites, which at the moment are the Big Ol' BBQ Burger; which comes with vegan cheese and seitan bacon, the mac & cheese, or the Double Cheeseburger. They also do salad bowls, cauliflower wings, chicken and waffles and so many other amazing main meals, as well as a selection of desserts - the chocolate chip cookie and peanut butter brownie is a must try! Native foods is 100% vegan and pretty affordable, and they also have cafes in California, Oregon and Colorado so if you are visiting Chicago or from any of these states definitely check them out if you haven't already! They have 3 locations in Chicago, and you can view their full website here;


Chicago Diner is the one place that I wanted to visit so badly when I came to Chicago as the food looked incredible, and it really did not disappoint! The menu is filled with BBQ wings, country fried steak with mash potatoes and gravy, a reuben sandwich, mac & cheese, and an extensive brunch menu that includes cinnamon rolls, pancakes, french toast, tofu scramble and so much more. They also have a dessert menu full of treats like the s'mores brownie sundae, cheesecake and chocolate mousse cake to mention a few, plus an extensive milkshake menu - my favourite being the cookie dough peanut butter (heart eye emoji). And if I haven't already convinced you to try this place out then their specials menu is another thing that makes this place so great, as the seasonal specials include meals such as tofu tikki masala, lasagna and a 'seafood' linguine. I feel like Chicago Diner has a special place in my heart purely because the few times I have visited have been to celebrate my first week living in the city, a first date and my 21st birthday brunch, so this is definitely somewhere I will be returning to in the future! They have two locations in Chicago, one in Logan Square and one in Lake View, and you can visit their full menu here;


If you're looking for amazing Thai food in Chicago then Urban Vegan is the place to go. If you have read my post on vegan food in Devon and Cornwall (which you can view here), you will know that I love the chicken satay skewers from Imperial Garden, and so when I say that the chicken satay skewers from here are just as good you know they're worth checking out! They have a pretty extensive menu, full of soups, salads, spring rolls, dumplings, stir fry, chow mein, pad thai, fried rice, curry, burgers, wraps and a selection of fake meat options like orange chicken. They also have combo meals where you can get a main meal option with spring rolls (pictured below). The food here is honestly some of the best vegan thai food I have ever had and I definitely recommend you try it out if you're in the area! The portions are pretty big though, especially if you get side orders like we did, but then again leftovers is never a bad thing! Urban Vegan is located off the Montrose stop, and you can view their full website here;


This 100% vegan cafe was at the top of my list of places I wanted to visit for so long purely because of the fact they had a vegan chickpea 'tuna' melt, and since visiting Smith and Deli in Melbourne (which I discuss how truly incredible their vegan tuna sandwich was here) I have been on the search for one just as good. Ka'lish definitely lived up to my expectations, the mac & cheese may have been one of the best I've ever tried, and the tuna melt was also so good! Ka'lish is also the first vegan place I have seen to use follow your heart vegan egg in their brunch options, as they do vegan scrambled egg, pancakes, full cooked breakfasts and so many variations! Their main menu is also full of burgers, fried chicken, mac & cheese, grilled cheese, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and so much more. They also have an extensive range of desserts such as cupcakes, brownies, cookies, pies - what more could you want really? Not to mention the interior of the cafe is the perfect place for an insta pic, complete with white walls, fairy lights and light wooden tables. Ka'lish is located just off of Wilson, and you can view their full website here;


If you're looking for vegan deep dish pizza then Kitchen 17 is the place to go! Living in Chicago, I felt like I had to experience deep dish pizza at least once (though I do hope I have time to return again before I leave). We got the mac & cheese deep dish, which is just a concept I still can't wrap my head around and although it does look a little artificial, the taste makes up for it ! We also got a chicken parm sandwich which also stole the show, as the combination of mariana sauce, vegan chicken and melted vegan cheese is just always a good choice. They do a selection of deep dish pizzas such as the classic pepperoni, a loaded veggie one and even a cheeseburger pizza?? They also sell an array of burgers / sandwiches, buffalo cauliflower wings and other appetizers and even vegan arancini! However one of the best things about this place is that its BYOB, so 2 for $8 bottles of wine and a deep dish pizza is the perfect night out (well for me anyways). Kitchen 17 is located off Belmont and you can view their full website here;


Epic burger holds a special place in my heart purely because it's the first place I ever tried the beyond burger (which is INCREDIBLE by the way if you are ever able to give it a try I definitely recommend). Epic burger is basically a fast food burger chain that is located all over Chicago and the beyond burgers are honestly the most realistic tasting vegan burger I have ever tried! Even though this place is pretty pricey, and you can get the beyond burgers at the supermarket for a lot less, it still has a special place in my heart as it was so close to my dorm building and I spent many hungover afternoons and late night study sessions here. If you wanna check them out, and see their multiple locations, you can visit their website here;


If you're looking for vegan pizza by the slice then Dimo's is definitely a place to visit. They have a variety of different vegan options that rotate each day, including ones like mac & cheese pizza, buffalo 'chicken', loaded veg options and more! The slices are also HUGE - like the size of your head huge, and only around $4 per slice! They also have deals on alcohol and pizza on certain days so definitely somewhere to check out! I went to their Wicker Park location, but they also have one in Wrigleyville, and you can visit their full website here;


I had heard so much about veggie grill as a chain restaurant in America before I visited, and I only actually ended up going once before I left Chicago, but their menu has so many amazing vegan meals that I would definitely recommend checking it out if there is one near you. From the beyond meat burger, crispy 'chicken' sandwiches, fried 'chicken' bowls, taco salads, cauliflower wings and a selection of desserts such as cookies, brownies and cake. The prices are pretty reasonable here as they are a chain restaurant, and they also have restaurants in California, Oregon and Washington as well as Chicago if you are ever visiting any of those areas too. They have a few locations in Chicago, which you can check out here;, along with their full menus. 


Arguably the best vegan pizza in Chicago was Blaze pizza, as not only was it literally down the street from my apartment, 90% of the time it was on offer for 2 for $10, they had great vegan cheese and you can literally choose as many toppings as you want for no extra charge! My favourite combination was always vegan cheese, red onion, mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves, roasted broccoli and bbq drizzle to finish it off. This pizza place also introduced me to putting a sprinkle of salt on your pizza before it goes in the oven and honestly, its life changing. I have so many fond memoirs of Blaze pizza, hanging out with friends after class or after drinks, getting takeaway and eating it whilst studying for finals or just whilst watching skins in my apartment. There are a few locations in Chicago, but I believe that it is exclusive to Chicago, so if you are in the city this is a MUST to check out! You can check out their full website here; to see all of their locations.


I only visited this cafe once, but the sweetcorn chowder was so good that it deserves it's own special mention in this post. Filled with potatoes, creamy coconut milk, spring onions and sweetcorn, and for only $4.50 I would recommend visiting this place just to try the chowder honestly! I also had the chips with salsa and guac which was also so good, and they have a lot of other vegan options, such as noodle salad, the beyond burger, buffalo cauliflower tacos, curry, and a selection of desserts such as cookies, and banana/chocolate parfaits. The food here is reasonably priced for a 'healthy food place', and they have locations all over Chicago and other states too! You can check out their full website and menus here;

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my favourite vegan spots in Chicago, and if you have any recommendations for when I next visit (which I am determined to do in the next few years) please let me know!!! - Sophie 

Easy Vegan Tofu Scramble

I first tried tofu scramble at a vegan cafe around a year ago and I must say I was skeptical! I am a fan of tofu but only if its cooked and flavored right, theres nothing worse that bland slimy tofu! But this is exactly the opposite, easy to make so simple and so delicious, tofu scramble is my go to if I have a bit of time in the morning. I know everyone is a little wary of tofu recipes but this one will honestly change your mind on tofu forever. Only taking around 15 minutes to make, its the perfect easy weekend breakfast or lunch! Use your favourite veggies, your favorite type of bread and you're sorted! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 

TIP: Try to get a block of firm tofu, with minimal liquid as it will make it easier to fry and provide a better scrambled texture. However if your tofu isn't as firm as you would like or you think it has a lot of excess liquid then simply wrap it in a thin cloth and place under a heavy pot or skillet for an hour or two until all the excess liquid is drained out, then continue with step one. 


(serves one)
1 block firm tofu
a handful of mushrooms
1/2 small red onion
2 cloves garlic 
1 tsp tumeric 
vegan butter
a handful of spinach
salt and pepper 
sourdough bread / a bagel 

1. Drain your block of tofu by covering in a thin cloth and squeezing out the moisture
2. Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in a pan with a little bit of water
3. Once softened, add the mushrooms and cook until soft
4. Move the veggies over to one side of the pan and in the other side crumble the tofu so it resembles the consistency of scrambled egg
5. Add turmeric, salt and pepper and fry the tofu for around 5-8 minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn 
6. At the last minute, add the spinach and cook for a few minutes
7. Combine the tofu and veggies and plate on bagel or a slice of sourdough bread and serve! 

If you decide to make this tofu scramble then please let me know how it turns out over on any of my social media accounts (linked above) !! Hope you enjoy! 

- Sophie :)

Eating Vegan in Birmingham

Birmingham is not necessarily a place I thought would have a variety of vegan options but I was pleasantly surprised when I stayed there whilst doing a work placement with The Vegan Society! From vegan pizzas & hot dogs to the most amazing chocolate cake, there are a handful of amazing vegan places in Birmingham that you HAVE to visit if you are ever in the area! 


A great spot that does the BEST vegan chocolate cake I had ever had in my life, is Cherry Reds. This is a pub that sells all day breakfasts, burgers, jacket potatoes, falafel platters, milkshakes and a selection of homemade cakes - all with lots of vegan options of course! I had the hearty vegan breakfast, consisting of Linda McCartney sausage, deep fried tofu, beans, mushrooms, spinach, two granary toast, vegan spread, cherry tomatoes & hash brown, as well as a milkshake and chocolate cake and it was INCREDIBLE! You definitely have to visit here, the food is so good and the vibe is perfect for a Friday afternoon breakfast. You can check out their full website and menu here :

3 THREE'S - 100% VEGAN

Another place you absolutely have to visit on a trip to Birmingham is 3 Three's Coffee Lounge. If you're craving a creme cheese and bacon bagel, nachos, or a selection of amazing vegan cakes then this is the place for you! From vegan chorizo and mozzarella paninis to vegan piri piri chicken wraps and oreo cakes, this cafe is perfect to visit on your lunch break or for a quick breakfast on the way to work! I had the creme cheese and bacon bagel the first time I went, then the hot dog the second, I also picked up a handful of amazing cakes and pastries for the potluck at my internship and everyone was thoroughly impressed! You can check out their full menu here :


I visited here when staying with a friend in Birmingham and I was surprised at just how many vegan options they had! Featuring a full vegan menu, from burritos, tacos and nachos to dirty rice, cilantro lime rice and even CHURROS, this place is a must if you're in the area! A mix between a restaurant and cocktail bar, the food is so good and the atmosphere is even better! I got the burrito, sweet potato fries and vegan churros and my friend (who is veggie) got the nachos and it was amazing! You can check out their full website here :


Mr Singh's is an vegetarian cafe in Birmingham that also does delivery, and has an abundance of vegan options meaning you can literally do what I did and get a vegan meat feast pizza delivered to your door!!! They also have vegan chicken burgers, garlic tortillas and a whole menu full of vegan pizza, with everything from veggie supremes to vegan pepperoni! I definitely reccomend checking out this place as not only is the food so delicious its so cheap! You can get a medium pizza, garlic tortillas and a drink for £10! You can check out their full website here:


Cafe Soya is a Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant that does so many veggie and vegan options! I got the VEGAN PRAWN TOAST and vegan chicken fried rice and it even rivals Imperial Garden in Plymouth - my favorite place to get vegan Chinese (you can check out my post featuring Imperial Garden here). Cafe Soya has a vegan version of everything from dumplings and duck pancakes to stir frys, fried rice, noodle dishes and dumpling soups. Its definitely a place you have to try if you're in the area, and they are even on deliveroo! You can check out their full website here:

If you have any other recommendations for me for when I'm next in Birmingham please let me know over on any of my social media platforms (all linked above) - Sophie :)