PEACE FOOD CAFE: With a name as such, peacefood cafe's food can only taste and be good for you! To quote them, peacefood cafe serves delicious, innovative and healthy vegan cuisine prepared with mindfulness, gratitude and the intention to nurture spirit and body. Hmmm hmmm hmmm.... As a strong believer of one of the principles of Ayurveda, that the energy and love one puts into making food is key to be of the highest good to your mind, body and soul, I can only resonate with that mission statement. Their uptown location has a nice homey feel to it while the downtown one is more contemporary looking, pick and choose based on your mood of the day! And as you can see from the happy look of my dear friend Amber, whom I'll blog about in the very near future to tell you more about her Soul Sister Collective, peacefood cafe makes you warm and fuzzy from the inside out!
ROCKIN'RAW: What better way to spend a snowy night in NYC than enjoying warm and comforting raw food. Yes, raw food can we warm as is still considered "raw" when the ingredients are dehydrated or cooked in the oven below 116 degrees F.
I don't which method was used to make the dishes we tried but I know one thing, it was one of the tastiest raw food I've had. The lasagna - layers of zucchini, mushrooms, marinara sauce and sunflower cheese - were just seasoned to perfection and the burrito and its flax tortilla chips was comforting and left you feel satisfied (and not borderline sick) with their reasonable size... Just enough room left to try what Rockin'Raw is famous for: D*E*S*S*E*R*T. And boy, was it worth it! Peruvian Coffee Mousse Pie & Lucuma Cheesecake, needless to say: it was decadent... Don't take my words for granted, but apparently, I wasn't the only one enjoying myself...
THE JUICE PRESS: Since I got back to NYC, I started seeing a lot of Juice shops around, and more specifically The Juice Press ones. No wonder, they currently have 14 in town plus 4 more coming soon. I knew it would take no time until I stumbled upon one in my new UWS neighborhood. Sure enough, here it was on 82nd and Columbus Av... It was no time for breakfast, lunch or dinner yet when I walked it, but isn't it always Juice time? I was feeling a little indulgent that day and went for their Miracle Mylk that I had heard great things about: hemp and sesame seeds, cucumber juice, chlorophyll, raw agave nectar, raw coconut sugar, sea salt. Oh my, who knew green juice could taste like ice cream!?! Oh and they had me try their Cheer Up Kale Chips: kale and granola sweetened with pineapple and coconut sugar. Weird combination you say? I say BestOfBothHealthAndGourmandWorld! Juice on!
ORGANIC AVENUE: After ever-so-slightly indulging over the Holidays, I could feel my body and mind craving a break, a reset to start the new year fresh! Being back in NYC, I decided to give a try to a 5-day-day-juice-cleanse with Organic Avenue. They have locations all over the city which makes it super convenient to pick up fresh juices every morning (though you could get them delivered to your door too). I picked mine up from the 74th and Lex location and Hilary, the manager there, was such a sweetheart and so knowledgeable about all the benefits of the ingredients going into each juice!
OA also has a nice selection of natural cosmetics, superfoods, salads, kale chips and all you can shop from but most importantly they have delicious juices!!! I'm on day 4 so I tried quite a few by now... My favorites: Jalapina, Royal Red Juice, Coconut Mylk and I can't wait to taste their Matcha Chia Glo!!! Oh and their Dragon's Breath booster shot is just that, fiiiyyyyaaaa goodness!
SUN IN BLOOM: Visiting a friend in Brooklyn one day, I was looking for a little something to bring when I stumbled upon Sun In Bloom. The typical NYC atmosphere of the red bricks, the warm earthy tones of the wooden tables along with the very contemporary metal look of the chairs pushed me to walk in. Juices, raw, vegan dishes & desserts in the fridge for you to pick up and go or an amazing menu full of "Food for Happy Thoughts", I was sold! My friend got the best vegan cupcakes in town that day and I walked into one of my favorite places in NYC. Need I say more after looking at the Bella Divine Salad and Raw Chocolate Vanilla Mousse below? Oh and @ChefAimee is a doll and her staff super friendly (see Jeremy's smile below), what more to ask? I can already hear some of you say "What about the non-brooklynites?" Fear not friends, Aimee is opening a take-out spot in Tribeca this february! Stay put!
GROUND SUPPORT CAFE: Another spot I walked into by chance on a rainy Saturday afternoon a few years ago, looking for a place to warm up and dry out! Their coffee is strong, yum, always pretty and they do serve it with almond milk upon request! They have a nice snack menu, non-vegan but nonetheless delicious for what I've tried aka. crumbly cinnamon cookie below! Oh and I had a few magical random encounters there with lovely @tarastiles and @miketaylor (in his hat below), whom have been so friendly from the first one on! Great Soho spot to recharge post-shopping!
HAMPTON CHUTNEY CO.: For the Indian food lovers out there, if you're craving dosas and uttapam, Hampton Chutney is the place to be! Quick bite kinda place, perfect for a post-yoga class snack (equally close to Strala Yoga and Virayoga) in Soho. The filling of these large South Indian crispy sourdough crepes has been adapted to the Westerners pallet but the home-made chutneys are still very much Indian inspired: curry, cilantro, mango, peanut, tomato, you name it, they have it!
JENNIFER'S WAY: My friend @RebeccaLeffler, whom I met at Virayoga realizing post-downward dog that I had been reading her articles on the great mindbodygreen.com blog for months, is the one who introduced me to this Lower East Side gluten free bakery. This tiny little shop on 10th street, next to Live Live (see the New York ~ Beauty section) and Qintessence vegan restaurant, is possibly the cutest bakery you'll walk into. I didn't get the chance to meet Jennifer in person but Anna, behind the counter below, was there to explain that everything here is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy and refined sugar free to avoid most allergens and most digestive disruptive culprits. Most importantly everything on the menu is delicious! I tried a few of their chocolate chip, jam dots, oatmeal and raisin cookies and they were to die for! If you've had bad experience with gluten free pastries, give a try to Jennifer's way, it's so worth it!
JIVAMUKTEA: Funny enough I've never taken a Jivamukti Yoga Class but I've spent a lot of time at their cafe. It's a great place to work on your computer, good wifi, quiet atmosphere, comfortable banquettes and delicious organic & vegan food. From fresh juices to smoothies, masala chai with almond milk, protein rich salads, yogi quick & light bites and a nice selection of desserts that changes daily. Oh and it's litterally on Union Square, couldn't me more central and convenient!
LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN: This Belgian chain is more notorious for their flaky croissants, their delicious pastries and rich chocolate spreads but they have more and more health food choices as colorful to yours eyes, tasty to your buds! They have seasonal suggestions and the ones I tried while in the middle of a typical NYC snow storm were just hearty and warming enough, to my mind, body and soul: Kale Ceasar Salad, Hemp Blondie and Turmeric Chai, say what???
ONE LUCKY DUCK: One Lucky Duck is another little gem in this glorious city I adore so much! Small juice bar / raw vegan organic take away / superfood shop, One Lucky Duck is the little sister of Pure Food and Wine, one of the first upscale vegan restaurant in NYC (where I haven't had the chance to dine yet, being on a traveler's budget but I will, soon enough!) So yes, whether you need to restock on hemp seeds or spirulina, crave a hearty shake or a decadent raw cacao treat, you'll be in the right place! And that's whether you're on the East or the West side as they have locations on both sides of the island! Sweet!
THE BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER: I know, you're probably wondering what a butcher is doing on such a blog... You'll understand in a minute: "At the Butcher's Daughter, we treat fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat: we chop, fillet and carve fresh produce into healthy vegetarian dishes and press them into pretty juices." Smart huh? I'll be honest, I haven't tried there food yet but I tried one of their juices and it was out-of-this-world-delicious and by far the most original I've ever had: Watermelon, Fennel, Honeydew, Cactus Pear, Lime, Agave, Lavender flower, bliss...
ELLARY'S GREENS: Another great find from miss @RebeccaLeffler for both the veggie and the meat eaters! This restaurant came up with the simple yet brilliant idea of serving natural and organic foods only, yet attach to no other label than that! Just good healthy food that will satisfy grown up and kids! Isn't my God Daughter a cutie? Love her to pieces!
Pssst, if you're feeling under the weather, they have ginger shots, eeewwwwweeeee!
QUINTESSENCE: Who knew there would be such goodness going on on E 10th street, quiet little street on the Lower East Side... Right next to Jennifer's Way mentioned above and Live Live in the Beauty section, you'll find a mom and pop kinda place, ready to serve you Life Food, aka. fruits, veggies and grains, never heated above 118°F to preserve all enzymes, vitamins and minerals intact. Not the most hip-and-happening place to be but a warm and cozy spot where you'll be welcomed with a shot of wheat grass and will leave satisfied from your veggie sushi or anything else you may choose!