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Angela Johnson’s Favorite Vegan Restaurants

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I love being a vegan! As a touring artist, I have the pleasure of eating at some of the finest vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in the country. Yes, it requires some advance planning to find these establishments, but it’s well worth the discovery of fine vegan dining. Here are some of my favorite places to indulge.

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ATLANTA:

  1. SOUL VEGETARIAN:Vegan soul food at its best! My favorite dishes are the “Country Bake Steak” and the “Macaroni and Cheese.” www.soulvegetarian2.com

 

  1. GREEN SPROUT: Some of the best vegan Chinese food I’ve ever eaten! From appetizers to full course meals, it’s never too oily and the vegetables are cooked just right. I highly recommend the “General Tso’s soy shrimp.” I love the vegetable fried rice, too! www.greensproutga.com

 

  1. DULCE VEGAN BAKERY AND CAFE: To satisfy my sweet tooth, this is the place to go. Cinnamon Rolls, cupcakes, and more. It’s 100% vegan! www.dulcevegan.com

 

  1. SEVANANDA NATURAL FOOD CO-OP: Although it’s not a restaurant, I have to mention this co-op, because they have many delicious prepared foods that I’ve made complete meals out of. Desserts too! www.sevananda.coop

 

RALEIGH/DURHAM:

  1. THE FICTION KITCHEN: This fusion, vegetarian, vegan-friendly restaurant is one of my recent discoveries. For an appetizer, try the  “Cornmeal-Fried Oyster Mushrooms” or entrées like, “Nori Rolls With Sashimi Tofu” and the “Braised and Grilled Tempeh Sandwich.” This was delicious after a late night rehearsal! www.thefictionkichen.com

 

CHICAGO:

  1. THE CHICAGO DINER:  Great American vegetarian and vegan comfort food! I visited this place for brunch with my family and boy, were we blown away! My daughter wanted to come back for dinner the very same day, but I couldn’t eat anymore. Biscuits and gravy, potato hash, pancake stacks, seitan sausages, tofu scramble, and this is only the brunch menu! It’s worth the trip! www.veggiediner.com

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.

  1. BUSBOYS AND POETS: They have several locations in the DMV area, I think that I’ve eaten at all of them. I frequently perform in DC, and never leave without getting some of my favorites on their menu. Great atmosphere and good food keeps me coming back to this vegan-friendly restaurant. Try the “Vegan Nachos,” “Coconut Tofu Bites,” “Tempeh Panini,”  “Quinoa and Mixed Veggies,” and the “Orzo Pasta.” The “Vegan Cheesecake” is spot on! www.busboysandpoets.com

 

  1. WOODLAND’S VEGAN BISTRO: Here’s another great place for vegan soul food. There are many selections to choose from for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have a juice bar, which I love! www.woodlandsveganbistro.net

 

  1. STICKY FINGERS: This bakery and café is another favorite spot that we frequent in DC. They’re 100% vegan with several delicious options on the daily menu, like sandwiches, burgers and wraps. We usually come here for brunch, but before we leave, I make sure that I grab some of their delicious cinnamon rolls for the road trip back home. www.stickyfingersbakery.com

 

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PHILADELPHIA

  1. BLACKBIRD PIZZERIA: Philly has a few good vegan establishments, but Blackbird Pizzeria is our go to eatery when I play Philadelphia. This 100% vegan pizzeria is the home of two of the top 10 vegan pizzas in the country. There are way too many great choices on the menu to list them all, but if I had to choose one, it would have to be the “Haymaker Pizza.” Before we head back up the turnpike we always order two sandwiches to go, a “Cubano,” and a “Seitan Cheesesteak.” http://www.blackbirdpizzeria.com

 

LOS ANGELES

  1. NATIVE FOODS CAFÉ: I love this place! I always leave the café feeling nourished and content. The food is unique with blends of spices and flavors that I would never think of using together. Their hot Chai Tea is the best I’ve ever tasted. I have to mention that the service at the Culver City location is exceptional, the staff is always friendly. www.nativefoods.com

 

  1. VEGGIE GRILL: This is my go-to, fast food chain, vegan restaurant. From salads to sandwiches, wraps, and buffalo wings, chicken tacos to crispy cauliflower, you can’t go wrong. It’s far from the bad rap that’s attached to the fast food industry. You’re getting healthy food and there are so many tasty choices. It’s a great place to bring young children to. www.veggiegrill.com

 

  1. SAGE ORGANIC BISTRO: For lunch and dinner, I frequent this lovely place to get a unique experience. The dishes burst with flavor. Some of my favorite dishes are:  the “Avocado Club,” the “Goatless Greek Quinoa Kale Salad, ” the “Bowl Of Soul” and the  “Housemade Veggie Burger.” I can’t forget to mention their KindKreme raw ice cream shop! You must give this place a try! www.sageveganbistro.com

 

NEW YORK 

  1. BLOSSOM: Like LA, New York has so many awesome places for vegans to eat, I’ll list a few of my favorites. Blossom is one of those vegan restaurants that will make any omnivore forget about eating meat. Well, at least while they’re dining there. The cuisine is sophisticated, and the presentation will blow you away. Dishes like the “Seitan Scallopini” and the “Grilled Portabella” sandwich are savory! You must experience the food from this wonderful establishment, at least once. www.blossomnyc.com

 

  1. BLOSSOM DU JOUR: This spot is basically a fast food version of Blossom. When I’m on my way to a sound check, or leaving a rehearsal, this is my healthy alternative for food on-the-go. They offer a variety of wraps, burgers, salads, juices, and smoothies. The “Smoky Avocado,” the “Midtown Melt” and the “Seitan Philly Cheese Steak” are at the top of our list of favorites! www.blossomdujour.com

 

  1. V-SPOT: When I have a craving for Latin food, I go to V-Spot in Brooklyn. Their menu is entirely vegan and amazingly good! You’ll find a variety of tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, and their arepas have so much flavor. I personally find it difficult to choose just one entree from their eclectic menu. This is one of the many reasons that we keep coming back. My family and I also enjoy the empanadas. We can’t get enough! http://www.spreadvegan.com/

 

  1. CHAMPS: Brooklyn has a lot to offer vegans and non-vegans alike. This vegan diner has everything you can imagine and more. My daughter’s favorite item on the menu is the vegan croissants! Vegan croissants are an extremely rare find. That alone makes this place well worth the visit. Check out their extensive menu. www.champsdiner.com

 

  1. JOHN’S OF 12THSTREET: If you’re looking for some authentic, New York, Italian food, this is the place to go! They’ve never disappointed me. Along with their regular menu, they’ve created a menu entirely for vegans! With so many of our favorite Italian dishes like vegan ravioli, eggplant parmigiana, and vegan ragu, we are sure to keep coming back for years to come. Great family atmosphere and the service is always on point! www.johnsof12thstreet.com

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NEW JERSEY

  1. VEGGIE HEAVEN; My family and I have celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Days, and Father’s Days here at this restaurant in Teaneck, NJ. We enjoy the variety of Asian foods that they offer like Japanese sushi rolls and classic Chinese mock-meat dishes. Desserts are also delicious here. www.veggieheaventeaneck.com

 

  1. RUTHERFORD PANCAKE HOUSE: This place has saved me many times from having to make breakfast after a late night performance. It’s conveniently located in Rutherford, NJ and the menu offers several vegan choices. Belgian Waffles, French Toast, Pancakes, vegan sausage,

and the “Vegan Roman” tofu scramble with home fries, have filled us up every time we’ve eaten there. You have to bring a big appetite. www.rutherfordpancakehouse.com

 

  1. POSITIVITEA: My husband and I discovered this place, on our way home from our chiropractor. When we see a sign that reads ‘vegan,’ no matter how small, it stands out to us as if it were in neon lights! We were delighted to find this vegan café in Verona. The food is very light and you never feel like you’re over eating. They offer a variety of burgers, wraps, smoothies, and teas. Try the “Big Bean Burger,” it’s the vegan version of a “Big Mac.” They also offer a wide selection of waffles on their menu. I can’t forget to mention the soft serve vegan ice cream. With a variety of classic, crunchy toppings, it’s a great treat!

www.iampositivitea.com

By Angela Johnson

Aids Health Foundation
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