Jump to content

Going to TX and NY... Any vegan tip?


RoadToSoy
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm new to this forum and it's such a great info source so I thought of asking your advise on this one:

 

By the end of September I'm going with a friend to the US for a 3 weeks thing. We're definitely going to be in both NY and Austin TX, each for a week. The extra week (or two, if work would give me more time off) is yet to be determined (ideas are welcomed). There's a neat music festival and some friends in TX we're psyched to go see

 

anyway-

I need some vegan tips!

Any nice vegan or vegan friendly places to eat out or do grocery shoppings.

Any ideas for places to stay (cheap hotels, motels, hostels ect...) that are vegan friendly (vegan food available nearby, not above a steak house...)

Any other thing you can think of...

 

And of course - unvegan-related tips would be great. Any ideas for cool places to go see, a cool local band around those places we should check out, places you'd recommend going to during the third week and so on.

 

 

Thank y'all

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Austin, TX is a kickass vegan town. Check out Mr. Natural and Daba Joy for sure. Mr. Natural has some kickass vegan pumpkin pie and great vegan tex-mex. Daba joy is a fantastic almost 100% vegan coffee shop with a mean espresso brownie, oatcream(vegan ice cream made from oats) and some other entrees. Next door to Toy Joy which is a really quirky independent Toy Store. There's also a chinese vegetarian place called Vegetable Garden. There are also a ton of indian restaurants.

 

Also...

 

 

http://motherscafeaustin.com/

 

 

My friend lived literally right across the street from this place but when I visited her it was when they were closed due to fire damage!

 

You gotta go and rub how good it is in my face.

 

Make sure to go to Freebird burritos. They have good veggie burritos and you can't find them in pretty much any other place in the US besides out west and southwest.

 

Make sure to check out the local music scene in Austin. It's the live music capital of the U.S. if not the world. Try and see if there will be a band you like recording an Austin City Limits show while you're there. If you wait in line for several hours like I did, you can get in for free and maybe end up on TV!!!! (I saw Explosions In The Sky and I ended up on the TV show too!!!!!) Just do a search on the internet and you can literally find hundreds of clubs in Austin. Everyone I talked to on the street had there favorite and don't be shy because the people in Austin are SO FUCKING NICE!!!!! I'd love to go back but don't really have the time or money right now.

 

If my friend still lived there I'm sure I could convince her to let you crash on her couch but she actually lives in Chicago right now. I'll see if I can get a hold of her and see if she knows of any nice cheap hostels. I know she has a hippy friend who lives there, he might be able to accommodate you.

 

NY, I have no clue about.

 

 

p.s. Are you going to ACL Fest? Cause if you are I hate you and am soooo damn jealous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, pelicanAndrew, thanks for all the tips!

I'm going to check these places out for sure.

I have friends who live in Killeen TX which is 55 miles away from Austin, I thought I may stay with them a few days. Is there any good public transportation from suburbia to Austin? (or is it more doable to just stay in Austin, at least during the festival?)

How's the transportation inside Austin itself?

 

Oh, and if your hippie friend want to hang out and show us a few cool places it would be kickass

 

Also I was thinking about maybe going to San Antonio for a day. Anything interesting there?

 

 

I'm actually more concerned about accommodations in NY, I'm afraid it's going to be brutally expensive.

 

 

p.s. Are you going to ACL Fest? Cause if you are I hate you and am soooo damn jealous.

 

Yep, that's the festival I'm talking about.

I'm super excited about it

 

A friend of mine has been in some fest. is Belgium a couple of weeks ago. He saw Neil Young, REM, Radiohead and gazillion others and I gave him the jealous rant also

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Whole Foods Market in downtown Austin is their flagship store. It's quite an experience - like a city unto itself. Check out the raw bar - wheatgrass, juices, protein shakes, and lots of gourmet raw vegan foods. One of my favorite places.

 

They also have a nice store in San Antonio (Alamo Quarry). Lots of terrific fresh organic vegan foods. See www.wholefoodsmarket.com for store locations

 

Also just outside of Austin in Cedar Creek is the Optimum Health Institute - http://www.optimumhealthorg. They have a free tour and raw vegan meal on Sunday afternoons. They are friends of mine. It's quite a trip!

 

http://www.happycow.com is one of the best internet tools for accessing vegetarian/vegan stores and restaurants nationwide.

 

Have a nice trip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The city of Austin and New York are full of vegan places. Daba Joy certainly, they've got bakery items, great smoothies, and sandwhiches. I eat there several times when in Austin. Also you must go to veggie heaven. Its cheap and nutritious. Its kind of like taco bell in that most of their dishes have the same components. Usually pretty crowded in there, but Austin folks are nice. There also is a co-op or something a few streets away, pretty good place to get some snacks, you can buy the Earth First magazine there. Also there is Brave New Books. They are a few doors away from veggie heaven. Neat books in there for sure. One think I like about austin besides eating (oh yeah go to mr natural too, but watch the hours they close before it gets dark) there is a bridge there where bats come out. Its a neat experience. I'm not up on all the bars and clubs, so no input there. So enjoy your time in the TX hill country!

 

New York is great too. I hopped in a Cuban place and got rice and beans, great fruit drink as well. Some thai place open at 11 pm, got something there. Also there are lots of little corner shops with buffets, several I saw had tofu. Not sure about eating at them though. Open to air and bugs...not my idea of dining. The whole foods in new york was difficult for me to find as it was below ground and no store front, I just saw a guy with a whole foods bag and asked him where it was. Zen Palate. Try that place. Its a bit pricy, but the food is good, presentation is excellent and my quite non-vegan family loved the food. I also remember eating at a diner that had vegan chilli, it was okay, very large portion though. If you stay at a hotel or something go buy some stuff to keep in the room at some of the little grocery stores. Many of them had great selections and decent prices.

 

Of course in each place there are sights to see. I just like to walk around town and eat food. In New York I will not go to Ellis Island or the Statue of liberty again. They are glaring examples of the police state which the US has delved into. Ironic to have so much security at places that symbolize liberty. It was great to be at those sites and reflect about the people that came here and contributed to our history as well as the symbols themselves, but I didnt appreciate being watched by cameras, herded through metal detectors and chemical analysis machines, under watch by armed guards, and be around the Park rangers which were jerks for the most part. It left a chip on my shoulder for sure. Overall New York was great. I was mainly in the Time Square area, didnt get to go to the Chineese section of town nor spend much time around what was Harlem aside from on a tour bus. There are many vegan places I didnt get to eat at so I need to go back. I consult happy cow for all my traveling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Thanks for all the suggestions and details!

 

I was wondering, how do you people get along in "regular" restaurants / diners, esp. around these areas. Do they have ANY vegan selection? Do they even know what vegan is in order to not serve you diary or egg products?

 

 

About Ellis Island and the Statue of liberty - I don't really want to go there but my friend seems to want.

However, I don't think all the security there is gonna come as such a shock to us, we're from Israel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More major cities will more than likely know what vegan means. Any smaller towns might be an issue. Austin is great but I have no idea about killeen texas. If you tell a restaurant that you don't eat meat and are allergic to dairy and eggs, you should be OK because most restaurants would be terrified of being sued by someone who has an allergic reaction to their food. I've had to use that sometimes in Decatur when I used to go to school there. Sad but true.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New York is great too. I hopped in a Cuban place and got rice and beans, great fruit drink as well. Some thai place open at 11 pm, got something there. Also there are lots of little corner shops with buffets, several I saw had tofu. Not sure about eating at them though. Open to air and bugs...not my idea of dining. The whole foods in new york was difficult for me to find as it was below ground and no store front, I just saw a guy with a whole foods bag and asked him where it was. Zen Palate. Try that place. Its a bit pricy, but the food is good, presentation is excellent and my quite non-vegan family loved the food. I also remember eating at a diner that had vegan chilli, it was okay, very large portion though. If you stay at a hotel or something go buy some stuff to keep in the room at some of the little grocery stores. Many of them had great selections and decent prices

 

i don't know much about texas but the above tips for NY are excellent. just for clarification, i'm guessing when you say you are coming into NY you are referring to NYC as in Manhattan the big apple? because there are 4 other "boros" that have a lot going on, too, but they are more spread out and not as easy to get around (i live in queens but you also have brooklyn, the bronx, and staten island). but focusing on manhattan:

 

whole foods actually are in more than one place: the underground one is at the time warner bldgs by columbus circle, which is at the foot of central park (an excellent park to visit, as well), in addition i've been to one in chelsea area on 7th ave btw 24th & 25th St, and one in union square area on 14th st (union square is a great park with an excellent farmer's market, too). a few blocks away (also on 14th st) there is a trader joes which is an excellent alternative to whole foods in that it's not as fancy so the prices are fairer, in general. speaking of fair prices, there are fairway markets which are excellent; one on the upper west side on 2127 Broadway btw w 74th & 75th, one in harlem at 2328 12th Avenue & 125th st, and one in red hook brooklyn on van brunt that is right next door to a beatiful park called Pier 44 http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/brooklyn/redhook/gardenpier/index.htm

 

there's also a ton of smaller health food stores and all kinds of restaurants in manhattan. and yes mostly all places know what vegan means. not always but on an under 23 sq mile area island of more than 1 million people, even vegans who are ~1% of the main US population, are strong in numbers!

 

each neighborhood has excellent choices. upper east side you have the candle cafe who have the original on 3rd ave btw 74th & 75th and then the upscale candle 79 (on 79th St), both excellent. midtown has hangawi (12 E 32nd St) that is an out of this world experience as well as their teahouse franchia nearby 12 Park Ave btw 34th & 35th. east village has caravan of dreams (on 1st ave) which is vegan/raw and excellent, also curly's vegetarian on E 14th (not too far from union sq). chinatown has buddha bodai, house of vegetarian (both on mott st but different ends) and vegetarian dim sum (pell st off of mott st). there are 2 little indias: one on lexington ave between the mid 20's & mid 30's and also downtown on 7th st between 1st & 2nd Ave where there are excellent priced vean friendly all you can eat restaurants and shops. pretty much every cuisine you can imagine.

 

as we say in NYC, fuggedaboutit! there are literally 100's of places. there is a "vegan guide to NYC" booklet that is affordable that you can buy at many vegetarian restaurants and HFS as well as online guides (happy cow, etc) because i've just scratched the surface...

 

i grew up outside the city so i'm a long timer and susceptible to being jaded but there are some places that may or may not be touristy that are still awesome to visit such as grand central, bryant park, nyc public library, port authority, times square, the museum mile along central park, washington square park, as well as the above mentioned central park, columbus circle, chinatown, east village... there are also amazing churches along 5th ave and buddhist temples in chinatown, the piers down at the south street seaport, east west is an amazing book store at 78 5th ave & 14th St (has books, art, a cafe, yoga, and events)... there are one-off yoga classes (http://www.yogasutranyc.com), gym passes, cagefighting (http://www.campundefeated.com), martial arts (http://www.fighthouse.com). when you first get into town see if you can pick up the local papers (village voice, ny press, NY Spirit, etc.) or even look online at craigslist nyc. i also recommend you look on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City i just did and there's stuff i don't know after 45 years!

 

it really comes down to what are you into

 

whatever that may be you can find it here...

 

as far as a place to stay, you could certainly find less expensive digs outside of manhattan (in the other boros or nearby NJ) but then you'd have to deal with getting in and out of "town"; for the most part the public transportation is best if you stay in town. you could stay at a Y or a 4 star hotel (which may have a pool and a gym) or on the cheap there are no frills places, too; it depends on what you are lookin for.

 

there are some excellent landmarks, parks, stores, and food outside of the big apple, too, (off the top of my head, there is an amazing vegan fast food place that doesn't claim to be healthy but is great for occasional decadence called foodswings in williamsburg, brooklyn which is an excellent area to visit, too, there's socrates sculpture park that was originally an illegal dumping ground in astoria, queens, right across the street from the noguchi museum & rock garden, there's the queens botanical gardens on main st in chinatown several blocks away from buddha bodai and happy buddha, 2 excellent vegetarian restaurants, there's the flushing meadows park where there is the globe from the world's fair and the queens musuem which has an insane panorama of nyc...) but if you only have a certain amount of time, you won't see them all.

 

i'd say get a map of the city (manhattan) so you can get oriented on uptown downtown east and west and the various neighborhoods. heck if i had never been here i might even do the tour bus http://www.coachusa.com/newyorksightseeing/ or circle line (boat ride that goes around the island).

 

regards,

paul

 

ps you could do a websearch on any of the above and dollars to donuts you could find info or sites for them...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...