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Happy Birthday To Me! Vegan and Gluten-Free Splurges in NYC

Vegan, gluten-free, raw agave sweetened cupcakes from Babycakes

Last week was my birthday and I had an absolutely fabulous day! Living in New York is really a luxury because there’s a treat for everyone here. So as a gift to myself, I decided to explore a ton of amazing vegan and gluten-free places in the city. I don’t go out to vegetarian/gluten free places too often, mostly because they are pretty expensive and I tend to eat…a little bit too much ;) .  But, hey, it was my birthday! Here are some of the places I checked out.

Maimonides of Brooklyn (MOB), 525 Atlantic Ave.

This was definitely my favorite place. I had a birthday dinner here with some close friends (only two other vegetarians) and everyone loved it. Instead of greeting you with several helpings of starchy, gluten-filled bread, they provided kale chips. And even my carnivorous friends thought the kale chips were DELICIOUS. I had a quinoa salad with scallion, mint, and pumpkin seeds along with a gluten free flatbread (they call it the signature “MOB”). Yum yum yum….

The restaurant also had a really welcoming vibe. They have a DJ who places reggae-style music, high ceilings decorated with musical instruments and magazines that you can read if you want, and service that is warm and friendly. I definitely will be back!

 

Siggy’s Good Food, 76 Henry Street

I’ve been going to this place for awhile (it’s super close to where I go to school) and I always enjoy whatever I eat. I love that they have a full juice bar—I always get the “megagreens” with green leaves, cucumber, celery, and lemon. My friend Priya and I each had one of these during lunch. They also have some amazing gluten-free veggie burgers, quinoa cakes, and salads. And if you feel like treating yourself—which of course, I did ;)—they have a full bakery with some gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan options.

 

V-Note, 1522 First Ave.

I ventured way out to the Upper East Side for this one, and it was worth it. I ate here with my family; they’re all meat-eaters, but even they were pleased. We started out with some organic wine. If I ever drink alcohol, I make sure that I am drinking wine because although it is high in sugar, it has a ton of antioxidants that help prevent heart disease.  I had the barbeque tempeh with the organic avocado southwest salad. It was delicious!

 

Babycakes, 248 Broome Street

A birthday with no cake? NEVER! Babycakes came to the rescue with vegan, gluten-free, raw agave sweetened cupcakes. I don’t eat agave too often because it is made up of concentrated fructose, which coverts to fat if eaten in excess. If it’s a special occasion, however, an agave-sweetened cupcake is much better than a white-sugar cupcake, especially if the agave is raw and unrefined because less of it is needed to make it taste sweet. I had a red-velvet cupcake and it was creamy, sweet, and decadent. Felt like I was eating the real thing!

My brother (above) and I went out for drinks with friends after dinner at an awesome outdoor/arcade bar in Brooklyn called Cherry Tree. We stayed out till 3AM! Guess that’s what you can do with the abundant energy that delicious food gives you….

Overall, I had an amazing day. I may have splurged a little bit though, so it’s time to start cooking for myself for awhile. But don’t worry, that won’t stop me from posting in the “Eating Out” Series!  :)