Celebrate World Vegetarian Day with NYC’s Best Vegan Food Trucks
The are many excellent reasons to eat vegan, either all the time or whenever possible (or desirable), most notably that 1. it's great for your body and 2. it's fantastic for your planet. Another key factor in deciding whether to dine vegan at any particular moment: when you know the food you're about to eat tastes really, really good. I personally still eat plenty of meat, but I can honestly say that some of the best on-the-go meals and snacks I've had this past year have been from the growing number of vegan options here in NYC. So to honor World Vegetarian Day on October 1, here are six vegan food trucks that really satisfy.
The Cinamon Snail
Fresh off their well-deserved Vendy Cup victory on Governors Island a couple of weeks ago–the highest honor a NYC food truck can receive–The Cinnamon Snail is, frankly, the best of the best. I've eaten here many times over the years, and am always blown away by how fantastic everything is, from both the savory and sweet sides of the menu. I usually get some sort of sandwich (the Sage Tempeh Sausage Burger is swoon-able, and anything with "BBQ" in the name is going to be great) and definitely a doughnut or two. Plus, Adam Sobel and the rest of the Cinnamon Snail crew are just fist-rate human beings, who do many good things–like giving away tons of food in Rockaway after Sandy–in communities all over the city. They also make amazing-looking special-occasion cakes and can provide full catering. For daily locations (like most food trucks, they move around a lot), follow Cinnamon Snail on Facebook or Twitter.
The Green Radish
After hours of walking and singing and chanting through Manhattan at the People's Climate March last weekend, what a pleasure it was to see The Green Radish truck parked at the end, the friendly folks ready to feed all comers. The Baked Black Bean Burger was bold and hearty and better that 90% or so of the cow burgers I've eaten this year (especially in the under-$10 category… which is a lot), and the Black-and-White Cookie was just sweet enough to really hit the spot. The 'Rad's Chef James Rafferty used to cook at Bouley and, like my favorite meals at any good restaurant, cheap or pricey, his cooking introduces me to dishes I have no idea how to make at home. For Green Radish locations, follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
One of my most frequently craved dishes in all of Manhattan is Taim's Mixed Falafel Platter–that'd be a few Green (with parsley, cilantro, and mint), a few Harissa (spicy!), and a few Red (roasted peppers), complete with their excellent Hummus, some pickled things, and warm pita. This is the best such platter in the city. I usually wind up at the Nolita location, but the original on Waverly works too. No surprise, then, that the Taim Mobile truck makes the list, because even though they usually only offer the Green falafel balls, the sandwiches and platters do not disappoint. Unlike many such offerings in Manhattan (ahem, Nanoosh), these are just exploding with bright and lively flavors. There are a couple of vegetarian items on the Taim Mobile menu, but most of it is strictly vegan. For Taim Mobile locations, follow on Facebook and Twitter. For brick and mortar info, see here.
Karliin Brooks has worn many hats in her life. Eco Warrior. Model. Movie Location Scout. Journalist. Broadcast Producer. But what concerns us here is Brook's role as a lifelong, passionate vegan–she's kind of a Super Vegan, if such a thing exists… check out her website–and her rockin' food truck, The Squeeze. The Squeeze's menu is packed with cold-pressed juices (either refreshing and "boosting" one-offs, or available in bulk as part of a carefully calibrated cleanse) as well as raw, "live" comfort food served cold (salads), hot (try the Moc-n-Cheese, or the Caribbean Empanadas), and desserty (the almond joys are the way to go). Brooks also has two Squeeze brick-and-mortar spots, in Midtown West and East Williamsburg, and you don't have to go chasing her truck all over town, either. The Squeeze is parked all day every day just west of Union Square on 17th Street. For all things Squeeze, please see here, or follow on Facebook, or Twitter.
Green Pirate Juice
The Green Pirate Juice truck was something of a mobile juicing pioneer in NYC, launching its first voyage out onto the streets back in 2007. And while today the truck only rolls on weekends, at special "food truck events" (of which there are many), you can still get all of their raw, fresh-squeezed juices, smoothies, and various cleanses (in single-day, three-day, or full five-day packages) at their kiosk on the 10th floor of Chelsea Starrett Lehigh Building in far-west Chelsea. The Green Pirate also offers a small number of sandwiches (mostly wraps), as well as few salads. For lots more info, see here. And follow Green Pirate Juice on Facebook or Twitter for weekend locations and schedules. Above photo courtesy Green Pirate.
And finally: ice cream! But without any actual cream! Ok, so Alchemy Creamery doesn't have a physical truck; you can find these "alcreamists" scooping their dairy-free, gluten-free, certified kosher and vegan frozen treats every weekend at Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea, as well on Governors Island, various pop-up events throughout the year, and, increasingly, at a food store near you. And, really, it's pretty remarkable how good this stuff is, even for a ravenous, insatiable, REGULAR ice cream eater like me. I've had several different Alchemy Creamery flavors over the past couple of years, whether single scoops (the Dark Chocolate Chai is aces), or within their three-layered "magic wand" Push-Pops (cake, ice cream, crunchy topping), and each time have been amazed at the depth of flavor and creaminess these guys coax out of their nut-based concoctions. Here's everything you need to know. And make sure to follow Alchemy Creamery on Facebook or Twitter for upcoming special appearances. Above photo by Garrett Ziegler.