NYC Vegan & Gluten Free Recommendations (Part 1)

When my day job asked me to go to NYC for work, my immediate thought was “YES, vegan food!” By the time I booked my flight, I already had a list of restaurants within a mile radius from the Bryant Park office prioritized from “most desirable” to “still pretty desirable” (I take organization as seriously as I take eating).

I’m calling this list “Part 1” because there were too many delicious options for just one visit.

Pure Thai Cookhouse

While living in Thailand, I naturally developed an obsession with Thai food. Whenever I’m in a new city, I always try to go to at least one Thai place. Not only do I have a good sense of what’s going to be vegan & gluten free, but the food is rarely anything less than delicious.

I stumbled upon Pure Thai Cookhouse with some colleagues. The best part? The menu had labels for items that were 100% vegan. I decided on the Wok Vegetable Medley With Tofu, and although I was too hungry to snap a pic, the meal did not disappoint.

Green Symphony

Green Symphony was only a mile from my office, so it was the perfect lunch time cafe. When I first arrived, I was a little bit confused by the set up- Fresh hot food, salads, smoothies/juice bar, and a health food store all in a tiny space? But that small space held so much greatness. I decided on a “build your own”  salad with miso ginger dressing. Green Symphony was the perfect find for a quick, healthy bite. Green_Symphony

By Chloe

Before leaving for NYC, I did an Instagram scan of #NYCvegan. I was drooling over pictures of meals from By Chloe, so it was one of the top places on my list. I ate the Quinoa Taco Salad (gluten free), and it left me speechless. I devoured the entire thing in about 10 minutes, and would have gone back for more if I had the time.



I came across Quintessence in a Yelp search for raw vegan NYC cafes. It was a bit of a trip from where I was staying, so I decided to treat myself to a solo afternoon adventure. Everything about this place jived with me. After a lengthy internal debate over what to order and a consultation with the super friendly staff, I picked the Q Club Sandwich. This turned out to be my dream cafe and my dream meal. It was my favorite meal in NYC (but remember, I’m hoping this is only Part 1).



What’s next?

My list of vegan restaurants was much longer than the amount of meals I was in NYC for, so I still have quite a few options for next time including:

If you have a favorite, I would love to hear about it!


Questival Austin 2017 (Vegan + GF Style)

A couple of friends and I recently competed in Questival Austin 2017, a 24 hour adventure race sponsored by Cotopaxi. From 7pm on February 17th to 7pm on February 18th, we were racing around Austin to complete various challenges ranging anywhere from climbing the stairs at Mount Bonnell to performing a song “Carpool Karaoke” style.

As someone with dietary restrictions, events like this can be a little extra challenging. Here’s a look at how I survived Questival as vegan and gluten free eater!

Dinner around the campfire

One of the challenges we completed was “share a campsite with another team”. Our campsite friends brought corn, veggies, and skewers, which went perfectly with the sweet potatoes we brought.



Breakfast on the go

After just 2.5 hours of sleep, we were up and out of the campsite. Luckily, I brought some organic bananas and Bearded Bros bars for the road. High Brew Coffee sponsored the race and handed out coffees at the kick off event, so we were able to stay caffeinated (and at times maybe too caffeinated) throughout the race.



Lunch Break at Kebabalicious

By lunchtime, we were all feeling sluggish, so we popped into Kebabalicious for a quick pick-me-up. I had a Turk Salad with hummus.


Snacks, snacks, and more snacks

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten more snacks in a day than I did during Questival. My favorite new finds were Bobo’s Bites (vegan, gluten free, and non-GMO). Bobo’s was handing out these delicious treats at various checkpoints, and I kept going back for more.


My team ended up in 86th place out of 522 teams. Although we didn’t win, Questival was a lot of fun and a great way to get out and explore Austin.

If you’re interested in seeing more, check out this video I made with highlights from my experience!


Raw Vegan Almond Nut Burgers


Ingredients (*makes 8 burgers)

  • 2 cups of organic almonds
  • 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 organic red pepper
  • 1/4 organic yellow onion
  • 1 organic carrot
  • 1/2 cup organic kale
  • 2 organic garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp organic cumin
  • 1 tbsp organic paprika
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Himalayan sea salt


  • Bowls (for soaking)
  • Food processor
  • Knife (for chopping)


  1. Soak the almonds and sundried tomatoes separately for several hours to soften them
  2. Chop the carrot, onion, pepper, kale, and garlic cloves
  3. Drain the almonds
  4. Remove the sundried tomatoes from the water, but keep the water
  5. In the food processor, blend the almonds
  6. Slowly add in all other ingredients
  7. Blend until smooth
  8. Add the water from the soaked sundried tomatoes as necessary
  9. Once you are happy with the consistency, form “burgers” out of the mixture
  10. (Optional) top with cashew cheeze sauce


Raw Vegan Mac and Cheeze



  • 2 organic zucchinis
  • 1/2 cup raw, organic cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 organic red pepper
  • 2 tbsp organic olive oil
  • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tbsp organic oregano
  • 1 tsp organic smoked paprika



  1. Soak the cashews for several hours to soften them
  2. Drain the cashews
  3. In a food processor combine cashews, pepper, olive oil, Himalayan sea salt, and oregano
  4. Blend- adding additional ingredients or water as needed to obtain the desired consistency
  5. Spiralize the zucchini
  6. Combine zucchini and cheeze sauce
  7. Top with paprika


I use this cheeze sauce on everything from raw vegan burgers (recipe coming soon!) to nachos. You can also use it on regular cooked noodles or quinoa noodles for a gluten free option.


Zoodles with Raw Vegan Avocado Cream




  • 2 organic zucchinis
  • 1 organic avocado (make sure it is ripe a creamy!)
  • 1 tbsp organic, unrefined, extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp organic basil
  • 1 tsp organic oregano
  • Himalayan sea salt (to taste)



  1. Spiralize the zucchini
  2. In a blender, combine avocado, olive oil, basil, oregano
    • You may consider adding some water in to smooth out the sauce
  3. Add salt as needed
  4. Mix the zoodles and sauce

Pulled Jackfruit with Raw Vegan BBQ Sauce

I live in Austin, TX, which means visitors always want BBQ! I have known about pulled jackfruit for a while, but I typically try to avoid anything that resembles meat. On a recent visit home to St. Pete, FL, I stopped at the Cider Press Café with some friends for a raw vegan dinner. After stealing a bite of their delicious BBQ Jack sandwich, I was hooked and determined to make it at home. This pig-friendly pulled pork alternative has become one of my favorites! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any whole jackfruit back in Austin, so I used canned, organic jackfruit for this recipe.



  • 2 cups of organic young jackfruit
  • 1 organic onion (I used red)
  • 1 organic garlic clove
  • Organic unrefined coconut oil (for pan)

Raw Vegan BBQ Sauce

  • 2 organic tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp organic smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp organic oregano
  • 1/4 tsp organic cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp organic cumin
  • 1/4 tsp organic pepper
  • 1/4 cup of soaked cashews (optional for a thicker sauce)


  • Pan
  • Knife
  • Fork (or something to pull the jackfruit)
  • Food Processor (for sauce)


Raw Vegan BBQ Sauce

  1. If using cashews, soak for several hours
  2. Combine tomatoes, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, paprika, oregano, basil, cayenne, and cumin in a food processor
  3. Blend until smooth
  4. For added thickness, add in cashews
  5. Add pepper for taste

Pulled Jackfruit

  1. Put a bit of coconut oil in pan
  2. Cut onion and garlic and place in pan on a low heat
  3. Once the onion has softened, drain the jackfruit and add to pan
  4. Let sit on a low heat for 5-10 minutes
  5. Use a fork (or other utensil) to “pull” jackfruit
  6. In the bowl, combine the jackfruit/onion mix with BBQ sauce

Optional Additions

If you would like to use this recipe on a sandwich, I would HIGHLY recommend trying Little Northern Bakehouse (vegan + gluten free).


Spaghetti Squash and Tomato Basil Sauce Recipe



  • 1 organic spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 cup of raw, organic cashews/sunflower seeds
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tablespoon of unrefined, organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of organic oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of organic basil
  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt


  • Knife
  • Pan
  • Oven
  • Blender
  • Fork


Basil Tomato Sauce

  1. Cut up the tomato
  2. Place in a blender with olive oil, oregano, basil, cashews/sunflower seeds and salt
  3. Blend

Spaghetti Squash

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Cut the squash in half
  3. place on the pan (inside face down)
  4. Bake for 35 minutes
  5. When ready, remove seeds from the inside
  6. Using the fork, scrape the inside of the squash (this will form the noodles)
  7. Top with basil tomato sauce


This was the first time in a while I made this and it was AMAZING! I ended up eating half of the squash! #sorrynotsorry