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Comiendo Con is a segment for folks to share their vegan options in their neighborhood, their favorite vegan spots, and any time they eat out! You can definitely share more than one restaurant and keep adding to your list! Are you someone that loves to eat out a lot? email us for your own feature!
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Comiendo con Sajita Shah-Morales
Highlighting Vrinda Quintero
Vrinda Quintero is from Caracas, Venezuela and currently lives in Santa Cruz, California, where she started her vegan Venezuelan pop-up, Areperia 831. Vrinda grew up vegetarian and as such has always tended towards making and eating vegetarian/vegan foods. She grew up vegetarian in following what the West knows as Hare Krishna which grew out of Hinduism in which the belief is to live in such a way as to have the smallest environmental footprint as is possible. She lived in India for three years and Indian food is her favorite to cook. Her heart lies in community and nonprofit work, especially having to do with homelessness; in fact, community and activism is at the heart of Areperia 831. Vrinda started Arepria 831 to fund community projects that she knew she would not get financial support for through traditional nonprofit organizations. Some of these projects have included cooking classes for the homeless, free meals, beach-flat clean-ups, storytelling, and more. Her heart is in fighting for the dignity of all people and she does so through food, creating spaces where she gives people the dignity of home—a place where everyone feels safe to eat and feels comfortable to eat. Part of the reason why she makes vegan Venezuelan food is that 1) most if not all people can eat vegan foods, making it inclusive and 2) most latinx foods in Santa Cruz are white-washed Mexican cuisine. The most rewarding part of making vegan foods for Vrinda is seeing people enjoy the food, seeing strangers talk with each other, seeing that her food puts everyone on the same level, and seeing her food create bridges.
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Comiendo con Melina & Jesse, Los Angeles
Downey + Paramount Latinx Vegan Food Trip with Melina and Jesse
Melly and I are from the heart of Los Angeles, but with so many new vegan spots opening up outside of town we knew we had to go check some out. About a week ago, Guacamaya Oasis (located in Downey) popped up on my feed with its bright and natural aesthetic, fresh juices, and vegan dishes. I was lured in by a picture of their vegan ultimate torta (which we both ended up ordering) filled with marinated mushrooms, veggie chorizo, and fresh salsa. ($8.95)
After lunch we decided to not only hit up Guacamaya but also two places that have been on radar for quite some time.
After our delicious ultimate tortas with chia lemonades, we walked over to Donas to try their pretty vegan donuts. I (Jesse) chose the bionico and Abuelita chocolate donut and I (Melina) chose their Cafe de Olla dona that was topped off with coffee beans and their cute light pink Doña Rosa dona a rose water infused donut sprinkled with edible rose petals and cute glitter which were $3 each and came in a cute pastel Donas box.
Horchateria Rio Luna
After that we went to Horchateria Rio Luna (approximately an 8 minute ride) and had horchata matcha iced lattes and mini churros with guava sauce- all vegan!
Overall the experience was nice and of folks are ever in Downey these places are worth drop by.
Jessenia and Melina
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Comiendo con Darling, New York City
My name is Darling, I’m 23 years old and lived in Guatemala for a portion of my childhood but was born and raised for the most part in Brooklyn. I went vegan for the animals, after watching a clip from the documentary Earthling. My veganism currently is centered on educating low income folx of color on how affordable veganism truly is. I am a mental health advocate and brujx that also uses their platform to discuss the connection between mental health and veganism, as it’s personally helped me overcome an eating disorder and anxiety disorders. As well as making the connection between veganism and how that is a key component to brujería and spirituality.
There’s nothing me and my girlfriend love more than eating out. As a NYC vegan with bills to pay, we don’t always have the luxury of paying 16 dollars for a vegan lunch. Non-vegan fast food chains are always so cheap. It can make being vegan strenuous on lower income POC’s. It can also make us feel that we have to opt for expensive vegan restaurants. So when life gives you a budget and fast food chains you make vegan foods out of it. IG: @thebrooklynbruja
White Castle is a fan favorite for my girlfriend. Recently White Castle introduced the impossible burger to their menu. Impossible burgers are probably the most realistic and delicious vegan burger that’s out now. It even bleeds! Not only do you still get the great taste of these yummy burgers but it’s totally cheap! You can order as many as your heart desires or you can get the impossible combo that comes with two sliders, fries and a drink! Just make sure to tell them NO CHEESE.
Sushi As the Go To!
This one's less fast food, but I find myself always gravitating toward. Sushi! Everyone loves sushi. When I’m out with non vegan friends this option seems to be the go to. There is a wide selection of veggie rolls on the menu from cucumber rolls to AAC rolls eating sushi is always a great place to get your grub on. My favorite rolls are sweet potato rolls and the ever so famous avocado rolls.
Breakfast to me is the most important meal of the day. If I don’t have anything in my stomach I’m sure to be a total grouch. In NYC we can all agree there’s at least one Dunkin’ Donuts in every neighborhood. Luckily there are a few vegan options for us. Dunkin’ Donuts Hash browns are so yummy and about a dollar and some change. Need more food in your stomach? No problem! Most of Dunkin’ Donuts bagels are vegan as well, just bring your own spread. I always take some of my earth balance vegan butter and put a spoon full on a bit of aluminum wrap it up and take it with me to Dunkin. Just ask them for a knife to spread. Double points if you decide to bring your own butter knife rather than use a plastic one only once. Lastly vegan drink options from teas to the fruit flavored coolattas (vanilla bean coollattas are not vegan!) there is a plethora of options. My favorite drink is a caramel iced or hot coffee with almond milk.
My personal favorite and probably the one place with the most options is Taco Bell. Honestly who doesn’t love some beans and guac. My favorites are the five-layer burrito. Just ask for no cheese no sour cream (it already comes without meat). Another filling and tasty option is the crunchwrap minus the meat cheese and sour cream. You can also ask to add some things if you feel these options are bland without all the meat and cheese. Just ask them to add potatoes and or guacamole, I promise you it’s cheap and tastes amazing. If you’re like my girlfriend and like spicy then you’re in luck because all of the sauces at Taco Bell are also vegan! Unfortunately the nacho fries were a limited time only but if they are ever back just know they are vegan too. Just make sure to order them without the cheese sauce.
This one is probably one of the more expensive options but the most filling and that’s Chipotle. From tacos, burritos, bowls and wide selection of veggies, the possibilities are endless. They even have a vegan “meat” option. I first tried sofritas when I wasn’t vegan and it very quickly became my favorite option. I like to get a bowl with rice, beans, tomatoes, corn, guacamole and chips on the side.
Panera is my go-to spot for lunch breaks since it’s dangerously close to my job. There are a few options like the black bean bread bowl. However, my all-time favorite option is the Mediterranean sandwich. Just make sure to ask for no feta and swap the bread for either sourdough, ciabatta or a French baguette. The chips that come are also vegan!
And last but not least, being a Brooklyn resident and growing up going to Coney Island one can’t simply give up Nathan’s. Luckily Nathan’s fries are totally vegan! I like buying the Daiyas deluxe cheeze sauce. Just pop one of the packets in your bag and pour that vegan cheesy goodness on those fries.
"Being vegan doesn’t always have to break the bank, and doesn’t mean we have to give up some of our favorite fast food chains. If you ever want to know whether or not something is vegan. A quick search on google or PETA can answer what is vegan or how you can make non-vegan options vegan."
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Comiendo con Gabriela, Los Angeles
I am a first generation Mexican-American. My mother emigrated from Mascota, Jalisco in 1974 and my father emigrated from Taxco, Guerrero in 1978. They both came to the United States looking to achieve the “American Dream”. I am currently going to school to become a registered nurse. After I graduate, I would like to further my education by enrolling in a holistic health and nutrition program. Ultimately, my goal is to combine my roles of being a registered nurse and a holistic health practitioner to help educate patients, members of low-income communities, and POC about the importance of what they eat and how it is related to preventing illness and disease and how it overall affects wellness as a whole. Another one of my dreams is to one day own a vegan food truck and maybe hopefully a restaurant.
Here are a couple of restaurants that are my favorite!
Sage Vegan Bistro in Culver City
4130 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230
I have been to Sage several times before for lunch/ dinner, but I have never made it to the restaurant on time for their breakfast/ brunch because I enjoy sleeping in on the weekends. This morning I finally got up early enough and made it on time to experience a whole new side of one my most favorite vegan restaurants ever! I went with my best friend, which is always much more fun because that means twice the food and drinks AND you get to share everything! To start off, my friend ordered a black iced coffee and I ordered a Sunrise juice. We then ordered chilaquiles and corn bread jalapeño pancakes. The chilaquiles were yummy in flavor, but my only recommendation is to ask for the salsa verde on the side so you can put the sauce on as you eat them because my last couple of chips were super soggy sadly (I prefer mine on the crunchier side in texture). The corn bread jalapeño pancakes came with a side of avocado and black beans on top of brown rice and they were so delicious that I can’t wait to go back and eat them again. Believe it or not, my goal is to try everything on the menu, so I still have a long way to go and I’m looking forward to accomplishing the task! Also side note, this location is absolutely beautiful and features both indoor and outdoor seating with an outside patio surrounded by revitalizing greenery. Sage is always a go to spot of mine whether I’m looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and never disappoints me!
4507 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Before going vegan, one of my most favorite cuisines was Thai food. Unfortunately, most Thai food is not vegan, which is the reason why I was ecstatic when I discovered LA Vegan when I was browsing nearby vegan restaurants on Yelp! The restaurant itself is small and simple with only a few tables, but what stood out the most is how wonderful and friendly the staff is. They never failed to check up on my company and I throughout our entire meal. My company and I started off with some Thai iced teas and fried veggie dumplings. The Thai iced teas are made with soy milk and were the perfect sweetness and very refreshing. For our entrees, we ordered Pad See Ew with soy beef and pineapple shrimp curry. Pad See Ew has always been my favorite Thai dish and I was impressed! The soy beef could easily have fooled an omnivore/carnivore! It was my first time trying vegan shrimp. I was honestly confused and surprised at how similar the texture and taste was to real shrimp. The dish came with tomatoes and bell peppers in coconut milk red curry and a side of brown rice. Although I was full, I ordered some sweet rice with mango to go and ate it when I got home. I’m notorious for my sweet tooth, so dessert was easily the best part of my entire meal. I will for sure be going back to try their breakfast, burgers, and sandwiches and more!
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Comiendo con Nova, Ridgewood
Hello! My name is Nova, I’m from Peru and I currently live in Queens, New York. I decided to go vegan as kind of a personal challenge. I had been following a vegetarian diet for two years and wanted to see if I had enough for self-discipline to stick to a healthy vegan diet. I told myself I would only do it for a year and then go back to being a vegetarian since I couldn’t see myself giving up cheese and yogurt forever. As time went on, however, I started feeling closer and connected to my body in a way that I hadn’t before. I could instantly tell when something I ate was either harmful or beneficial to me. It became easier to listen to what my body needed, which led me to start honoring and taking care of my vessel. In addition, I began learning more about the environmental impact that dairy farms and the meat and fishing industry were creating, and how this impact disproportionately affects the poorest and most marginalized communities in the world. There was no way I could consciously go back to consuming products I knew were harmful for me, the earth, and others. I’m on my third year of being vegan and I don’t see myself changing that any time soon. Being vegan has allowed me to have a better relationship with myself, be a conscious consumer, and live more compassionately.
Creme & Sugar
This is a Peruvian coffee shop and ice cream parlor. Vegan options include vegan ceviche and tofu tamale (picture below), both of which are SO. GOOD. They also carry jugo de maracuya, chicha morada, and other sodas I only ever found in Peru. The owner is working on creating a vegan lucuma ice cream flavor so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Norma’s Corner Shoppe
59-02 Catalpa Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385
This is my go to place whenever I crave something sweet, half of their baked goods are vegan and so. damn. GOOD. Favorites include chocolate raspberry muffin, chocolate peanut butter loaf, and apple crumb square. They also have vegan bagel spreads and sandwiches. I recommend the hummus sandwich on potato dill bread. Honestly the best bread I’ve ever tasted, I literally found out where they got their bread from so I could buy loaves of it.
Trans Am Cafe
Cute little place where over half of their menu is vegan. I tried the shroom toast (picture below) which had marinated mushrooms, hummus, pepitas, and arugula on toasted bread - highly recommend! Their smoothies and cookies are also delicious!
Home of the rose latte and churros! I recently came to this place for breakfast and enjoyed a white bean spread with toast and rose latte (picture below). They also offer a churro wheel with dark almond chocolate dipping - all vegan!
Capybara Organic Cafe
Perfect place to get your burger, sausage, or nachos fix! They also offer smoothies, milkshakes, and have a full bar with local beer and yummy drinks. I recommend the Air and Lack Thereof drink. It has activated charcoal, lemon, ginger, and gin (I think). It looks weird because of it’s black color but honestly one of best drinks I’ve ever tasted. And you can feel good about drinking something with tons of healthy stuff in it!
Rudy’s Pastry Shop
They have the best brownies in Queens! Literally so rich and dense - I had one with oat milk and was in HEAVEN. They only offer two vegan pastries on any given day but they also have vegan cream cheeses and can make any custom cake vegan.
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