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Dine Out with Josie

Dine Out showcases people of color owned food establishments with minimally processed vegan options in the South Bronx and upper Manhattan. The segment was created by Josie Tejada, a Dominican East Harlem native and current South Bronx resident who loves eating out but wants a menu with more than just fries as the only vegan option. Google searches of vegan restaurants in New York City mostly showcase White owned establishments in downtown Manhattan and gentrified areas of Brooklyn. This makes it challenging for vegan folks of color to find healthy accessible dining options in their communities and forces them to spend their $$$ supporting businesses outside their neighborhoods. 

Instagram: @mynameis_j0sie

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Dining Out at Jacob Restaurant

Jacob Restaurant

373 Malcolm X Boulevard

Taste: 4 stars

Vegan options: 3 stars

Accessibility: No stairs, somewhat tight quarters

Jacob is my go to soul food spot whenever I want a quick and delicious meal. The place has several large buffet bars where diners can serve themselves and pay by the pound. There is a seating area on the opposite end of the restaurant with large windows. On weekends, live music is frequently played. My favorite items in the buffet include their tangy avocado salad, the yellow rice and peas, and various grilled vegetables. They also serve fresh fruit. Though Jacob has many vegan options, I would caution to make sure you read the buffet labels because several of their vegetable dishes are prepared with butter. The restaurant is medium sized and great for friends and family. They do not serve alcohol. The place is geared towards folks of colors and is overall a wonderfully inclusive place. I definitely recommend stopping by whether you’re looking for delicious take-out or a quick sit down meal.

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Dining Out at Amy Ruth's

Amy Ruth’s
113 W. 116th Street
Taste: 4 stars
Vegan options: 2 stars
Accessibility: No stairs, large open floor plan
Price: $$$ (moderately pricey)

Amy Ruth’s is a southern food institution that has been around since 1998. I never thought I could go as a vegan because it’s mainly known for meat based dishes. However, a friend recently mentioned that they prepare vegetables really well and have a couple vegan friendly options on their menu. I ordered The Rev. Wenzel Jackson (veggie platter) which is comprised of three side dishes. I chose the fried okra, black eyed peas, and homemade candied yams. My food was delicious! It truly tasted like grandma’s cooking. The okra was perfectly crispy and the yams were the right mix of sweet and salty. Other vegan options on the menu included a veggie burger and tossed salad. Ambience wise, Amy Ruth’s is where it’s at. The restaurant is huge and can accommodate groups of all sizes, in fact, there was a party of 26 leaving when I arrived. The place is geared towards folks of colors, however, I saw people of all backgrounds at the restaurant. It is overall a wonderfully inclusive place. I definitely recommend going at least once. Be sure to read the real Amy’s life story on the menu card. 

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