On the heels of Earth Day, many of us are thinking about the ways in which we can make better lifestyle changes for our planet. Whether switching to solar energy, shopping with reusable totes instead of plastic bags, or reducing and recycling our waste, we all have a role to play in healing and improving our environment. However, there is one aspect of a green lifestyle that is often overlooked – our food.
The leading cause of wildlife habitat loss, species extinction, deforestation, freshwater use, and greenhouse gas emissions can all be traced back one industry: animal agriculture. To put that fact into digestible bites, the production of a single quarter-pound hamburger requires the same amount of water (660 gallons) as showering for two entire months. Further, animal agriculture contributes produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s transportation combined. The good news? We can take substantial steps toward saving our planet and addressing all of these issues simply by swapping the meat and dairy on our plates for plant-based versions. In fact, if every person in the U.S. were to choose more plant-based foods, we could cut our carbon footprint in half, save around 200,000 gallons, and of course, save millions of animals.
But if you’re thinking that veganism means bland brown rice and tofu, think again. Ever increasing consumer awareness and concern over where our food comes from, how it’s produced, and the impact it has on our bodies and planet is changing the way we eat. In fact, 6 percent of the U.S. population now identifies as vegan and the food industry is taking notice. Vegan alternatives to all of our favorite foods like ice cream, fried chicken, and more, can be found just about everywhere, including right here in Huntington. In honor of Earth Day (and Meatless Monday), here is a list of restaurants and eateries to find delicious vegan eats in town:
- VauxHall: No need to miss out on the joy of Southern comfort food here where you can enjoy vegan soy wings, poutine, hearty black bean sweet potato burgers or delicious chickpea edamame burgers.
- Radio Radio: Get your BBQ fix with Vegan Fried Chick’n, BBQ seitan tacos and more!
- Bee Organic: Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine,” and he was a pretty smart guy. For healthy, whole food, options like hearty Buddha Bowls and fresh kale-cucumber salads, this is the place.
- Ben & Jerry’s: If there’s any indication that veganism has hit the mainstream, it may be that ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s has NINE vegan flavors (and counting). Enjoy flavors like Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and more.
- Herrell’s Ice Cream: For a local favorite, check out Herrell’s Ice Cream, which has multiple No Moo vegan flavors.
- Real Food Real People: When you eat good, you feel good. Enjoy organic collard green wraps, salads, savory bowls and refreshing smoothies.
- Chip & Dipped Chocolatier: Going vegan doesn’t mean giving up your guilty pleasures! Get your chocolate fix with dark chocolate pretzel bars, dark chocolate sea salt bars, chocolate and marshmallow bars and more.
- Cinema Arts Centre: The Sky Room Cafe at the Cinema Arts Centre offers surprisingly gourmet eats, including Middle Eastern Hummus Platters, vegan sandwiches and more. Bonus: the garden patio is a relaxing way to spend a lunch break.
- Stella Blue: Scrambled tofu and veggie chili among many more options make Stella Blue a great option for casual breakfast and lunch.
- House of India: For lunch or dinner, House of India has more than 22 veggie options that are either deliciously vegan or can be easily veganized if ordered without yogurt sauce or paneer cheese.
- Om Organics: Enjoy light bites, waffles, acai bowls and cold press juices.
- Wild Flours: This all gluten-free bakery also offers a few vegan muffins and treats, as well as, plant-based milk options for coffee.
- PlantWise: Right on the Huntington Station/Dix Hills border, this 100-percent all-vegan eatery is both nutritious and great-tasting. Enjoy everything from chickpea masala and cashew alfredo zoodles to peanut butter smoothies and hero sandwiches.
- Wild By Nature: For quick bites or lunch, head to the Deli section of Wild By Nature for vegan sandwiches, salads, and even delectable desserts like raw cashew cheesecakes and more.
Easy to Veganize Options:
Thai, Asian-fusion, Indian and Mexican restaurants are easy go-tos for those following a vegan diet. Most entrees can be made vegan by simply swapping the meat for tofu or veggies, but some also feature meat alternatives like mock duck or seitan for those who still want that meaty flavor and texture.
Fast Food Options:
Head to Tropical Smoothie Cafe where you can swap any protein for plant-based Beyond Meat Chick’n; Wendy’s offers a vegan black bean burger; White Castle has the coveted vegan Impossible Burger; Taco Bell has unlimited vegan options that can be found here and Chipotle offers vegan sofrito as a plant-based protein.