When growing up in a Greek family, you will never hear the words “vegetarian” or “vegan” when it comes to daily diets. Aunt Voula says it best for all Greeks in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “You don’t eat no meat? […] That’s okay, I make lamb!” It’s not saying that every Greek out there is an ignorant carnivore—we just really like our lamb, okay! Based on my Greekness in the last few sentences, you better bet my first visit at a vegan restaurant was going to be quite the experience.
By Chloe (Flatiron, New York City)
The rare moment of me eating vegan food wouldn’t have happened without the encouragement from some of my new New York friends, who—surprise!—happen to be vegetarian, and they already have a place in mind. If you’re a hip New Yorker, then you probably heard of by CHLOE. and its notoriously delicious vegan food.
When walking in on the weekend, there’s no denying that you’ll be waiting in a long line and hovering over tables until a free seat pops up. I have only visited the Flatiron location. But, the casual restaurant is also located in West Village, Williamsburg, and SoHo. The New York chain turns out to be the mastermind of vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli. She is mostly known as the first vegan to win a culinary competition on television. The show happened to be Cupcake Wars, how crazy is that?! Her vegan lifestyle and passion inspired her to create by CHLOE. as the chicest vegan spot you’ll ever see—just look at their cute menus!
I ordered the mac n’ cheese and yes, I know, it’s an ironic food item to choose for my first official vegan meal. But, the sauce isn’t real cheese. Instead, it’s a creamy sweet potato and cashew mix. To make it even better, they topped the pasta with almond parm and shitake bacon. I had to get sweet potato fries on the side to complete the meal (pictured above). For this non-vegan, let’s just say the place got me hooked by love at first bite.
Their unreal flavors won’t make you say “this tastes good for vegan food” because it’s actually just plain amazing on its own! While the meals are no doubt pricey like any NYC meal, you won’t mind spending the money again and again. A few visits later, and my go-to item is now their guac burger with sweet potato fries. The veggie patty, made with black bean, quinoa, and sweet potatoes, comes with corn salsa, chipotle aioli, and guac (of course!). It tastes exactly like a regular burger, too.
Try out By CHLOE. for their genius vegan food concepts. I have to go back again to try their other incredible choices like a “meatball” sub and avocado pesto pasta, but that guac burger is just SO good!
By CHLOE., various locations in New York; bychloe.com
What restaurant should I try next? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.