BABA sandwich | Photo by Brittany Barb
Whether you’re fully vegan or just trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, these local hotspots are a must.
For vegans and vegetarians—or anyone looking to eat a plant-forward diet—the Hudson Valley has a growing number of great options. From hearty comfort food to colorful salads and smoothies to juicy faux meat burgers, there’s something for everyone at these 11 vegan eateries.
A plant-based food truck and bodega hit the streets of the Shawangunks and everyone stopped to stare. Outposted at The Starlite Motel, BABA truck offers up farm-fresh options on Friday Nights, like Haitian takeout like pate ayisyen, rice and beans, and boiled plantains; mushroom and eggplant dumplings; tons of pizza combos; jerk tofu, and much more. At the bodega— which is stocked with Black-, woman-, or locally-owned brands—you’ll find filling snacks such as egg(less) salad sandwiches (made with tofu), a handful of juices, and carrot hummus. Be on the lookout for the truck at local events, like the Ellenville farmers market.
Everything’s better in smoothie form. At Chakra Bowls’ Poughkeepsie and Fishkill locations, vegans and curious eaters alike can find heaven in a glass or smoothie bowl. We recommend Good Vibes (strawberry, pineapple, banana), the superfood-packed Trippy Hippie (strawberry, dragon fruit), or So Matcha Energy (banana, peanut butter, matcha). Wash everything down with a chai or matcha latte, or even a turmeric-based golden milk! Their toasts—peanut butter and banana, hummus and cucumber, or avocado—are also worth trying.
Perfect for college kids and plant-based foodies alike, Commissary! brings experimental cuisine to the plate. Start with a fermented vegan cheese and homemade pickle plate, with crackers, mustard, and local jam. Also great: the cashew-based mac ‘n’ cheese, which can be ordered wheat- or gluten-free, spicy (with lacto-fermented hot sauce) or topped with mushroom jerky or store-made kimchi. We suggest ordering a flat white with macadamia milk on your way out.
Welcome to the Conscious Universe. Hosting a café and juice bar called Fork, and Habitat, a self-care and wellness spa, this vegan biz hopes to “nourish the mind, body, and soil.” The sunflower pesto zoodles tossed with sunflower seed basil pesto, avocado, and diced red bell peppers will check off your daily intake of veggies. We’re also fans of the brown rice bowls like ginger tamari and Southwest Tex Mex. And if you’re looking for vegan ingredients to take home, they sell sauerkraut, guac, tofu scramble, and pico de gallo by the pound.
From vegan food blogger Diana Bezanski, Fogwood & Fig serves up comfort food with all the flavor and none of the guilt. The artsy café is decked out with plants, flowery wall décor, and bistro seating, the perfect environment to enjoy the Fogwood smoky burger, a black lentil patty topped with melted cashew cheese, coconut crisp, and chipotle lime mayo. Alice’s BLT (there’s no bacon, rather pan-seared, smoke-salted tofu) is made with local, seeded sourdough stuffed with green leaf lettuce, tomato, house-pickled onion, and roasted scallion mayo.
Tucked on the corner of Old Forge and Rock City roads is a charming, community-focused hotspot. Everything’s organic and non-GMO and the café only uses high-quality cooking oils like olive or sunflower. For something light, order the Mediterranean chickpea wrap stuffed with olives, cherry tomatoes, and tahini with roasted potatoes. Or go for the flavor-packed tofu satay, with peanut sauce, scallions, and an orange-ginger slaw. Pair any meal with a pot of green, black, or herbal tea—there’s also organic wines and specialty cocktails on the menu.
Dig into an “oyster” po’ boy at Grass Roots—this eatery’s fab sandwich is made with fried oyster mushrooms topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and harissa aioli. Breakfast fans can start their mornings with buckwheat pancakes, shiitake “bacon” grain bowls, or savory “egg” (tofu) sandwiches. The side dishes are excellent as well—try the root fries with beet ketchup or the buffalo tempeh wings.
This salad and smoothie joint is straight out of an Instagram influencer’s feed. With plenty of trendy menu items and wellness shots to choose from, Green Bar’s veggie- and fruit-packed menu will keep you full all day long. Take a swig from one of a dozen juices, like Chlorophyll Cooler, Liquid Sunshine, or after a crazy night, the rejuvenating Hangover Detox. Pair the Nutella Heaven or Kimchi Spice avocado toast with a refreshing Mango Bliss or Pitaya Pudding smoothie. And if you’re craving a shake, we suggest Matcha Madness and Cacao Energizer.
With a culinary team from foodie powerhouses like Bon Appetit, Shake Shack, and even a New York Times bestselling book, it’s no surprise these plant-based burgers are out of this world. At this drive-thru only location, fresh potato rolls are piled high with griddled Impossible patties, double-fried onions, and sharp American cheese. Everything’s vegetarian—but you can make your order dairy-free for only $1 extra. Be sure to order the excellent hot fries, which are tamed by an oat milk-based brownie batter shake.
OK… maybe it’s not a secret anymore, but we couldn’t leave out this new vegan haven. The locals love it—the café’s inventory sold out on its grand opening day last September. And we love it, too, for the punny Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch special or umami-packed mushroom nuggets. The eatery serves plant-based breakfast all day, including pancakes, egg sandwiches, and amazing beignets, a nod to owner Kim Hoedeman’s Dutch heritage and love for New Orleans.
The new (vegan) kids on the block, this fantastical Capital Region burger bar is a must-visit. The entire menu is right out of a Dungeons and Dragons game, with juicy bites like the Sorcerer Supreme and the Barbarian, with “Mad Mayo” sauce. Lord of the Rings fans will be especially delighted by burgers from Middle Earth itself: the Orc Popper (potato bun, Impossible patty, cream cheese, American cheese, pickled jalapeño, beer-battered onion rings, and melba sauce) and the Bilbo-Q, with American cheese, onion rings, jalapeño, and BBQ sauce. The crunchy tater tots can be ordered with chili cheese or pulled pork, and The Pixie Swarm—sweet potato tots topped with maple syrup, chocolate sauce, and marshmallows—is a fantasy come to life.