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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NYC Vegan Tour: Ridgewood

IF you have a copy of my zine, you’ll know a little bit more about Ridgewood and the area I moved to. For the rest of yahs, it’s a pretty hard area to explain but here’s a brief tour. I was a bit anxious of sharing the area with you because like everywhere in New York, I’m afraid of “blowing up the spot” and having a major rent hike in the next year. For everyone thinking of coming to NY, Ridgewood sucks. For everyone else, I LOVE IT HERE SO MUCH SO MUCH.

I live very close to the Brooklyn border in the more Spanish area of Ridgewood. There are lots of taco places and grocery stores that carry Mexican, Colombian, and Guatemalan produce. As you walk further into Ridgewood, you see more Polish and German goods catering to the old European families who have been here FOR-EV-VER. (Seriously, I grew up about 10 minutes East of here by car and it has not changed one bit.)


Inside this store I finallly found my favorite accidentally vegan Polish cookies (edited: I later found out, reading the ingredient list for the fifth time, and I only spotted it in the French ingredient listing that these contain honey!! So bummed) as well as some new pickles and some hot (spicy) olives off their olive bar.

It’s a solidly working class neighborhood so the produce is cheap and fresh, as there is a high turnover due to people coming home from work and actually cooking for their families and not constantly just getting takeout. It is also NOT a food desert, unlike Bushwick or Bed-Stuy, where people tend to get food at bodegas or in the single grocery store for miles, which means the prices are usually higher since there’s no competition. Alternately, people in those areas can buy groceries in the city which is also usually more expensive and involves you trekking bags of food on the subway. LAME.

Plantains, yuca, coconuts, papaya, oriental yams - lots of different ethnic produce.
Beyond Mexican and Eastern European communities, there is also a large, growing Nepalese population in Ridgewood. This is relatively new and, accordingly, this restaurant opened just a couple months ago. I have yet to eat here though.


Just next door is Rudy’s Pastry Shop, which has been there since 1934. They recently got a new, younger pastry chef who obviously knows what’s up.


Who dat lurking outside?
I had to check to see what they offered and wound up with this brownie. They only have two vegan options - this brownie and a chocolate cake. But I think I'm okay with that.


Beyond the wealth of food options, I just love this place. There’s architecture, people who actually pick up after their dogs, tree-lined streets, flower shops, history, etc. etc.

Yeah. I think I'm actually gonna finish up this post now and head out to the German beer hall. (Though they don't have many vegan food options there, they DO have THE METS on.) Yo Queenz, holla atcha grrrl.

28 comments:

  1. Man, I used to live ON Myrtle Ave! (In Clinton Hill, but still.) You are making me miss all the amazing tiny restaurants and markets way too much!

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  2. I am so excited that you love this new location! It looks so amazing and how great that you can find so many grocery stores with fun new produce! And even better that it's affordable! I LOVE new pickles so I'm definitely jealous of those ;) The brownie looks really delicious and two options are definitely better than none (which is what I encounter every day of my life lol! Damn you Long Island!). I feel like the worst NYer ever. So many places I need to explore!

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    1. The pickles were awesome, the olives were even better. If it makes you feel any better, I never get to Long Island...

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  3. Wow. You've finally convinced me. I'm packing up tomorrow and moving East. See ya!

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    1. Well, YOU are welcome to. But not jerks! No jerks!

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  4. I've accidentally done the honey thing before - the most recent example, in my defense, was in baked goods labeled 'vegan' so I didn't think to check. Also yay to affordable produce! And I say vegan brownies are better than no brownies at all. :)

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    1. All we can do is do our best. It happens.

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  5. What an awesome neighborhood! I love all the grocery stores there & all the good eats. Too bad about the cookies having honey though. Whomp.

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    1. The neighborhood makes up for the cookies :)

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  6. This post made me feel all dreamy inside. I am so emo about city neighborhoods. This one seems lovely. Glad you're enjoying yr new home!

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    1. Thank you!! I love people's city tours too.

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  7. bummer about the honey! And what a great post! I love discovering new hidden food gems:)

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    1. Yeah! It's like a delicious hide n seek!

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  8. I have no idea what it's like to be happy and proud of where I live. That must be incredible. One day, I'll pack up and move somewhere cool. In the mean time, $1.49 for Oriental Yams is a rip. They're .69/pound down here.

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    1. That's righ, console yrself over yams.

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  9. What a great looking new neighborhood! One of the (many many) reasons i love nyc is the mishmash of ethnicities and cultures and opportunity to learn more about them. I had the most amazing borscht at a random eastern european deli last summer...
    Vegan chocolate baked goods too? Awesome.
    Ttrockwood

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    1. Borscht is so great! Vegan baked goods take the (vegan) cake though.

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  10. Whenever I get a puppy, I think I want to call it Yuca. Yuca Ridgewood? Sounds like something out of Harry Potter.

    But I digress.

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    1. It does!!!! Do it!!! maybe it will summon Luna Lovegood and you can all be friends!!!

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  11. You described it so beautifully, how could I NOT want my family to move there and all our friends and their families and their frie...

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    1. As long as you all bring vegan food to share :) It'll be the new vegan commune.

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  12. I take a vitamin every day. It's called a steak. Kicking & Screaming, 2005, spoken by the character Buck Weston
    Daisy

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  13. It's so timely that I'm reading this today: yesterday I was similarly walking around my neighborhood and feeling extremely content. Unfortunately, there were no vegan options to be found(outside my house), but there was a ton of pleasant people with friendly dogs and beautiful flowers who made me mortified of my own dog's puppy behavior and my atrocious lawn. I strive to be a better person!

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    1. If there are no vegan goodies to be found outside yr house, it's because they are all stashed inside! Which is a much better place for them to be anyway.

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  14. Hi! My name is Vanessa, I live in Ridgewood and I will be serving vegan food at Gottscheer Hall this Sunday May 19 during the Ridgewood Market from 11-5. My table is in a back corner and it's under Vanessa or "Killer Greens" Come say hi!!!

    I love the produce at Freshpond and Madison (I think it's called Ridgewood Farmers Market now?)
    and Valentino's (also on Freshpond)
    The ALL VEGAN Asian restaurant CoCo Lin on Freshpond and Linden. Get the "chicken" nuggets and the wonton soup.
    Ridgewood Thai has vegan duck and has a lot of options as well.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know! I'll definitely check the places out and come see you later today!

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