Until pretty recently, visitors to New York mostly spent their time in Manhattan. In the last 20 years or so, Brooklyn has really come into its own. A lot of the vegan goodness popping up is found in the hipper parts of the borough, like Williamsburg or East Bushwick (not my part, haha) and even Bed-Stuy (Clementine Bakery, I'm coming for you one of these days) but I don't find those areas as historically or aesthetically compelling as Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO. And, for those of you stuck on Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn is just a short(ish) walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
As an added incentive, one of The Cinnamon Snail's regular rotating sites is just at the foot of the bridge!
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman are engraved in the barriers on the dock.
Molly. These fish heads growing out of the ground seemed cute and quirky.
Oy Vey sign on the Williamsburg Bridge (looking back on that post, I sure love walking across bridges on rainy days.)
ANYWAY on to the food. Perelandra is close to the Court House (at 175 Remsen St.) and they're another fun health food store to browse. It was busy when I got there, and I wasn't super hungry, so I just picked up a couple items to snack on my walk, and to eat later. However, Greg had jury duty recently and has been telling me about the wonders of their prepared foods/deli case (the crowd would support that sentiment.)
If you want to actually sit and dine in the area, I recommend Siggy's on Henry St. (it was closed when I walked past though.) There are also tons of Indian and Chinese food places in the area, and I passed a place called Vegetarian Ginger that had an incredibly cheap but tasty looking lunch menu.
So, yeah: Explore! Enjoy!