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MEET THE FIRST-EVER VEGAN FOOD COURT TO OPEN ITS DOORS IN NYC

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MARISA PETRARCA

AUG 22, 2019

New York City is well-known for greasy pizza and street gyros wrapped in tinfoil, but it’s also becoming a buzzy hot spot for vegan eats — you know, plant-based food that actually tastes really good. There are now seemingly endless options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a midday snack. Just look to popular vegan spots like by CHLOE., abcV, The Butcher’s Daughter, and more.

But what the city so desperately lacks (or should we say lacked) is a food hall space devoted entirely to vegan and veg-forward foods. Enter the Vegan Food Court. Located at 12 St. Marks Place, the venue is nothing short of a plant-based paradise. It’s the perfect spot to hang out, eat to your heart’s content, and inadvertently convert your meat-eating friends into the lifestyle.

THE PLANT-BASED OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS

The food hall concept is no stranger to NYC. There’s Gansevoort Market, Essex Market, Urbanspace Vanderbilt—and many more—serving up diverse food options in a socially-happening space. The Vegan Food Court, meanwhile, is made up of four 100% plant-based food vendors: VSPOT (Latin), Marty’s V Burger (burgers), Veggie Grub (comfort food) and Jam Cakery (desserts).

“We wanted a plant based eatery that had a ‘hangout’ vibe, full of menu variety to help break the stereotypical mold of vegan restaurants,” says Vegan Food Court co-founder Alex Carabaño.

If you’ve missed out on the allure of food halls, Vegan Food Court makes it possible to have a modern, vegan feast, preferably shared with friends. For example, you can order up a Jamaican Empanada and Avocado Fries with Zesty Mayo at VSPOT followed by a Shroom Steakhouse Burger from Marty’s V Burger. Still hungry? Get your hands on Popcorn Tofu Fried Chick’un from Veggie Grub and then Carrot Cake and a “Magical” Hemp Brownie from Jam Cakery. That’s just a small selection of the food hall’s collective 30+ menu items.

GIVING A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO THE PHRASE “VEG OUT”

If you can’t make it to the food court in real life, or just want to “veg out” on the couch, you can get your food delivered from Seamless’s specially-curated Vegan Food Court page. According to the food delivery service, the most-requested orders include the Nachos Supreme with Beyond Meat, Avocado BLT with a side salad, and a Garlicky Kale Burrito. You can’t go wrong with all three, actually.

On top of the plethora of plant-based, the venue also hosts video game nights on Fridays after 6:30 P.M., as well as weekly stand-up comedy nights for both comedy professionals and amateurs. To Carabaño, events like these are effective in that they expose non-vegans to the environment, and the call of the comfort food (even if it’s vegan) is too hard to resist.

As for the future, Carabaño hopes to eventually expand, both in adding more plant-based vendors and to create more vegan spaces entirely. “Our vision is to open a “vegan food court” in every city...”

Our city’s edition in St. Marks is open for lunch every day of the week and stays open as late as 11pm on Friday and Saturday. And if you’re not ordering direct-to-apartment via Seamless, we assure you that you’ll want to set aside a good chunk of time—and a generous amount of table space—for your first visit.

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