February is Black History Month and there’s no time like the present to honor a selection of Black-owned businesses that are dedicated to serving up some of the most highly-rated vegan food on the planet (and in turn, help save the planet). Leave your boring salad expectations at the door, though, because there may be a pile of nachos or chicken and waffles or even a raw donut waiting for ya! Grab that decadent cinnamon roll for the road, friends, for we’re on a delicious vegan voyage to explore these exceptional culinary contributions to the vegan food scene.
Newly opened last year in the neighborhood of Bushwick, Sol Sips’ 22 year old owner, Francesca, is a vegan rock star serving up vibrantly healthy smoothies, tantalizing tempeh/chickpea BECs and more. “With menu items like their ‘chicken’ and waffles, and jerk jackfruit (which reminds me of eating chicken) I haven’t craved a hormone-filled chicken leg in months!” – Rasheeda M
When you think of the Big Easy, you typically don’t think vegan paradise, yet Sweet Soul food maintains a five star average in the land of boudin, shrimp and crawdaddies. “This was the best meal I had in NOLA and the least expensive! I’m not even vegan but all the food here is amazing. I got fried cauliflower, red beans and rice and collard greens.” – Kleopatra G. And be sure to get another NOLA specialty, bread pudding, because it would be a shame to miss out on this yelper favorite.
Seeking an organic oasis in LA? Head to T&T Lifestyle in historic South Central where “Chef Tete really puts her heart and soul in the food – infusing her oils with exotic herbs, making unique vegan creations…” And some glorious surprises too! “I’ve tried the Ethiopian tofu ribs and veggie combo plate, the chickpea sandwich, the chickpea scramble – and ALL are amazing. I recommend everything and anything on the menu with an “Ethiopian Twist!”! – Isabel S. Pssst: there’s a cinnamon roll glistening with coffee icing with our name on it, so please save us one!
The sumptuous soul food served up at Veltree surely inspires poetry in the best of us. “I ordered the bacon cheeseburger, fries and mint kale lemonade. The burger melted in my mouth without hesitation and the flavor of the fries gave my taste buds a sermon in which I almost gave myself a collection. Now that lemonade, created a whole new meaning of delicious.” – Danyiel S. We’ve also peeped such choices as African peanut stew and chic’n & waffles on the revolving daily menu. According to regular customer Erykah Badu, they often sell out of many items, so get there early!
When a place promises eats that are Southern-style, we all know we’re in for some stick-to-your-ribs goodness. Who would have ever thought Nashville Hot Chicken would be a possibility for veg-heads? The Southern V version is “to die for; it’s divine! (Or to not die for, since it’s vegan). Also loved the Mac & Cheeze and the Sweet Potato Casserole. I have thought about this meal at least once a day since we went and I can’t wait to go back. Also, those donuts are so delicious and taste like my childhood.” – Traci A
Yet more plant-based plates to fill up on South of the Mason Dixon line: “Friends– this is SOUL FOOD with heart, a healthy heart that is. I ordered and subsequently devoured the protein of the day (spare ribs), okra and mac & cheese. All the dishes were oh so flavorful and had that gut-sticking heartiness that filled me up very quickly.” – Rachel K. #whatveganseat indeed! (Although their brick and mortar is temporarily closed for renovations, be sure and follow @peaceofsoulsc on social to get the location of their food truck!)
Looking to get rawsome in Houston? In addition to hearty and healthy panini bursting with plant-based perfection like maple jerk garbanzo tempeh and chicken-fried cauliflower, there’s an entire raw vegan menu as well! “The Rockin’ Tacos are a work of genius. The perfectly tangy lemon cream sauce, the beautifully textured sunflower chorizo crumble, the delicate paper thin wrap… Honestly, I would die for these tacos.” – Cristina O
Organic mock tuna pate nori rolls, whipped parsnips and donut holes are surely the food of the gods… all of whom can line up to this food truck (or order online for delivery, cuz that’s how gods usually roll, right?) “MELT IN YOUR MOUTH DELICIOUSNESS! We ordered the mushroom fajita salad, calzone, falafel, and eggplant “bacon”. The items all complimented each other and gave great flavor. The food is prepped carefully with love and care by Chef Renee.” – Rosa E
This brief list is by no means exhaustive of all of the excellent Black-owned vegan businesses out there. I would love to hear about your favorites, so DM me as I’m always looking for places to visit on my next vegan voyage.