This summer my girlfriend and I took a week-long road trip from New Jersey through New England. In between visiting friends, exploring cute towns, and appreciating the awe-inspiring beauty of Acadia National Park, we stopped at a few vegan eateries along the way. Here I present to you some of my meals and rating of these places. Remember, taste is subjective!
Diego’s, Newport, RI
Newport is definitely a tourist town so I was pleasantly surprised to find a place that offered a full vegan menu. I highly suggest you make a reservation if you plan on visiting during the peak season. The restaurant has fun decor and a pleasantly busy atmosphere. and serves delicious (and strong) drinks. Although I’m not usually a big fan of vegan cheese, I adored the nachos we ordered. Our entree, the enchiladas, were good too but it was the nachos that I’ll remember when reminiscing on this cute place.
Double Zero (Plant City), Providence, RI
Part of the Plant City conglomerate, Double Zero specializes in vegan Italian dishes including pizza and pasta. The smell of truffle, cool air and chill atmosphere automatically puts you at ease. With an impressive menu of vegan food, coffee items, cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, it was almost overwhelming to decide what to order. The spinach dip was warm, tangy and comforting and the cacio e pepe was so rich it boarded on Alfredo decadence. We ended our meal with lattes and millionaire shortbread that was appropriately rich and sweet.
Besina (Plant City), Providence, RI
The Mexican-inspired Besina shares the same space as Double Zero (as another part of Plant City) and offers the same coffee and drink menu. As for the food, this place is my favorite of all our stops. The elote corn we ordered as an appetizer was easily 5 stars, I could have eaten three more servings of it. I’m not a cilantro fan but surprisingly loved the cilantro crema it was slathered in. I thought it couldn’t get better but ate my words as I ate the best vegan quesadilla I have ever experiences and some perfectly delicious churros. This spot absolutely can’t be missed.
Green Elephant, Portland, ME
By the time we arrived in Portland we felt like staying in our AirBnB and ordering takeout. Luckily, we found Green Elephant- an all vegetarian, Asian-inspired venue. Green elephant offers an intricate menu of cuisine including Chinese, Thai, Indian and more, all of which is vegetarian and most are vegan. While the dumpling were a bit bland, the entrees we ordered absolutely hit the spot. This was my first time eating Khao Soi and I loved it, especially the pickled toppings despite not usually a fan of coconut based sauce. Tofu tikka masala was pleasantly tomato based and the rice well seasoned. The meal as a whole could have used more salt but it’s always better to have less than more and honestly, this is only a nitpick because I would 100% eat here again.
Live Life Alive, Salem, MA
This restaurant chain with eight locations across Massachusetts aims to provide “satisfying, energizing and delightful nourishment in a cozy and inviting atmosphere.” I can happily say, it does just that. The menu is made up of all vegetarian bowls, salads, soups, smoothies, and more. Many options are vegan or can be made vegan. I am a huge fan of Caesar salad so naturally I tried theirs (called the “Living Caesar”) which included hempseed Parmesan, lemon cashew dressing, and fresh radishes that provided a nice bite to this refreshing salad. I also tried the cauliflower cashew soup and can confidently say I would have eaten another full bowl if I could. The entire pleasant meal was topped off with a perfectly proportioned lavender lemonade. No complaints here!
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Photo: Jamie Zaccaria