COVID Cuisine in and around Crown Heights

It’s been a while since I last posted, mostly due to the fact that the world has been going though COVID, but also because I felt a general lack of  motivation. Still, during trying times, it’s even more important to be supporting your local small business restaurants with orders. I thought I’d share a few of mine!

  1. Vegetarian Palate:
    vegetarian palate
    Always delicious, Veggie Palate has become our go-to treat for lunch / dinner!

    Food has become a kind of edible therapy, and for me, Vegetarian Palate (endearingly called Veggie Palate in our household) fills our prescription to a T. I tend to stay true to my usual: large crispy soy chicken, boneless ribs (think char-siu), mock duck and apple crumb cheesecake for dessert. The best part (besides the always stellar, warm service) is the portion size: we usually have enough leftover for the next day!

  2. Vspot:
    I can easily eat 10 of these…

    Vspot’s empanadas have always been legendary: decadent, flavorful and irresistibly flaky. I’ve realized I only truly like the Philly cheese flavor and now only order that one, but honestly I can’t fault anything on their menu. Their bandeja paisa is my favorite entrée with the perfect melange of different Colombian mainstays.

  3. Namas Tea:

    namas tea
    Refreshing organic teas and lots of vegan desserts can be found at this charming little cafe!

    With a charming backyard, an arsenal of vegan bubble teas and an impressive selection of burgers, bowls, noodles and desserts, Namas Tea has been a saving grace during this pandemic. Their peach oolong has a fruity, yet earthy taste that also manages to be creamy with the addition of oat milk (though you can choose any plant milk you like). The owner, Winnie, is a sweetheart and service is almost always stellar! They also let you bring your own cup, because who needs more plastic??

  4. Meme’s Healthy Nibbles:

    memes healthy nibbles
    Freshly made-to-order breakfast/brunch is Meme’s specialty!

    Even before COVID, Meme’s was a favorite of mine. Their food isn’t the best value portion-wise, but always tastes super healthy and fresh. My favorites include their BLT with spicy mayo, sunrise tofu scramble and multigrain waffles.

  5. Next Level Burger:
    Slathered with ranch and melted cheese, these are the burger and fries of your dreams!

    When I need a gluttonous fix, Next Level Burger always hits the spot. With an impressive selection of house-made classic, chicken, mushroom, fish and bean patties, there is something for everyone. Their extensive variety of shakes is also nothing to sneeze at — and can almost substitute with a meal!

  6. Natural Blend:
     natural blend
    A deck of patties, soon to be dealt to my poker face :P

    Hearty, fresh and flavorful eats can be found at Natural Blend, a Jamaican-style café that has a lot to offer. Natural Blend has been a favorite of mine since I moved to Brooklyn, and it’s not hard to see why: their patties are flaky, addictive and packed with your choice of six different fillings (fish (my fave), chicken, lentils, veggie, tofu, peas). They also have a wide selection of vegan baked goodies.

  7. Guevara’s:
    A trifecta of dissected sammies!

    Trendy, instagrammable but most importantly, absolutely delicious food can be had at Guevara’s, a pastel-pink cafe that sells almost-healthy Just Egg sandwiches, dessert empanadas and greasy, glutinous donuts. They routinely sell out of their pastries by the end of the day, so I prefer ordering online (though even then, I’ve placed an order only to have them cancel it later because they didn’t account for inventory, so I would call ahead before placing the order or place it on the phone directly!), and rightfully so — it’s not easy to find a local, freshly made vegan donut in the area (the only other place would be Doughnut Plant). A little bit too hipster for me, but a solid spot on the weekends should I tire of pandemic food prep!

  8. Clementine Bakery:
    clementine bakery
    One of my favorite pastries (though there are many many different kinds), a laminated knot with a chocolate mousse!

    Yes, baking at home is the new quarantine ritual, but nothing beats a professionally-made croissant, kouign amann or chocolate puff twist. Even better, Clementine participates in the Too Good To Go app, so those yummy pastries can be had for less, reducing the ones tossed into the trash!

  9. Dao Palate:
    Expensive, but tasty.

    Pre-COVID, we loved Dao Palate’s space and oriental-style decor and dining area, but take that away and you’re mostly left with an overpriced version of Veggie Palate. Though their chicken nuggets are flakier and a little different than Veggie Palate’s, the fact of the matter is, I get more bang for the buck at Veggie Palate so I’ve pretty much stopped coming to Dao Palate. They are still a solid vegan spot, though, so I am including them on this list!

  10. One More Charm:

    one more charm

Like an upscale cafeteria lunch.. that you pay for.

Midway between north and south slope lies One More Charm, a casual-cute self-service style Thai restaurant with an impressive backyard dining experience. While most of their food is nothing too spectacular, their made-to-order appetizers are delicious and they have a decent selection of two vegan proteins (mock duck and tofu). They also have a generous menu of vegan fruit bubble teas (though I do not like the consistency of their tapioca). They only use disposable utensils and dishware, so make sure to bring your own!

Vspot Hits the Spot

As all of my dedicated readers know, I’m a huge sucker for Mexican food. Burritos, tacos, salsa, tortillas, I love them all… if I had only Mexican food to eat and was stuck on a desert island, I would probably be a happy camper. So it goes without saying that whenever I make the trip […]