A vegan diet eschews all meat and dairy.
Vegans in New Jersey have a plenty of restaurants available to them. Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from New York City, has a vibrant Indian neighborhood with plenty of restaurants featuring vegan choices, and it’s a quick ride on the PATH train to the vegetarian paradise of Manhattan. But New Jersey residents and visitors who are farther from the city have numerous vegan options as well, from yoga centers with juice bars to a Middle Eastern restaurant where you can enjoy a hookah and a belly dance performance after your vegan feast. Add this to my Recipe Box.
Cous Cous Moroccan Cuisine and Hookah Lounge
Cous Cous, located in the Barclay Shopping Center in Cherry Hill, offers a 10-course “royal feast” and six-course “petite feast”; call ahead and the restaurant will prepare an all-vegan feast for you. Start with a Moroccan salad made of carrots, cucumbers and eggplant or the traditional harira soup flavored with tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, onions, lentils and chickpeas. Vegan bastilla, layers of flaky pastry stuffed with sweet rice, almonds and raisins, is offered as an appetizer. Vegan entrees include tofu tajin, fragrant with cumin and garlic on a lemon-drizzled bed of cous cous. Linger over a Moroccan fruit salad and a hookah filled with apple tobacco. On Friday and Saturday nights, the restaurant presents a live DJ and a belly dancer.
Veggie Heaven is an all-vegetarian Asian restaurant with three New Jersey locations in Teaneck, Montclair and Denville. The Denville location offers delivery to Boonton, Rockaway, Mountain Lakes and surrounding areas with a $15 minimum and $2 delivery surcharge. Veggie Heaven’s six-page menu is a vegan’s delight, with offerings ranging from General Tso’s mock chicken to curry mock beef fried rice. If you have always wanted to try vegan sushi, this is the place to do it: have a tempura sweet potato, organic sprout and avocado or crispy tofu roll. The veggie power juice, just one offering on the extensive juice menu, combines bell pepper, cucumber and apple. Veggie Heaven also offers catering.
Piquant Bread Bar and Grill
New Brunswick’s Piquant Bread Bar and Grill defines its mission as “to share our new age perspective of Indian cuisine using fresh, organic ingredients.” Chef Kirti Rahi, trained at the Natural Gourmet School in New York City, offers vegan delicacies such as seasoned polenta fries and grilled avocados. Other vegan specialties include a grilled pineapple salad with capers and a roasted Vidalia onion stuffed with wild mushrooms, jicama and lentils. Bread-loving vegans can enjoy tandoori mint paratha, a whole wheat bread with mint and olive oil, or missi roti, another type of bread peppered with black lentils, leeks and pomegranate seeds. Don’t forget to try the butternut squash soup with spiced sunflower seeds and cilantro pesto.