A Vegan Staten Island Excursion

A Vegan Staten Island Excursion

StatenIsl-NYCFinally! Some Staten Island reporting!
Staten Island is a borough of New York City, but besides the familiar MTA bus signage and towering NYCDOE public schools, the Island is an island unto itself. The hilly land contains a city-suburb hybrid mix of residential spans and all the needed industries of a small city. It was time now to explore that space. And considering how many times I have traveled through Staten Island to escape New York City to further southern destinations, I had no idea what to expect from the borough. With slim vegan pickings, I might be able to name all pertinent spots in one singular blog post. Well, that was my intention. So let’s get eating.

We headed to San Rasa for authentic Sri Lankan food. PicMonkey Collagex1

A pretty, bright space with attentive, friendly service–I was already pleased with the place before eating. The waiter helped me to identify dairy and egg-free vegetarian selections for the menu. PicMonkey Collagex2

We started with Masala Wade, patties of crushed lentils mixed with onions, green chilies, and spices, and Vegetable Cutlet, bread-crumbed fried vegetable cutlets. Both were delicious and flavorful… and made our noses run, which is a very good thing. IMG_6941

The Masala Wade with thicker and heartier. The Vegetable Cutlet, smoother and potato-y. PicMonkey Collagex3

Then this tower of yumminess arrived, the Kottu Roti, strips of “Godamba Roti” stir fried with onion, garlic, green chilies, and various vegetables. It was as delicious as it was beautiful with a variety of textures and tastes… and some spice relief in the form of cucumber and tomatoes. I am going to need to eat this again soon. IMG_6960

Eating the base of the pyramid. In the background, Vegetable Biriyani.IMG_6958

Onward, we stopped at the very busy Beans & Leaves, a popular coffee shop that offers vegan cookies. I waited patiently on the long line, which caused me to buy one of each of their vegan cookies, totaling $18. After inquiry I learned they were not in-house cookies but delivered from Vegan TreatsPicMonkey Collagey1

And file this one under Roadside Attractions, Lenny’s Creations is the gallery space for scrap metal artist Lenny Prince. Though the gallery was closed when we arrived, there are plenty of his sculptures outside to take pictures of. PicMonkey Collagey2



A quick stop at Tastebuds Natural Foods for a perusal of their vegan-friendly stock. This place reminds me of the old vegan days, when a smallish health food store seemed a Mecca. And a vegan-friendly pay-per-pound, a world class meal. They had a great bulk section where I for 3 pounds of organic gluten-free rolled oats for like $3. Take that, Bob! (Just kidding, I love you, Bob.)PicMonkey Collagez1

And finally: Jade Island, the kooky tiki bar in the strip mall, for a Polynesian cocktail.PicMonkey Collagez2

I came for the decor and not necessarily the standard Chinese food options. Blowfish hung above us…

Large, lighted tropical light boxes…IMG_7003

The best pendant lighting.IMG_7004

And tiki totemsIMG_7007

Wait, where am I?IMG_7011

Our zany drinks after our Staten Island exploration…IMG_7023


I officially love this place. Maybe Chef Daphne can work on the menu.IMG_7042

And you can go video game shopping afterwards. Only in Staten Island. Wait, can I say that after one day of exploration? Yes.PicMonkey Collagez3

That’s it for now, Staten Island. I’ll be back at some point!