My favorite way to find vegan food is by chance. ‘By chance’ as in we were by chance driving from weekend errands discussing lunch when we drove past a big window sign that read “VEGAN OPTIONS.” After a couple of U-turns, we pulled into the small strip mall in Oceanside, Long Island. It was Jessy’s Pastries that had taken over the pretzel shop that always caught my eye.The adorable graphic and the window v-bomb was a recipe for intrigue. Eager for a new vegan option close to home, I was excited to see what these vegan options were all about at Jessy’s Pastries.
I was happy to see it was authentic empanadas I now could add to my list of LI options. Since moving back to LI from Brooklyn, I sometimes miss the diversity and quality of food options. Though I spend a lot less money on food and cook a whole lot more (and enjoy the quiet pace with a ton of space in & out doors with almost zero hipsters), the dearth of options is a bit of a pang now and again. But I don’t need much–just the eatery staples. I have found great Thai, Indian, Sushi, Chinese, burritos and pizza. Now, let’s talk about empanadas–the newest addition.
So these empanadas are made from scratch, baked fresh on site. Jessy’s has two vegan empanada options: Soy chorizo & plantains, which was not available when I visited, and Black bean. I was so relieved not to see any Daiya on the menu. And I was also so happy to hear that all of their sides are vegan-friendly, including the Sweet Plantains drizzled with a tofu-based Peruvian cilantro-y sauce, as well as rice & beans and a quinoa salad. The combo deal, with 2 empanadas, a side and a drink, is a fantastic value at $10.
And these were delicious and flavorful. I am looking forward to visiting again and trying other (new?) vegan options. Peeking at their Instagram, I know that there will be definitely new vegan sweets to try. This is definitely a vegan-friendly place and I will now stalk it for rotating vegan selections.
They even have Sweet Maresa’s French macarons!! On Long Island?! Yay! ( I got Creamsicle & Chocolate.)
Besides all this: delicious vegan food from scratch, close to home, etc. Jessy’s Pastries has a backstory. Founder Jessy solder her Peruvian eats at food stalls across New York City: Bust Craftacular, Queens Night Market, LIC Flea, Hester Street Fair, etc. All the while collecting donations in a tip jar in honor of her baby boy Brandon, who passed away at the age of 2. The heartbreaking story is an important part of Jessy’s Pastries and means to enable Brandon to live on through advocacy and service.