If you live in a big city, you’ve probably come across at least one vegan restaurant in your search for somewhere delicious to eat. And chances are, you’ve probably dined at one, too — even if you’re not vegan. As veganism increases in popularity for both its health and environmental benefits, more people are beginning to discover how good vegan food can be. But the increase in popularity doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to be vegan. Most restaurants don’t create their menus with vegan diners in mind, and even something as simple as finding a snack on the go can be difficult for vegan city dwellers.
That’s why we reached out to Julia Kravets, the founder of Little Choc Apothecary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to get her top tips for being a vegan in a busy city. Julia founded Little Choc Apothecary, a vegan crepe restaurant, because she wanted there to be a space where you could order anything on the menu and have every bite be good for you, without sacrificing great taste. And she succeeded! In the 4 years since its been open, the restaurant has provided thousands of diners with a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
Continue reading to hear more about Little Choc from Julia herself, and check out her top tips for staying vegan.
What was the inspiration behind Little Choc?
I wanted to have a place where you can order anything on the menu, and have it be good for you–where your body absorbs every aspect of the dish, and uses it to benefit your health and wellbeing. No empty calories. I think I’ve found the right balance of delicious and nutritious at Little Choc, which I’m super proud of. I’m very particular about which ingredients go into our products, which is why nearly everything we have is made from scratch — better control of the quality this way!
Have you seen a change in the way vegan food or restaurants are perceived now versus when you first opened?
It’s been 4 years since we’ve opened, and new vegan restaurants are popping up all over the place with amazing, creative menus! At Little Choc, I’ve noticed people being a little more understanding when we tell them that we don’t offer dairy milk for coffee. We used to have people storm out when they found out we didn’t have dairy (strong reaction, I know), but now guests just take it in stride, and go ahead and opt for one of our homemade milk options, or soy without blinking an eye. It also helpful when carnivores come to our place, and then rave about how amazing it is to their friends.
If you could recommend one dish from Little Choc, what would it be?
The Burrito crepe! It’s one of our top sellers, and I eat it pretty much every day. It has black beans, coconut bacon, avocado, chipotle hot sauce, and cashew cheese. I would also recommend adding tofu scramble to it to make it extra divine! I’d pair it with one of our biodynamic red wines–my favorite is Valentina Passalacqua “Sottoterra”, Montepulciano. It’s a biodynamic wine, grown in limestone rich soil, and it’s one of the most interesting and complex wines I’ve ever had!
- Explore the different options! Make a list of all the vegan places in NYC, and check them out over time.
- Buy yourself a vegan cookbook, and learn to make use of your kitchen. I absolutely love buying vegetables I’ve never heard of and figuring out how to cook them.
- Make your own milk. It’s so easy! Just google an almond milk recipe. I guarantee it’ll be better, and more cost-effective than store-bought milk.
- If you need support, join a meetup group, or a facebook group for vegans. There are so many like-minded people excited about this lifestyle, and willing to talk about it.
- Don’t push it on others. There’s nothing worse than a preachy vegan, and people will most likely resent you (and other vegans). If you want to change people’s minds about their lifestyle, the best thing to do is to lead by example.
Thanks so much Julia! To learn more about Little Choc Apothecary and see their full menu, check out their website. And make sure to stop by for dinner, too. Julia says, “Dinner at Little Choc is super romantic, with oil lanterns on each table, and a beautiful selection of natural wines.” Sounds amazing.
If you’d like to live just blocks away from Little Choc Apothecary and tons more amazing restaurants, boutiques, parks, and culture, check out our latest home in Williamsburg, Common Marcy.