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VSpot Organic is the East Village's Newest Vegan Eatery

By Lisha Arino | June 30, 2015 8:47am
 VSpot, a Park Slope vegan eatery, opened its first Manhattan outpost Friday.
VSpot Opens New East Village Location
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EAST VILLAGE — Park Slope vegan-kosher restaurant VSpot opened its second location at 12 St. Marks Place on Friday, adding to the neighborhood’s meat- and dairy-free food offerings.

The new outpost, VSpot Organic, is similar to the original Brooklyn location, but with a slightly pared down, organic menu that has fewer wraps and sandwiches, focusing instead on Latin American-inspired offerings, like its “Philly Style” and "Colombian" potato-and-seitan-stuffed empanadas.

“It’s exciting to be opening up here and being able to show everyone what we have to offer,” said co-owner and chef Daniel Carabaño.

In addition to the empanadas, menu highlights include a vegan take on “Colombia’s national dish,” the bandeja paisa, Carabaño said. The dish contains rice, beans, plantains, avocado and homemade carne molida, made with ground tofu instead of meat, Carabaño said.

The St. Marks Place location also features a selection of homemade desserts like lavender cheesecake and a Mexican spiced cookie sandwich as well as food specials, like vegan crepes that will be served at brunch, Carabaño said.

The new outpost also has a back room with a private entrance, where the owners plan to hold events like cooking classes and book launch parties, he added.

“We are taking everything that has been done so well in Park Slope and just trying to elevate it to the next level,” Carabaño said.

VSpot Organic is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Mondays from 5 to 11 p.m.

VSpot Organic isn’t the only place to grab vegan food in the neighborhood. The new restaurant joins a bunch of vegan eateries in the East Village, including:

Beyond Sushi
229 E. 14th St.

There’s no fish in sight at Beyond Sushi, which makes its rolls with fruit, vegetables and whole grains and tops them with tofu and veggie puree sauces, according to its website. The eatery also offers hand rolls, salads and wraps.

► Blythe Ann’s
516 E. Sixth St.

Despite a name change, Blythe Ann’s — formerly Lula’s Sweet Apothecary — remains a popular vegan ice cream spot. Its rotating list of flavors include soft-serve cake batter, lavender and banana cream pie. Blythe Ann’s also serves vegan milkshakes and sundaes topped with coconut whipped cream.

Caravan of Dreams
405 E. Sixth St.

The kosher vegan eatery, which opened in 1991, is known for its flavorful cuisine, which includes nachos, burritos, pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches as well as raw dishes. Caravan of Dreams also features live music every night.

DF Mavens
St. Marks Place and Second Avenue

The main draw is the shop’s 15 flavors of dairy-free ice cream available by the scoop — like mint almond cookie, Sicilian hazelnut truffle and Madagascar vanilla bean — but DF Mavens’ menu also includes vegan-friendly wraps, acai bowls and baked goods, as well as tea, coffee, juices and shakes.

Quintessence
263 E. 10th St.

Like Caravan of Dreams, Quintessence is one of the older vegan establishments in the neighborhood. The raw, organic and vegan restaurant — which opened in 1999 — serves a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, appetizers and desserts.

Souen
326 E. Sixth St.

Souen, which has three locations in the city, specializes in organic and macrobiotic Japanese food, like ramen and miso soup — all of which is vegan, except for the fish dishes on the menu.