In search of

NYC | In search of: Vegan Croissants - AbcV by Ace Pai

Where to find the best Vegan Croissants in NYC

After going vegan, the one food that I missed eating most were croissants. Croissant au beurre, Pain aux chocolat, Almond Croissant. I'm not talking about the mass produced boxes of doughy cake like soft "croissants" (if you can even call it that) at Wholefoods, Trader Joes, or Costco,  because those are usually vegan. I'm talking about those freshly-made, buttery, and flakey croissants in the little bakeries on top of Montmartre. The crisp and well defined layers are something that I will forever miss.

Since NYC is such a diverse place, I had not expected vegan croissants to be a hard find. Unfortunately, I was wrong and it seems like vegan croissants aren't as in demand as I thought. Luckily, I came across these croissants last fall when I had Brunch at AbcV and tried the vegan pastry basket where there were mini versions (that are not as good as the regular sized ones). Since then, I've been dropping by for them every once in a while on my way to school. 

Of course, these aren't going to be exactly the same as those flakey artisanal croissants, but for now they are the closest NYC is going to get to the real deal. The croissants are available at Breakfast (8am-11am) on Monday to Friday for $5 each. 

*As of Feb 2018, all of the croissants at AbcV are Vegan! 

If you ever end up trying them or have already tried them, let me know what you think in the comments below!

NYC | In Search of: Vegan Icecream - Van Leeuwen by Ace Pai

One cold January day, a friend and I decided to go for some icecream. We had both studied in Italy half a year ago and I had just gotten back from Florence (without getting the chance to eat gelato) so the icecream craving was strong. I suggested Van Leeuwen, a name I know of from the non-dairy icecream shelves of Wholefoods and a video I once saw on Facebook. 

I have tried their pistacchio pints before and I absolutely love the creaminess and the strong flavour of the pistacchio but I had heard that they offered special vegan flavours in their shops so I knew that I had to go and taste them for myself!

The new vegan flavour out at the time (available at all locations) was Planet Earth. The blue “ocean” is made of spirulina and has an almond flavour while the chunks of matcha cakes make up the green “land.” It was an interesting combination that I’ve never seen elsewhere. In my opinion, the almond flavouring was a bit artificial tasting but I enjoyed the matcha chunks. I didn’t quite like it at first taste but it grew on me and now I occasionally crave this weird flavour while studying.

This definitely is something that I don’t think is for everyone. It’s probably a flavour that kids won’t love either. However, I think you should be the judge of that yourself ;) as it is apparently pretty popular and has been sold out at certain locations that I’ve been to.

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The other new vegan flavour that came out around the end of March was Dark Matter, a homage to Stephen Hawkings who had passed away on the 14th. The beautiful black colour comes from blending activated charcoal with its cashew milk and coconut cream base, chucks of vegan honeycomb candy are then folded in to add a nice crunch. The result is a wonderful flavour that is, in my opinion, similar to toasted coconut. 

Since my last visit, Van Leeuwen has come out with another new vegan flavour (horchata, I believe) that I have yet to try. When I do get a chance to, I will make sure to update this post! In the mean time, you should head on over to Van Leeuwen to try these vegan flavours for yourself!