This New Queens, NY Cafe is Serving Up Vegan Caribbean Soul Food
Get a taste of the Caribbean vegan style when you dine at this vegan cafe!
Real Veggie Cafe, a family-owned vegan cafe, has opened in Jamaica, Queens. Chef and owner Hulando Shaw developed the menu, which offers classic soul food bites with a vegan Caribbean twist, such as fried chicken, black-eyed peas, collard greens, double-battered mushroom nuggets (available in jerk, barbecue, and sweet heat flavors), as well Caribbean plates like jerk chicken, rice and peas, and Rasta pasta—all made from plants!
Incorporating Plant-Based Foods Into Traditional Caribbean Recipes
Each dish is prepared by incorporating plant-based foods like shredded jackfruit and mushrooms into traditional Caribbean recipes such as “pulled pork” sandwiches, and mushroom-based “oxtail stew.” Those who visit the restaurant on Sundays can also opt for the $15 Sunday brunch menu, which features items like soybean protein, that replaces traditional salt fish and comes with a choice of ackee (a Jamaican fruit) or callaloo (a Jamaican green leafy vegetable prepared with onion, garlic, tomatoes, thyme, and Scotch bonnet pepper) on the side.
Bringing the Community Together, One Plant-Based Meal at a Time
Last year, Chef Shaw was able to cook and deliver over a thousand plant-based meals per week to community residents as well as essential workers through his partnerships with Queens Together, Black Resource Network, New York State Senator Leroy Comrie’s office, and his church in an effort to aid food insecurity in southeast Queens. Earlier this year, Chef Shaw also launched a Real Veggie Cooking Boot Camp, which was developed to teach children ages 11-15, as well as ages 16 and up, how to cook plant-based meals.
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