Peacefood Cafe, an Upper West Side favorite for vegans and carnivores alike, opened its second location back in March. Located on East 11th street between University and Broadway, the downtown location feels a bit more trendy with a vibe that reflects the food: clean, fresh, and bright. The service is friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable and the staff is genuinely adamant that all diners have a great experience. Don’t know what something on the menu is? Talk to your server. Have a food allergy? Let them know — they are more than happy to accommodate to any dining needs.
The menu is completely free of animal products, yet loaded with creativity and flavor. One of the must-try starters is the chickpea fries made with chickpea flour and indian seasoning. These pan seared patties come with a creamy house dipping sauce, which ties the flavors together and tempers the spices nicely. This appetizer is incredibly hearty and addictive, and is reason enough to stop in the cafe.
While one could easily make a meal out of Peacefood’s incredible appetizers, it’s wise to save room for one of many outstanding entrées. Peacefood knocks salads out of the park. Whether you try the “Asian Greens” or the famous “Other Caesar,” the salads at Peacefood are incredibly fresh and interesting. Each salad is lightly coated in a house-made dressing to enhance the flavor without being too overpowering.
The cafe has also earned numerous awards for their sandwiches, and after tasting them, it’s easy to understand why. A customer favorite is the “Tempeh Avocado” sandwich made with Tempeh, a meat substitute that is more texturally interesting and heartier than tofu, shredded carrots, pickled radishes, and a creamy avocado spread. A pinch of cilantro adds a refreshing element, marrying together all the surprising elements of dish. Paired with one of the menu’s freshly squeezed juices or smoothies, a sandwich from Peacefood makes a perfect lunch for spring or fall.
The menu offers many other specialties including raw lasagna, pizzas, sushi, paninis, and arguably the best veggie burger in the city. Meat-lovers won’t feel like they’re missing a thing as the dishes are consistently dynamic, delicious, and filling.
Whether you’re pleasantly full or stuffed to the brim, it’s crucial to make room for one of Peacefood’s delicious desserts, which easily surpass many non-vegan bakeries in flavor and quality. The carrot cake is not to be missed, nor is their famous Magic Cookie. Bursting with pecans, chocolate, and coconut, the Magic Cookie is like a samosa gone gourmet and makes for an ideal ending to a great meal.
What sets Peacefood Cafe apart from many other eateries is that the food is delicious and it makes you feel good. The staff definitely understands what it means to nourish the body, and their creative menu and quality ingredients reflect their mission to do so. After a meal at Peacefood, there’s no doubt you’ll leave feeling energized, satisfied, and eager to come back.
Location: 41 E 11th Street (between Broadway & University Place)
Hours of Operation: Daily 10am to 10pm