With all the sparkling turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, and cream pies, Thanksgiving isn’t exactly a vegan party.
At least it wasn’t. Today there are plenty of restaurants, bakeries and catering businesses in North Jersey that can offer full feasts (or just a few sides) that will meet the dietary restrictions of your vegan guests and delight their palates.
These stores will send you home with platters full of Thanksgiving food, all without any animal by-products.
Busy Bee Organics, Jersey City
Jersey City-based caterer Busy Bee Organics offers an ‘everything but turkey’ menu. Every dish is gluten free and many are vegan. Options include the Shepherd’s Hearty Lentil Pie ($ 18.95); mushroom sauce ($ 9.95); Butternut squash and “cheese” macaroni ($ 16.95); and sweet potatoes with maple and pecan crumble ($ 18.95).
And don’t forget the dessert: chewy tiramisu pie ($ 21.95), pumpkin cheesecake ($ 28), apple crumble pie ($ 18.95) – even eggnog ($ 8) and s’mores hot chocolate kits ($ 15.95).
The order period runs from Friday to Sunday each week. Busy Bee delivers to Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City and Weehawken from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays. Or, you can pick up an order at one of its Jersey City locations.
Go: 451 Palisade Ave., Jersey City and 175 2nd St., Jersey City; 201-656-506, busybeeorganics.com.
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Freakin ‘Vegan, Prospect Park
Freakin ‘Vegan specializes in “vegan junk food,” owner Kurt Biroc said. Popular dishes include Buffalo Chicken Pizza ($ 29 for a large), BBQ pulled pork-free sliders ($ 16), and meatball subs ($ 16) – all made with meat substitutes and cheese. The restaurant’s best-selling dish, however, is the decadent Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese – elbow pasta dipped in vegan cheese, stacked with Buffalo chicken, and drizzled with vegan blue cheese. Are these dishes usually served on Thanksgiving? No. But, Turkey Day is all about comfort.
Almost everything is homemade, Biroc said, including the seitan, all the cheeses, and plenty of meat imitations, though Biroc admits to using Beyond sausage. “It’s so good,” he said. “Honestly, we can’t do better on our own. “
Go: 321 North 8th Street, Prospect Park; 973-553-1513, freakin-vegan.com.
Green Catering Trolley, Newton
Chef Marisa Fucci and her husband John, owners of vegan business Green Cart Catering, took inspiration from the original Thanksgiving feast for their menu.
“There are so many great dishes that Native Americans made,” said Marisa. “We thought, let’s get them together for the holidays.”
These modern interpretations of traditional American meals include corn and potato chowder; wild rice salad with tangy cranberries; hot quinoa with sweet potato and green apples; lima bean and corn succotash; and Three Sisters Stew, a traditional Native American dish with beans, corn and squash.
“The Three Sisters Stew is a favorite,” said Marisa. “I also do it at home. My family loves it.
Marisa started out as a literature teacher and worked in restaurants during the summer. Her father also owned restaurants when she was little. John had experience in the restaurant business. So, the couple decided to jointly open an all-vegan, Newton-based restaurant business with Marisa (who is vegan) doing all the cooking.
Soups cost $ 25 per liter. Salads cost $ 50 for a half tray, $ 90 for a full. The sides cost $ 60 for a half tray, $ 90 for a full. Main courses are $ 65 for a half tray, $ 100 for a full. Add a pumpkin pie for $ 40. The order deadline is November 19th. Meals will be delivered on November 24.
Go: Place your orders by calling 201-885-4425 or by going to greencartcatering.com.
Cakery & Rockin ‘Raw Jam, Jersey City
Chef Tere Fox and Luis Salgado, who once owned Rockin ‘Raw restaurant in Brooklyn, now run an online vegan service of the same name based in Jersey City. For Thanksgiving, Rockin ‘Raw offers shepherd’s pie platters with portobello sauce and vegetarian meat ($ 13); spinach and tofu lasagna ($ 60); Stuffed Acorn Squash and Butternut Squash with Herb Garlic Quinoa ($ 15); and more.
Fox and Salgado bakery, Jam Cakery, offers vegan desserts. The pies range from pumpkin marshmallow to apple peach to s’mores ($ 35 to $ 45). Rather cake? Try the Apple Cranberry Crumble Cake or the German Chocolate or Caramel Pudding Cake ($ 40 to $ 55). And why not add some Hemp Fudge Brownies (6 for $ 18) or Apple Cider and Chocolate Donuts (6 for $ 14)?
“All items are vegan, made by vegans,” Fox said. “We only use the best local and organic ingredients when possible and never use white sugar in our desserts.”
Both organic cane sugar and raw agave are used as sweeteners. Most of Jam Cakery’s treats are also gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free. The deadline for orders is November 22.
Go: 326 5th St., Jersey City; jamcakeryevents.com. Place your orders at [email protected] or by calling 201-292-3088.
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Papa Ganache, Cranford
Vegan bakery Papa Ganache is best known for its desserts. But, it also offers a catering menu with savory options, notably a mushroom risotto with shiitake “bacon”; “Meatloaf” and mashed potatoes; and shepherd’s pie.
And for dessert… there are too many options to list. Carrot cake, crème brûlée, brownies… Visit the site and let yourself be guided by your delicacies.
Go: 106 N. Union Ave., Cranford; 908-287-5333, papaganache.com.
Salt + Seed, Jersey City
The Salt + Seed vegan meal service offers an extensive menu of Thanksgiving side dishes. We’re talking baked macaroni and “cheese” ($ 28 to $ 70); “bacon”, “parmesan” and chestnut stuffing ($ 25 to $ 70); shepherd’s pie with sauce ($ 40 to $ 95); and pumpkin mousse cake ($ 50). The sizes can be adjusted depending on the number of vegans at your table.
“Everything is homemade and handcrafted,” owner Kimberly Jeanette told The Record. “We don’t just slice a stick of tofu and fry it. Everything is fresh, made to order.
Go: 210 Hudson Street, Jersey City. Order from saltandseedeats.com.
True Food Kitchen, Hackensack
True Food Kitchen, a bustling, health-focused, quick-service restaurant located in The Shops at Riverside, opened earlier this year. Its fall vegan dining options are a bit unconventional for Thanksgiving. But, if Korean noodle bowls with sweet potato glass noodles and pickled shiitake; or antique grain bowls with sesame miso frosting as a fun addition to your table, True Food Kitchen has you covered.
Go: 390 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack; 551-295-7401, truefoodkitchen.com/locations/hackensack.
Rebecca King is a food writer for NorthJersey.com. To learn more about where to dine and drink, please sign up today and sign up for our North Jersey Eats newsletter.
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