Growing Vegan Options on Local Menus

It’s easy to get discouraged as a vegan by focusing on big picture questions. At times like these, it’s helpful to be grateful for the small, but significant advances the movement has made. The surprising assortment of vegan food in my home town of Jackson New Jersey is one such example. I’m aware that such a list will only be relevant to a tiny minority of readers, but I still think it’s important to highlight the growth of vegan food and the enterprising spirit of local food establishments.

It’s heartening to think that the vegan message is reaching businesses outside of major metropolitan areas. As more and more people are moving away from meat and dairy, a market is opening up. It also helps that many vegans are foodies, and therefore willing to travel and pay for high quality food.

I’m particularly heartened because my town is by no means an urban center. I live in Jackson, New Jersey, a large town that is a mix of suburban and rural. Known primarily for Six Flags Great Adventure, an amusement park, but also for abundant woods, and a Weird New Jersey attraction or two. Even as the town has steadily become more suburban, it by no means a cosmopolitan. Here are four local examples of vegan food.

Inzillos Pizzeria

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This is what’s so surprising about the local pizzeria began making vegan pizza with Daiya cheese. Without my asking, the girl behind the counter even assured me that the vegan pizza has it’s own slicer. The convenience and familiarity of pizza is one of the things I miss most as a vegan. Thanks to Inzillos, that’s back in my life.

Cornerstone Kitchen and Tap

For a long time I knew this place only for its excellent selection of craft beer. However, I wasn’t didn’t go much until I learned that they serve the Impossible Burger. It made sense to me that a large corporation like White Castle or gourmet restaurants got contracts with Impossible Foods, but my local sports bar?

Ocean Organics Juice Bar and Cafe

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The only all vegan spot on this list! Somehow they also manage to be soy-free, organic and non-GMO. They check all the boxes. They have a creative assortment of juices, smoothies and veggie burgers.

Surf Taco

I’ve had mixed results eating Mexican food as a vegan. You’d think it would be an easy food to veganize, but I’ve had people look at me like I have three heads for asking for a vegan burrito. Thankfully, Surf Taco does a great job catering to vegans. The veggie tacos are vegan by default and any meat item can be substituted with spicy breaded cauliflower. Bonus points to the Jackson Surf Taco location as it’s the only location I’m aware of that has a liquor license.

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to all the small businesses that have had both the compassion and business sense to offer vegan food. I encourage you too, dear reader, to be aware of the businesses that offer vegan food near you and express your gratitude to them.

 

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