Vegans in New York City have access to just about every version of food carnivores enjoy, whether that's street food, BBQ, tapas, pizza, cheese, fine dining, burgers, "butcher" shop items...and on and on. And now: "deli." An all vegan deli and food market called Orchard Grocery has debuted on the Lower East Side, selling sandwiches and pantry-stockers crafted without the inclusion of animals.
Building on a base of Williamsburg vegan spot Modern Love and MooShoes (next door on Orchard Street), Sara and Erica Kubersky, along with Joya Carlton, are reimagining classic deli sandwiches like lox bagels, breakfast sandwiches and Reubens with things like tempeh, seitan and tofu instead of animal protein.
Carrot "lox"—smoked and cured in pickling spices until it resembles fish—anchors The Edith ($8), a bagel sandwich accompanied by cashew cream cheese, capers and chives. Their Reuben's ($12) made with beet-brined seitan with sauerkraut, vegan thousand island dressing and coconut-based cheese. Their version of a BEC is The Bowery ($8), with turmeric tofu "egg," tempeh bacon and more vegan cheese.
Vegan granolas, cereals, cookies, hot sauces, tomato sauce, "eggs," and shelves of other cruelty-free pantry items give the small space a general store feel. Vegan soft serve sundaes topped with peanut butter and coffee sauces, marshmallows and other indulgent additions remind us that vegan food does not always mean sin-free.
78 Orchard Street, 646-757-9910; orchardgrocer.com