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May 6, 2011

NYC Day 1: Dim Sum, Donuts, MooShoes, and Candle Cafe!

Steve and I spent an epic three days in NYC two weeks ago, and it's high time I share our adventures!

In case you missed it, we were in New York because we won the NYC Getaway + Engagement Photoshoot contest hosted by Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings. The highlight of our trip was meeting the wonderful vegan vendors that participated in the giveaway, all of which went above and beyond to make sure that our NYC experience was special. More on that on the day 2 and day 3 posts!

Our first full day in NYC we went out and explored the city on our own. Steve had never been to New York so we went a day early to have our own mini-tour of Manhattan. Our morning started in Battery Park, followed by a stroll through the financial district, and up into Chinatown for lunch. In one of my previous visits to NYC I dined at Vegetarian Dim Sum House and knew this would be something that Steve would really enjoy. Enjoy we did!

Hot and Sour Soup
We started lunch with a "small" hot and sour soup. So spicy and delicious, and a generous portion of two bowls each!  

We also enjoyed a complimentary pot of tea.

Rice Flour Rolls with Mock Ham and Cilantro
We ordered six different dishes from the dim sum menu, and the first to arrive to the table was the rice flour rolls with mock ham and cilantro. This was one of Steve's picks, and he loved it. I was never a big fan of ham and I'm not wild about cilantro, so these were just okay in my opinion. I suspect I would love the rice flour rolls featuring kale!

Mock Shrimp Dumplings
About halfway through our rice flour rolls the rest of our food arrived. The mock shrimp dumplings are front and center in this shot. I've never had mock fish of any kind, and this was surprisingly authentic and tasty.

Mock Roast Pork Buns
Steamed buns in all of their doughy glory are my favorite dim sum offering. The mock roast pork buns did not disappoint, and was my favorite dish of the day.

Treasure Balls
In several yelp reviews I read that the Treasure Balls are a must-try. Neither the reviews nor the menu offer any description of what they actually are, but based on the reviews alone we were confident ordering this dish blindly. These turned out to be deep fried balls of mashed potatoes, um, yes please! Another favorite of the day.

Fried Turnip Cakes
Our last dish was the fried turnip cakes. These were a bit on the bland side on their own, but the super tasty dipping sauce fixes that right up. I'd love to try to recreate these at home!

With bellies full of dim sum we hit the streets again and walked up to the lower east side. Our first stop was MooShoes, a vegan shoe and accessory shop.

My attention was drawn to this section!

And these vegan Saucony's!

And this kitty sleeping in a shoe box. Awww to the max!

Babycakes donuts
Right around the corner from MooShoes is the famous vegan bakery, Babycakes. We picked up a mini lemon donut and regular strawberry coconut donut to go.

Babycakes cookie sandwich and donut
We also got a chocolate chip cookie sandwich and a coffee donut. We are both coffee lovers, but neither of us cared much for the strong flavor of the coffee donut. Everything else was excellent! Our favorite was the strawberry coconut donut. It's no surprise that they feature this one on the cover of their newest cookbook.

Next stop, Times Square! We were looking for tickets for a show later that night and were bummed to find that all of the shows we were considering were sold out (okay, well I was bummed, haha!). My spirits were lifted when we saw the big Silk promotion going on in the heart of Times Square.

There were guys walking around with these funny Silk dispensers on their backs, pouring samples for the masses. The different flavors that I saw walking around were vanilla, very vanilla, chocolate, almond, and COCONUT. Do you know about this new flavor? I tried it, and I approve! Very tasty.

In addition to the funny backpack dispensers they also had several serving stations like this one with all of the same flavors listed above.

Tuscan Lasagna
After wandering around the theater district a bit we headed uptown to Candle Cafe for dinner. There was a tasty looking Indian platter on the specials menu that I had all but decided on until I saw a server walk by with a slice of lasagna. I had to try it! This was one seriously good lasagna.

Aztec Salad
Steve went for the Aztec Salad. This salad features bbq tempeh, quinoa, black beans, pumpkin seeds and toasted cumin dressing, YUM!

After dinner we took a stroll through central park while the sun was setting. It was gorgeous, and the perfect ending to our first day in NYC. Stay tuned for two more NYC posts coming your way!


  1. Everything looks AMAZING! I would've lost all self-control at Babycakes.

  2. I don't know how you only limited yourself to a few pastries at Babycakes!!! I admire your self-control and discipline! haha

  3. What a great, full, vegan day you had! Can't wait to see your next posts.

  4. Somehow I didn't realize that you had won! Congrats! I need to check out that veg dim sum place...steamed "pork" buns will make my life so much better!

  5. It's funny, I've grown up in NYC and still live here but I depend on posts like this to tell me where to go! The Vegetarian Dim Sum place sounds like the place to be, for sure.
    I had no idea about the Silk flavors...and I have YET to make it to Candle (yes, I know). I'm excited for the next installment!

  6. Dim sum! I dig those turnip cakes. yes.

  7. This is fun! So far, you're hitting all of my favorite spots! :) (Have the Kale t-shirt! LOL) Can't wait to read more!

  8. Wow, what an amazing trip!!! I can't wait to hear about the rest of it.

    I LOVE Candle Cafe! The lasagna looks awesome.

  9. Looks like you had an amazing time so far! Too bad about the tickets though. One of my best friends actually works at TKTS, so if a loud blonde attempted to talk you into something else for 15 minutes...I'm sorry haha. Can't wait to see the read about the rest of your trip!

  10. HI Sarah, first time comment here :)
    The pictures are great, you always share awesome points. Maybe I'll get to NY next year and maybe I'll be a vegan by then, for now just a veg-head, but the vegan dim sum looked great! I've never really warmed up to the real dim sum.
    And seriously - CUTE kitty in a shoe box! Love! And congrats on the win of course, cheers :)

  11. One word.. jealous!!

  12. Nice!! I'm so glad you guys had such a good time! :)

  13. I recently went to NYC and enjoyed it so much! I went to the Vegetarian Dim Sum House and really enjoyed it, despite the fact that dim sum isn't my most favourite cuisine. We had the sweet and salty dumpling and it was amazing! I went looking for Moo Shoes, but I think I must have walked past it, was it good? Have lots of shoes? The Kitty is so so cute!

    Zoe xx
    Life of a Vegetarian Girl


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