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In today’s world of finicky eaters, allergy sufferers, health fanatics, tofu lovers, animal activists and the socially conscious, Angelica Kitchen appeases all. Located in Manhattan’s East Village at 300 East 12th Street, this vegan restaurant has been creating community oriented and nutritionally sound food for ages, since 1976 to be exact.

Angelica Kitchen has a strong philosophy behind their food; they only use sustainable agriculture and responsible business practices as their main ingredients. This means they support small local farms, 95% of the menu uses ingredients that are grown ecologically and fair traded, they use renewable sources of energy, filter their own water, compost and donate food to ensure little waste and refrain from using bottled beverages of any kind.

Now onto the food, Angelica Kitchen practices intuitive cooking. Since they primarily use ingredients which are in season, the menu is constantly changing and evolving. Everything is made fresh at this restaurant, even the desserts! In addition, they never use refined sugars, preservatives, dairy, eggs or animal products whatsoever.

As a vegetarian, this leaves the menu wide open to endless edible possibilities. We decided to share an assortment of dishes and started off with the Norimaki Special ($10.50): marinated tempeh, cauliflower, red cabbage, carrots with seasoned brown rice and mustard.

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Next, we moved onto to the Si Se Puede ($9.50): Balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes and basil-olive marinated chickpeas, tossed over greens with olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt accompanied by a garlic crostini topped with tofu ricotta & chives.

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And lastly, a series of sides which included Ruby Kraut: a homemade red cabbage sauerkraut ($2.50); Southern Style Corn Bread ($2); and Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes served with brown rice gravy ($4.50).

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The overall meal was light and fresh, and it felt fantastic to be eating organic, thought-provocative dishes which were seasoned well and cooked to the right texture and consistency. There’s a reason Angelica Kitchen has been around for the past three decades.

Finally, a few important things to remember: they have a democratic policy which means first come first serve, they only accept cash and it’s BYOB. With Angelica Kitchen’s ethical approach to food, eating well never felt so good!

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