When I am hungry for a satisfying vegan dining experience that delivers a bit more than healthy food, I head to one of my favorite spots in the East Village: Caravan of Dreams. Two steps down and tucked away in an East Village townhouse, this cozy, almost cave-like hideaway, was the dream of Angel Moreno, a Spanish expatriate in New York with a vision to combine his passions for delicious, healthy food, music and community. He succeeded!
Established in 1991, Caravan of Dreams continues to serve a loyal community of diners dedicated to healthier living, with organic, vegan, world-fusion cuisine. Another plus for me is that 50% of the menu is devoted to ‘live’, raw food–fresh, unprocessed ingredients never heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit–hard to find in most cities. Plus, many gluten-free items are indicated on the menu.
Pop in for Brunch, Lunch, Dinner or Dessert!
The live/raw/vegan menu boasts an eclectic mix of tasty appetizers, sandwiches, pizzettas, entrees, salads, live smoothies, juices and desserts. A moderately-priced prix fix brunch (served 11am to 5pm each day) includes an entree, salad and two drinks (coffee, tea, sangria, orange juice or grapefruit juice).
Global Influences Spice Up The Menu
No bland food here! Savory stand-outs for me include:
• Spanish Paella: A delightful blend of saffron rice, grilled tofu, vegan sausage, artichokes, peas, cilantro
• Santa Maria Stir Fry: Sauteed vegetables, grilled seitan, brown rice, Arabian hummus, pesto
• Zucchini Spaghetti: (My personal ‘live’ food fave!) You won’t believe it’s zucchini! Brazil nut and sesame meatballs, sun-dried tomato marinara sauce, kalamata olives and torn basil
• Pizzetta: Live pumpkin seed crust, sun-dried marinara, pesto, kefir cashew cheese, arugula, avocado and cremini mushrooms. You’ll never want to go back to regular pizza after this!
• Huitlacoche & Chorizo Quesadilla: A latin-inspired feast of house cultured cashew kefir cheese, corn, vegan chorizo, in a whole wheat tortilla served with a watercress, mango salad topped with lemon, salt and olive oil and chile de arbol sauce.
But, don’t get me wrong, raw vegan purists can feast on a sobering macrobiotic plate, a choice of large, creative salads like Lover’s Salad, Sea Vegetable Salad, Thai Avocado Salad and more.
Star of the Evening: Rosemary Shitake Mushroom Burger
My choice this evening was the Rosemary Shitake Mushroom Burger: Picture grilled onions, shitake mushrooms, tomato and tarragon aioli, served on a live flax, onion and chia seed bread with a house made pickle and salad.
This melt in your mouth, freshly-made, vegan delight was literally a little taste of heaven on a plate. It was so filling, I didn’t have room for the “Pretty in Pink” Coconut Milk Ice Cream Smoothie. Maybe next week!
Organic Beers and Wines Too!
A fine selection of organic wines and beers rounds out the evening!
But the best part of dining at Caravan is the live music that envelopes the room, makes you want to tap your feet and lifts your spirits!
In short, this place is vibrant and fun! It’s a great choice whether you are dining solo or with a group!
Caravan of Dreams
405 E 6th St
New York, NY 10009
Sunday -Friday 11am to 11:15pm
Saturday 11am to midnight