These VegNews Editors Share the Best Meals They’ve Ever Had

These VegNews Editors Share the Best Meals They’ve Ever Had

That late-night vegan deep-dish pizza. An elegant brunch spread at your favorite fancy restaurant. Your grandmother’s holiday tamales. Everyone has that one meal, that one dish, that one experience so mouthwatering that they can never forget it. So we asked VegNews editors to share their stories of that life-altering day when they sat down, dug in, and had the best meal ever.

VegNews.Blossom.SeitanPiccata.AlexEtlingAlex Etling

Seitan Piccata

Blossom • New York, NY

“I’ve been a regular visitor of New York City for more than a decade, and because I am the quintessential food-obsessed vegan, some of my most cherished experiences in the city are discovering new plant-based restaurants and revisiting old favorites. During a week-long visit in 2010, I stumbled upon Blossom, a gem of a fine-dining restaurant tucked in a historic two-story townhouse in Chelsea, and unwittingly began a years-long string of truly stellar dinners.

Wild mushroom pizza, sweet potato gnocchi, and lasagna rollatini—the menu was a treasure trove of comforting, artistic meals in an intimate candle-lit atmosphere.

During one late-night visit, I saw the Seitan Piccata being delivered to a neighboring couple’s table. The towering layers were so striking, I couldn’t stop myself from taking peeks at their plate as they shared bites—I had to order it for myself.

The pan-seared seitan cutlets were chewy, the white wine sauce was balanced with notes of bright, zesty lemon and briny, vinegary capers, and the accompanying garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach instantly brought back comforting memories of the classic meat-and-potatoes meals of my childhood. And even though that first Chelsea location has closed, any time I make the trek from Toronto to the Big Apple, I’ll find my way to Blossom in Greenwich Village or the Upper West Side for this unbeatable dish.”

Nicole Axworthy, News Editor

RELATED: These 20 Restaurants in the US Serve Up Some of the Best Sushi—Hold the Fish


Impossible Bánh Mì

 Disney’s California Adventure • Anaheim, CA

“Growing up in Los Angeles, birthdays meant Disneyland. Each year, I’d pack my favorite pair of Mickey ears, a disposable camera, and more sandwiches than I could count to enjoy a day at the Happiest Place on Earth. But for as many birthday trips as I made to the theme park, there was one experience that eluded me for years: Disney California Adventure’s Food & Wine Festival.

The annual event is dedicated to the incredible bounty and cuisine the Golden State has to offer, and is set in Disneyland’s sprawling, 72-acre adjacent Disney California Adventure Park. What’s not to love for a food-and-Disney obsessive? Hoping for vegan dishes like the roasted mushroom trofie pasta ragu and crème brûlée that had recently been launched at Disneyland, I planned my birthday celebration entirely around this festival. However, when I finally arrived, things were a lot different than I expected.

Instead of the fancy options I’d dreamed of, multiple lifeless iterations of gyros, run-of-the-mill sliders, and not much else were all that greeted me. I was so disappointed.

As the day wore on, while sipping a bitter grapefruit mocktail, I found myself wandering away from the festival’s booths (and happy omnivorous patrons), and into Lucky Fortune Cookery, one of the park’s permanent restaurants. Immediately, three words jumped out at me from its menu: Impossible Bánh Mì.

I’ve always loved this Vietnamese street food’s myriad of textures and play between fresh, pickled, spicy, and savory flavors—and California Adventure’s take didn’t disappoint. Seasoned, saucy, slightly sweet Impossible beef crumbles were tucked into a soft-on-the-inside, crusty-on-the-outside French roll slathered in housemade vegan mayo and topped with fresh cilantro, jalapeños, shredded carrots, and daikon radish. My hangry outlook instantly changed, and I was at last able to enjoy my time, my company, and my birthday. It’s funny how a sandwich at Disneyland—mirroring the plastic-wrapped park meals of my childhood—is what turned my entire experience around. But maybe that’s the magic of Disney … or at least really well-seasoned Impossible meat.”

—Jocelyn Martinez, Associate Editor


Artisanal Sushi Rolls

Kensho • Westminster, CA

“As a former seafood lover, sushi used to be a weekly part of my life. It’s what brought together my friends and family so we could enjoy one another over good conversation and good sake. But after I cut animals out of my diet, I dreaded anytime someone spoke the words ’vegan sushi,’ wincing at the thought of tiny vegetable rolls with itty bitty slivers of avocado and cucumber as stand-ins for the stuffed and saucy rolls I’d become accustomed to.

Years later, my excessive Instagram scrolling habit changed my life. I landed on the page of Kenshō Vegan Sushi, full of photos of plump, varied, crispy rolls, and my heart skipped a beat. The next day, I drove two hours, one way, in rush-hour traffic from Los Angeles to the hole-in-the-wall strip mall restaurant in Orange County.

I held my breath as my order arrived for a Spicy Tuna-less Roll topped with creamy mayo, green onions, and sesame seeds; a konjac shrimp-filled Crunchy Cali Roll fried with a panko crust; and a Ninja Roll stuffed with shrimp-less tempura, spicy vegan tuna, and shiitake mushrooms drizzled with unagi sauce and spicy mayo. This was it.

I had found a sushi spot that even as an omnivore I would have loved, a new place where I can once again enjoy those sake-fueled nights of laughter and connection with my loved ones—no sad cucumber or avocado necessary.”

—Aruka Sanchir, Senior Digital Editor

VegNews.MintyZ.MassamanCurryNoodlesRichard Bowie

Massaman Curry Noodles

Minty Z • Miami, FL

“As someone who believes themselves to be a pretty worldly eater, I’m ashamed to say it took me way too long to come around to curry. I had my first taste as a teenager during my pre-vegan days, and was immediately put off by its complexity and pungency. In the years that followed, I politely steered clear, but eventually, after going vegan and expanding my worldview, I gave it another try. That same complexity and pungency, this time around, drew me in and piqued my interest. Tender vegetables, mounds of rice, and tons of flavor—I’d become a late-in-life curry lover.

From then on, yellows, reds, greens, browns, even pumpkin and pineapple curries—you name it, I’ve tried it, mostly in an effort to make up for lost time. So when I stopped by Minty Z—a sexy, buzzing, vegan dim sum restaurant in Miami’s swanky Coconut Grove neighborhood—I went in ready for its famous pleated vegan shrimp shumai, fluffy bao, and Miami-inspired dumplings filled with cashew cream and sweet corn.

What I was not expecting, however, was not just the best curry I’d ever had, but the best meal I’d ever had, period.

Huimin Zhu and her husband Alex Falco are responsible for the restaurant’s Massaman Curry Noodles, a classic Thai curry that borrows flavors from Iran, India, and the Malay Archipelago with the addition of aromatic bombs like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise—while peanut butter, coconut cream, tamarind, and coconut sugar are added for richness, tang, and sweetness. Then, my intoxicating bowl was finished with thick, chewy noodles, fried tofu, bouncy konjac shrimp, hunks of sweet potato, shaved snow peas, crispy onions, sliced bird’s eye chili, and a flurry of fresh herbs.

Each bite was a revelation. A thumping playlist of hip-hop blared overhead while I slurped perfectly cooked, wiggly noodles and rich broth in between bites of shrimp, tofu, and potato, all punctuated by fragrant basil and mint. I was in heaven. My return home had me searching for a Los Angeles adaptation. I’ve found one or two okay stand-ins, but I’m counting down the days that I can return to Miami.”

—Richard Bowie, Editorial Director

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