Our trip to visit Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary last month was a 2-day affair. We drove up on Saturday to visit the sanctuary, stayed in a hotel overnight, and got up the next day with the intention of stopping off to do some apple picking on our way home.
Unfortunately, as we pulled up to the orchard, we notice a “closed” sign hanging out front. It turned out that the weekend prior had been their last of the season (wah wah). The day was cold and windy anyway, so, instead of finding another orchard, we decided to head down to New Paltz and bum around the town.
I wouldn’t have expected it, but between Woodstock and New Paltz, we had ourselves some seriously good eats that weekend. We even came home with a borderline shameful haul of vegan treats (pictured above). Most of the places we visited were ones that we had pinned down prior to heading on our getaway, but a couple were surprises. All of them were great.
New World Home Cooking Co.
We had dinner here on Saturday night after visiting the sanctuary. The restaurant is upscale-casual, the kind of place where we felt totally comfortable in jeans and t-shirts, but where you could also feel good about going out for a date. The menu is varied and clearly labels each dish as vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free when applicable.
We started off with an order of fried Brussels sprout chips dusted with nooch as well as a Brussels sprout trio (sprouts in three different and delicious preparations). Chris ordered the Sweet Potato-Legume Burger, and I got one of the maybe two vegan and gluten-free entrée items on the menu: the Big New World Veg Plate, a heaping platter of rice, beans, greens, sweet potatoes, and fried plaintains, topped off with a huge slab of smoky grilled tofu. I love meals like that—hearty, nourishing, varied but simple. Roman had some rice and beans and a few fries, but honestly spent most of the time emptying out the mason jar of crayons he was given and lining them up on the table. Priorities, people.
The menu options didn’t feel extensive for me personally with the vegan/GF combo, but all you really need is one solid dish and I definitely got mine. The food was thoughtful and well-executed, and the restaurant was family-friendly while still letting Chris and I feel like we got to “go out.”
Garden Café on the Green
We had breakfast at this adorable little café on Sunday morning before leaving Woodstock. We got there early and stood outside, shivering and eager, until the minute they opened. The inside is furnished with a mish-mash of wooden tables and painted iron patio furniture, and the walls are plastered with eclectic local artwork, all for sale. The menu is entirely vegan.
We had to restrain ourselves from ordering one of everything. Instead, we ordered, like, half of everything. Chris and I each got an order of French toast (yep, they have gluten-free!) and an order of tofu scramble with the works. We got Roman some oatmeal and some roasted potatoes, two things that he normally loves, but he decided he only wanted my French toast and the toast that came with my scramble instead. I couldn’t blame him; it was pretty darn delicious. Our only regret was that we weren’t hanging around town long enough to enjoy another meal here.
We had already been planning to swing through New Paltz on our way home just to stop here, because hello! All-vegan chocolate shop! The place is super cute and smells amazing. They stock a large selection of treats and we left with several chocolate bars, some small filled/flavored chocolates, and even a couple of vegan macarons! Everything was fab and I think it would be hard to go wrong here, but I highly recommend snagging one of the peanut butter toffee crunch bars if you go—it’s like a Butterfinger, but sooo much better.
The Sweet Bunny Candy & Gelato Shop
With its neon pink and highlighter yellow exterior, this place is hard to miss. The words “gluten-free” painted in huge letters on the window were what called us in. Every baked good and candy in the shop is gluten-free, and we were psyched to find that there were a handful of vegan selections as well. We popped a couple of mini cupcakes on the spot and brought home a gooey apple crisp bar and a fluffy, chocolate chip cookie bar. Seriously yum.
While at Lagusta’s, we asked for a recommendation for a lunch place with vegan options and were surprised to learn that there was an all-vegan spot in town just a few blocks away. The cozy little café smelled like health food when we walked in (I mean that in the very best of ways), and I immediately wanted one of everything. I settled on a tempeh reuben in a brown rice tortilla and a smoothie concoction that—I kid you not—tasted like Bazooka Joe bubble gum (I’m going to work on recreating that one!). Chris got an order of tofu scramble and a sweet potato biscuit, the latter of which he ooh-ed and ahh-ed over until he couldn’t stand it any longer and got up and ordered two more to go. Roman had a couple of roasted tempeh fingers, some brown rice, and several sips of my smoothie. It was a low-key, comforting, and nourishing lunch.
We headed home with full, happy bellies. We were initially surprised to find such a wealth of great vegan options upstate, but the peace signs that adorned nearly every business in Woodstock tempered our shock, reminding us that this was hippie territory afterall. When planning our trip, we actually came across so many veg-friendly restaurants in the Woodstock area that we were a little bummed we weren’t staying longer.
Next year we’ll definitely be booking a 2-night stay so that we can spend more time with the animals and indulge ourselves in even more great vegan eats. And we’ll probably head up a week or two sooner. You know, sometime before apple-picking season comes to a close.