This summer, grab a beach towel and a KanJam (a disc throwing sport) and make your way to the Jersey Shore, an ideal summer spot for boardwalk comfort foods, arcade games, surf swells, and nature. However, the Jersey Shore’s growing vegan culture reflects the importance of healthy living and wellness. Whether you want a veggie burger, a vegan pizza, or a dairy-free tiramisu, put these vegan-friendly food spots on your “must-eat” list while visiting the Jersey Shore.
Seed to Sprout
New Jersey coastline towns recognize the popularity of healthier dairy-free options, which means vegan restaurants are popping up more than ever. Both locations of Seed to Sprout (in Avon-by-the-Sea and Fair Haven) have special hours on Thursday and Friday nights with a customizable menu. Start with a mixed green salad or black bean soup, choose from a main dish such as enchiladas and tostadas, and end the night with a custard dessert like Coconut Mango Lime. Close to the eatery, you can visit art galleries, walk along a mile-long boardwalk, and watch a selection of summer movies on the beach. If you’re in Fair Haven, pizza night is every Friday from 6–9pm with eat-in and take-out options including Margherita, Broccoli & Tomato, and Rosemary Potato Pie. Seed to Sprout is BYO, so pack a vegan-friendly wine or beer to complement your pizza.
Belmar is where the Jersey Shore vegan scene begins. With a plethora of bars and clubs, D’Jais, Bar A, and Boathouse Bar and Grill, the nightlife in the town revolves around family-owned businesses. At Kaya’s Kitchen, options include BBQ seitan ribs, tempeh Buffalo wings, coconut pineapple curry, vegan pizzas, and a variety of plant-based desserts. The restaurant also has a make-your-own burger or pizza with three burger options (black bean, soy, and lentil), six pizza toppings, and a menu of drinks including natural sodas without high-fructose corn syrup.
Good Karma Vegan Cafe
Make a pit stop in Red Bank, a small town with an abundance of food options, clothing boutiques, and a waterfront view of the Navesink River. Similar to Belmar, the vegan spots are hangouts for Jersey Shore citizens rather than upscale destination restaurants. Good Karma—located in the center of the town—is a vegan café that serves a variety of organic dishes including Thai noodles, burritos, quesadillas, and Southern barbecued tempeh Buffalo wings. Vegan items are also a’plenty at Good Karma Vegan Cafe—with a variety of detoxifying juices and coconut milk-based smoothies, gluten-free cheesecakes, and cashew cream pudding. The eatery also has a breakfast menu with vegan selections like doughnuts, granola, Belgian waffles, tofu scramble, and organic fair-trade coffee.
Twisted Tree Cafe
Asbury Park is a Jersey Shore town full of smoothie bars, art galleries, bookstores, bars, concert venues, and organic farmers’ markets selling an assortment of produce and homemade baked goods. Located next to Avon-by-the-Sea, vegetarians can find options for lunch and dinner at Twisted Tree Cafe, including salads, hummus, soup, wraps, and sandwiches. The café features 12 smoothie options and hot and cold caffeinated beverages that use oat, soy, or almond milk. Or, you can add hemp, acai, or flax to your pick-me-up smoothie.
A vegetarian restaurant located in the trendy, upscale neighborhood of Red Bank, Earth Pizza serves organic pizza, and you can create your own personal pie using Daiya vegan cheese. Try the multi-grain or gluten-free crust and select from 25 veggie toppings, and add on a side order of vegan meatballs. If you’re craving something sweet, indulge in the gluten-free (and guilt-free!) vegan brownie.
Christa Alexis is a Jersey shore girl at heart who loves to explore vegan-friendly eateries.
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