Is the store perpetually out of your favorite vegan frozen pizza? Did your local vegan-friendly Thai restaurant temporarily shutter? We feel you. We’re grateful to have enough food to eat, but we can’t help but miss those comforting foods we used to take for granted. We asked VegNews readers what food they missed most so we can all share in our collective longing. Be warned: this article may cause cravings.
1. Mexican food
Vegan chorizo, soyrizo, melty nacho cheese, and epic burritos were common amongst the list of hungry responses. We can’t wait for the day when we can return to our favorite local Mexican eatery or pop-up and get an infant-sized, foil-wrapped, piping-hot vegan burrito.
Where we’re getting it once this is over: El Borracho (Seattle, WA), The Happy Hooligans (San Jose, CA), Cafe Tumerico (Tuscon, AZ), and Chipotle.
2. Thai food
The local spots do it best, but unfortunately, many of these family-run businesses have decided to close for the time being. The tastes of peanut sauce and lime still linger on our tongues, and we’re longing for our favorite vegan pad thai, pad see ew, and pad prik king.
Where we’re getting it once this is over: Satdha Kitchen (Santa Monica, CA), Red Bamboo (New York, NY), Kati Vegan Thai (Seattle, WA), and Red Curry Vegan Kitchen (Flagstaff, AZ).
From pop-tarts to vegan fruit danishes, there’s no way we can replicate that flaky, buttery texture of laminated dough at home. We’ll just have to wait until our local bakery turns the oven back on (please let that be soon!).
Where we’re getting it once this is over: Sweetpea Baking Company (Portland, OR), Bloomer’s (Toronto, ON), Sweet Alchemy Bakery and Cafe (Essex Junction, VT), and Dancing Dog Eatery & Juicery (Urbana, IL).
4. Fried chicken
Whether it’s in a bucket or on a sandwich, we miss this finger-licking-good soul food staple. As much as we crave it, we’re going to leave the bubbling vats of hot oil to the professionals and cross our fingers for their timely return.
Where we’re getting it once this is over: Cornbread Cafe (Eugene and Springfield, OR), Southern V (Nashville, TN), Doomie’s Home Cookin’ (Los Angeles, CA), and VGrits (Louisville, KY).
5. Vegan Trader Joe’s products
Sure, the store is open (for limited hours), but every time we stop by, the shelf that usually displays our favorite products is disappointedly empty. Readers listed vegan muffins, frozen dark chocolate banana bites, organic soymilk, dried baby bananas, and kung pao tempura cauliflower as their missing go-to’s.
Where we’re getting it once this is over: Not to state the obvious … Trader Joe’s.
6. Vegan burgers
Sure, we’ve seen a few lingering vegan burger patties at the store, but we just can’t seem to replicate the complexity of the burger at our favorite restaurant. The extra touches such as homemade condiments and freshly baked buns simply outshine our homecooked efforts. This experience has made us realize there is an art to the perfect burger.
Where we’re getting it once this is over: Spiral Diner (multiple locations, TX), Superiority Burger (New York, NY), and Meta Burger (Denver, CO).
7. Vegan pizza
When the store is out of dough, we’re out of luck. At this point, we’ll take any kind of slice, be it deep dish, Detroit-style, New York thin crust, grandma, or Neopolitan.
Where we’re getting it once this is over: Freesoulcaffe (Tustin, CA), Glass Nickel Pizza (Madison, WI), and Tribute Pizza (San Diego, CA).
8. Tofu dishes
From pure packs of tofu at the grocery store to flavorful stir-fried and curry dishes at local restaurants, it turns out vegans really do rely on this timeless plant-based protein.
Where we’re getting it once this is over: Su Xing House (Philadelphia, PA), Burma Love (San Francisco, CA), and Ellie’s Cafe (Ukiah, CA).
9. Vegan ice cream
Few things are more upsetting in the moment when you round the corner and find the vegan ice cream freezer cold and bare. Looks like we’ll just have to Netflix without the chill until the store restocks our favorite dairy-free brands.
Where we’re getting it once this is over: Ben & Jerry’s, NadaMoo, So Delicious Dairy Free.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.
Photo credit: Spiral Diner