Northern New Jersey’s Best Kept Vegan Establishments

| March 3, 2012 | 4 Comments

I’m from NJ, born and raised.  Sometimes, I am ashamed to admit this fact.  Fortunately, I have the luxury of voluntarily revealing this often-irrelevant piece of information or not because I have (since I made my escape back in 2000), lost the notorious NJ accent.  Thus, I can usually remain incognito.  However, I’m back visiting family who still reside here.  In fact, my parents are still living in the same house I was born and raised in and where I cultivated that one-of-a-kind accent.  It is nice to see my family, but the actual location of NJ–well, let’s just say that we have a love/hate relationship (and I suppose I also have a similar relationship with my parents, but really who doesn’t?).

Would I ever, given the choice, want to permanently reside in NJ again? No.  However, returning every few months to visit family and friends is fun and a vegan adventure because we are so close to NYC and lots of vegan eateries.

The “love” part of my relationship with NJ was manifested when I had a vegan feast extravaganza on my recent visit.   Here are some places you ought to check out if you are in the area or want to let NYC know that they do not own the vegan food real estate market.

First stop, Rutherford Pancake House (40 Park Avenue, Rutherford, NJ) for some impressive vegan French Toast made with their home-made Challah bread, complete with whipped vegan butter; yummy Tofu Scrambler with amazing rosemary infused potatoes; Quesadillas with Daiya cheese, fresh spinach and mushrooms, served with vegan sour cream, salsa, and sweet potato French fries.  Yes, I ordered all of the above and had lots of leftovers (which were gone a day later!).  Then, when you are stuffed to the brim with all that delicious food (the vegan options are expansive at this place), you can take a nice, albeit short walk, down the street to satisfy your sweet tooth (just in case the vegan Belgian waffle with chocolate chips didn’t already do that) to the Sweet Avenue Bake Shop, a vegan cupcakery located at 153 Park Avenue.  I’m not sure how I didn’t come across this bakery sooner (they opened in 2007), and I’ve been vegan for 14 years and back to NJ often. This observational failure on my behalf was not contingent on the fact that I do not enjoy cupcakes–because I adore them, now and always.

However, in case you need to fall in love with cupcakes, here’s a sampling of the cupcakes we tasted at the Sweet Avenue Bake Shop: Chocolate Sundae with chocolate Bavarian crème filling; Old Skool (think Hostess cupcake from back in the day); Sexy Sadie (red velvet cupcake with vanilla frosting); and a day-old Spicy Hot Chocolate cupcake for half the price and still super tasty with a serious spice kick even a day later. Also sampled were four cake balls—two were gluten free (red velvet and cookie dough) and two were vegan but not gluten free (cookie dough and cookies and cream). Did I mention that EVERYTHING in the cupcakery is vegan?  So you never need to ask if any item is vegan (although my mother asked about 10 times–thanks for looking out for me, Mom). A bakery where the default is vegan? Wow, I know. It’s like entering a vegan heaven. But it’s real!  My mom and I loved the cake balls; they were a big hit.  They resembled munchkins and, seriously, who doesn’t love a well-crafted flavorful vegan munchkin.  Oh, well maybe the raw vegans and those obnoxiously snarky non-vegans who haven’t tasted the pure sweet ecstasy of the cupcakes at Sweet Avenue Bake Shop.  Fortunately, for Jake and Danielle Vance (the owners), there are lots of other vegans and non-vegans alike who will take gustatory pleasure in the offerings at Sweet Avenue.   And a bonus is that you can down your cake balls and cupcakes with a piping hot mug of vegan hot chocolate with marshmallows.  Go check this place out ASAP and report back to me your findings—they have new cupcake flavor specials daily!


  1. Laura says:

    I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for your blog? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome blog!

  2. Craig says:

    Can I post your post to my wordpress blog? I’ll add a one-way link to your forum. That’s one actually nice post.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Laura, I would definitely consider guest bloggers! Please email me at and we can discuss the details! Look forward to hearing back from you. Stefanie

  4. admin says:

    Hi Craig,
    Sure, feel free to post to your blog! I’d also love to see/read your blog. Thank you for your comment. Stefanie

Leave a Reply