This is a new installment I just decided to invent in which I discuss non-vegan restaurants that are very vegan-friendly!
The restaurant I want to write about first for this is called Tea NJ. It’s a little tea shop/brunch restaurant in Jersey City, NJ. Before you ask, no, it’s not Indian. Not all of Jersey City is Indian-focused. As much as I do love Indian food…. This part of Jersey City is a little more urban; not far from the Grove Street PATH station. It’s hipper and trendier around here than most of Jersey. Just saying.
I’ve now been to Tea NJ several times with my family. They’ve got lots of tea (and coffee), a really funky atmosphere, the food is quite yummy, and… get this, it’s family-run! How often do you hear that? It’s rare. That’s the main reason I love this place.
You just kind of come across it as you’re walking along. You can miss it if you don’t see the chalkboard sign out front. You might not even know they serve food!
The menu is a little confusing, but it has lots of combinations and unique choices. I would say Tea NJ is best for breakfast or lunch. They are open into the early evening, but unfortunately, they’re not diverse enough to be great for this purpose (in my opinion!) If you like a light, whimsical dinner with friends, this is ideal.
There IS a vegan portion of the menu, though, and I love this! The meat is totally on its own side, doing its own thing. The vegetarian third is just sitting in the middle trying to make peace. Look at that cute, little coffee cup trying to make light of an awkward situation.
The best part is that most of the vegan options come with a smoothie. No cheapo, weepo smoothie, either. A full-sized, delicious smoothie! With the fruit and the milk and the smoothness!
Mind you, this isn’t the entire menu. Oh, no, don’t be so naive. There’s a whole other one with a million options of (veggie and meat) hot dogs and… um… other stuff. I’ve never ordered from the other menu, except for a salad.
Why, yes, that is “sausage” in my salad. With avocado and a tasty bean thing and another tasty thingy thing in a cup.
And, what’s that we have here? Of course- the “Today’s Special”! I call it THE because I’ve never seen the “special” change. Which is cool with me, because this wasn’t shabby. Don’t go in expecting a specialer special. This is the specialest it gets. I don’t even know what salsiccia is, but it was warm and tasted good with potatoes and non-dairy butter on whole wheat toast. Plus, the smoothie was so good that I didn’t even mind the blueberry seeds it left in my teeth for two weeks or the blue colour it turned my mouth; like Veruca Salt! No Oompa Loompas came to gather me, sadly.
I’m conflicted as to how I feel about the sausage. Since it’s in most of the dishes, it’s an important factor. Compared to other vegan sausages, it’s really good and meaty. However, personally, I don’t love vegan sausage. There’s always an aftertaste. Therefore, do I judge the food based on how it compares to others and it being the only available option at this time, or just be a jerk and say, “Well, you should have made a better sausage yourselves!” ??
I’ll settle in the middle. It’s good, and you don’t even taste it too strongly when it’s mixed with the other stuff. Still, it’s kinda ‘eh’ on its own. Fair?
Also, don’t forget the cool looks of the restaurant. They decorate the walls with skateboards that have been painted by local artists! You can buy the wall decorations! There’s also a record player going at all times with the record sleeve above, so you always know what you’re listening to if you love or hate something.
Look at that silly tea pot on the counter. She’s having a ball!
So, what do I say? I say you should come to Tea NJ with friends. Maybe bring your parents to show them how nice and people-friendly Jersey City is. Bring a laptop and catch up on some work! It’s a really chill and friendly spot. Just be prepared for a light, simple meal. Don’t come in your gown and starving.
The food at TeaNJ is only a piece of the appeal. I’ve come to love the scene and I hope to stop by more often!
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Rating: 8/10 unicorn hugs
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