By Shun Shueh, VRG Intern
Some vegetarians/vegans believe that eating in restaurants is difficult. For myself, it’s characterized by endless questions for the waiter and the fear of seeming “picky” in front of friends.
At NuVegan Café, however, I didn’t have any difficulties. This 100% vegan restaurant takes a modern twist on soul and comfort food, bringing a sense of inclusiveness through their food and venue. All types of eaters can find joy in their experience at NuVegan Café. The restaurants are designed with simplicity, featuring a large variety of seating, classic décor, and soulful R&B music playing in the background.
Fueling up on their compassionately cooked food is not the only reason to stop by one of their locations. It is a family owned business, with values in community building and giving back. They have not only upheld their values in serving vegan food, but also in holding various initiatives, such as their recent holiday food drive to support families in need. Whether you are vegan or not, NuVegan Café is worth a trip!
They serve in a total of four locations in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. The latest opened its doors recently in the Blackburn Center at Howard University in Washington DC. Close by, there is a second DC location on Georgia Avenue. The third is in Richmond, Virginia, and the last location is near the University of Maryland campus in College Park, Maryland.
Last week, I visited their College Park location. After walking in, counter-service was quick and simple. Orders are made and paid for at the register, then an employee delivers the food order to your seat. All meals are served in to-go boxes, making it easy to take home any leftovers.
I was mesmerized by their staggeringly long menu of options, consisting of hot/cold sides, sandwiches, entrees, salads, baked goods, fresh juices, smoothies, and more. On Sundays from 10AM-3PM, the brunch menu is available including pancakes, breakfast burritos, and more. The refreshing drink menu contains an interesting assortment of flavors, including cucumber, beet, or parsley as juice flavors and peanut butter, pina colada, or cashew cream as smoothie flavors, which are blended with a choice of one of four plant-based milks: soy, almond, hemp, or rice milk.
I decided to order the vegan “fish” sandwich and a side of vegan “tuna” mac. For a drink, I ordered a strawberry cream smoothie with a base of hemp milk. The side of “tuna” mac was smooth and creamy with the perfect texture, not too firm and not too soft. The “fish” sandwich was layered with tomato, lettuce, vegan mayonnaise, onion, and two fried pieces of vegan fish. Since the portions were big, I was left with a lot to take home. I hope to return and try another one of their delicious options.
Parking, which was located directly behind the College Park café location, was plentiful and cost only $1.00/hour. The café itself also had good vibes. I found the environment to be relaxing, as it was well-lit and very clean. In addition, there was a lot of seating to choose from within an open space. The staff that took my order was very friendly, and I only had to wait a few minutes before they quickly brought my food to me. Overall, it was a pleasant experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in eating a vegan meal.
The full menu can be found on their website here: http://www.ilovenuvegan.com/
For information about other veggie restaurants, you can visit, see: https://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php