Vegan BLT from Vegetalien / Photo by Meghan Spiro

The Hudson Valley Vegetarian Bible


Where to eat, shop, and learn about vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based lifestyles along the Hudson River. Plus, retreats to help you have a clean, healthy year.

By Robert Rubsam

Vegetarian food can be hard to find in the Hudson Valley. As a rule, the further you get from the city, the fewer your options, with Greene and Columbia counties presenting the biggest challenge for foodies who avoid flesh. While many restaurants include a vegetarian dish or two, they rarely receive the same level of care as bigger-ticket menu items.

“As animal lovers,” says local chef Bobbi Jo Forte, “we were frustrated by the limited vegetarian and vegan options at nearby eateries. If we dine out, we end up asking if there is meat and dairy in basic menu items such as soup.”

Her response was to open the Wildflower Cafe in Red Hook, which serves a variety of unpretentious, meatless dishes. And she isn’t alone. Over the last 10 years many healthy, veg-friendly establishments have opened from Nyack to Albany, serving inventive, affordable, and, most importantly, delicious dishes for those on a plant-based diet.

This guide, while not exhaustive, should give you a good sense of the best places for both a sit-down meal and a quick bite. Both vegan and vegetarian restaurants are represented, as well as those that include significant vegetarian and vegan options, and unique, non-meat dishes that are worth tasting.

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10 Hudson Valley Farm Stands You Need to Visit

Stop by these local hotspots for farm-fresh organic food and other seasonal treats.

Get Hands-on Vegetarian Education at Hudson Valley Classes

Learn about healthy cooking, eating, and veggie-friendly lifestyles at local centers.

Sip Healthy at Hudson Valley Juice Bars

The fruit-filled shops serve green smoothies and nutritious drinks galore.

Relax at These Mindful Hudson Valley Retreats

Local meditation centers, spas, and B&Bs serve vegetarians (and non-vegetarians) on any budget.

Visit These Hudson Valley CSAs for Farm-Fresh Produce

For the ripest fruits and vegetables, look to local community-supported agriculture.

The Hudson Valley Vegetarian Restaurants You Should Know About

These local establishments are fit for vegans, vegetarians, and the health-food inclined.

Everyone Should Know These 5 Vegetarian Cooking Tips

Chefs Sara Boan and Linda-Soper Kolton of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Compassionate Cooking program provide simple guidelines for a better kitchen experience.
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