Happy Cow app, hemp tofu, Living Harvest tofu, O2 Vegan Cafe, Sudo Shoes, vegan chocolate, vegan options in Boston, vegan options in Cambridge, vegan options near Harvard, vegan shoe store, vegan travel app
I recently went to Cambridge, Massachusetts to visit with family and, of course, like every new place I go, I made sure to scope out the vegan scene. I didn’t have any expectations. However, what I discovered was pleasantly surprising!
I went to a local Whole Foods where I found Living Harvest’s hemp seed-based tofu which is a great source of plant-based protein for anyone with a soy allergy. I used it in a stir fry. (Got check out my Instagram for the pics!) It’s a bit more crumbly than soy tofu due to the bits of hemp seeds throughout it. Also, it can’t be frozen and then thawed and cooked (as per a tip from Living Harvest). My impression is that it’s a bit less versatile than soy tofu. For example, I don’t think I would use it for a ricotta in a lasagna or pasta dish due to the hemp seed component, but it would work perfectly well in sandwiches, stir frys, and breakfast scrambles.
I spent a good deal of my time on foot walking throughout Cambridge near Harvard Square. Using my trusty Happy Cow app, I was able to locate an all-vegan cafe, O2 Vegan Cafe.
Because this little cafe was all-vegan, I didn’t have to “think” about my choices. I ordered freely and happily. I sampled both a juice and a smoothie, ordered the caprese salad (in a wrap) and a side of nachos. Both items were prepared freshly on-site with housemade nut cheeses — so good! The owner came over to check on me and we got to talking about the vegan scene here in Cambridge/Boston. I expressed my delight at finding an all-vegan location and how amazing all the food was. She was kind enough to bring me a sample of their corn chowder. I’m not usually a soup lover, but this housemade soup was a little taste of heaven given the cold, windy Northern weather.
I have to say, at the risk of sounding like a cliche, the food at O2 Vegan Cafe tastes like it was made with love. The owner, Mimi (pronounced Mee-Mee, although I have no idea how she spells her name), has done a wonderful job of providing a little vegan nook in the heart of Cambridge. The facility is clean and the staff is friendly. I really lucked out in finding this place.
Now, I don’t have the best sense of direction. So how lucky was I to happen upon a shop that was some sort of combination of a chocolate/beer/wine/food gifts/deli store?! I had no desire to check out the deli, or cheese, or other food gifts, but a section of this little store was entirely devoted to chocolate. After perusing many of the labels and ingredients lists, I was able to score a couple of vegan chocolate bars — oh yeah 😉
With a fully belly from O2 Vegan Cafe and a few bites of chocolate, teehee, I continued exploring on foot. I noticed on my Happy Cow app that there was an all-vegan shoe boutique within walking distance. A vegan shoe store?! That was a no-brainer; away I went.
En route to the shoe store what did I happen upon but none other than a group of local volunteers from the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition advocating for animals and spreading the vegan message. That. was. awesome!! I stopped to talk to one of the ladies who was leafletting to tell her I was vegan, too, was visiting the area, and I thought what she and her fellow volunteers were doing was pretty awesome.
I practically floated the rest of the way to Sudo Shoes, the vegan shoe boutique. Not only did they have men and women’s shoes, from casual to dressy, but also a few accessories such as belts, wallets, and purses — all vegan, of course. I spoke to the saleslady who said business had been going very well and soon they will have their sales online as well. So keep an eye out for that!
All in all, I had a wonderful time both visiting with family and checking out the vegan scene in Cambridge. On my next visit, I hope to head into downtown Boston and delve into the vegan scene there, but I guess that will have to be for another time 😉