Benchmark Foods

What I like to call benchmark foods are dishes, desserts, sandwiches, etc. I use to gauge a restaurant or city’s vegan suitableness.  For example, Does a town have a falafel place.  No? Shit hole, etc.  My standards are quite high, I’ll admit.  12 years of veganism and 250+ restaurants later has taught me a lot about quality in foodie world.

So, my benchmark foods are:



Falafel sandwich with roasted cauliflower salad wrapped in a za’atar pizza – Melbourne, Australia

That crispy golden ball of ground chickpea and herbs/spices gets me every time.  It’s my #1 craving.  It’s best when you have a salad bar where you can add your own toppings, like roasted cauliflower, pickled veggies, and tahini sauce. The perfect Falafel starts with fluffy pita bread that encases the falafel and fixings like a soft shell taco, a nice tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad, mixed greens, roasted cauliflower and liberal amounts of tahini.  I haven’t been to Israel yet, but my favourite falafel so far has been at Mediterranean Avenue in Seattle Westlake Centre.


Rueben from Native Foods. Washington DC

Reuben from Native Foods. Washington DC

Reuben from Localita and the Badasserie in LA

Reuben from Localita and the Badasserie – Los Angeles, CA

If you don’t know about this sandwich, it’s a gift from the dogs (transposition of the g and d on purpose).  It starts with a (preferably) marbled rye, layered with corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, melted swiss cheese, and grilled on both sides.  Of course, this is far from vegan, but since it is a dogsend, many people have veganised it in various ways.  Most often it’s made as a tempeh rueben, but faux corned beef wins for sure.


RAW Caramel Chocolate Cheezecake

RAW Caramel Chocolate Cheezecake – Earth to Table – Sydney, Australia

White chocolate raspberry raw cheezecake from Yong Green Food. Melbourne, Australia

White Chocolate Raspberry Raw Cheezecake – Yong Green Food – Melbourne, Australia

Cheesecake has always been my favourite dessert, and since I became vegan, It’s been a mission of mine to find the best vegan cheezecake.  So, I make sure to order a cheezecake when it’s available at a vegan restaurant.


About theveganview

Julian has been vegan for ~12 years. During this time he has visited hundreds of vegan restaurants and dozens of vegan boutiques/shoppes around the world. If you're going to a country and you want to know the best place to eat, shoot him an e-mail. Julian is also an accomplished vegan baker and chef. Check out theveganview's instagram.

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