For my first post I decided to share a place that is near and dear to my heart, a place that introduced me to the vegan junkie lifestyle I’ve come to love. That constant-craving, keeps-you-waiting love that can only be produced from the best of the best vegan spots. That’s right fellow vegans – I’m talking about none other than the Brooklyn busy hotspot, Champs Diner.
I had heard of Champs from a few friends who, after telling them I’ve never been, sighed a “really?” in some sort of disbelief. At the time, I didn’t understand what the big deal was. Of course now I do and can’t believe it took me so long to discover the hip diner.
If you’ve never been, Champs is located at 197 Meserole Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While it isn’t the largest restaurant, the character packs a serious punch. You’ll probably first be greeted by a guy or gal, dressed in converse, maybe tights, maybe a band tee of the latest indie rock duo to hit the underground scene. The style of the all-vegan restaurant looks like something out of Grease – black and white checkered tiles, a seriously swanky bar top, sparkled black booth and chairs, and mirrors lining the back walls. You’ll be sat at one of these seats and then I suggest take in the memorabilia that takes up residency on the walls. My favorite is a toss up between the posh portrait of Rue McClanahan or the punny “Hail Seitan” sign on the back left corner.
After you’re given your all-vegan menu (while some things aren’t specifically said to be vegan, you can rest-assure it is), you’ll be met with the hardest task of the night – deciding what to get.
Now if you’re a vegan like myself you know the struggle of eating at a restaurant that lacks in the veggie-friendly options. Should I get the veggie burger or the salad, you contemplate as your other omnivore pals are met with the unlimited options. Your server comes over and you recite a list of modifications and questions. Your friends give their order, free of changes.
Well, my friends, today is your day. But with great (ordering) power comes great responsibility. Champs diner serves breakfast all day, salads if you are feel like being on the healthier side; monstrous burgers, sandwiches and mac n cheese bowls if you’re not. Milkshakes, egg creams, sundaes – oh f-in my. And I can attest, It’s all to die for.
Once you make your decision, which may feel like life or death, your mouth will water in anticipation. But even on a Saturday night, Champs Diner usually knows how to get things done quick. You’ll see your food come out from the kitchen, lock eyes with the server that brings it over, thank him or her with deep gratitude from your rumbling stomach, and then – dig in.
Champs is a bit a bang for you buck. Generally their prices for entrees range from $10 to $15 dollars. They take cash and cards, and conveniently have an ATM for all your cash withdrawing needs. The staff is also super friendly and seems to always have no problems splitting checks.
Overall, clearly I give Champs Diner an 11 out of 10. If you’re a New York native or just in town for a few days, a full on veghead or just an omnivore with an appetite, this is definitely a spot to check out.