Vegan New York: Bunna Cafe

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Travelling around New York is a bewildering experience for the newbie. I count myself as a bit of survivor when it comes to cities, after some hardcore London and São Paulo training. New York however, has so little information (and multiple lines the same colour Londoners, the same!), I still haven’t found any, without calling on the kindness of New Yorkers, which is a whole other story… (Coming soon)

Despite that everything had been running smoothly. I fumbled my way around. Had some lovely experiences and thought this New York beast, wasn’t such an unmanageable terror. Then I stood at Fulton St station for 40 minutes devoid of any communication on the platform to the hoardes amassing and getting crankier by the minute. It seems New Yorkers love to complain about the subway as much as we do, but in my humble opinion I think they have a lot more gristle to grumble about in their commuting pies.

By the by, I made it to Bunna Cafe, a fully vegan, Ethiopian delight, to have lunch with a lovely girl I met on the road in Guatemala. I had a tasting platter of four dishes legume and vegetable dishes served on the Ethiopian Injera bread. Everything was full of flavour, refreshingly different flavours to how I’m used to cooking. The ground lentils in particular were fabulous, earthy and delicious.


Vegan Ethiopian meal at Bunna Cafe, New York

Delicious delicious Vegan Ethiopian meal at Bunna Cafe, New York. Couldn’t stop from having a dip in the lentils before taking a taste!

My meal consisted of Shiro – Ground chickpeas simmered with garlic, ginger, and herbs; Yatakilt Alicha – Cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and turmeric; Keysir Selata – Sauteed beets, carrots, and potatoes served chilled & Gomen – Steamed kale, with carrots,red onion, ginger, garlic and herbs.

If you’re really hungry, indulge in the feast – choosing seven dishes to decorate the Ethiopian bread. Called bread, it reminded me very much of the fermented tang of Indian dosa, only made with Teff (an ancient grain) and Barley, rather than a rice and lentil mix and more of a spongy pancake than a chapati, for those like myself more familiar with the Indian, than African, continent.

Bunna Cafe opened the restauarant in 2011, after a kick starter campaign and have strong roots in coffee and music.  They host an Ethiopian coffee ceremony and I would freaking love to check that out, but alas, my time is but short and I’m flying out of JFK tonight. Insert sad face here. This place had a really nice vibe and I would definitely recommend checking out their music program on wednesday nights at 9pm – check Bunna listings to see what’s on.

You might have to get used to a different pace, because everything really is Eshi and there wasn’t any rush or stress on the outside. It’s cash only, but there is an ATM at the back if you spent all your cash on the surrounding vintage stores.

Ethiopia, you are definitely going on my food map for keeps.

The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is hosted at Bunna cafe on Wednesday and Fridays at 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday at 5pm.

Bunna Cafe is open from 12- 4 & 4 – 11pm Monday to Friday and 11 – 4 & 4 – 11 over the weekend and is located at 1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn.



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