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FOGO de CHAO, Queens, NY

Fogo De Chao is a Brazilian Steakhouse in Queens, NY, that has excellent vegan options. I know, go figure. The restaurant also has a friendly staff, as well as a lovely open dining space, which when added together, provides plenty of incentive for repeat visits. I have great admiration for our vegan brothers and sisters who are adamant about never dining in restaurants that support animal cruelty, but I also believe that we can champion animal rights by educating others, and increasing the demand for plant-based foods (even when it means adventuring into the belly of the beast). Clearly, vegans and vegetarians are on Fogo De Chao’s radar as they not only have a wonderful “Market Table”, that is loaded with all kinds of vegan awesome foods, but they also have added two vegan options to their main menu as well (well three, if you ask them to hold the cheese on their cauliflower steak). 🙂

Other than the warmth of the staff (I am not exaggerating), the best part of Fogo De Chao is the Market Table, which again, has all kinds of fresh veggies and fruits, as well as plenty of roasted, and marinated plant-based options too. The vegetable bar offers unlimited servings, and at just $17, includes hearts of palm, giant asparagus, fresh & sun dried tomatoes, fresh cut and steamed broccoli, marinated artichoke bottoms, roasted beets, chickpeas, cucumbers, quinoa salad, marinated onions, limes, roasted garlic, prickly pear, papaya, dragon fruit, and pineapple. Yes, unlimited servings of fresh cut pineapple! Fogo De Chao has also added a vegan “Roasted Veggie Power Bowl” with chimichurri spinach rice, and a “Seared Tofu with Miso Black Bean Pasta” (tossed with carrot ginger-miso dressing), to the dinner menu. I love that these options are available, but I have to say that I much prefer the Market Table, as the vegan dishes are a bit pricey ($37 & $39 respectively), and the flavors don’t quite pop as much as I had hoped (I am told that they are still tweaking the recipes for both offerings).

Alejandro is one of the bartenders who truly enjoys interacting with people from different backgrounds, and cultures. He loves his job, and it shows, especially when he greets you with a broad smile, and a firm handshake. He is a big reason why I keep going back, even when it is just for a Pellegrino sparkling water! Alejandro recommends the all you can eat “salad options”, which he says customers enjoy the most. Larissa is the manager, and although she declined to have her picture taken, she is thoughtful and kind (she hugged me during my last drop in), and her good-natured energy can fill up an entire room. Denisha and Hellena are warmhearted as well. Denisha loves meeting new people, and how Fogo De Chao is family oriented. She hopes to one day become a mixologist (According to Aidan Demerest, “a mixologist is an individual with a passion for combining elixirs and creating extraordinary cocktails, whereas a bartender is an individual with a passion for making great drinks and creating well-balanced experiences.” I had to look it up.). Hellena aspires to be a veterinary technician, and has flirted with veganism a few times over the years. Although she was busy, Hellena took the time to walk me through the entire Market Table in order to point out which options were vegan friendly. 🙂

I should also mention that two of the $7 house wines are vegan, which for NYC, is a great deal. Combine that with a high-end atmosphere, and the exceptional crew, and suddenly you have a warm and friendly neighborhood like hang-out joint that is hard to resist. The bottom line? A strong thumbs up for the entire staff, and the tasty vegan options at Fogo De Chao. Let’s hope that they continue to lead their industry in adding more “cruelty free” dishes to their menu!

Click here for the Fogo De Chao website.
Click here to learn more about the differences between a mixologist and a bartender.
Click here to learn more about the amazing health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Click here for, a site that can tell you which liquor, wine, and beer is vegan friendly. 

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