Many of us who live in Utica have found ourselves taking the 45 minutes drive to Syracuse from time to time--whether it be for shopping, food or visiting friends and family. I find myself driving out to Syracuse at least four to five times a month. What do I do when I go out there? I mainly go for shopping (at Wegmans) and for the many vegan-friendly restaurants out there. In fact, Syracuse ranked fifth as the most vegan-friendly city in North America in 2010. A few weeks ago, I brought you my favorite places to get a vegan meal in Utica. Today, I would like to share with you my favorite places to get a meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free meal in Syracuse.

5. Pita Pit--107 Marshall Street

If you're looking for a great sandwich inside of pita bread, this is the place to go. They have a ton of vegetarian and vegan options. And, the best part is all of the vegetables you can pick to add inside your sandwich. I usually get hummus and a ton of veggies.

4. Tokyo Seoul--3180 Erie Boulevard

I must say, I visited this place very recently and instantly loved it. If you like sushi--they have it. If you like kimchi--they have it. If you like soup--they have it. It is so delicious. The restaurant has hibachi, sushi and Korean cuisine. The staff is very knowledgeable when it comes to food without meat, fish or dairy.

3. Wegmans--6789 East Genesee Street, Fayetteville

You may be asking, "How did a grocery store make the list?" Well, Wegmans is a whole lot more than just a grocery store. Wegmans has many, many different food choices (prepared food and food you can take home and pop in the oven) and a large dining area. Wegmans is not only a great place to get your vegan groceries, it is a great place to sit down and have a quick vegan meal.

2. Alto Cinco--526 Westcott Street

The salsa...amazing. The guacamole...amazing. The chips...amazing. This place has great Mexican food. They have an option on the menu called the "Super Vegan Burrito." All I can say is order that--you will not be disappointed. There is also the "BBQ Tofu Burrito" and the "Vegan Burrito" (it's a little bit different than the Super Vegan Burrito).

1. Strong Hearts Cafe--719 East Genesee Street

And, here it is at number one--the best ALL VEGAN restaurant in all the land--Strong Hearts Cafe. The reason I emphasized ALL VEGAN is because 100 percent all-vegan food is served. You can order anything, and I mean anything, on the menu and know that it is vegan. As a vegan, this place is a dream. Everything on the menu is 100 percent vegan! To order something on the menu and not have to ask if there is meat, dairy or eggs inside the food is a great experience. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also offer the most delicious vegan desserts. In addition, they have amazing vegan pizza. Oh, don't forget a vegan milkshake when you go. Everything here is amazing. It's truly a Central New York treasure, and a vegan paradise.

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