Whole Earth Bakery & Kitchen

Manhattan, New York City


rating star

Truth be told, before I moved to New York, I was never one to eat vegan food. Heck, there weren't even any vegan joints where I grew up. (Think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the aunt finds out the guy is a vegetarian and says, "You don't eat no meat. That's okay... I make lamb!" Yeah, you get the idea.

So you can imagine my reaction when my wife (then girlfriend) suggested getting food from Whole Earth... Eeeeeeh.

Back then it was cash only and much smaller than it is now. Let's just say my experience was so incredible, that I've been a return customer ever since for the last six years!

As I mentioned, they now accept credit cards and have added more space.

They employees are so kind and accomodating. The owner, Peter, is an absolute sweetheart!

I've never tasted healthy food so delicious. A few of my favorites are the blueberry tofu cheesecake, gingersnaps, chocolate trifle, apple-strawberry turnovers, and vegan lasagna.

Okay, I'm hungry.
This review is officially complete!

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

This is a cute, healthy-desserts bakery. Everything's vegan and mostly organic. Given that I'm partial to healthier desserts these days (i.e. no white flour, no refined sugar), this place suits me well.

I had a chewy brownie ($4), a slice of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake ($6), a chocolate walnut cookie ($3) and a hemp flax cookie ($2).

There's very little space inside here, so I took my goods to go and ate on a bench in Tompkins Square Park next door.

The brownie was awesome in flavor, if just a tad crumbly. The cookie was also excellent, and not dry or hard at all. The walnut really accented the chocolate chips well. The hemp flax cookie was unusual and while it wasn't my favorite, I can't say that I disliked it either. I appreciate that it's a risky offering and probably an acquired taste. Lastly, the cheesecake had a raw flavor (I think it was a raw dessert, but I'm not sure) and while I wasn't terribly fond of it, my friends enjoyed it the most (and none of them are vegan).

All told, I would definitely return to Whole Earth Bakery. If they had more seating (why not set up some tables outside with their ample sidewalk space?) and accepted credit cards, I'd be back all the time, just to try something new and unusual.

Image for Cass Danger

rating star

I like the feel of this place but I can't say the food is my favorite. I'm glad that they are committed to veganism (they've been serving vegan food WAAAY longer than most places), and are making an effort to providing the community with healthy food, but I think a lot of their food is too healthy for my taste. I've had their veggie pizza a few times and the roasted vegetables on it are very good, but it's an all-vegetable (no vegan cheese) pizza on whole wheat crust, so it just doesn't hit the spot when I want some greasy goodness.

I feel the same way about their desserts. I think they try too hard to make them healthy (I think they use no refined sugars, flours, etc.) so they come out tasting dry and more like semi-sweet biscuits instead of cookies or muffins. One of the employees recommended the flax chocolate cookie to me but I didn't really like it. It tasted like a solid flax bar with a little chocolate in it. It was dry and tasted more like an energy bar than a cookie.

However, I really like the feel of the place (especially since they've remodeled the interior and there is more room to stand and sit). The staff is very friendly and there are always loyal regulars inside that are quick to start a conversation with you.

rating star

The guy who owns the place is so helpful, nice, knowledgeable, etc. Some of the food is a little too bland/health-food-ish, but the cheesecakes are to die for, especially the tofu coconut one. The lasagna, the pizza, and the soups are amazing. The brownies are good, as are all the chocolate baked or raw goods. I recommend it. That area of the village needs more places like that. Less bars, less overpriced art stores. More down to earth, honest food.

rating star

I appreciate that the baked goods were vegan and pretty healthy (most, if not all were made with no oil or refined sugar) and they had a big selection. However, nothing my friend and I tried was good. We had a spinach and tofu turnover, a chocolate chip cookie and some other cookie with jam on top of it. Everything was very bland and too health-food-ish. I won't make the trek across town again.

rating star

I tried a cookie and a cinnamon raisin roll. bleh, too healthy! I have no idea what in the world they make things with here, not using margarine. it was pretty clear everything was sweetened with maple syrup, as my cinnamon roll was almost underwater in it. sadly, in spite of this, it still didn't taste like dessert.

Image for Dave Rolsky

rating star

I tried an apple turnover and the almond biscotti. They were both good.

I went back for a second trip and got a number of other items, including the vegan cheesecake. The cheesecake was pretty mediocre, not very creamy, and too sweet. I also had a brownie which was decent. But overall I think the biscotti was the best thing I tried.

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