March 21, 2019

From the same team that cooked up Brooklyn faves Champs Diner and Screamer’s Pizzeria, Bushwick’s new Hartbreakers is a fast-casual, 70’s-inspired, 100% vegan restaurant. And their rotating menu features delicious, plant-based food made from scratch!

The restaurant is also devoted to promoting animal and human rights. VegNews recently caught up with Champs Empire’s Marketing Director, Adri Suarez, who said that intersectional justice is a big goal for Hartbreakers: “We acknowledge the injustice faced by animals as well as the injustice faced by so many people around the world, including those in our local community. Creating a safe space and network of allyship for both human and non-human animals is at the center of our identity.”

Inspired by Hartbreakers’ mission and enticed by the promise of their “insanely delicious food,” we headed over on a wintry evening to try it for ourselves.

The menu boasts a range of hearty, plant-based options, including three vibrant salads, a bunch of sides, and a slew of sandwiches. We started off with the crispy Waffle Fries (which come with Hartbreakers’ delicious house-made mondo sauce) and a Tiny Kale salad. Both were gluten-free and we were especially fond of the Tiny Kale: tender kale crowned with hemp seeds and slathered in a creamy tahini-beet sauce.

Next up was the Rah Rah Burger: a delicious beet burger, covered in melted cheddar cheese, on a sesame seed bun. A handful of jalepenos and pickled red onion lent the whole ensemble a nice bite. The melted cheese (made by Violife Foods USA) oozed over the sides of the burger in a way that made everything about the frigid NYC day feel a little cozier.

Ravenous after an evening of rock climbing, we also ordered the Picnic Basket: fried chik’n seitan with seitan bacon, vegan cheddar, creamy slaw, pickled red onions, and mondo sauce. (We seriously couldn’t get enough of this sauce.) While all the food was delicious, this sandwich was definitely the crowd favorite, with the tangy slaw perfectly complementing the fried seitan.

Next time, we hope to try The Varsity, a salad packed with a colorful mix of cherry tomatoes, pickled red onions, toasted sunflower seeds, romaine, and arugula. The whole delicious concoction is crowned with Hartbreakers’ famous fried seitan chik’n and drizzled with ranch dressing!

We love that Hartbreakers makes all their ingredients from scratch (save for the sliced cheese and bread, which they hope to make in-house soon). The colorful decor—which the creative team says was designed to look “like your grandma’s living room, but updated”—doesn’t hurt, either. Plus, they have tons of gluten-free options!

If you want to stop by Hartbreakers and try their delicious plant-based food for yourself, visit them at 820 Hart St. in Brooklyn. If you find yourself craving vegan comfort food on a chilly night but don’t want to venture out, their menu is available for delivery via Caviar. How convenient is that? Happy eating!

Photos via Instagram: @eimyfig, @salcasale, @thediscerningbrute, @hartbreakersbk, @caviar, @hartbreakersbk, @hartbreakersbk, @veganfoodplug, @veganbodegacat + @whatsgoodberto

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