Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee Just Opened a Vegan Cafe in New York

Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee opened an all-vegan cafe in New York called Laughing V. Located on Duane Street in the Tribeca neighborhood, the cafe offers a variety of homemade vegan sandwiches, pastries, pantry items and more.

Laughing V is the product of the successful vegan outreach by Chef Lauren Evans, a vegan and lifelong Tribeca resident. For a long time, Evans has gone out of his way to ask local Tribeca restaurants to add vegan options. She’s also a frequent customer of Laughing Man Coffee, the coffee brand founded by actor Hugh Jackman along with David and Barry Steinard in 2011. When she pushed the Steingards for more vegan options, Evans told VegNews they were very receptive and asked to have them. send some vegan suggestions.

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Evans did much more than that: she developed a sophisticated, restaurant-ready menu of vegan appetizers, entrees, desserts, and more that completely impressed the founders of Laughing Man, and thus Laughing V was born. too ambitious for the small space available for Laughing V – which now functions right next to the cafeteria – so Evans selected a more practical menu of vegan sandwiches and baked goods.

Laughing V’s Vegan Menu

Armed with little more than a panini press, Evans is now delighting diners with his tofu caprese sandwiches, Philly cheese steaks, tangy sweet potato sandwiches and (his favorite) Portobello mushroom wraps with pistachio pesto. The chef also prepares her own vegan palmiers, Linzer cookies and whole-wheat focaccia.

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She adds a splash of color to the café’s beverage menu with her eye-catching hot pink “matcha,” which is actually a caffeine-free blend made with dragon fruit powder, antioxidants, and no added sugar. The market also sells some vegan staples like pots of cashew cheese, flavored popcorn, almond pate, vegan pudding mix, and more.

Evans makes as much as possible from scratch and cooks with unprocessed plant-based ingredients, allowing him to offer healthier versions of heavy dishes. For the savory seitan used in her filet-and-cheese sandwiches, for example, Evans uses a special recipe that incorporates Italian herbs and lentils that she has carefully prepared to let people “feel satisfied but not overwhelmed.”

Laughing V brings vegan food to Tribeca

For a block surrounded by downtown skyscrapers (including the nearby Freedom Tower), this small stretch of Duane Street has a unique small-town feel, with a small park in the middle of the street. It’s a bucolic block, but the area has never been particularly vegan. Until the last few decades, the buildings around Laughing V housed dairy, egg and whale bone businesses. Vegan food options have always been incredibly scarce.

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But, the outdoor seating at Laughing V is now filled with Tribeca residents enjoying sandwiches and vegan pastries. Reception has been extremely positive. Just days after opening, Laughing V sold out of its signature sandwiches within hours, causing Evans to have to dramatically increase his food prep to keep up with demand.

One of Laughing V’s first clients was attorney Peter Nussbaum, who has lived on Duane Street for decades with his wife Gabrielle. Both are dedicated vegans who founded Tamerlaine Sanctuary to rescue animals from the food industry. “When I moved here 25 years ago, trucks of eggs and butter were parked on this block every night,” Nussbaum told VegNews. “We were very excited to find that an ethical vegan neighbor had opened an all-vegan cafe. I have tried all the sandwiches on the menu and they are all amazing.”

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The future in Laughing V

Evans is developing new menu items, including a coconut curry dish with “much more exciting dishes to come.” The ambitious upscale menu she originally created could resurface for pop-up dinners at the much larger Laughing Man space next door. Fortunately, Laughing Man co-founders David and Barry Steinard were incredibly supportive of the venture (his first vegan venture).

As a true vegan foodie, Evans – who “went vegan for animals and fell in love with food” – plans to continue veganizing her neighborhood, meal by meal. Food is her form of activism that always comes back to one thing. “I care about animals,” Evans said. “That’s what motivates me.”

To learn more about vegan food in New York, read:
New York’s Golden Krust debuts vegan burgers in addition to Jamaican beef
New York’s best restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, goes plant-based
20 New York bodegas are getting vegan fridges and deli menus

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