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Strong Hearts Cafe – The Only All-Vegan Joint in Syracuse, NY

Strong Hearts Cafe – The Only All-Vegan Joint in Syracuse, NY

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to go to the New York Vegetarian Food Festival. I had a wonderful time connecting with friends of the blog and taking pictures of the vendor tables and capturing some good times. Be on the lookout for a post covering this year’s fest soon. A question I was asked a lot was, all together now people, “What’s your favorite restaurant been on the trip so far?”

Well, first of all, that question is nearly impossible to answer. Listen up crew, we all know vegan food is delicious and as seen on this blog, without a shortage of great establishments providing wonderful meals and atmospheres. I will say this though. Without a doubt, Strong Hearts Cafe in Syracuse, NY is one of my top stops and here is why:

Strong Heats Vegan Cafe Front Door Jacks

Strong Hearts Cafe – 100% Vegan

719 E Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13210

Strong Hearts Cafe appears to be entrenched in the community; buying from local growers whenever they can, banking locally and acting as a resource for locals who want to learn about veganism and busting out of the carnism mindset.

Co-owners Nick and Joel have their roots in compassion. As well as being a part of the Syracuse Animal Rights Organization throughout college, Nick Ryan began his professional career working with high-risk troubled youth, a noble and challenging career. Joel Capolongo has been an animal advocate for a huge portion of his life, dedicating time to the Animal Defense League and Sea Shepherd (a flag can be seen in shop). Strong Hearts brings these ethics to your plate. Here Nick, Joel and crew can care for human and animal needs through delicious food and thoughtful business practices.

The fare offered here is more like that of diner food but the atmosphere is definitely a café vibe. A winning combo. Free Wi-fi keeps people in their seats and a steady stream of people rotate through the lunch tables and take-out is pumping. I hope everyday is like when we were there. The vibe in here is positive and comfortable. The pics you see here are just from our lunchtime visit. We had plans this afternoon to film an episode of The Vegan Zombie. We actually came back for round two after the shoot!

Streng Hearts Vegan Diner Rueben Sour Kraut Cookies and Cream MilkshakeThe Reuben and a John Brown Milkshake (Cookies and Cream)

The sandwiches were top notch and made with love by a staff full of men after my own heart. This place is repping hard for the vegan male demographic. No shortage of beards either. “Calm down, Ladies!” ;-)

Strong Hearts Cafe Vegan Diner Food Egg Muffin Tricky“Egg” Trick Muffin

Seitan Sandwich

Strong Hearts Vegan Milk Shakes Milkshake Peanut Butter Chocolate MintMore Milkshakes! Left: Earth Crisis (Chocolate Peanut Butter), Right: The West Memphis 3 (Chocolate Mint)!!!

Probably the best shakes of the trip. My mint shake slew any I’ve come across yet.


Co-Owner Joel delivers an “Egg” Trick Muffin! Nice Shirt!

Strong Hearts Menu Board Main Tofu Seitan Sandwich Breakfast Lunch

Oooh! Menus!!!

Strong Hearts Cafe Menu Board Desserts Coffee Vegan TreatsKristin and Megan

Kristin: We met up with Megan, an avid WTFVF follower. Had a nice chat, shared some laughs. Good times. Thanks for coming out, Megan! And thanks to the Cohen family for letting us stay in your spare bedroom the night before! :)

Strong Hearts Vegan Cafe Syracuse New York Front

Thanks for being awesome Strong Hearts!!!


  1. Nazanin

    Wow their food looks amazzzzzing!

  2. Emily

    Wooohooo!!! Strong Hearts is THE BEST!! I live in Rochester but ALWAYS welcome a journey to Syracuse to stop in and fill up on delicious fare!! The Roberto Clemente milkshake is my absolute favorite! Also, Strong Hearts does pizzas on Friday nights… the 1st time I tried to order a pie I hadn’t called soon enough… and the 2nd time I tried I had to order it 24+ hours in advance (TOTALLY worth it!!). Some might find this a tad annoying, but I think it’s awesome that people are excited for VEGAN pizza!! Yeah, Strong Hearts!

  3. The Carl Sagan milkshake has got to be my favorite. So happy to live in biking distance of this place!

  4. redshoewearer

    I love Stronghearts! I live further upstate than Syracuse, and always make it a point to eat at Strong Hearts whenever I’m passing through town. Just thinking about it makes me want a bowl of one of their great soups. I’ll have to get down there soon.

  5. Shannon

    Strong Hearts is uhmazing! I went to school at Syracuse, but now live in Los Angeles, and for all the vegan joins out here, nothing even comes close to comparing to Strong Hearts. Your pictures have me drooling!

    • I am a super-fan too. I feel like their following is to vegans what Sugarloafers are to snowboarders and skiers. I am glad you like the pics. That was my first go with my new camera! Cheers!


    • Shannon, are you serious?! Nothing in LA compares!? Holy smokes! I might as well quit the trip now and move back to Syracuse (lived there for a year before Strong Hearts existed). ;)

      • Megan

        I condone you moving back to Syracuse! Both of you! :)

  6. Amber

    I love Strong Hearts food! I’m not surprised to hear there aren’t many places that compare.

  7. Guav

    I moved to Syracuse in 1991, during the early days of the burgeoning vegan straight edge hardcore scene. We had a few health food stores but that’s it. Moved to NYC in 1996 and spent 17 years there being spoiled by thevegetarian/vegan options. I just recently moved back to Syracuse and I’ve found that I don’t miss the variety of choices I had in NYC–a weekly ruben from Strong Hearts keeps me pretty happy :)

    • Kristin

      That’s awesome, Guav! I agree, Strong Hearts is great. :)

  8. Linda

    Ever since the vegan zombie did a shoot with Strong Hearts, I have wanted to go. There is only one vegan restaurant here now, sadly the other was shut down. It’s a bit of a journey (Kingston, Ontario) from where I live but it would be awesome to go Strong Hearts. The food looks delishhh!!

    • Kristin

      Linda – it *is* a great restaurant. Definitely worth a trip, if you can make it. Try the Egg Trick Muffin and a milkshake. :)

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