If you’re in New York City and looking for a restaurant with healthy, vegan light meals and snacks, consider popping into One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway.
With two locations in Manhattan (the original juice bar sits in Gramercy and you’ll find a newer location in the cute Chelsea Market, One Luck Ducky Juice and Takeaway makes it easy to get a nutritious and delicious bite on the go. [Editor’s note: The Chelsea Market location is now closed. See their website for locations. ]
I traveled to NYC for the first time this past January, making a list before I left (as I always do when I travel) of the vegan restaurants that I wanted to try. I’d heard about One Lucky Duck because, as a vegan food and travel writer, I’d researched its parent restaurant Pure Food and Wine many times. Pure Food and Wine is a highly-acclaimed New York City restaurant that serves upscale raw and vegan cuisine. It’s owned by Sarma Melngailis, the woman behind both Manhattan One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway, and a One Lucky Duck restaurant in San Antonio, Texas.
Having only three days to spend in New York City, I couldn’t hit all of the vegan restaurants on my list and still have time for shopping and sightseeing. I’d already eaten at Candle Café on the Upper West Side and Blossom Du Jour in Hell’s Kitchen, along with Maoz Vegetarian and a few other places offering yummy vegan goodies. As much as I wanted to visit Pure Food and Wine, the schedule that I created for myself didn’t leave enough time for a luxurious dinner there. It did, however, make it possible for me to take the subway from my Theatre District hotel to Chelsea Market, where I indulged in a banana nut shake and a decadent moonpie.
For my last day in NYC, I’d decided to visit One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway for breakfast. I was putting great faith in the fact that the eatery promised a meal that was scrumptious and memorable, but I also wanted to eat something wholesome enough for a first meal of the day.
What I’d heard about Pure Food and Wine and One Lucky Duck paid off! I chose the Chelsea Market One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway because I wanted to check out the famed Market that also houses other exciting local food vendors and artisans.
To get to the Chelsea One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway, I did have to navigate my way past a few cheese and meat shops inside of the Market. But on my way to enjoying my morning treat I also browsed in some fun vintage stores and wandered beneath beautiful exposed-brick archways that were illuminated with thousands of mini lights. Once I made it to the Chelsea Market One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway, I felt like I entered vegan heaven.
One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway’s juice and smoothie menu is fantastic. It took me about 10 minutes to consider all of the options, and finally chose the banana nut concoction (which was a great choice because I wanted something vanilla-y and creamy). But I could have easily been happy with the cacao latte shake or goji high shake (goji berries, blueberries, cashew milk, vanilla).
Their cold-press juice blends include green apple (apple, cucumber, celery, mint, lime, spinach), red ginger (apple, orange, grapefruit, ginger, lemon, parsley), and at least a dozen other varieties. If you want solid food, you can take your pick from a pretty decent selection of salads and savory dishes (next time, I think I’ll try the falafel with tabhouli or the zucchini and heirloom tomato lasagna).
I couldn’t leave One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway without taking a dessert with me (the moonpie was rich, just the right amount of sweet, and perfect). On my next trip to New York City, I’ll definitely give some serious thought to the classic sundae ice cream sandwich or the tiramisu at One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway.
One Luck Duck Juice and Takeaway’s back story
When Pure Food and Wine opened in 2004, the NYC restaurant had a little juice bar attached to it (with a separate entrance) called Pure Juice and Takeaway. Pure Juice served juices, smoothies and quick wholesome dishes just like you’ll find today at One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway. In fact, a few years after Pure Food and Wine’s owner, Sarma, launched a raw, vegan ecommerce site in 2005 called oneluckyduck.com (read below to see what the duck has to do with raw, vegan food), Pure Juice and Takeaway officially became part of the One Lucky Ducky brand.
Sarma’s plans to open Pure Food and Wine followed her discovery of the raw, vegan movement — and acknowledgement of how great uncooked, plant-based foods can make a person feel. Sarma’s transition to a raw, vegan lifestyle became permanent and her inspiration turned into a series of businesses. While running Pure Food and Wine and the original Pure Juice Takeaway, a publisher approached Sarma with an offer to publish her book and story — in just 8 weeks! Sarma’s Raw Food Real World came out a few months later, around the same time as her launch of oneluckyduck.com (check out the site for vegan cookies, snacks, and even skin care).
About the duck
So, what about the duck? When Pure Food and Wine was getting ready to open, loads of people were offering to paint fruit and veggie-related artwork on the walls.
What did Sarma choose to decorate Pure Food and Wine’s interior? Always one to buck convention, she figured she’d honor some of the animals that typically get eaten in a restaurant. Which meant, of course, choosing a photo for the wall that originally appeared in Gourmet Magazine — one of a feisty and now-famous duck.
One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway brings fun, energy, and some of the area’s highest-quality ingredients to Manhattan. This New York City restaurant commits to sustainable and ethical sourcing by researching each company and farm it works with to make sure only the best is used.
One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway sits in Gramercy at 125 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003, 212-477-7151. You’ll find the Chelsea Market One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway at 75 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011, 212-255-4300.