Siggy’s Good Food sits on a tree-lined block at the quiet end of Elizabeth St. in NYC. The scribbled message on a sidewalk chalkboard beckons, ALIENS EAT FREE! I didn’t see any extraterrestrials but I bet that those in costume may indeed, eat on the house.
The quirky entrance leads streams of devoted vegetarians and healthy eaters into the long narrow space with wall to wall windows in the front. Welcoming winter sunlight floods the front of the cafe and provides respite from the howling winter wind. Scuffed wooden floorboards and worn tabletops set the casual vibe as Siggy and her friendly staff greet regulars by name.
The front counter serves as a first stop for those who swing by for smoothies and freshly pressed juices. Knowing that all ingredients served at Siggy’s are organic is reason enough to stop in to check it out. Piles of house made vegan and gluten-free bars are individually wrapped and tempt those who want solids.
I appreciate the mellow, come stay a while vibe, and yes, good food.
Owner Siggy Sollitto hung out with me as we sipped tea with nana (fresh mint leaves). We nodded in agreement as she shared her commitment to wholesome, organic, and seasonal foods.
She wants her food to taste more like home cooking than fancy restaurant dishes.
And that’s a good thing.
Siggy grew up in southern Israel where she was surrounded by women who cooked slow simmering Moroccan stews and assembled plentiful salads with locally grown veggies. She laughed as she told me how she begged her mom and grandmothers for measurements when they cooked together.
They indicated by showing her with their fingertips, not measuring spoons.
When she arrived in NYC in 1993, she was stunned by the processed foods and out of season produce she saw. Determined to bring change and heighten awareness about the health value of simply prepared foods, she opened Siggy’s in Brooklyn Heights in 2005. She loved the neighborhood and relished knowing her enthusiastic patrons. After a 10 year run, it closed in 2015, much to the dismay of her loyal customers.
Lucky for us on this side of the river, she opened her Elizabeth St. location in 2012 where she’s been serving the same overflowing plates of salads, mostly veggie wraps, soups and sandwiches to an enthusiastic crowd in NoHo.
Dishes on the menu are labeled vegan, gluten free or veg and there are plenty of options for customizing dishes by adding from a lengthy list of veggies, proteins, grains, nuts and seeds, cheeses and sauteed greens.
The salads were loaded with freshly sliced and chopped veggies and simply dressed. The Splendid Sesame Raw Slaw was a towering mound of thinly shaved kale, cabbage and carrots punctuated with finely chopped scallions, parsley and sesame seeds.
Feeling short on veggies? This salad could supply you with your week’s worth.
Scroll down for recipe.
The Beet and Orange Salad was a perfect antidote to a dreary day. I would have liked it dotted with goat cheese but it was interesting enough with a variety perky greens and a delicious citrusy dressing.
The Wild Salmon Burger is one of three non-meat burgers offered here (check the black bean and sweet potato or the quinoa and spinach). All are gluten free and available on 7 grain or wheat wrap, GF bun or over baby greens.
The salmon burger was a perfectly crusted, generous mound of fresh salmon (no fillers) seasoned simply with parsley, cumin, salt and pepper and a shmear of vegan mayo. It was moist, savory and worthy of a return visit.
Hot dishes are all gluten free, dairy free and starch free, making them easy choices for those with food sensitivities. I opted for the Eggplant Veggie and Tofu Lasagna, a noodle-less construction of roasted eggplant layered with shredded carrots, broccoli and tofu ricotta and topped with homemade tomato sauce.
After enjoying other dishes where each veggie was distinct and discernible, I wish this had been less of a blended jumble. Texture would improve greatly if veggies were left in larger chunks or slices and layered the same way the well cooked and delicious eggplant is.
Other hot dishes include Artichoke Pasta with wilted Kale, olive oil, garlic and herbs, a Wild King Salmon Plate and a daily special of Chick Peas and Spinach.
Desserts are offered wrapped at the counter and more of a grab and go item. Siggi bakes most of them; we liked the (huge) Walnut Brownie (Gf and vegan) and her Chocolate Chip Cookies.
More hot items are tacked onto the daytime menu at dinner. Beer and wines are all organic and biodynamic.
Next time I’m feeling short on veggies, I’ll return to Siggy’s for a mound of organic greens piled high with sliced veggies du jour and that moist salmon burger. I won’t even try to resist the roasted sweet potatoes or grilled baby artichokes, either. In a city known for expensive restaurants and often overwrought dishes, I appreciate Siggy’s very reasonable prices and homestyle cooking.
292 Elizabeth St. (between Houston and Bleecker Streets), NYC
open Monday- Saturday 11 AM- 10:30 PM
brunch menu- Saturday 11 AM- 3:30 PM (shakshuka, GF pancakes, breakfast burrritos and more)
NOTE: Siggy’s is a great option for those seeking vegetarian and vegan, GF, organic foods. This is not a kosher restaurant.
Splendid Sesame Raw Slaw
Like her grandmothers and mother, Siggy didn’t give exact measurements for this salad. So feel comfortable shredding the raw veggies in proportions that you like, and taste the dressing before serving. Too acidic? Add a bit more olive oil and maybe a drop more agave.
This recipe is vegan, raw, GF, pareve (non-dairy)
toasted sesame seeds
Dressing – rough ratio here ….
- Red Wine Vinegar – 1/4 cup
- Lemon Juice – 1/4 cup
- Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
- Crushed Garlic – 2 cloves
- Sea Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
- Agave – 1/2 teaspoon
Grate salad vegetables on a box grater or in the food processor using the grater blade. Toss veggies to distribute color evenly.
Whisk the dressing in separate bowl and taste. Pour over salad, toss and top with sesame seeds.