The vegan chef—whose New York City restaurant, By Chloe, is one of the most talked-about openings of the year—shares her healthy travel tips.
Where do you like to eat when you’re traveling?
I’ve been vegan for over ten years, so I’m a pro at navigating my options. I go to California a lot—my family and dogs are in Santa Monica. There’s a great vegan place there called Real Food Daily and a Thai place called Vegan Glory. And there are so many great farmer’s markets, so sometimes I just stay in and cook. And Naples, Florida, is an amazing place to escape the cold and get some beach time in. There are so many Italian restaurants downtown, and everything is very fresh. I can order very simply—like a salad with avocado—and it’s very good.
Why did you decide to open a vegan restaurant?
I’d always dreamt of a vegan place where the food was really accessible. Sometimes, after a long day, I’d want to eat a nice gourmet meal, without having to find a friend, make a reservation, and pay a lot of money. So the idea of a fast casual restaurant with good, healthy vegan food was really exciting.
What are your tips for eating healthily at the airport?
I’ve seen huge changes—every month, it gets easier to find vegan food at an airport. Before, you would just be thrilled to find a protein bar. I usually bring a packet of Justin’s almond butter and find an apple or bagel to put it on at the airport. I also love eating hummus, which is vegan and full of protein, so it doesn’t weigh you down.
What are some surprisingly good airports for vegan food?
I was at Newark the other week, and I sat down at a typical American restaurant and it had a great hummus plate with whole-wheat pita and veggies. At the Virgin America terminal at SFO, there’s a place called the Plant Café, which was an airport gem—they had a whole menu of vegan food, with wraps, veggie sandwiches, blended smoothies, and vegan cookies. And at LAX, there’s a branch of Real Food Daily, with an extensive menu. And a lot of times, if you find a chain Mexican restaurant, you can get guacamole, which always puts me in a good mood.
Do you pack food for the plane?
Aside from hummus and almond butter, sometimes I’ll pack nuts or put together my own trail mix with cranberries, hemp seeds, and cashews. I also like Pipcorn, especially the truffle flavor. I can eat a whole bag on the plane for dinner, though that’s not the healthiest option. We have a great grab-and-go section at By Chloe too, so I’ll stop in at work for our matcha kelp noodles or peanutty kale—both are sealed and super easy to carry.
Do you exercise while you’re traveling?
Whenever I check into a hotel, I ask about yoga or fitness classes, because my schedule is so crazy. I did one at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club last weekend. And last weekend, I got to SFO really early, and discovered a yoga room at the airport, complete with mats and equipment. I felt great afterward.
What are your favorite vegan places in New York?
For something a bit nicer, I like Candle 79—I’ve been having Postmates deliver from them when I want to spoil myself. In Brooklyn, there’s a great place called Dunwell Donuts, and sometimes I bring those donuts on the plane.
What are your favorite dishes at By Chloe?
I love the pesto meatball sub, which has a lot of juicy Italian flavor. The meatballs are made out of portobello mushrooms. And I love our chocolate chip cookies—I almost never visit the restaurant without eating one or two of those.