Knowing how much I love a spot that serves local organic food and drink, my friend recommended Routine during a somewhat recent trip to the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. It has since become my go-to spot when I visit friends in the area. The cafe’s tagline is “100% vegetarian, sometimes vegan”, which is appropriate given that many of the vegetarian menu items are able to be made without animal products. Everything on the menu is responsibly sourced (local and organic when possible) and made in-house from whole foods.
Routine is conveniently located right off the Wilson Avenue stop on the L train. The cafe is spacious and inviting, boasting hardwood floors and a beautiful exposed brick interior. The bartenders are witty and personable. Several barstools and tables are available for dining in, and many are occupied with industrious laptop users utilizing the free WiFi.
Upon entering, my first thought was (naturally): “I’d make this coffee shop my office if I lived in Bushwick”, and I actually have spent an entire afternoon here doing work and listening to lectures for school. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee accented with productivity permeates Routine, quite a conducive combination for getting things done. Lattes in lavender and rosewater flavors are house specialities, in addition to an array of other coffee drinks made with beans from local Brooklyn coffee roaster Toby’s Estate. Almond or coconut milk are readily available as vegan milk alternatives.
On my first visit, I had the Smashed Avocado, which is avocado with local organic radish, cilantro and Sriracha mayo on house-made 7 grain toast. I opted to substitute the Sriracha mayo in favor of regular Sriracha for a delicious vegan breakfast.
My friend had the Breakfast Burrito, which features local organic pasture-raised eggs, black beans, roasted potatoes, Spanish rice, shredded Grafton cheddar cheese and a house-made ranchero sauce. I had a bite and the flavors were spot-on: fresh and hearty, with a slightly spicy, smokey kick.
During my following two trips to Routine, I’ve had the Warm Kale Salad, which is vegan, gluten-free, and absolutely delicious. It features organic red and white quinoa, toasted sunflower seeds, roasted local tomatoes and garlic, with sliced avocado over a bed of lightly sautéed greens. On both occasions, I’ve left Routine with a happy, satisfied belly that kept me sated for hours.
I’d like to try the Macro Bowl (roasted carrots, mushrooms & beets, spinach, basil, and house made jalapeño hummus on a bed of farro) on my next visit to Routine. Other promising menu items include the falafel burger with organic greens, purple cabbage, and jalapeño hummus, as well as the homemade tex-mex style vegan & gluten-free chili with local organic tomatoes and red & black beans.
Delicious local food and coffee aside, what I like best about Routine is the laid-back, friendly vibe. It’s hole-in-the-wall meets bustling neighborhood coffee shop. The next time you’re visiting Bushwick, check out Routine for its cool ambiance, quality service, and local organic fare. I give it a 5 out of 5!
Routine, 631 Wilson Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 347-787-0546.
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