Williamsburg seems like just the right place to find not just a vegetarian diner, but a vegan one. Champs Family Bakery has a typically huge diner menu; breakfast all day, dinner specials, and a ton of different sandwiches. I went on a Wednesday around noon, and the place was packed. Packed with exactly the type of people you might think would be eating lunch at a vegan diner in Williamsburg. Although the space is pretty small, it looks exactly like an old-school lunch counter that you’d see in a movie from the ’30s. I took a seat at the bar and ordered a “Hot Cubano” sandwich, with a vanilla milkshake with which to wash it down. The sandwich was excellent — salty vegan “ham” with pickles, pickled jalapenos, mustard, vegan “cheese,” and vegan mayo, on a hero roll, pressed flat to compress all of that stuff into a flat mix. It was filling, spicy, gooey, and delicious. The milkshake was a perfect foil for all of those flavors, and even though you can tell it’s not made with milk it’s still a sweet, cold, and creamy drink. Since I don’t live in the neighborhood I don’t think Champs will make my regular rotation of restaurants, but it’s a fun place to go for lunch once in a while.
Champs — 176 Ainslie St