When you get close to the door of the plant-based bakery and café Innocent Yesterday on East 77th Street in New York City, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in Paris at a local French patisserie. This vegan restaurant is a world apart, both in experience and in the delicious baked goods and savory dishes it serves, and whether you eat vegan or plant-based or just love a sweet or savory snack in the middle of the day, it's an oasis that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The airy, welcoming vegan bakery lures you in with a glass display stacked with rows and shelves of beautifully decorated cakes, flakey light croissants, adorable tarts, chocolate chunk cookies, and every type of donut, all on display. It's not that Innocent Yesterday is a fancy spot, but it is relaxing and welcoming, and sitting in the shade at an outdoor table, with a light breeze blowing, or in the comfort of the AC in the large indoor dining space is like a mini vacation.

'Innocent Yesterday, Guilty Today,' as the sign fully reads on the outside of the location, caters to plant-based or vegan eaters as well as anyone who appreciates the taste of homemade sweets that are healthier for you because they contain no dairy and are made of plant-based ingredients.

Not a lover of sweets? Try the savory specialties, such as vegan empanadas, arepas, veggie "Cheese" quesadillas, or an entire Prix Fix brunch menu of classics all made with vegan eggs and vegan sausages. The only problem with going there is that everything on the menu deserves a tasting, so you'll need to bring friends or make multiple trips!

The plant-based cookies, vegan chocolate cake or carrot cake, vegan donuts, and other vegan treats are as delicious as any you've ever tasted, vegan or other, and the eatery and bake shop is like an oasis of calm, where you can treat yourself to any number of delicious snacks or meals, along with drinks that run the gamut from healthy (green tea) to indulgent (cafe au lait) and even vegan soft serve ice cream!

If it's Sunday, sit and enjoy the full brunch experience, since the menu offers everything from "eggs" and "bacon" for breakfast to Acai bowls and many other delectable sounding meal options, all vegan and all dairy-free and plant-based. On its IG, the brunch crowd posted raves about the Prix Fix menu with all your usual favorites, like "bacon" and "eggs" with plant-based alternatives to the classics.

Having a birthday? Or throwing a party for a plant-based pal? The cakes offer everything from classic chocolate to festive birthday cakes, all decorated and baked custom for you on the premises. Try it for any friend who is dairy-free or vegan, who won't believe the trouble you went to in order to find the perfect indulgence for her or him.

The only thing I feel guilty about is that I have not gotten to Innocent Yesterday sooner. I had known about this plant-based spot since it opened last August (through a friend) but somehow I had never treated myself. What a mistake. Now that I realized how delicious the food is, and that it's all baked and made on the premises, I will make it a regular occurrence to walk over and treat myself. As the sign says: Innocent Yesterday, Guilty today. As charged!

For more plant-based ideas of where to eat, check out The Beet's City Guides or our Happy Cow widget to Find Vegan Near Me.

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