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Strong Hearts Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 61 reviews )
Contact 315-478-0000

719 E Genesee St, Syracuse, New York, USA, 13210

Opened May 2008 this vegan restaurant is open long hours. Serves breakfast all day, plus sandwiches, pizza, salads, desserts, shakes and drinks. Order at counter and food is brought to your table. Free Wi-Fi. Pizza is served Friday evenings only. Open Mon-Fri 8:00am-12:00am, Sat-Sun 12:00am-1:00am, Sat-Sun 9:00am-12:00am.

Category: Vegan, American, Pizza, Organic, Take-out, Bakery

Reviews (61)

First Review by delbot

Paradise, vegan style - Edit

Wish there was a Strong Hearts Cafe in Brooklyn NY.
I've started making this cafe a regular part of my itinerary whenever visiting Syracuse. The food is always delicious and I love the low key, earthy atmosphere.
I had a tofu scramble for Saturday AM brunch with an unlimited cup of coffee. The 2 people I was with both ordered sandwiches. We kept tasting each others food, everything was so very tasty and creative.

Before leaving I bought a couple of tempting deserts to go and all I can say is I wish I had bought more.

Pros: Creative and delicious., Great menu, with well described details., Well prepared and thoughtful combinations.

Cons: Guy behind counter could have been friendlier

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delicious!! - Edit

The food here is fantastic. The menu is really creative and diverse. The milkshake selection is incredible and they are all delicious. The atmosphere is great too. This place cares about people, animals, and the environment. Highly recommended

Pros: vegan, milkshakes, environmentally friendly

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All I can say is - WOW - this place makes the most delicious vegan food. I traveled to Syracuse (from California) for a wedding and found this place through Happy Cow. I am so glad I did! We went three times during our short trip and loved everything we ate - highly recommended!!!

Pros: excellent food, good value, nice vibe

Cons: not one near my home - I wish there was!!!

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so many choices of vegan milkshakes to wash down amazing food - Edit

Strong Hearts is one of our favourite spots. It seems like we pass through Syracuse a lot on our way to other places. Since we have found out about Strong Hearts we are thrilled to find out we have to go through Syracuse. The highlight is the vegan milkshakes named after celebrities including the father/son marathon running Hoyt family. We have tried many and all have been delicious. The food is just as great including sandwiches and brunch food. Finish your meal with one (or more) of many vegan baked goods including imitation Hostess cupcakes. Last year when we drove to Boston for the marathon we stopped both ways. That is how much we love Strong Hearts!

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LOVE this place! - Edit

I don't live nearby and have only been twice - once for the pizza Friday night and once for brunch on Sunday. I LOVED it both times.

Pros: GREAT food., Decent prices., GREAT food.

Cons: It is so good that it can be crowded sometimes and

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Always stop there on my way from MI to VT - Edit

They make the most delicious macaroni salad. When I make the 1,000 mile trip to Vermont, I always have to stop at Strong Hearts Cafe!

Pros: Macaroni salad, All Vegan, Great hours

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!!Outstanding!! - Edit

We've been here on three occasions while traveling to Syracuse NY. Each time has been Outstanding!!
First the Venue; Very Cool Eclectic café in the front corner of a historic building. Ample seating and good People/Street watching posts. It's an Order at the Counter establishment which I traditionally cringe at... the pressure.. the indecision.. and YES I'm referring to the people in line in front of me!! But all in all this was not bad :) Even for a busy lunch time crowd. Service was quick and attentive and the wait from order to food was only about 5 minutes.
The Food; Superb Vegan Fare!! Substantial serving sizes with a choice of greens or chips with your sandwich. I had the Buffalo Tofu Sandwich and it was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. It was a daily special that I hope they keep (finger crossed). Think wing sauce and banana peppers… The sandwich was basically an 8 inch sub on ciabatta bread. Yes lettuce, tomato, mayo, a generous slab of wing sauce drenched tofu and banana peppers (MMmmm….). They offer up hand tailored sandwiches so even if this one isn’t on the menu I’m sure you could get something similar. During this a took home (2 hours away) a Reuben for my Beautiful Wife (who has been Vegan for 23 years). She LOVED it!! The sandwich was so big she enjoyed it over the next 2-days for lunch. In previous visits we've also enjoyed the grilled cheese and hand crafted salads... both hit the Outstanding List!!
The Baked Goods; Excellent!! We've tried both cookies and cupcakes and they are Outstanding!!
The Milkshakes; Yummilicious!! Forget about the Coffee at this ‘Café’… It‘s more appropriately the Strong Hearts Vegan Creamery!! The only down side.. there are so many skillfully selected flavors and combos.. you're going to wish you ordered THREE MORE!! In fact, this last trip I brought 2 Milkshakes home for my wife and rode with the air conditioner on Full Blast the whole way... They Survived!!
Overall 5 Stars. If you're Vegan this place is a MUST. If you dine here once you will be dreaming about this place for All of Time...

Pros: Diverse Menu, MILKSHAKES!!, Baked Goods

Cons: None

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Glad I found it! - Edit

Strong Hearts was conveniently located 5 doors down from my hotel, which allowed me to eat there twice a day, for 5 days, while I was staying in Syracuse. It was such a blessing to be able to eat vegan, while supporting a vegan business.

The first night I went looking for it, I had trouble locating them. This is due to the fact that they are one space in a small, brick office building. But the cafe itself is very warm and cozy, with seating both inside and outside in the hallway.

I quickly gathered that the owners were not only vegan, but activists of sorts. This you can determine by what is on the walls, and by the names of there milkshakes.This fact only made me feel even more at home.

I decided for my first breakfast meal that I would have the scrambled tofu. Something I had never had before. I confess that my first impression with their food was not positive. This is because I found it prepared with too much salt. On top of that the coffee was lukewarm.

But I persevered and later on that day returned and tried there Veggie Burger. It was very good, but again was a little on the salty side. The Cranberry Juice I had with it was in a large cup and was very tasty.

I finally hit upon their Chick Pea Salad Sandwich, which then became my staple for the next few days. It is a truly satisfying meal. It comes with either Ruffles chips or a salad of mixed greens.

All together I had 5 coffees, 3 of which were hot and 2 which were lukewarm, so that is something they may wish to keep a closer eye upon. Increasingly the food tasted less salty, and so my first meals may have just been a mistake in preparation.

I also tried there muffins, and peanut butter bars, which they make fresh, on the premises. They were both very, very good. Addictive even.

I found the prices reasonable, and the atmosphere very comfortable. The wifi was strong and easy to connect to.

I would highly recommend eating here, even despite the few negatives I've stated.
Updated from previous review on Thursday March 24, 2016

Pros: Amazing Chick Pea Salad Sandwiches, Very Vegan atmosphere., Awesome desserts

Cons: Lukewarm Coffee, Occasionally the food was too salty., Slightly hidden location

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Best Food Around - Edit

everything I have tried on the menu has been spot on. eating the club, pancakes, and tofu scramble right now. this place rivals some of my favorite restaurants in NYC no question. it might be better ;) YUM

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  Contributions +21

My Frist Vegan Restaurant Experience! - Edit

I fell in love with this cafe. The best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever had and the cupcakes are magic. Amazing milkshakes. I love everything I have ever eaten here. Everything is Vegan. Even the wall art. I feel at home in the cozy little space. They can tell you everything on the menu and help you find something if you have more dietary restrictions. Vegan comfort food at it's best.
Updated from previous review on Sunday January 11, 2015

Pros: Vegan Comfort Food., Nice People., Everything Vegan!

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happy for 100% vegan cafe in CNY but... - Edit

This place seems to rely a little too heavily on vegan mayo and daiya, making most of their sandwiches too greasy and messy. The Friday night pizza is mediocre, with premade crusts and sauce that don't taste very good (at least as of last Jan 2014 -- haven't tried the pizza again since then). I want to support this place, and will always get the egg trick muffin takeout any time I'm flying out of SYR in the morning!

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  Contributions +394

Tasty Vegan Food!!!! - Edit

Well after reading all the reviews about their shakes I had to try one. I tried the John Brown shake (cookies and creme) and it was amazing!!! It had to have been one of the best vegan shakes I have ever had. The BLT was also really tasty with a small side salad. I also liked the small atmosphere of the place.

Pros: All vegan, Affordable, Tasty

Cons: A little hard to spot if driving by

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Magic, essentially - Edit

I am in love with everything that Strong Hearts Cafe produces. The service can be a bit slow and the staff slightly surly, but the quality of the food more than compensates for these minor shortcomings. I'd recommend the Cajun seitan sandwich, pizza, and milkshakes.

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Wish I Could Visit Every Day! - Edit

Delicious and friendly, with many options! This is a great spot for lunch with a focus on sandwiches and drinks. I had the BLT but would love to work my way through the menu. I'm definitely stopping here every time I'm in Syracuse!

Pros: Delicious Vegan Food, Great Atmosphere

Cons: Limited Seating

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One of My Favorites - Edit

Anytime I am near Syracuse I have to visit. I live in NYC where we have a ton of vegan options but this is the best sandwich shop (they have other things) I have ever eaten at. My mother just visited with me and she is not a vegan and had a chicken salad sandwich and her quote was "This is really good" and last night on the ride home she asked if we would visit again today. That is praise.

Pros: Awesome Sandwiches, Great Milk Shakes and Names, Cool/Funky Building

Cons: Not closer to home

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Vegan Valhalla! - Edit

I'm so glad I made it here! The food was great and the atmosphere casual and funky. I had the Tofurky Club and it was delicious. And on the way out, I got a Milkshake (vegan) to go that was truly out of this world. It wasn't just good for being vegan, it was world class and better than any dairy milkshakes I had back before I was vegan.

I didn't notice a sign from the street and had to find it by the street number. Its actually inside a building along with other businesses. Don't miss this place!

Pros: Milkshakes, Delicious food, Reasonable prices

Cons: Not great signage, On street parking, No beer or wine

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affordable delicious - Edit

The restaurant had a casual, bus your own dishes, university student vibe. The portions were generous and prices very good. Everything is vegan.
My husband had a Ruben of seitan and sauerkraut ($7) served with a small side salad. He said it was very good.
My son was delighted that they served breakfast all day and loved his pancakes ($6) and his orange Julius milkshake. That was his first milkshake and he is now a true fan. My daughter and I couldn't decide what to order so we shared French toast and a TLT sandwich with pesto. Both were delicious. I am glad i shared the french toast because it would have been too much to have two sweet pieces. My daughter also loved her Bonnie Lee milkshake ($5).
The meal cost under $40 for the four of us and we had plenty of leftovers for the next day.

Pros: affordable, fast, good food

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Hand-crafted Vegan Fare - Edit

When on the road after I think about our route then I think about where to find good food. With Happy Cow that job is a joy. I found Strong Hearts on our way back from the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center - Auburn, New York. Syracuse is on the way back. What a great find. Real hand-crafted vegan food, made to order. We had a Reuben and BBQ Tempeh sandwiches and I wish I could have eaten more but was stuffed. We did get a couple of cupcakes for later. This is not a fine dining establishment. this is a college hangout, good wholesome, reasonably priced, bus you own table, down to earth kind of place. Perfect for hungry people after a long day of driving and art gazing. I'm giving it an excellent rating because for what they are they are excellent

Pros: many choices, made to order foods, Friendly Staff

Cons: kind of nasty table cloths - plastic

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Okay has potential - Edit

We decided to try this place as we were on the lookout for healthy good tasting vegan food.I was pretty impressed by the number of patrons passing thru in comparison to the small space the staff had to work in,excellent use of space. It was a pleasant ambiance but food did take longer than expected. I do think that the name is a bit misleading and made me think that I would have some healthier food choices and not just vegan regular food. With that being said I threw the health thing out the window and went for a reuben which I thought was decent for a first time tofurkey experience. Would have liked to try some soup but they were out. The staff was not overly cordial but easy to forgive given the setup and volume. We also tried the french toast which was a bit well done and the pancakes which were pretty good. Sad when I asked about the Earth Crisis shake and was told she thought it had something to do with global warming but then asked someone who confirmed it was named after the group. Even sadder that we couldn't try it because there was no chocolate icecream. I am hesitant to write this because response to previous negative reviews seemed a bit edgy but have to tell the truth. I realize things run out but there should be a plan B to make sure things are adequately stocked. Would probably recommend trying your experience might be different. Not sure I will go back.

Pros: definitely vegan, pleasant atmosphere

Cons: not really healthy , slow service

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Simply the best! - Edit

Freakin' amazing!

Some very cool peeps!

You get what you pay for, plain and simple.


The only bad thing about this place:
Closed on Mondays. But hey, when you're this awesome, you deserve a break.

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Try it! - Edit

I was introduced to strong hearts by a co worker. The first time I went in it was for a milk shake. Their shakes are out of this world. There are so many to chose from and usually the shake serves as a meal in and of itself. Their food is very good as well. They have pizza night every Friday. I am not usually a fan of vegan cheese but they do a great job of balancing cheese/toppings. The breakfast foods are awesome and served all day. The sandwhiches and sides are great!! My husband isn't vegan and he LOVES this place. I have brought a few friends here and they were sceptical at first only to be like "Wow how have I not been here before." Most everyone has said that the shakes are better than dairy shakes.
If they have a "soup of the day" try it! I have not had a soup that I didn't like.
I have read a few reviews that have said that staff was rude. I have been in here a lot and staff has never been rude to me. There are days where they seem a little stressed but I usually chalk that up to the fact that they are trying to cook for a ton of people in a kitchen smaller than most apartments.
I was in there one day and some guy and his girlfriend were pretty much mocking the employees. Saying stuff like "Ooooh are you going to spit in my food because I am wearing dead cows on my feet? Are you going to touch my money because my wallet is made out of dead cow?" and they were being so mean about it that the girl was holding back tears. She never once was rude to them and she handeled them like a champ. I was happy to give my buisness to a place that would handle themselves so proffesionally in the face of open hostility.

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Awesome! - Edit

This place was a very pleasant surprise when we were traveling through the area. I have no complaints! Everything we got was amazing. Based on the reviews I tried the Oreo shake and it was as good as they said if not better!

Pros: Delicious, Fast, Vegan

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LOVE!!!! - Edit

My husband and I went to Strong Hearts today for the first time and LOVED IT!!!! We got the spicy tofu scramble, pancakes and egg trick muffin for breakfast, and got an Oreo shake and 2 pumpkin moon pies to go. We've already picked out about 10 things we want to try on our next trips there in the future. The food was sooooo good!!! Please open a 2nd location in Buffalo!

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I dream of this place - Edit

I love coming here. I usually meet up with friends here, and alway enjoy my experience. The food is always great. The 'milk'shakes are... indescribeable. They are amazing, but as someone that doesn't eat much sugar, I can't drink an entire shake without getting severe sugar overload.
During the college school year, the wait staff is often comprised of apathetic 18 year olds and can make for a slightly irritating transaction. This is easy to overlook however, when eating a giant bowl of delicious 'chicken' caesar salad (my fave).

Pros: great soups of the day, nice place to sit and chat

Cons: terrible college waitstaff (sometimes)

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good comfort food - Edit

I recently ate at Strong Hearth with a non-veg friend. I ordered the faux chicken ceasar salad, mozarella sticks and a green tea milkshake. My friend ordered a chicken salad sandwich, which was our favorite part of the meal. The food was all fine, it was just heavily based on faux processed foods. The milkshake was delicious. We also ordered a mocha coffee drink that was delicious as well. I will definitely return to Strong Hearts if I am passing through the area.

The atmosphere was open and comfortable. We sat for several hours, as did other customers. Students from the massage school upstairs passed through at one point soliciting "cheap massages" for their practice.

Pros: amazing milkshakes, lots of fake dairy & meat choices, 100% vegan!

Cons: lots of processed food

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Love it !! - Edit

My husband and I moved from Syracuse 2.5 years ago and we still make a special trip to Strong Hearts whenever we are in the area.
The food is great, they have delicious desserts, the atmosphere is nice and most importantly all Vegan !!
The menu is good for breakfast, lunch or even a light dinner (no large dinner options) and I have never had anything there that I didn't like.
They are always super busy so sometimes you will have to wait a bit but it is always worth it.
I have been with several non veg friends and they have all enjoyed their food as well.

Pros: 100 % Vegan, Fair Prices, Good Food

Cons: Wait staff isn't always friendly

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The best place in Syracuse. - Edit

I love Strong Hearts. I eat there at least once a month. Thier milkshakes are amazing! Everything on the menu is delicious. One of my favorites is the soba noodle salad and the "chicken" salad sandwich. The service is fast and friendly. Thier soups are the best anywhere. We love the pancakes with gimme lean sausages. The loaded tofu scramble is also one of my favorites. You can also add things to you're order like earth balance for you're toast or more veges on you're sandwich. The menu is very flexible. Thier deserts are amazing. I love thier ranch dressing. It's so nice to be able to order anything on the menu because it's all vegan. I wish I could eat at Strong Hearts more often.

Pros: Amazing milkshakes, Great flexible menu, Great food

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This is just a sandwich bar - Edit

We appreciate the commitment to veganism and animal rights of the people who run this restaurant. We liked the pancakes and sanwiches. But patrons should know that there are no dinner entrees here. This is a good breakfast and lunch eatery. They also offer interesting shakes, but regrettably nothing except for chocolate shakes were available when we attended.

1 Response

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XStrongHeartsX Bill... we have never advertised the cafe as having dinner entrees. We are a cafe, not a full service restaurant. A 2 second search in Google will bring you to our website where our menu is available to view. We are sorry if you were under false pretenses that we served "dinner entrees" but also for your info, and as you already mentioned in your review, we are much more than just a "sandwich bar".

Re: being out of some milkshakes. We have 35 flavors of vegan shakes, more than any other vegan establishment in the United States. Sometimes we run out of some flavors. It happens and life goes on. We're sorry we only had 8 different kinds to choose from you when you visited. We hope that despite this egregious violation to your sensibilities, you can find it within yourself to forgive us.

Do you know how sometimes you think you're dead - Edit

and in heaven, but then it turns out you're just in a restaurant? You don't? Well then you should check out Strong Hearts. I end up in Syracuse about 3 times a year for various reasons and even if I were not even the slightest bit hungry I would eat here. No, it is not a health food restaurant where you will find a blended kale beet juice wheatgrass thing, but an EGG TRICK MUFFIN?!?!? That's what I'm talkin' about! My 7 year old son loves the grilled cheese, I love the BLT, the Earth Crisis milkshake, good grief. The tofu scrambles are great - the spicy one is truly spicy so look out. The only dish I've had that isn't awesome is the potato salad, which is often underdone. But why would anyone order potato salad when there is yummy french toast, and many sandwiches to choose from. Last time we tried the Rueben and it was great. I haven't tried most of the desserts, because I bake all the time and the sandwiches are so good there isn't room in my tummy. Before these people, I was a daiya virgin, so I will always thank them for introducing me to that. And granted, I have never actually eaten an Egg McMuffin, but other people have reassured me that Strong Hearts' version is right on and even better. I have never made it to Syracuse on a Friday, so I don't know about the pizza, but I hope to soon!

Just be sure to put money in that parking thing-y. I highly recommend visiting Strong Hearts!

Pros: excellent food, good value, egg mcmuffin

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Loved It! - Edit

My husband and I drove down from Montreal and stopped at the Strong Hearts Cafe on our way to Watkins Glen. For just under 13$ my husband had a soup and a Rueben and I had a plate of waffles. I thought that was a pretty good deal. Sadly, pizza is only served on Friday nights and that was sort of the reason we wanted to stop in Syracruse. Their website does say that but I guess it did not pop out at me the first time I read it. We really enjoyed our meal! Next time, I will be sure to be in town for Friday night though!

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Wonderful - Edit

We loved this place. I got the seitan reuben, a pumpkin-chocolate chip cupcake, and some homemade iced tea, and my husband got a faux grilled cheese, thai peanut soup, and a peanut butter-oreo milkshake (all vegan). The only thing we weren't crazy about was his soup, which had more heat than flavor, but wasn't awful. We loved our sandwiches, and the milkshake was out of this world. (I've never heard my husband rave about a faux grilled cheese before; it sounds boring to me - as does regular grilled cheese - but he said that this version was outstanding.) We wish we had more opportunities to be in Syracuse, just so we could try the whole menu of sandwiches and shakes.

Pros: Delicious sandwiches, Amazig shakes, All vegan!

Cons: so-so soup

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So happy I almost cried! - Edit

I have been reading all these reviews and really can't understand the negativity. My sister graduated from Syracuse University and so she recommended this place to my mother and me. We went on Sunday morning, so excited to have a real breakfast without the worry. I have been completely dairy-free for two years and my mother is going on one year. We were so freakin' happy to find this place! I totally expected this place to be small and greasy, but was pleasantly surprised to see how clean and open and bright it is! We both just stood in front of the menu in awe. As we walked up to the counter they were just setting out a platter of fresh, hot blueberry muffins. We both ordered one and gobbled it up! We also ordered the French toast and I have to say in all honesty that it was the best French toast I've ever had. There is no way you'd be able to tell this was vegan and I have no idea how they made it so delicious! It was so decadent and rich--and the pure maple syrup is to die for! I came back to Rochester raving about this place and have told at least 6 people already. I thought the prices were outstanding and the selection was great. We didn't have time to try a milkshake, but my boyfriend has promised to make a day trip out of this and we are going back next month.
Again, I don't understand the negativity. This is a small place, run by two young guys, and they have local people working the counter. The kitchen is very small...this is obvious as soon as you walk in the door. For the size of the place and let's not forget they've only been open 2 years...I think they do an absolutely fantastic job!! Anyone who eats organic/vegan etc knows within their first few weeks how outrageously expensive eating healthy can be. $5 for sandwich! No problem!!! I also thought it was great how you made sure we separate out our trash and recyclables.
Guys, I think you're doing a heck of a job and I am really really hoping that you consider opening a place in Rochester. We don't have anything like this and it would do so well here!!
Great job and if you need someone to pass out fliers in Rochester--I'm your girl!

Pros: Awesome food, Bright and friendly atmosphere, diverse menu

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A Strong Hearts Date - Edit

I brought my wife to this quaint cafe on a date. I am vegan and my wife is not, so I was a bit nervous that she might not like the food. Well there was definitely no reason to worry. We both got the BLT, we split the Mediterranean salad and split a whoopie pie and a cupcake for good measure. As a vegan i have to say the food was perfect. We've both gotten use to preparing our own food because it is almost impossible to find good vegan alternatives when eating out. So I usually compare what I eat with how we prepare food. Strong Hearts inspired me! My wife said (and she meant this as a high complement) she couldn't even tell she was eating something that had no meat in it. True, the prices are a bit high compared to your local greasy spoon, but again, after preparing vegan meals for myself and two of my other children I can confidentially say you get what you pay for. And at Strong Hearts the food was well worth the price we paid. My wife and I are looking forward to our next visit.

Pros: Excellent food, Good value, Greate atmosphere

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Strong Hearts Happy Stomachs! - Edit

We ate at this cafe and had the vegan macaroni salad, the fried potatoes, the tempeh sandwich and the vegan egg and sausage sandwich. (Very tasty!) The restaurant offers a full breakfast menu available anytime, (pancakes, french toast, scarambled tofu), as well as dinner food (grilled cheese,BLT, TLT, etc.) and milkshakes, cupcakes, cookies, and drinks. There are about twenty milkshake options of various flavors. Open well past midnight on some days. Call for hours. I believe this place is all vegan, but you can ask about ingredients.

I thought the prices were reasonable. Two of us ate for about $ 26.00, including appetizers, sandwiches and drinks.

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Great Vegan option in Syracuse - Edit

I stopped in here on my way to Rochester for work purposes. The little cafe is quite a cute place and has a nice view out the main windows to the street and a little park. clean bathrooms in the building and a nice setting overall.

I had the Vegan BLT - and it was delish! slightly bummed it wasn't on whole grain bread - but otherwise, a really tasty sandwich at an affordable price. I grabbed a few of their baked goods for the road - all of which were also yummy and good. prices overall seemed to be mostly affordable for things i was interested in.

Based on my experience, don't go here expecting the staff to be friendly and accomodating. The took my order and brought it out. done. it was obvious i had never been to the place before or even to syracuse for that matter but no suggestions, assistance, or even friendly chat.

I would definitely go back - they have some great options and i love an all vegan cafe where i don't have to question the ingredients of anything! thats always SO nice!

Pros: all vegan menu!! , Tasty food, Mostly affordable options

Cons: parking, staff not friendly

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Wonderful - Edit

I have been to Strong Hearts many times, and absolutely love it. When I have a day off of work, I often will drive the hour to Syracuse to meet up with some friends there. I have introduced many of my friends to it (all non-vegan, non-vegetarian), and have never heard anything negative about it. My husband, another non-vegan, non-vegetarian, LOVES their pizza, and he is generally a harsh critic on soy cheese. My only request would be, if possible, you could add the nutritional information to the menu? I feel as though that could be very helpful to the customers. Other than that, PERFECT!

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Best veggie restaurant in Upstate NY! - Edit

Wow, this place is phenomenal! The TLT is magnificent and everything on the breakfast menu rocks! But the piece de resistance is their vegan milkshake. They have a few dozen varieties and each one is better than the last. Must be the best vagan milkshakes on earth, no fooling.

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My Default... - Edit

Upon relocating to the CNY area after living in the San Francisco Bay area, I knew I would be missing one thing- the fabulous vegan restaurants. Enter- Strong Hearts. While I am used to the variety on the menus of restaurants in the Bay Area, Strong Hearts does a good job at covering the basics. I've tasted just about everything on the menu, and find everything to be satisfactory except the Egg "Trick" muffin. Lacked in flavor, and was kind of pricy for size. I didn't even finish it due to disappointment. The Soba Noodle salad is delightful, although the first time I ordered it, they forgot to include the sesame seeds. My non-veg friend loves the "chicken" ceasar, and after tasting hers I can see why, the dressing is delicious as are the strips of "chicken." If seeking a comfort food, try the Deluxe PB & J, or pancakes- taste buds will be elated, stomach will be full- so bring a gurney! The milkshakes are scrumptious, especially the pumpkin. On Fridays they serve only pizza, and it is great. Although they don't make their own dough, the pizza is still tasty. Hit the spot after a long night of drinking in Armory Square!

Pros: wireless, chill atmosphere, kombucha

Cons: some things pricy, add new items / specials

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Not for Healthy Vegans - Edit

I have been a vegan for fifteen years. When I moved to the Syracuse area, I was excited that there was a fully vegan restaurant. Unfortunately, I have only been disappointed. If you like sugary milkshakes, this place is for you. You see, I believe that you can eat vegan and healthy whole foods at the same time. Who knows about the oils they are using. I asked once and got a scary response. I thought whole grain breads would be an obvious choice on their menu, but no. SH does not offer whole grain bread. SH uses no organic or local food that I can see. There are local organic farmers all around the area who would be happy to supply year-round organic greens. I appreciate the vegan ethic, but I'd rather eat at home where vegan food is healing and healthy. Basically, this restaurant lacks sophistication. It feels like college boys are making the food--vegan fast food that saves animals but little else. I look forward to SH growing up one day so that the food will be made with "kitchen consciousness".

2 Responses

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XStrongHeartsX #1.) We do not add sugar to any of our milkshakes. They are all made with Temptation soy ice cream and Organic Valley soymilk. There is one shake, the Harriet Tubman, that we add a shot of maple syrup to. That's it.

#2.) We use canola oil and extra virgin olive oil both of which, upon thorough investigation, contain zero trans fats.

#3.) We do not offer a whole grain bread because there isn't a single bakery in Syracuse that makes a vegan one. Believe me, we've checked. We are continuing to explore some options outside our immediate area.

#4.) We use "no organic food that you can see"??? Hmmm. Check this list out:

We never claimed to be an organic cafe. We use organic as much as we can and go out of our way to use the best ingredients we can find even if they cost way more and make us less money.

If you want an all organic, super hippie, rice cake and lentil loaf cafe, you've come to the wrong place. We try to appeal to people who have absolutely no clue what the word vegan means and succeed every single day with our appealing menu and good service.

Thanks for the feedback.

Cloudsandsea I somewhat agree. I've only been to Strong Hearts a few times; I got the pizza (pretty amazing) and a veggie sandwich that was okay, and I think the other time I got BBQ tempeh sandwich. I am really not a big fan of Soy, which seems to be in a good portion of their food. I have seen Strong Hearts mention Eden Cafe (vegan restaurant in Scranton PA) on social media once, and I have to say I'm a big fan of that place. I've been there twice. If only Strong Hearts had a few extra food choices like Eden, I'd go there all the time! I've done some research on Soy and concluded that it should only be consumed in moderation, organically and non-GMO especially* and fermented if possible. Too bad Strong Hearts doesn't offer a soy-free veggie patty of some sort. With an addition of healthier options I would totally go there more often as it's the closest vegan eatery near me, at 20 minutes away. Otherwise, I commend them on existing here in Syracuse, but as with anything, improvements can almost always be made.

Can't Eat There Anymore: Clueless About Trans Fats - Edit

Called them one night to inquire about their use of trans fats. They had no idea what I was talking about. One employee became very abrupt, a little rude and totally evasive. I was then transferred to the owner who said he was not sure(!?) Went there in person on another occasion and asked one of the owners who said "I don't think so." Completely unacceptable for a vegan, heath conscious restaurant. Leads me to believe Strong Hearts is all style no substance. I wish they would educate themselves and get on board with the good oils. Philadelphia, New York City, and the whole state of California have banned trans fats because of the intense carcinogenic qualities of these oils. C'mon Stron Hearts - I expected more. Maybe I will have a tea there because they do provide free wireless and a nice cafe atmosphere but NO WAY I can eat there anymore. The trans fats are nasty stuff . Educate yourself.

Pros: nice atmosphere, wireless internet

Cons: clueless about trans fats, no whole wheat breads

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Awesome! - Edit

this place rocks...great food fare priced nice staff. the only suggestion i would make to them is to have a handfully of chips served with the sandwiches etc.

Pros: vegan!, fare price, great food

Cons: nothing served with sandwiches

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Enjoyed the Meal - Edit

I saw Strong Hearts on Happy Cow and was happy to find a completely vegan restaurant. The restaurant is small and has light food, so it was good for a quick dinner. Service was quick and friendly.

I had a vanilla milkshake (a "Lennon") and it was pretty good, but I've had as good other places. The seitan sandwich with sun dried tomato seitan was pretty tasty, especially with added veggies on it. Nice bread, kind of a marble type.

It's great to find a totally vegan place, so please support them, but don't go expecting a gourmet meal. It's more in keeping with a cafe, as advertised.

Note: Parking near the restaurant is free after 6 PM. If you go earlier, take coins (75 cents/hr) for parking. If you park on the side streets, watch the signs. It's one side of the street only and changes at 6 PM. Only in a college town!

Pros: Atmosphere, Service, Food

Cons: Parking confusing, Limited menu

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Could be great with a little more effort - Edit

I was really excited when I heard that a vegan restaurant was opening up in Syracuse as there are so few here. I respect and appreciate their purpose and certainly wish them the best of luck.

However, I was disappointed each of the three times I've dined there. The first time was shortly after the grand opening and I was hesitant to write off my experience negatively. The following visits occurred in the following months, each time with an open mind.

I paid $8 for a basic tofurkey sandwich on unsubstantial bread with a slice of under-ripe tomato and weak lettuce, and if thats what you like than this is the place for you. As for myself, I can make a far superior sandwich at home for less than $3.

Their milkshakes are good, but it's difficult to mess up a milkshake.

It would be nice to see more variety and a little more effort in their menu. How about a dish of the day? Maybe more in-house made ingredients (tofurky??). It would be nice to see something other than sandwiches and one pizza day a week. Maybe a nightly dinner special, something that we dont make at home.
Their coffee is good, the biodegradable take-out containers are great.

Pros: friendly staff, good atmosphere, 100% vegan

Cons: overpriced, boring menu, lackluster food

1 Response

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XStrongHeartsX Hey Sunday. This is Joel, co-owner of Strong Hearts. Thanks for visiting our place 3 different times and thanks for the review.

$8 for a Tofurkey Sandwich huh? Hmmm. Yeah I'd be miffed too. But ours cost $6 so it's sounds like you may not be remembering the price correctly. As for the toppings on the sandwich, that's up to you. The basic sandwich comes with lettuce, tomato, veganaise, Teese vegan cheese and your choice of hickory smoked or oven roasted Tofurkey. At the bottom of the sandwich menu (which perhaps you did not see), you can add at no additional cost, things like sprouts, mushrooms, cucumbers, green peppers, red peppers, onions, olives, banana peppers, or jalapenos just to name a new of the options. So, if your sandwich seemed "unsubstantial", maybe you should consider adding a few things to it next time.

Re: "It would be nice to see something other than sandwiches and one pizza day a week. Maybe a nightly dinner special, something that we dont make at home. " We make plenty of things other than sandwiches and milkshakes. For instance, we serve breakfast foods all day, have a plenty of salads to choose from, have a few different options for "sides", serve a different homemade soup of the day every day, and serve a dizzying array of fresh homemade desserts. Also, the size of our kitchen is probably the same size as the one you have in your house. Doing a daily special while still maintaining our already extensively menu is just not feasible at this time. We hope to expand the menu in the future and make changes so there are new offerings for people to try.
Thanks for the review and next time you stop by (IF you stop by!), please ask for me and introduce yourself. Thanks again!

Disappointed, to say the least - Edit

This is a great place to go if you want store bought food perfectly assembled charged at ridiculous prices. They don't even make their own pizza dough! It's shells! I paid an arm and a leg for a damn shell! Anyway, yeah the milkshakes are the bomb and everyone can use the same foundations to make their own (temptation ice cream and soy milk). I don't think they created anything from scratch. I mean, hello, the deserts they make are straight from the cookbooks on display! I guess I'm just disappointed b/c it's such a darn cop-out. Even, in the end of it all, I still wasn't wowed.

I just don't know why everyone is raving about the place, you can by the same crap at the grocery store. They deserve one cow.

1 Response

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XStrongHeartsX This is Joel, co-owner of the cafe.

Yes, we do use pre-made pizza shells that are made and delivered by Harrison Bakery, a locally owned independent bakery here in Syracuse. When you're making 60 pizzas a night (yes, we actually do sell that many on our Friday night Pizza Nights), you don't exactly have time to roll out and hand toss each individual pizza shell... especially when you have an oven the size of one you'd have in your home kitchen and the line to order is out the door. A question for you... how did the pizza taste? You forget to mention that in your review.

Some of the cupcakes we serve come from recipes in the book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Why? Because it's the bible on vegan cupcakes and there simply is nothing that beats the quality of the items in that book. We are not a bakery and never claimed to have "original" recipes for our desserts. But your claim that they all come from books on display is not only untrue, but ridiculous. Again, how did the desserts taste? Something else you forgot to mention in your "review".

the vegan oasis of upstate new york - Edit

I found Strong Hearts Cafe while researching stops for a road trip. Strong Hearts was the only place I found in upstate. I was surprised and amazed at the quality of food, service and ambiance. Strong Hearts is located in a refurbished building that's clean and has big wood beams and 15 foot ceilings. The menu mainly consists of high quality comfort food. I stopped there twice and tried two sandwiches, two soups, two milkshakes and a salad. I was very happy with all the dishes. I have to agree with most comments about the milkshakes: it was hands down the best vegan milkshake I've ever had (and I've had quite a few). The cafe stocks vegan snacks and many bottled drinks that are great for the road. I highly recommend this restaurant to any traveling or local vegan or vegetarian.

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AMAZING!!!! - Edit

I can not understand the negative reviews I have seen. Hands down, this is THE BEST vegan eatery in CNY!!! I am totally in love with the place! Every item on the breakfast menu is by far the tastiest I have ever had outside of home, and the lattes make Starbuck's soy drinks look plain pathetic. I even have my omnivorous sister and husband on board! And the prices? Tofurkey and vegan bacon on sandwiches, for under $8! After you have been vegan for, oh I don't know, a week, you just expect to sell a kidney to get good vegan food when eating out. I am filled with such joy that a 100% vegan place has finally made it's way back to Syracuse, where veganism used to be so strong. Keep it up, Joel and Nick!

Pros: Delicious, Huge portions, affordable

Cons: NONE

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nice addition - Edit

The food is very tasty. The sandwiches are more like an hors d'oeuvres, rather skinny.
It was surprising that a vegan rest. would participate in the Best of Syracuse contest, as the prize was tickets to the Circus.

Pros: tasty, great, nice people with purpose, great hours

Cons: small sandwiches

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XStrongHeartsX Hey. This is Joel, one of the co-owners of Strong Hearts. We appreciate your comments and overall positive review. As far as the "skinny" sandwiches go... it is up to the customer to tell us how they would like their sandwich. On our printed menu (which is available for download online or directly in front of the cash register in the cafe), there are over a dozen different things you can add to each sandwich. If you choose not to customize your sandwich, then you may end up with something that is far less than what it could have been. But, that's up to you as everyone likes something different.

Secondly, about participating in the Best of Syracuse contest where one of the prizes were tickets to the circus... we did not nominate ourselves. Several of our customers requested that we be put on the ballot. We have no control over who voted for us or how many times they voted. We did not set the prize for the contest, the Syracuse New Times newspaper did. What were we to do? Reject the award out of some sort of misguided protest against the Syracuse New Times and the circus? And who would this prove a point to? Don't get us wrong. Nick and I are 100% against circuses and the use of animals for entertainment. We have both stood outside of the circus with protest signs many times before when the circus was in town. But to suggest that we actively participated in the contest and somehow condone the ethics behind the circus by being voted the best vegetarian place in Syracuse is not only unfair, but entirely incorrect.


Excellent food, everything vegan, how can you go wrong? We were thrilled to find a place where we can walk in and order anything on the menu (too bad these places are so few and far between). The "milk" shakes (made with Temptation) are to die for! Prices are very reasonable and portions are very filling. My family loves it and we stop everytime we are able to make it to Syracuse (wish it could be more often)

Pros: Everything Vegan, Excellent Quality, Reasonable prices

Cons: Can't think of any

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Open till late - vegan - for the tongue - - Edit

I used to run a veggy store / take away close to a University in the 80's & we opened 365 days a year - 8 till very late - the result was "very happy customers".

All respect to Joel & Nick for their amazing customer service & long, long hours at "Strong Hearts Cafe"!

Excerpts + + taken from here - http://www.syracusenewtimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2126&Itemid=148

The all-vegan selection -

+It's not just the muted colors and aesthetically pleasing high-counter layout at work, but the menu: "milk"shakes, sandwiches, salads, sodas, waffles (even for dinner). The stuff of comfort, like Grandma's house.+

Everyone is welcome -

+"Our target audience is the average guy on the street, not hardcore vegans," says Joel Capolongo, who owns the cafe with Nick Ryan. "We wholeheartedly appreciate the support from that community but strive to appeal to people who may not even know what the word vegan means."+

Late opening -

+"One of things that Nick and I discussed when planning the business was to make sure we were open later so there would be a vegan option past 9 p.m. in Syracuse," says Capolongo. "We didn't want to make vegans go to Denny's and get french fries any more simply because there were no other options in the later hours. We've done very good business past 9 p.m.; some Friday or Saturdays, we still have customers in the cafe near closing time."+

Good for Syracuse -

+"We wanted a fully vegan option in Syracuse and realized the only way we'd ever get it, and have it be done right, was to do it ourselves," says Capolongo. "There have been very few vegan restaurants in Syracuse in the past and the ones that have been attempted have never stuck around too long. We knew we could make it happen and have it be successful if it was done right."+

Longer hours -

+"If there are any changes to be made in the way of hours, it would be closing even later, not earlier."+

+Current hours are Mondays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays to Thursdays, 8 a.m. to midnight; Fridays, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sundays, 10 a.m. to midnight.+

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I am shocked there are negative reviews... - Edit

I just spent six months living in Syracuse. So far as I'm concerned, Strong Heart's is the best thing that city has going for it. I ate there several times a week since it opened and tried about half the menu. I'm shocked to see somebody complaining about the price of the sandwiches. 5 bucks?!?!?! Really?!?!? 5 bucks for a sandwich with vegan bacon?!?! Where the hell does this guy usually eat that serves vegan food for cheaper? I'd like to go. Anyhow, the sandwiches aren't mind blowing but they are all very good and very reasonably priced. The milkshakes and deserts are AMAZING. Pizza on Friday nights is amazing. Much of the breakfast menu is amazing. And they do basically everything right. All of their to go containers are compostable. Much of their stuff is fair trade. Much of it is local. In short, these guys are going out of their way to do the right thing in every aspect of their restaurant. When considering the price, the great service, the fact it's 100% vegan, the fantastic environment - you just can't go wrong at Strong Heart's. I wish I could have taken the place back to Texas with me.

I only have one complaint about the place. I had the breakfast burrito once. It comes with white rice on it. You could get shot for that in Texas. Mexican rice or potatoes, guys! If they switched it from white rice to potatoes, that burrito would have been fantastic too.

Overall I love the place and can't say enough good about it. If you're a vegan in CNY and you're not supporting this place I just don't know what you're waiting for.

Long live Strong Heart's.

Pros: great food, great value, friendly staff

Cons: I can't keep it in my pocket

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Absolutely Fantastic! - Edit

We went out of our way and stayed two nights in Syracuse just to try this restaurant and it was well worth it. The food was terrific, the service friendly and helpful, the ambience clean and pleasant. The breakfast pancakes were so good that we had them two days in a row, the seitan sandwich tasty and filling and the pastries to die for. We were only sorry that we couldn't spend more time there. As a former Central New Yorker, I have always dreaded my visits home because there was never any good vegan places to eat. Not so, anymore.

Pros: Delicious food, Friendly service , Pleasant atmosphere

Cons: They aren't nationwide

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We Heart Strong Hearts - Edit

Strong Hearts is the cafe I've been waiting for since I moved to central New York. The options for all-vegan restaurants are pretty depressing out here, and Strong Hearts delivers great food, and uncompromising ethics.

My boyfriend and I have routinely made the hour long trek from Ithaca to gorge ourselves on sandwiches, milk shakes, and pizza. The was a particular occasion where we went twice in one day. Seriously. There are a few places in Ithaca where you can get decent vegan food, but it's all made on shared equipment, in a non-vegan kitchen. Strong Hearts doesn't even mess around with the middle road. This is a restaurant for vegans who get it.

At this point I don't think there's anything on the menu that we haven't tried, and it's all amazing. In addition to the food, these guys are super friendly, always welcoming and not the least bit pretentious. They seem genuinly excited that you are in their restaurant.

And where are you going to find another restaurant in central NY that is not only all-vegan, but uses all compostable materials. The haters need to get some perspective. I'm going to keep going to Strong Hearts as long as they're in business. Everyone else should do the same or risk losing yet another vegan restaurant which I'm sure will be replaced by someplace far less sympathetic to the cause.

Pros: Friendly, Delicious, AR-Approved

Cons: Not in Ithaca

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Highly Highly Recommend! - Edit

When you first walk into Strong Hearts you notice how upscale the cafe space is! It has a very inviting atmosphere. The food is excellent! I have been there several times and have tried many menu items but would most highly recommend the french toast, egg trick muffin, any of the desserts, soups, salads and the BLT sandwich. The prices are super reasonable, especially being vegan for a decade I have gotten really used to paying top dollar at other vegan places. Strong Hearts really went above what I was expecting, please go and check it out.

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Great Food! - Edit

I was visiting Syracuse and stumbled upon Strong Hearts. They have an excellent menu. I had the T.L.T. (a marinated tofu sandwich) my wife had the chick pea salad sandwich and a potato salad. All of the dishes were absolutely delicious. I also had the "John Brown" milkshake--which honestly was the best milkshake that I have ever had. If you are eating vegetarian in Syracuse. You have got to try Strong Hearts.

Pros: great food, great value, great menu

Cons: spartan surroundings

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Nice Addition to Vegan Syracuse - Edit

Like SugarPearl, this is in the "cafe" category, so if you are looking for a real veg/vegan restaurant in Syracuse . . . go to Ithaca, I guess.

if you don't want to drive that far, though, and if you want a break from SugarPearl just for variety, StrongHearts offers a pretty good selection, with coffee, milkshakes, a variety of soups, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods--all vegan and mostly organic. They also have pizza night on Fridays, and breakfast all the time.

The casual atmosphere is neither hip nor (sadly) really comfortable the way a cafe can be. The food is ok, but portions are pretty stingy (particularly the micro-thin marinated tofu slice in the sandwiches). The milkshakes and baked goods, however, are worth going in for. And, the owners seem to be both friendly and really dedicated to their mission.

If you are vegan in Syracuse, any new restaurant serving food you can eat is welcome, and in that sense StrongHearts is just that--not fantastic, not spectacular, but a nice option, and very very welcome.

Pros: for vegans by vegans, milkshakes, cupcakes

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