Champs Diner is no ordinary diner. Champs is an all vegan diner in Brooklyn, serving up burgers, pancakes, shakes, and more. This is vegan comfort food heaven, and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t feel terrible after indulging in a rather large meal here. They also have bowls and salads if you’re looking for something lighter, but how could you pass on burgers with names like “The Gutbuster” and “Behemoth”?
When I think of meatless diners, Saturn Cafe immediately comes to mind. It’s one of my old favorites in Berkeley, but it wasn’t completely vegan and was very, VERY PINK. At Champs, they’ve got that classic black and white diner look going on with checkered floors, subway tile, comfy booths, and paneled mirrors. It seems to be a vegan hipster hangout, but everyone is welcome at Champs (as long as you don’t sneak in some meat). If you’re craving pizza, check out another member of the Champs family: Screamer’s Pizzeria.
What did we eat at Champs? I’d like to point out that the food below was consumed in two visits… I’m greedy, but not that greedy. It’s a shame they don’t serve beer here, so you’ll have to settle for a draft soda or a shake to rinse down your burger and fries.
This is the first time I’ve seen vegan mozzarella sticks ($10) on a menu. Nice crust, stretchy gooey cheese (which I assume is Daiya cheese) with marinara sauce for dipping. Not a bad way to start your diner dinner.
The seitan asada fries ($9) are perfection. Tender, juicy slices of seitan, plenty of cheese and sour cream, plus a sprinkle of fresh chives. Underneath all that is a pile of fries. The seitan alone is pretty salty, but goes really well with the fries. Get an order for your table to share.
Next up, vegan poutine ($9). I never expected to come across vegan cheese curds, but here we are! John introduced me to cheese curds a few years ago, and we were curious to see what a veganized version would be like. The cheese curds were pretty sticky and sadly, a miss for me, but the rosemary gravy was real tasty with the fries.
We deliberated between burgers for a while before settling on The Gutbuster ($14). I have to say, I never expected to see such an attractive burger at a diner. But then again, Champs is not a normal diner. It looks like a lot of bread, but it’s soft with a good crust. Pretty meaty patty that’s real satisfying to bite into. Loaded with toppings: jalapeno, American cheese, avocado, chipotle mayo, lettuce, and tomato. This one makes it to my vegan burger favorites list.
It’s easy to find a vegan burrito these days, but this one caught my eye because it has vegan fish. The Baja fish burrito ($12) is packed with crispy fish cutlets, cabbage, greens, sour cream, avocado, salsa, and chipotle dressing. Comes with a side salad. The fish reminded me of Gardein, and to be honest, it was more of a wrap than a burrito to me. All in all, it’s good, but nothing amazing or unusual.