Wednesday, 30 Sivan, 5782
  |  June 29, 2022

“Vegan Restaurants Aren’t Kosher”

Kosher expert Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld speaks out against the "very wrong" assumption that vegan restaurants are kosher. Full Story

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Appreciate the insight 29; I am working on starting my own Vegan restaurant
November 16, 2017 4:21 pm

I have been planing for some time to launch my own organic vegan kosher restaunt brand. I have been davening extensively to getting the funds necessary to make this happen and get started. I want to bring more nourishing plant based foods to people, and help up to strict and reliable standards. Keep me in your prayers.

August 10, 2017 4:25 pm

So if a vegan Jew were to make food intended for sale, in her vegan kitchen, that has no insects in it, using only certified kosher vegan ingredients, and made with utensils that have never touched non-vegan food, I’m assuming it would still be considered kosher without a masgiach being present?

A matter of conscience
April 25, 2017 2:42 pm

To my knowledge there are at least 4 Vegan restaurants in NYC with Hasgocha….I know of others that use the same if not superior ingredients and simply do not want to pay for Hasgocha. As we all know, there are non-vegan restaurants with Hasgocha that have had major kashrus issues…

A matter of conscience
April 25, 2017 2:20 pm

To my knowledge there are at least 4 Vegan restaurants in NYC with Hasgocha….I know of others that use the same if not superior ingredients and simply do not want to pay for Hasgocha. As we all know, there are non-vegan restaurants with Hasgocha that have had major kashrus issues…

Another Problem with Vegan
April 25, 2017 11:37 am

Those who think vegan=kosher, and who think vegans are as manic about bugs as is halachically necessary, need also ask whether all the ingredients the restaurant uses arrive at the restaurant raw. Someone brought up the issue of wine and balsamic vinegar. Also, if the ingredients are not raw, even if they contain harmless ingredients they could have been prepared (elsewhere) on non-kosher kelim. As just one example, many years ago Redpack tomatoes, which were then certified by the Half-Moon K, were prepared on the same line as (non-kosher) meat-based sauces, and there was some question whether the lines were… Read more »

April 24, 2017 12:32 pm

Having personally toured several Vegan Restaurants before they got Kosher Certified….they all allowed me to tour their restaurant kitchens, inventory their kitchen. Always asked if their kitchen equipment were original, if this was a previous restaurant before vegan etc. Working with my son who is a Mashgiach out of town, I have learned to ask non-leading questions. And of course there is SUn -N”Bloom, Candle, and BLossom….However, there is also a breed of Vegan out there that is RAW Vegan- raw nut cheeses, smoothies, etc. Most don’t use oils, and one can ask for a look around in their kitchen… Read more »

yes we know hechsherim aren't perfect
April 9, 2017 5:02 pm

but vegan places are vadai using non kosher wine and balsamic. End of story

April 9, 2017 10:50 am

I was in Asia several years ago, and was told there was a vegan restaurant I could patronize as the local frum community always did. Leaving my tuna and matza in my room I went to get some real food. Sure enough, frum Jews were eating there so I ordered. I was watching the goings on and noticed every waiter turned to the left when he came out of the kitchen, paused a few moments and the served the food. I got up to get a closer view, and yup, stashed in the corner was a REAL IDOL, and all… Read more »

Hale To The Kale!
April 7, 2017 6:37 pm

Listen, do whatever you want to do. No vegans would ever eat bugs- they eat nothing that has a face or a mother. They don’t even use honey. There are balsamic vinegars they use that do not have a hechsher. Just ask questions before you order.

April 7, 2017 5:27 pm

#29 is alerting us to a serious problem. That doesn’t make him a villain. Don’t shoot the messenger – thank him instead!

So, number 29 is telling us
April 7, 2017 12:38 pm

Dont trust anyone in kashrus. I take that to mean, including him.

We need better kashrut education
April 7, 2017 10:31 am

It’s scary how uneducated we as a frum community are when it comes to kashrus. Most of us (speaking from a woman’s perspective, perhaps it’s different when it comes to guys b/c they actually do masgichus etc) don’t know much beyond checking if something has a hechsher, but being truly stringent with kosher requires far more extensive knowledge. Perhaps if schools focused more on *basic* fundamental issues like Kashrut instead of harping on and on (ineffectively, might I add) about tznius and halachos in the proper way. In my experience, most young women that I know the like, we would… Read more »

April 6, 2017 8:18 pm

You are clearly not a foodie.

April 6, 2017 7:28 pm

i love by chloe.. so good

April 6, 2017 7:19 pm

do you have some sort of movement? I would love to join!! you’re just such a good person and the animals love!

A L.A. Chabad Rov said differently
April 6, 2017 3:32 pm

A L.A. Chabad Rov said differently when I asked him over a year ago if I could eat in a vegan restaurant that the machinery was brand-new-never used before. This Rov who everybody knows said he can’t tell me no and he can’t tell me yes.

April 6, 2017 3:15 pm

THANK YOU! You said what needs to be said. I disagree about vegan restaurants fanatic though. Some owners are in it for a business reasons since it’s trendy to be vegan, and not really care about the day to day details. They’re not all vegan – just like not all kosher restaurants are owned by frum yidden. Maybe the employee used the fryer because 1) nobody would see 2) just to warm it up, without oil.

Scottsdale Phoenix Vaad
April 6, 2017 2:53 pm

I went to a place that has a kosher symbol from the Phoenix vaad. Owner is not Jewish and they’re open Shabbos is that OK?

curious to know
April 6, 2017 2:11 pm

How can dean st cafe be trusted without a hecsher? I understand coffee isnt a big deal but food is

With all these revelations about Kashrus,
April 6, 2017 2:04 pm

I’m afraid of the realization that I may have not eaten kosher on more occasions than want to think about. This is going to require a major revamping of my life and eating habits. I’m not a good cook so it won’t be easy. Wow what a mess this brought to light. Big shake up & wake up call, Oy! A real sorry baal teshuva!

vegan vs kosher
April 6, 2017 1:14 pm

i have been vegan for a long time and jewish since i was born! what i can say is i trust vegan restaurants more than kosher ones. i have personally seen a mashgiach from the orb in south florida use a public microwave that my employees use in my office to heat food without double wrapping his food at all (nevermind even wrapping it once) I have also seen treif pizza brought into a kosher restaurant in boca.

Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, SIMAN 100 - bugs
April 6, 2017 12:28 pm

בְּרִיָּה, דְּהַיְנוּ כְּגוֹן נְמָלָה אוֹ עוֹף טָמֵא, וְגִיד הַנָּשֶׁה, וְאֵבֶר מִן הַחַי, וּבֵיצָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ אֶפְרוֹחַ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָהֶם, אֲפִלּוּ בְּאֶלֶף לֹא בָּטֵל. וְאֵין לוֹ דִּין בְּרִיָּה, אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁהָיָה בּוֹ חַיּוּת, לַאֲפוּקֵי חִטָּה אַחַת שֶׁל אִסוּר. וְכֵן צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּהֵא דָּבָר שֶׁאָסוּר מִתְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתוֹ, לַאֲפוּקֵי עוֹף טָהוֹר שֶׁנִּתְנַבֵּל וְשׁוֹר הַנִּסְקָל. וְכֵן צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה דָּבָר שָׁלֵם, שֶׁאִם יֵחָלֵק אֵין שְׁמוֹ עָלָיו, לַאֲפוּקֵי חֵלֶב. וְכֵן צָרִיךְ. שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שָׁלֵם. הַגָּה: וְעִקַּר גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא עַל הַכַּף בִּלְבַד, וְהוּא כְּרֹחַב ד’ אֶצְבָּעוֹת, וְאִם הוּא שָׁלֵם מִקְרֵי בְּרִיָּה. (בְּאָרֹךְ כְּלָל כ”ח). ב דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא בְּרִיָּה שֶׁנִּתְבַּשֵּׁל עִם הַהֶתֵּר, אִם אֵינוֹ מַכִּירוֹ הַכֹּל… Read more »

with the old breed
April 6, 2017 12:08 pm

Kalman you are the best,

Serious question #15
April 6, 2017 12:00 pm

So a restaurant opened on shabbos is not kosher? So how does everyone go to Starbucks? It’s opened on shabbos and they serve meat sandwiches and obviously non chalav yisroel. All the dishes are cleaned in the same sink/dishwasher? In my community the local shlucha hosts a learning at Starbucks, but she never gets anything but it’s ok for us to eat there?!

Seriously confused about kosher

To 29
April 6, 2017 11:36 am

You mention that one may eat strawberries and other vegetables if they do not know that there is bugs in them. So as long as you do not know then it is permitted. Well I did not know that most kosher supervised establishments are not validated so now when I eat there I will be doing it knowing that it is probably not kosher. Thanks for doing that. Also Moses ate whatever he wanted before they got the Torah but after that he ate the Manna which was supervised by God himself so you are mistaken 😉

Additional response to 32
April 6, 2017 11:35 am

You say I’m “bashing every single mashgiach as terrible, not frum, and not g-d fearing”. Actually, I’m not doing that at all. What I’m saying is that those issues are prevalent enough that, just because there are mashgichim like myself and many of my colleagues who are conscientious, you cannot trust the Kashrus of a place simply because there’s a piece of paper with a signature on the wall and a guy in a hat and jacket in the kitchen. I’ve met many mashgichim over my tenure, and I’ve *fired* many mashgichim over the years. Anyone who’s ever worked with… Read more »

They are certified
April 6, 2017 11:35 am

IKC states that they are updating their site and By Chloe is certified by them. So they do have a hechsher, whether you hold by it or not is another story.

So sad
April 6, 2017 11:29 am

It breaks my heart to see some of these comments!
What is happening to the rebbes community?

#22 and #29
April 6, 2017 11:23 am

Just wow! such a revelation!

When I was growing up I was close to a family whose father worked in Hasgacha industry, he was so strict that the family was only allowed to eat at 2 restaurants in all of city! Mind you we lived in a big city with tons of kosher options. Mind you we all thought he was just being fanatical, since he did all the grocery shopping in his home since he would say that he only knew which items were really kosher. But after reading this I guess now that makes a lot of sense!

Response to 32
April 6, 2017 11:07 am

Exactly. If you’re not following my logic, let me try to lay it out clearly. (Apologies, that post was more a “stream of consciousness.) Here goes: Do your own due diligence. Period. Do not trust anyone else to handle YOUR obligation to keep Kashrus. Even the largest and most reputable Hashgachos, are not trustworthy. However, once you’ve done your due diligence, eat what you’ve determined is kosher – including *gasp* at certain vegan restaurants. A. RAW vegan is an actual thing that exists. No issue of bishul akum. B. Vegan restaurant patrons would raise such a stink over finding bugs… Read more »

To 29 I dont get it...
April 6, 2017 10:43 am

So what you are trying to say, in a very long, drawn out response bashing every single mashgiach (talk about generalizing, my gosh!) as terrible, not frum, and not g-d fearing, is that there are no fully kosher restaurants at all that a person who keeps kosher can eat in. None. And so, the conclusion is, (obviously!) because all kosher restaurants are bad, then everyone should just eat in any random uncertified vegan restaurant, even though it is open on shabbos, under some disreputable hechsher, and most probably people who eat there will be doing some, if not many aveiros.… Read more »

no kashrus without hechsher
April 6, 2017 10:23 am
April 6, 2017 10:21 am

thanks for bringing it up

Agree 100% with 22
April 6, 2017 10:12 am

I’ve been in Kashrus for over 20 years in numerous sides of the industry. I’m calling BS on this article. A. If you really care about Kashrus, eat at home – and make it from scratch. A hechsher ultimately means very little. (I work for several major reputable hechsherim and can assure you that standards are not what you think they are.) B. The Rav HaMachshir might have a big beard and be a learned Rav with 8 different Semichot, but the Mashgiach himself might not even be shomer shabbos. I have seen this too many times to count, and… Read more »

Thank you for posting!
April 6, 2017 9:28 am

I am so happy this article was made public. Being vegan myself I would love for a Kosher vegan place to open, I am aware that all these vegan establishments are open on Shabbos and for that reason alone I do not go there. However their are lots of people I know that go to these stores and whenever I tried talking them out of it they said it’s totally Kosher. Maybe by them reading this article it will change their mind!!

Fine by us
April 6, 2017 9:25 am

Rather go there than a meat restaurant serving beef raised in a factory farm environment.

Thanks for posting this important article!
April 6, 2017 9:23 am

Kudos to the author and COL for posting this important article.

April 6, 2017 9:06 am

shkutzim are looking for excuses to eat shkutzim shame on you

warming his burger in the stores fryer
April 6, 2017 8:48 am

This is what is mentioned in your article. Please come up with a better story. Sounds like you were never in a Vegan restaurant where 100% of people that have these t
this story in my opinion is just a marketing issue for the Hechsher people.
I used to travel to Japan in the 1980’s and was told by a frum Rabbi that its practically impossible to find kosher food in Japan and should eat in Vegan restaurants.

We not eating all the hechshers
April 6, 2017 8:42 am

That’s why we have to be makpid and be careful and to eat only a good hechshers like harav landa , badatz and all the good hechshers that we can reliyed on them
We can’t eat all the hechshers out there !!

Oh please
April 6, 2017 8:01 am

As a mashguach I can’t tell you how many times worked bring in their treif food into the kitchen behind my back. Owners usually don’t care and the rabbis lightly reprimand with no real changes. I’ve worked at plenty of venues and believe me not all kosher places are even remotely up up kosher standard. I’ve also seen plenty of small Israeli restaurants who refuse to get a hecgsher on principal of paying an exorbant fee and more stringent on kosher than some very popular restaurants Lubavitcher frequent. Use your own personal judgement and don’t speculate. There’s plenty of kosher… Read more »

Hair splitting much?
April 6, 2017 7:25 am

Were Jews so fussy about these tiny ‘invisible to the naked eye’ hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, when they didn’t have the technology or cleansing products/methods to detect or eliminate these ‘ bugs’. Plus so many masgichim/hechsherim to ensure kashrus? Somehow I doubt it. However, why not just use the kosher restaurants if available?

April 6, 2017 6:56 am

Who warms a burger in a deep fryer? A deep fried burger sounds weird.

Buying used equipment
April 6, 2017 6:37 am

Many of these vege restaurants buy used cooking equipment, I’m sure it’s not from Kosher Delight, A”h.

Protect the industry
April 6, 2017 6:11 am

How many years ago was the hashgacha industry founded ? I’m sure in Russia there were no hechshers, people knew the owner hence old establishments would have a sign that said shomer Shabbas. While the article makes some points he shouldn’t generalize that unless they paid a hashgacha company it can’t be kosher, there have been many incidents in places with hashgacha, and many of the times the mashgiachs are not qualified but just need the job and the hechsher cant find someone enough people. What about when the restaurant owner is paying the mashgiachs salary directly, who is the… Read more »

Of course
April 6, 2017 5:26 am

Thats how vegans get enough protien in their diet… by eating all those insects : )

I'm a Mashgiach
April 6, 2017 3:36 am

I’m a masgaich for one of the largest kosher supervision companies.
I have seen other mashgichim clean lettuce through filtration system.
A lot of times, they don’t even filter all.of the water where the lettuce was soaking in.
Sometimes, they just wash the vegetables, but not even filter the water.
By the way, some chashuva rabbis supervising the mashgichim are too scared of the business owner to inconvenience the owner with a thorough and time consuming check of bugs on bulk amounts of vegetables.

To number 6
April 6, 2017 1:52 am

Why so rude ?? Plain and simple it’s not a KOSHER cafe !!
If you eat there obviously you do since your stating it is amazing … you are eating Non Kosher !!!! Just by it being opened on shabbos makes it non kosher…!!

How about Yaakov Spivak?
April 6, 2017 12:55 am

There is a rabbi Spivak from Monsey who gives the same type of hechsher. Restaurants open shabbos, no mashgiach temidi, nobody checking vegetables. Yet he is given kavod and serves on the nesius,of Igud haRabbonim. The olam should be mocheh.

Warms his burger in the deep fryer
April 6, 2017 12:03 am

Where did this restaurant personnel member learn that the best way to warm a burger is in a deep fryer?

April 5, 2017 11:59 pm

Is a different Shulchan aruch

Oils R problematic too
April 5, 2017 11:39 pm

should have mentions that not all vegetable oils are kosher since they might have been made in machines that processes trief oils.

Why wasn’t this mentioned?

Southern California - Los Angeles
April 5, 2017 11:32 pm

There are a few vegan restaurants that many people go to here . Thanks for sharing this important and eye opening article.

April 5, 2017 11:12 pm

Vegans do not have the same standards as kashrus- while they would not willingly eat bugs they do not go through the same processes that we do in order to be sure no bugs are in the produce. One could argue that for juices and smoothies, since they are being blended, it would not matter if the produce was checked for bugs… but still you never know what goes on in the kitchen, if any oils are added etc. I would not eat at an establishment without a hechsher and I think doing so is going down a slippery slope… Read more »

April 5, 2017 11:04 pm

Vegan places for sure use non kosher wine and balsamic vinegar in their cooking and salads. Why would they use our mevushal wine when they can pick any non kosher wine they want…and cheaper

4 bugs
April 5, 2017 11:02 pm

nobody serves bugs but they don’t check for bugs properly. most of a mashgiach’s work is checking for bugs and they don’t magically vanish just because there is no meat around. Many hechsherim will insist on Bodek or not allow certain vegetables if there is a major infestation problem. Vegans aren’t into that

Not okay
April 5, 2017 10:53 pm

Dear COL- rude of you to ruin an amazing cafe with this article

THank you for posting!!
April 5, 2017 10:45 pm

So good to know. SO many assumptions one can make thinking it’s Ok, and this brought lots of clarity.

Bugs in a vegan restaurant? This article makess no sense
April 5, 2017 10:45 pm

I don’t get it. He says that vegan restaurants can have bugs. But vegans can’t have bugs, so a vegan restaurant eould never serve bugs. If you’re going to make such a sweeping statement, it should make a little more sense than this.

Tofu Burger?
April 5, 2017 10:32 pm

Said no one ever.

April 5, 2017 10:18 pm

Perfect timing for the article. Thank you!

April 5, 2017 10:18 pm

Thank you for posting this!
I am in shock that so many people from our community go there!!