The 10 best veggie-friendly restaurants in NYC (May 2014)

Traveling to New York?

Here is our latest selection of the best vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the city.

New York offers raw, vegetarian and vegan restaurants in great supply – and there are quite a few to recommend. Don’t forget to take advantage of the huge diversity of ethnic restaurants throughout the city! Though some of them are not completely vegetarian or vegan, they are definitely worth the visit.

Here is a list of restaurants which we have visited, have been recommended to us by friends, or that enjoy a strong reputation in the vegan and vegetarian communities. Enjoy!

As always: discover over 500 hand-picked NYC restaurants on

#1 Blossom on Carmine

Blossom on Carmine is the newest addition to the Blossom line of restaurants from Ronen Seri and Pamela Blackwell. We enjoyed the romantic atmosphere of brick walls and candles, and the large windows which open up to the street during the warmer months.

The menu is creative and pleasantly varied, with both tapas to share and larger entrees. We particularly enjoyed the Seitan Piccata and the Taco Trio. Ask your waiter for recommendations if you feel a little lost in the generous menu. The service is top-notch: informative, attentive and friendly.

While the prices are a little steep, Blossom on Carmine is a great addition to the neighborhood, and a good place to bring non-vegan friends. The restaurant gets crowded quickly on the weekend so be sure to call beforehand.

Recommended: Tacos, New York Cheesecake, Seitan Picatta.

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#2 Champs

Vegan comfort food – served with love – that will delight vegans and non-vegans alike. The brunch is amazing and quite popular (so be prepared to wait a little).

You should definitely try the tofu scramble, the pancake slam platter, and the Reuben sandwich. The portions are on the large side, and fairly priced.

Don’t forget to bring cash as credit cards are not accepted at this time (though there is an ATM on premises).

Recommended: Buenos días salad, Reuben Sandwich, French Toast Slam.

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#3 Pure Food and Wine

Everything at Pure is gluten-free and vegan. We asked for a table at the huge patio in the back, and you probably should, too – you don’t find many outdoor patio spaces like this in Manhattan. The dishes are beautifully presented and the service is wonderful, although the restaurant gets busy and sometimes seems understaffed. Pure is quite possibly the best raw food in the city.

Recommended: Hazelnut and Ale Crostini with Porcini Mascarpone, Zucchini and Local Greenhouse Tomato Lasagna, Curried Vegetables with Sprouted Quinoa Poppadom.

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#4 Beyond Sushi

Fresh and locally-sourced ingredients assembled into delicious works of art. Beyond Sushi has two fully vegan locations in Manhattan. We went to the original location on 14th street and were impressed. While the place is tiny, it offers a dozen seats. Come for takeout if you are lucky enough to live nearby.

Recommended: Green Machine, Mighty Mushroom, Enoki.

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#5 Dig Inn

Having a hard time finding vegan or vegetarian food around midtown? Dig Inn may well become your go-to lunch spot. Prices are reasonable, and they really care about the ingredients they use. Check their website to learn more about what’s in your plate.

Grab a large veggie platter with a choice of protein, grain, and three sides, and enjoy your renewed faith in midtown lunches. PS: you can order online and skip the line! But if you forget, don’t worry, the line moves fast.

Recommended: Organic Baked TOfu, Veggie Platter.

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#6 Candle 79

Widely recognized as one of the best upscale (but still affordable) vegan restaurants in the city, Candle 79 lives up to its reputation.

The service is attentive, and waiters are knowledgeable (ask for wine recommendations – they have a great selection).

We went for dinner, but heard that the brunch is pretty good, too. We will definitely try to go (and write another review)!

Their sister restaurant, Candle Cafe, is just down the street, and also worth a try.

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#7 Hangawi

“Eating with conscience, vegetarian meals that nurture the body and soul”.

Pull the heavy wood door open, take off your shoes, and escape the din of the city. A serene, candlelit space where traditional Korean cuisine is created to benefit minds as much as bodies.

We shared the combination pancakes (leeks, kimchi mushrooms, kabocha pumpkin, mung bean) – cut in quadrants and easy to share. The Avocado Stone Bowl was excellent. It is served with a miso glaze and has a hint of sweetness. The sizzling mushrooms were incredibly flavorful and are highly recommended.

Note that their bibimbap options here have a healthier flavor than you might find elsewhere.

Recommended: Organic avocado bibimbap or stone bowl, Tofu stone bowl rice with sesame leaves.

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#8 Blossom

Creative vegan dining in Chelsea. Blossom was started in 2005 by Pamela Blackwell and Ronen Seri – the first of now four fully vegan restaurants in the city. The restaurant offers a good number of gluten-free options and organic wines.

We particularly recommend the Port-wine Seitan and the Pistachio & Pepper Dusted Tofu. Appetizers are excellent – the Porcini Cigars never disappoint.

Recommended: Port Wine Seitan, Rigatoni in Porcini Cream, Cauliflower Risotto.

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#9 Sacred Chow

The chef places a huge emphasis on the quality of ingredients, and makes sure that no animals are harmed in the making of their meals. Come with a few friends and share a number of small plates – grains, vegetables or proteins.

The place is small but inviting, and offers a large selection of gluten-free, soy free, and sugar free options.

Recommended: Thai-Ginger: BBQ’d Seitan, Mama’s Soy Meatballs Pan, Shredded Nama Gori*Spa Salad.

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#10 Dirt Candy

You will need to plan in advance to be able to sit at one of Dirt Candy’s 19 seats. But once you are there, you will be highly rewarded. Here, the vegetables are the stars – not simply an accompaniment to seitan or tempeh.

We recommend the Jalapeño Hush Puppies to start, followed by the Smoked Broccoli Dogs.

Recommended: Jalapeno Hush Puppies, Beets.

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# Want to see more?

Check our map of veggie-friendly restaurants in NYC.

One thought on “The 10 best veggie-friendly restaurants in NYC (May 2014)

  1. There are so many vegan, vegetarian, and kosher dairy ( yes – cheese that is not kosher may be made with animal sourced renet – check out the issue / problem ) that NYC does need a veggie friendly picks – NYC is almost the capital of vegetarian in the USA. There are hundreds if not thousands of vegan, vegetarian, and kosher dairy establishments throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. I wish someone would compile a list / site so that visitors don’t have to look for “friendly” places.

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