I may live on the other coast now, but half my heart will always be back with the food of New York City.
During my time there, I cooked almost every meal, but once or twice a week, I afforded myself a little day of food exploration from a running list of places I was dying to try… this baby is almost two years in the making! I don’t eat pork or red meat, and while I still love a good chicken or fish dish, I wanted to see what the NYC veggie scene had to offer. Turns out, there are a ton of game-changing options.
So before you voice your *beef*, hear me out and approach this list with an open mind. Whether you’re a die-hard vegan, looking to turn a new leaf this year (pun fully intended), or just need a new go-to place for Fridays in Lent #catholicism,
Here are my top 7 spots for vegetarian eats in NYC:
@eatbychloe // You know it. You love it. Every 15-year-old girl and her mother has Instagrammed a flat lay from here, but it really is THAT GOOD. Founded by vegan queen Chloe Coscarelli, By Chloe is the epitome of genius millennial marketing meets vegan fast-casual. They’ve since expanded outside of NYC with locations in LA, Providence, Boston, and London, but I have a feeling that it’s only the beginning for this plant-based chain.
menu recs // THE GUAC BURGER. Holy sh*^&%$^@#^%$ I tell everyone I know about this thing. If I were to die tomorrow (*knock on wood* that I don’t) this would be a top contender for my last meal. I especially recommend this baby as a starting place if you're not 100% sold on the whole #veganlife. Grab a side of sweet pot fries with the chipotle aioli dipping sauce (A MUST) and you'll be in absolute heaven. Some of my other favorites include the Quinoa Taco Salad, Mac & Cheese w/ Shitake Bacon, Carrot Ginger Soup, Kale & Artichoke Dip, Banana Walnut Bread & Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie.
@superiorityburger // Superiority Burger gets that there’s not much that can replace the deliciousness of a juicy meat patty in the eyes of carnivores, so they don’t try to replace it. Instead they created a veggie phenomenon that will hold its own special place in your heart. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, and most can be done vegan. The menu is simple and always changing, so be sure to check out their weekly specials. Takeout is the best option with this place as the entire East Village restaurant is about the size of a studio apartment.
menu recs // You can’t go wrong with their classic Superiority Burger and a glass of their Praldon Mearl (a.k.a. Arnold Palmer)! The burgers are tiny (like they’re actually mini hockey pucks), so you’re going to want to order the “Megaburger” size or just add a bunch of sides. People also go crazy over their fried “chicken” sandwich, known as the TFT (tofu fried tofu). It’s served on Mondays starting at 6pm while supplies last. Not a huge tofu fan, so I haven’t tried it yet, but the SB cult can’t stop talking about it.
@le_botaniste // If I were to open up a café of my own one day, I’d take a majority of the inspiration from this place. From the founder of Le Pain Quotidien, Le Botaniste is a plant-based organic food and natural wine bar that looks like it was plucked straight off the streets of Provence. With chic art and apothecary bottles lining the walls to colorful Le Creuset pots bubbling away on display, healthy foodies will be in heaven here. Great for a low-key girls night out and a few glasses of wine!
menu recs // I’ve never tasted anything quite like the Tibetan Mama Rice Bowl. It’s creamy, crunchy, packed with flavor AND 100% plant-based! You also don’t want to miss the Vegetable Tajine. Both great choices for a chilly night in the city. There is an option to make your own bowl, but with so many delicious pre-set offerings, I tend to stick to the menu. I’m still dying to try the Spicy Chili Sin Carne, so a visit back to NYC is in order! If you’re craving something sweet, go for the Chocolate Chia Mud or Omega 3 Brownie.
@beyondsushinyc // Don’t be fooled by the name. You won’t find any fish on the menu, but there’s a ton of veggie goodness to make up for it! From rolls and wraps to melt-in-your mouth dumplings and rice-based salads, everything here leaves you wanting more. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because owner Guy Vaknin pitched the business on Shark Tank towards the end of last year. The colorful veggie creations were a huge hit and, with a sizable investment from the sharks, you’ll likely be seeing a lot more of Beyond Sushi in 2019.
menu recs // Sassy Bean Noodle Salad, Sunny Side Sushi Roll, Sweet Tree Sushi Roll, La Fiesta Sushi Roll, Spicy Shroom Rice Paper Wrap, Badge Dumplings
@abcvnyc // abcV changed my life. And no, I’m not being even a liiiiiittle dramatic, thank you very much! Part of the ABC family, started by world-renowned chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, abcV is the crème de la crème of plant-based eating. I mean, they serve kombucha and smoothies in a wine glass, come on! It’s modern, minimalist, and truly embraces the philosophy of food as medicine for the body and fuel for the soul. You’ll need to make a reservation a week or so in advance, and it’s on the pricier side, so I would recommend saving your visit for a special occasion.
P.S. Apologies for the photo quality on this one - totally doesn’t do the food justice! THEEEEE Jessie Tyler Ferguson was sitting at the table across from us and I was practically falling off my chair the entire meal.
menu recs // Make sure you go with a friend or two so you can order a bunch of different dishes for the table - they’re meant to be shared! Menus change between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so here are my lunchtime recs: Green Chickpea Hummus (omg), Slow Roasted Beets, Market Carrots (brb crying), Whole Roasted Cauliflower (looks like a roast chicken!), Fresh Spinach Spaghetti, Market Vegetable Chop Salad (dead)… the dosas are also one of their specialities, so add them to your list!
jajaja plantas mexicana
@jajajanyc // Jajaja wins for most fun (or “funny”, rather) restaurant name in NYC. This LES / Chinatown venture is the perfect spot for veggie friends craving their old Mexican favorites sin carne, of course. The menu is just as creative and colorful as the decor with jackfruit “chorizo” that you won’t want to miss and mezcal and tequila drinks galore! Super fun for Margs and nachos at the bar or a sit down meal in one of their booths. I do not, however, recommend going during normal weekend hours. The place is TINY and they don’t take reservations, so beware long wait times.
menu recs // The Nachos (with Guac) are the STAR of the menu (small is huge and will serve 3-4 people as an app) along with the “Chorizo“, Crispy Chayote “Fish” Tacos, and Enchiladas Mole
@taimfalafel // One of the perks of eating less meat, is eating more FALAFEL! It’s hard to believe that I had never tried falafel before college considering how much I LOVE it now. It’s not the hardest thing in the world to make, but it takes a lil’ something extra to get it juuuuuust right. Taïm Israeli Chef and #girlboss Einat Admony have the magic touch, which makes sense since Taïm means tasty in Hebrew. It started as a small joint in the West Village, but now has several additional locations throughout Manhattan. Run, don’t walk!
menu recs // Green or Harissa Falafel in a pita with tahini, Israeli salad, and pickled cabbage, Moroccan Carrots, side of pickles, and Za’atar pita with hummus are unreal.
Comment some of your favorite veggie restaurants below!!!