If you’re a vegan, vegetarian or just veggie-curious in New York City, have no fear—our fair city boasts some of the best and most eclectic plant-based cuisine on the planet. It’s no secret that a plant-heavy diet is great for your health, but no longer does it mean that you’re relegated to a life of sad salads and sprouts. Culinary wunderkinds have found ways to replicate (and even outdo) your favorite comfort foods like meaty burgers and cheesy ravioli with nutrient-dense, plant-based ingredients. Whether you’re a true veggie lover or someone who finds their bliss in indulgent comfort foods, you’re sure to find something that will hit the spot at one of these top New York veggie and vegan restaurants. So, in no particular order…
Since 2005 Blossom has been delivering gourmet, organic vegan comfort foods to health-conscious foodies. And although these dishes are plant-based, Blossom never skimps on the decadence. At their two New York locations (Chelsea and the Upper West Side), Blossom serves up daily brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert and alcohol, as well as a selection of seasonal “In Bloom” dishes. Blossom’s cashew cream ravioli with smoked tempeh, spinach, pine nuts, and cremini mushrooms is as richly indulgent as your favorite Italian staple yet packed with way more nutrition. For brunch, we always swear by the hearty and satisfying “Country Breakfast”, which is tofu scramble with onions, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, and bell pepper, served with apple sage seitan sausage and mesclun greens. Pair this with a sparkling elderflower lemonade and you’ve got a perfect start to the day.
This chic East Village hotspot has been impressing New York’s most discerning foodies with inventive vegan tapas-inspired dishes and cozy, rustic digs for the past few years. Perfect for a date night, Avant Garden boasts a thoughtfully-curated, all-natural wine list as well as creative dishes that will bowl over even the most carnivorous significant other. There is a marked dearth of vegan meat substitutes like seitan or tofu—at Avant Garden the vegetables do all the talkin. The menu is divided into toasts, cold, and hot dishes. The toasts are hearty, thick-cut slices of Balthazar’s famous bread topped with awe-inspiring, seasonal delights such as carrot, piquillo, Marcona almond, and garlic puree or onion marmalade, walnut puree, grape, and herbs de Provence. Avant Garden’s house-made pappardelle with pomodoro sauce and herbed gremolota is also sure to garner fans with just about anyone who appreciates an impeccable pasta (uh, like everyone?)
This bohemian Chinatown cool-kid spot is A+ for people watching but even better for their famous superfood grub. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—with a market and deli around the corner—Dimes is the perfect spot for everything from grabbing a wheatgrass-infused cocktail to chowing down on one of the best (and healthiest) breakfasts south of 14th Street. For breakfast, we’re addicted to Dimes’ matcha buttermilk pancakes with blueberry ginger compote, cornflower nut and seed granola, and maple syrup, as well as their incomparable carob acai bowl. Pair this with a tea from Brooklyn-based Bellocq tea atelier or a fruit and veggie packed “juice of the day” and you’ve got the nutrient-dense breakfast of all your wildest fantasies. Luckily for your non-veg friends, Dimes also offers a wide array of eggs, fish, and meat dishes.
At Siggy’s, “aliens eat for free”. Although you won’t find any green extraterrestrials wandering around this reasonably-priced 100% organic comfort food spot, Siggy’s Mega Greens juice and sesame kale and cabbage slaw is basically the next best thing. Indeed, the thought of Siggy’s “green” delicacies—like quinoa spinach cakes and black bean veggie burger wrap (topped with tomato cilantro, onions, greens, basil pesto, and vegan mayo)—for lunch is enough to induce some serious Pavlovian salivation. On top of really good food, Siggy’s nutrient turbo-charged smoothies feature superfood add-ons like maca, hemp, and vitamin C. We swear by the Berry Buzz, a tantalizing, antioxidant-heavy blend of strawberries, blueberries, banana & pomegranate juice. Bring your favorite carnivore here for organic antibiotic and hormone-free meats!
This tiny East Village restaurant is one of the only raw food restaurants in town. For the uninitiated, raw food is 100% vegan cuisine that is uncooked and unprocessed for maximum nutrition. Although this might sound pretty limited and bland at first, Quintessence has managed to nail raw versions of your favorite comfort foods—and not just salads. Sink your teeth into their meaty portobello steak burger with chipotle “cheese” sauce, or a zesty “pesto pizette” with cashew cheese, tomato, avocado, pesto, and caramelized onions. Desserts are delightfully sinful yet sinless luxuries, such as raw pecan pie with coconut cream vanilla ice cream and raw cinnamon almond cookies. Indeed, the food at Quintessence is so good that you’ll forget what you’re really eating is a bunch of nutrient-charged raw plants, nuts, and seeds.
Souen is a New York institution—it’s been around since 1971, serving up mouthwatering organic macrobiotic meals in tranquil environs. The macrobiotic philosophy is based on Zen Buddhist principles of balance and traditionally features unrefined, in-season vegetables and grains in precisely measured amounts. This way of eating is uber-healthy and has been said to heal a variety of health ills. Try Souen’s famous macro plate, which is a perfectly balanced spread of steamed greens, vegetables, brown rice, beans and hijiki seaweed. We also adore Souen’s soba (buckwheat noodle) Pad Thai with a side of their incomparable home-made cornbread with miso tahini spread. Top this all off with a glass of organic red wine and your cells will be singing Souen’s praises.
This charmingly rustic hotspot is a perfect place to grab a vegetarian meal al fresco and people watch. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner we also adore The Butcher’s Daughter’s cold-pressed juice-infused cocktails (hey, if you’re gonna drink gin at least get a little bit of green juice in there, amiright?) Try the decadent vegetarian charcuterie board with the perfect array of cheeses, topped off with white bean and fennel sausage, as well as the smashed avocado toast bites. Butcher’s additionally boasts one of the best veggie burgers in town: the Butcher’s Burger, which is a juicy vegetable and black bean patty topped with all the fixin’s. Wash this down with a unique superfood juice like the Honey Bee, which is a refreshing blend of grapefruit, turmeric root, kumquat, yuzu, Anjou pear, honey, and bee pollen. You’ll wish you were the butcher’s daughter, too.
Oh Caravan of Dreams, how can we best sing your praises? This laid-back bohemian East Village lair perpetually wows us with their inventive organic, vegan cuisine and live music. Check out Caravan’s extensive raw menu, which features delicacies like California tostadas with kefir cashew cheese, queso blanco, guacamole and almond cream, or pear ravioli stuffed with cashew cheese. If you’re in need of an indulgent sweet that will aid alertness and digestion, look no further than the Chocolate Mint Recovery Shake, which features over fifteen potent superfood and herbal ingredients. Whenever we visit Caravan of Dreams we leave satiated, glowing, and energized.
This date-perfect vegan spot offers innovative plant-based cuisine as well as egg and dairy-free baked goods that are sure to give your favorite chocolate chip cookies a run for their money. Peacefood’s vegan cheeseburger is to die for and loaded up with vegan cheese, avocado, sprouts, jalapeño, pickles, and caramelized onions, all on house-made focaccia. You can also never go wrong with one of Peacefood’s famous vegan pizzas topped with veggies like roasted potatoes and sautéed mushrooms and, if you so choose, vegan cheese. If you’re having a fried-food craving, order a side of Peacefood’s award-winning chickpea fries with Indian spices. Wash this all down with a fresh-made juice or smoothie and you’ll leave stuffed and satisfied.
This wood-fired vegan, organic pizza restaurant from superstar chef Matthew Kenney is one of our favorite hearty indulgences. At 00+ Co you’ll swear you’re eating in your favorite modern yet romantic neighborhood Italian joint. Try a classic margherita-style tomato, basil, cashew mozzarella pie, or a truffled celeriac, maitake mushroom and parsley pesto pizza to heighten your immunity in the most delicious way ever (maitake is an immune-boosting powerhouse that stimulates white blood cells). OO+Co also offers an array of gourmet “Not Pizza” items, like sweet potato cavatelli, butternut squash crostini, and a A+ sunflower Caesar. For dessert, be sure to get a nut cheese plate with a side of creamy dairy-free ice cream.
Last but certainly not least is the future of fast food and a truly superior burger — Superiority Burger. This East Village spot has a constantly rotating menu (apart from the mainstay Superiority Burgers), with “everything vegetarian and a lot that’s accidentally vegan.” SB has breathed new life into the quintessential veggie burger with their perfectly meaty and delightfully “squishy”quinoa-based patties topped with muenster, iceberg, tomato, and a dill pickle (a vegan version is available). Try a side of tahini ranch romaine salad with “cauliflower sneaky avocado” and a free “Superiority Water” (NYC tap & lemon). Open every day except Tuesdays.