More New York restaurant owners are turning turned their attention to vegan and vegetarian dining, whether or not they subscribe to meatless diets themselves. The city’s vegan restaurant scene has changed, and several longtime establishments have closed. Still, there’s never been a better time to find delicious meals that don’t rely on meat and dairy. From fast-casual burger joints to top-notch dim sum, there’s something for everyone at these knockout vegan and vegetarian restaurants.Read More
The Best Vegan Restaurants in New York City
From late-night smash burgers to $100 tasting menus
Serving South Indian vegetarian fare since 1993, the Ganesh Temple menu is aimed at worshippers, but everyone is made welcome (the entrance is around the corner on Holly Avenue). Consult the posted menu for specials, and order chaats, dosas, uttapams, idlis, and rice dishes at the counter. Tiffins feature small versions of signature dishes; red onion sambar vada (savory donuts), and mirchi bajji (deep fried chiles).
HAGS had a stutter step when it opened last fall: a long-anticipated opening that got thwarted a few weeks in by necessary repairs. Now the restaurant, queering fine dining, is back in full force, serving a six-course tasting menu that’s all-vegan and as thoughtful as any other high-tier restaurant’s meat experiences
Classic Sichuan dishes get the vegan treatment at Spicy Moon, a cozy space tucked away on the East Village’s buzzing Sixth Street. (There’s an additional location in the West Village, as well.) Options include General Tso’s mushroom and vegetable wontons in chile oil, with bigger plates featuring vegetables, tofu, eggplant, or potato in dry pepper, dry pot, and kung pao styles.
Sunday C&C Eatery
Sunday C&C opened in the Bowery Market in May, a permanent home for this concept that first launched at Smorgasburg. Owner Christian Torres is a one-man operation serving up Latin American vegan food with a rotating menu. Right now, there’s Venezuelan-style arepa that’s made with sweet corn, housemade cashew “mozzarella” with ssamjang, and vegan honey. Also, find white bean and rice fritters with aji amarillo, as well as an aguachile with hearts of palm. The market is technically open-air, but covered and shaded for weather, and there are several tables for dine-in.
Superiority Burger drew legions of fans when it opened a tiny takeout spot on East Ninth Street. Finally, the restaurant has relocated to bigger digs in the former home of Odessa Diner. Owner Brooks Headley has continued to sell vegetarian fare, some accidentally vegan, only now the menu and seating are much more extensive. After his three-star New York Times review, expect longer lines.
Jerrell's BETR BRGR
New York’s smash burger scene is sizzling and thankfully, those who prefer their patties meatless can come along for the ride. The smash burgers at Jerrell’s are entirely vegan, sure, but they easily rank among the best in the city, beef or otherwise. The Soho burger spot stays open late, making it an ideal pitstop before or after a night out.
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Amanda Cohen has been at the forefront of experimental, playful vegetarian and vegan fine dining in New York City for well over a decade (long before the Eleven Madison Park team tried their hands at it). The chef has been a pioneer in her creative use of ingredients, but she’s also helped lead conversations about fairer wages for workers. A five-course tasting menu is priced at $95.
The Original Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant
Continuing the long history of Chinese mock meats, there are dozens of kosher and vegan dim sum options at this Chinatown stalwart. Popular dishes include fried turnip cake, steamed “pork” buns, “shrimp” dumplings, and more juicy delights. Make sure to bring friends so you can try a little bit of everything.
Despite all the changes in the neighborhood, Bunna Cafe remains a Bushwick staple. Sample the family-style platters of split pea-based shiro or the red lentil misir wot, served with spongy injera bread that’s perfect for sharing.
Guevara’s is a coffee shop that sells plants, greeting cards, and a robust menu of vegan food. Satisfying dishes like chilaquiles, smothered burritos, and tortas stuffed with fried eggplant are served for breakfast and lunch. (A second location in Williamsburg stays open later.) In the morning, there are baked goods and pastries, like empanadas, ube buns, and guava and “cheese” doughnuts.
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Aunts et Uncles
Launched by Flatbush locals, the vegan cafe Aunts et Uncles also functions as a design store with clothing, magazines, and more. The menu pays homage to owners Michael and Nicole Nicholas’s Caribbean heritage: There’s a lobster roll made with hearts of palm, as well as a vegan bake and saltfish.