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The Acre is one of the city’s best bets for a vegan or vegetarian meal.
The Acre

14 Knockout Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in NYC

The tastiest meat-free restaurants, from fast-casual to fine dining

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The Acre is one of the city’s best bets for a vegan or vegetarian meal.
| The Acre

Increasingly, New York restaurant owners have turned their attention to vegan and vegetarian dining, regardless of whether they subscribe to a meatless diet themselves. What’s clear in the hospitality industry right now is that cooking without meat, and sometimes dairy, is no longer a constraint, but rather an opportunity for creativity.

For New Yorkers, there’s never been a better time to find delicious meals that don’t rely on meat and dairy consumption. From fast-casual burger joints to top-notch dim sum, there’s something for everyone at these knockout vegan and vegetarian-friendly spots.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

NY Dosas

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This Washington Square street vendor usually has a long line of eager, hungry patrons. For good reason: The Indian food truck specializing in all things crunchy dosas is one of the city’s most affordable (and portable) vegan options, perfect for park picnics as the weather warms up.

A white paper plate placed on a wooden bench with a dosa on it, a green cilantro sauce, a samosa, and a red sauce in a plastic cup.
NY Dosas is a fixture at Washington Square Park.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Spicy Moon

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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 chili oil, with bigger plates featuring vegetables, tofu, eggplant, or potato in dry pepper, dry pot, and kung pao styles.

A variety of vegan dishes, including mapo tofu, sauteed brussels sprouts, and fried rice.
Mapo tofu is the star at Spicy Moon.
Spicy Moon

Cadence

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At this recently-relocated vegan spot led by Shenarri Freeman, dishes are inspired by Black southern cooking, a nod to the chef’s upbringing in Virginia. The menu includes smoked grits with oyster mushrooms, fried lasagna with a pine nut ricotta, and the crowd-favorite maple buttermilk cornbread.

Two hunks of deep-fried lasagna are arranged in a white bowl on a marble countertop.
Fried lasagna at Cadence.
Eric Medsker/Cadence

Jerrell's BETR BRGR

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New York’s smash burger scene is sizzling up 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.

Two burgers with poppy and sesame seed buns are unwrapped besides sides of waffle fries.
Yes, there are vegan smash burgers.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Fat Choy

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This Chinese American fast-casual spot focuses on a variety of small plates. There’s a play on the sloppy joe made by stuffing mushroom ragu inside a sesame pancake, as well as smashed cukes, and sticky rice dumplings.

A mushroom-based sloppy Joe sits in a brown plastic wrapper above a lunch tray.
The “Mushroom Sloppy” at Fat Choy.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

Dirt Candy

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Amanda Cohen has been at the forefront of experimental, playful vegan fine dining here 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.

A grill with skewers of green vegetables are displayed along a steamed basket.
Amanda Cohen’s Dirt Candy isn’t afraid to get experimental with vegetarian and vegan food.
Dirt Candy

The Original Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant

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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 the 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.

A bamboo steamer teaming with white-and-pink dumplings.
Vegan dim sum at Buddha Bodai in Manhattan.
The Original Buddha Bodai

Bunna Cafe

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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.

Seitan’s Helper

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At this queer-owned sandwich shop, you won’t find Impossible Food or other tech-backed meats. Rather, all the sandwiches — such as the “Sexy Devil” with vegan turkey, pickled jalapenos, and sauerkraut on foccacia — feature deli slices made in-house. Be sure to keep an eye on the Seitan’s Helper Instagram account, where the team announces daily specials. Vegan sweets, like cake slices, come courtesy of Bunny Bakery.

The Acre

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Ridgewood’s the Acre is a great brunch or dinner spot to pick for groups with mixed dietary needs. While the restaurant does have some meat dishes, they also serve some of the city’s most flavorful vegan and vegetarian bites. Among the lot of meat-free options is a Nashville hot tofu sandwich, a ’shroom sausage sandwich with chipotle sauce, a half-roasted tinga-style cauliflower, and veggie burgers.

A vegetarian burger with a fried patty comes with slaw and oozing orange sauce.
A sandwich at Ridgewood’s the Acre.
The Acre

Grilled!

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Located in a small structure across from Bushwick’s Maria Hernandez Park, Grilled! focuses on affordable meatless dishes — almost everything costs under $10 — with a Latin American twist. Find a vegan Cubano alongside a Colombian hot dog that pulls from chef Guillermo “Memo” Jaramillo’s Colombian heritage. The choripan, served with a meatless sausage and chimichurri sauce, nods to the street foods of Argentina.

Two customers order from a green and white counter window that says “Grilled!”
Grilled! is located conveniently near Maria Hernandez Park.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Guevara's

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Guevara’s is a coffee shop that sells plants, greeting cards, and pantry items by day, and a cocktail bar at night. But the corner cafe also serves a robust menu of vegan dishes. For pastries, there are donuts, carrot cake, and croissants on offer, but the best way to do breakfast here is to order the special (a black coffee and two empanadas). If something more substantial is in order, opt for the rainbow-colored torta milanesa with eggplant cutlets.

Toad Style

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Head to this small counter in Bed-Stuy for casual dishes prepared without meat, soy, or palm oil. The chalkboard menu here boasts vegan versions of Buffalo chicken quesadillas, burgers topped with cashew-dill cheese, and California-style burritos stuffed with shredded jackfruit and home fries.

Aunts et Uncles

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Launched by Flatbush locals, 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.

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NY Dosas

A white paper plate placed on a wooden bench with a dosa on it, a green cilantro sauce, a samosa, and a red sauce in a plastic cup.
NY Dosas is a fixture at Washington Square Park.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Washington Square street vendor usually has a long line of eager, hungry patrons. For good reason: The Indian food truck specializing in all things crunchy dosas is one of the city’s most affordable (and portable) vegan options, perfect for park picnics as the weather warms up.

A white paper plate placed on a wooden bench with a dosa on it, a green cilantro sauce, a samosa, and a red sauce in a plastic cup.
NY Dosas is a fixture at Washington Square Park.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Spicy Moon

A variety of vegan dishes, including mapo tofu, sauteed brussels sprouts, and fried rice.
Mapo tofu is the star at Spicy Moon.
Spicy Moon

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 chili oil, with bigger plates featuring vegetables, tofu, eggplant, or potato in dry pepper, dry pot, and kung pao styles.

A variety of vegan dishes, including mapo tofu, sauteed brussels sprouts, and fried rice.
Mapo tofu is the star at Spicy Moon.
Spicy Moon

Cadence

Two hunks of deep-fried lasagna are arranged in a white bowl on a marble countertop.
Fried lasagna at Cadence.
Eric Medsker/Cadence

At this recently-relocated vegan spot led by Shenarri Freeman, dishes are inspired by Black southern cooking, a nod to the chef’s upbringing in Virginia. The menu includes smoked grits with oyster mushrooms, fried lasagna with a pine nut ricotta, and the crowd-favorite maple buttermilk cornbread.

Two hunks of deep-fried lasagna are arranged in a white bowl on a marble countertop.
Fried lasagna at Cadence.
Eric Medsker/Cadence

Jerrell's BETR BRGR

Two burgers with poppy and sesame seed buns are unwrapped besides sides of waffle fries.
Yes, there are vegan smash burgers.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

New York’s smash burger scene is sizzling up 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.

Two burgers with poppy and sesame seed buns are unwrapped besides sides of waffle fries.
Yes, there are vegan smash burgers.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Fat Choy

A mushroom-based sloppy Joe sits in a brown plastic wrapper above a lunch tray.
The “Mushroom Sloppy” at Fat Choy.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

This Chinese American fast-casual spot focuses on a variety of small plates. There’s a play on the sloppy joe made by stuffing mushroom ragu inside a sesame pancake, as well as smashed cukes, and sticky rice dumplings.

A mushroom-based sloppy Joe sits in a brown plastic wrapper above a lunch tray.
The “Mushroom Sloppy” at Fat Choy.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

Dirt Candy

A grill with skewers of green vegetables are displayed along a steamed basket.
Amanda Cohen’s Dirt Candy isn’t afraid to get experimental with vegetarian and vegan food.
Dirt Candy

Amanda Cohen has been at the forefront of experimental, playful vegan fine dining here 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.

A grill with skewers of green vegetables are displayed along a steamed basket.
Amanda Cohen’s Dirt Candy isn’t afraid to get experimental with vegetarian and vegan food.
Dirt Candy

The Original Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant

A bamboo steamer teaming with white-and-pink dumplings.
Vegan dim sum at Buddha Bodai in Manhattan.
The Original Buddha Bodai

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 the 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.

A bamboo steamer teaming with white-and-pink dumplings.
Vegan dim sum at Buddha Bodai in Manhattan.
The Original Buddha Bodai

Bunna Cafe

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.

Seitan’s Helper

At this queer-owned sandwich shop, you won’t find Impossible Food or other tech-backed meats. Rather, all the sandwiches — such as the “Sexy Devil” with vegan turkey, pickled jalapenos, and sauerkraut on foccacia — feature deli slices made in-house. Be sure to keep an eye on the Seitan’s Helper Instagram account, where the team announces daily specials. Vegan sweets, like cake slices, come courtesy of Bunny Bakery.

The Acre

A vegetarian burger with a fried patty comes with slaw and oozing orange sauce.
A sandwich at Ridgewood’s the Acre.
The Acre

Ridgewood’s the Acre is a great brunch or dinner spot to pick for groups with mixed dietary needs. While the restaurant does have some meat dishes, they also serve some of the city’s most flavorful vegan and vegetarian bites. Among the lot of meat-free options is a Nashville hot tofu sandwich, a ’shroom sausage sandwich with chipotle sauce, a half-roasted tinga-style cauliflower, and veggie burgers.

A vegetarian burger with a fried patty comes with slaw and oozing orange sauce.
A sandwich at Ridgewood’s the Acre.
The Acre

Grilled!

Two customers order from a green and white counter window that says “Grilled!”
Grilled! is located conveniently near Maria Hernandez Park.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Located in a small structure across from Bushwick’s Maria Hernandez Park, Grilled! focuses on affordable meatless dishes — almost everything costs under $10 — with a Latin American twist. Find a vegan Cubano alongside a Colombian hot dog that pulls from chef Guillermo “Memo” Jaramillo’s Colombian heritage. The choripan, served with a meatless sausage and chimichurri sauce, nods to the street foods of Argentina.

Two customers order from a green and white counter window that says “Grilled!”
Grilled! is located conveniently near Maria Hernandez Park.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Guevara's

Guevara’s is a coffee shop that sells plants, greeting cards, and pantry items by day, and a cocktail bar at night. But the corner cafe also serves a robust menu of vegan dishes. For pastries, there are donuts, carrot cake, and croissants on offer, but the best way to do breakfast here is to order the special (a black coffee and two empanadas). If something more substantial is in order, opt for the rainbow-colored torta milanesa with eggplant cutlets.

Toad Style

Head to this small counter in Bed-Stuy for casual dishes prepared without meat, soy, or palm oil. The chalkboard menu here boasts vegan versions of Buffalo chicken quesadillas, burgers topped with cashew-dill cheese, and California-style burritos stuffed with shredded jackfruit and home fries.

Aunts et Uncles

Launched by Flatbush locals, 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.

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