New York restaurants


I’m going to be in the Big Apple next week for a few days. Can I tell you that I’m seriously excited? This is my first time in NY in four years, which is entirely too long between visits. While I’m pretty booked up for the trip and while I do have a pretty good idea of where I’d like to eat, can anyone suggest any veggie places in New York that I’ve got to try?

I may also have time for a small meetup, if anyone’s interested.

(As a side note, if you’re into reggae, you’ll definitely want to come to B.B. King’s on Monday the 15th. Or, if you’ve got some extra dough, the Nassau Coliseum on the 14th.)

34 Responses to “New York restaurants”

  1. Heather

    If you have the time (and the money) Candle79 is the BEST vegan restaurant in the city. Even my omni boyfriend says that he’s had some of the best meals of his life there.

  2. Ryan

    I assume that’s the restaurant that put out the Candle Cafe cookbook? I’ll add that one to my list! Thanks for the suggestion.

    (And money’s not a big issue since I’m paying less than $60 a night for my hostel room.)

  3. amanda

    angelica’s kitchen on 12th btw 1st and second – one of the original vegan whole foods restaurant (also byob)
    kates joint on Ave B and 4th street – vegetarian comfort food and fun people watching.


  4. Jessica

    I love Zen Palate! You can get a decent-sized meal for about $8, and it’s delicious! They have a great selection and they’re vegetarian of course.

  5. Sarah

    I haven’t been there yet, but I hear Moby (the musician)’s vegan restaurant TeaNY is awesome!. They have a site at I believe…or maybe teanyc, not sure.

  6. MA

    Candle Cafe and Candle 79 are two different places, but they’re associated (from same folks, I think 79 is more upscale/pricier).

    If you REALLY want a vegan experience you can’t get elsewhere, at an ENTIRELY vegan restaurant (no casein or anything), go to Foodswings in Williamsburg. (Grand x Havemeyer, use the “L”/”G” to Lorimer/Metropolitan.) That and Candle Cafe are my favorites in this town, says the vegan who’s lived all over greater nyc and tried pretty much everything…Candle is more a nice sit-down, bit of everything vegan restaurant (some casein items, but noted…they’re chocolate mousse pie is ecstasy incarnate). Foodswings is all-vegan fast food (americana), but there are plenty of booths to eat in the place, and it’s a fun vibe. more rock than hippie. go to foodswings. it has a cult-like following, and the best “chicken”drumsticks, ever. (get their poo-poo platter, their “fish”sticks w/tartar sauce, etc…oh and they’re “chicken parmigian” is great too, it’s hard to go wrong).


  7. johanna

    candle 79 is the 2nd restaurant owned by the candle cafe folks… both the restaurants are different in ambiance (candle 79 is bigger & classier–i felt underdressed in jeans) & in menu (& price–candle 79 is a little pricier). i’d say go to them both. ;)

    i’d also recommend the vegetarian dim sum house. there’s a lot of fake meat stuff which can get tiring, but there’s other stuff too, & hey… it’s so nice to be able to get whatever dim sum i want off the menu. ;)

    also, there are @ least 2 tourist guidebooks to vegetarian nyc out. when you pass a big barnes & noble, i’d recommend going inside & peeking @ them to see if anything they list sounds particularly enticing! (i assume most if not all b&ns will carry them; i saw them the other day @ the astor place b&n)

    enjoy your trip!

  8. Ryan

    Thanks for all the great suggestions! Now, it’s clear that I either need to eat seven meals a day or make it a point to return to NY come springtime.

    Has anyone eaten at Red Bamboo ( Holy crap that place looks amazing.

  9. johanna

    red bamboo is fun… its main novelty to me was the prevalence of fake fish dishes. i liked it the first couple times i went there, but ever since i’ve been vaguely disappointed.

    right down the block from it (practically across the street) is pearl tea, a dim sum/bubble tea place. they’re not totally vegetarian, but have veg options (& their bubble tea is made w/non-dairy milk! huzzah!). i like their coconut rice balls a lot.

    oh, & re: the earlier angelica kitchen suggestion–i dunno. i know the restaurant gets tons of kudos but it’s always left me cold. the food isn’t all that, & the atmosphere is crazy pretentious.

  10. johanna

    oh! & how could i forget hangawi? it’s a veg korean restaurant in midtown. the site says vegetarian, but i can’t recall ever seeing anything non-vegan there. a bit pricey, but super tasty & also the atmosphere is really serene & lovely. they also own franchia, a veg tea house & restaurant near grand central. also lovely.

  11. Brian

    Teany is a great little cafe…the vegan turkey club is excellent, and the vegan cheesecake is absolutely INCREDIBLE.

  12. cvc

    I just went to NYC last weekend for my first time. We tried Zen Palate, Candle Cafe, and Gobo. Of the 3, Gobo was my favorite. We’d heard rave reviews of Hangawi, but we just didn’t have enough time to make it over there! Enjoy and bon apetit. There’s definitely good eatin’ in NY.

  13. chris carella

    Zen Palate, and Teany are my favorites. Teany is a great place to get a cup of tea with friends too. It is also cool that Moby is frequently there working.

  14. amanda

    Don’t know if you’re already gone, but last time I was in town (02), we loved dinner at a place called Herban Kitchen, way downtown.

  15. Geoffrey Kleinman

    One word – Gobo.

    Just got back from NYC and did a veggie binge:

    The Red Bamboo: 140 W 4th St (West Village – About 1 Block away from the 4th strett subway stop). The Red Bamboo calls it self ‘Vegetarian Soul Cafe’, basically they focus pretty heavily on Seitan dishes that are close to their meaty inspiration. I had Buffalo Wings and Burbon Marinated cutlets. The imitation was so good I caught myself doinga double take. Everything tasked great and the service was good, but I think the focus is more on imitating that innovating.

    Candle 79: 1307 Third Avenue at 75th St (Upper East Side – About 3 blocks from the E76th subway stop). One of the most upscale vegetarian I’ve been to. When someone says ‘Vegan Chef’ I’ll now thing of Candle 79. Excellent food with a wide array of dishes that are complex and delecious. I absolutely loved Candle 79.

    Gobo (401 Ave of The Americas [6th ave] right near the Wash Square Subway Stop): I loved Gobo for its simplicity as much as I loved Candle 79 for it’s complexity. Amazing juice drinks and great dishes. Next time I’m in NYC Gobo would be top of my list to go back to.

  16. Ryan

    I’m back! Will report back with full details shortly.

    Amanda — looks like the Herban Kitchen has closed.

  17. Adriane

    Hey guys, I’m going to New York in Jan 05 and I was surfing the net for vegan resturants in NY and I came across this page, there are so many suggestions I’m totally checking them all out! … also the great tip on where to get Bubble tea, the Tea Garden in Minneapolis is the best!

  18. Marjorie

    I’m a vegan living in NYC. My favorite is Caravan of Dreams. Huge menu; lots of raw food options. Restaurant is small and noisy and the service is slow but the food is worth it. I like the option of ordering lots of small sides. Recommend Zen Palate on 46th St. (just visited the one in Union Square and although the meal was delicious, the server was very rude and clearly not into his job). Enjoy!

  19. Jodi

    Sorry I found your site too late to be of any help. But if you have the desire to drool over two-dimensional representations of vegan food in this city, please feel free to check out my “Jodeats” gallery here:

    Also: About a month ago, Gobo opened a new branch at 1426 Third Avenue (between 80th and 81st)!

  20. Ryan

    Thanks, Jodi! I’ll be back in New York in March or April, ready to explore more veggie restaurants.

    That’s awesome that Gobo has a new location further uptown. Is the design of the space as nice as the original?

  21. Jodi

    Glad to be of help, Ryan!

    I haven’t been to the new Gobo yet, but after I go (very very soon!), I’ll certainly let you know.

    Oh, and another great place is Tien Garden on Allen Street at Stanton, a few blocks south of East Houston. Tiny place with very little “atmosphere”, but that’s kind of what I like about it. Other than the scrumptious food, that is!

  22. kelly

    Hey, everyone always mentions Red Bamboo – which is cool and has amazing food (great sandwiches, entrees, and dumplings, all asian fusion-
    BUT, I think it ends up overshadowing Veggie Paradise 2 which is just next door, and probably the best asian style vegetarian joint in the city. They have dim sum, ‘chicken’nuggets, and my favorite entrees – kung pow ‘chicken’, pan fried noodles with ‘chicken’ (one of my very meat eater friend’s favorties) and the best vegan ice cream and blueberry pie ever!!! Not to mention a huge menu besides the things ive mentioned.
    Red Bamboo certainly is good, but I always feel more satisfied at VP.

  23. Judy Pokras

    My favorite restaurant in NYC (after years of living there) is Quintessence. They have two locations, the original one in the east village, and a larger one on the upper west side. They’re all-raw (vegan) and quite wonderful. Here’s an article about them

    Judy Pokras

  24. brownbirdrudyrelic

    Food Not Bombs serves up the best FREE-VEGAN-FOOD in New York City (well, it might be the ONLY free vegan food in NYC) on Fridays & Sundays in the southwest corner of Tompkins Square Park after 4PM. (Since I am active in Food Not Bombs is this posting too hubristic?)

  25. The Easter Bunny

    Are there any veggie restaurants in NY that specialize in fake meat dishes ? I’m looking for a place that is more like a traditional restaurant rather than a granola, serve yourself type place.

  26. Cathy

    I agree with all the other wonderful recmmendations others made (Candle Cafe, Red Bamboo, etc.), but there are three places that shouldn’t be forgotten though. Counter Restaurant and Wine bar. Wow. A vegan restaurant with amazing food, open late, lots of food for your money like the cosmopolitan (seitan) burger with black olive vegan aioli and fries mmmm. They have phenomenal and diverse dishes, something for the rawist, unique veggie dishes, and amazing desserts (made there) i.e. homemade soy ice cream sooo good! They also have 2 for 1 sangria (in the evening, organic wines and vegan wine.

    Second, is Atlas Cafe, they have vegan soft serve soy ice cream. They can even blend in things like fruit or vegan oreos. They also have an array of cheap sandwiches and a huge dessert selection (from mint grasshopper cake, fudge brownies to butterscotch pudding-all tasty and vegan).

    Third. more of an area than a particular place but 27th and 28th St on Lexington Ave aka Curry Hill has maybe a dozen vegetarian, kosher Indian restaurants. The most famous is Pongal, but the restaurants on either side are perhaps more genuine and certainly less expensive. You can get a lot of great food for your buck. Of course, egan friendly.

    As for the previous poster who’s looking for a meat analog sojourn, I’d say Red Bamboo (crispy soul chicken nuggets and buffalo wings-wow)or Vegetarian paradise 2 (again crispy soul chicken, great wonton soup, fried “calamari”), Kate’s Joint (vege diner with lots of burgers, buffalo wings, etc.), or Candle Cafe’s walnut and porcini crusted seitan with mashed potaoes oh wow! They make some of the best seitan i’ve ever had.

  27. kay there

    I am so happy to hear about the soy soft serve ice cream!! I love that stuff and my favorite cafe that had it closed down…

  28. Chris

    There is an amazing new 100% organic vegan restaurant named Blossom that opened up the end of November 2005. It’s in Chelsea on 9th ave between 21st & 22nd. This place has the most amazing vegan food I have ever had. Nothing imitation, the food is so fresh and so delicious. It’s gourmet vegan cuisine. The flavors and representation of the food are out of this world. The black eyed pea cake app. and the savory seitan entree is what I had along with a chcolate ganache pie for dessert. All of it was unbelievable! The place itself is beautiful, very romantic. Highly recommended.

  29. Lisa

    This is a great site. I am going to NY tomorrow. I eat all organic, but I do eat meat and was wondering if there were any good resturants that served organic chicken or turkey burgers, etc. as well as other stuff. Any suggestions?

  30. Ryan

    I think you’re checking the wrong site for that information, Lisa.

  31. Danielle

    For a supreme dining experience, you must try Pure Food and Wine, a raw food restaurant.

    I mention my trip to NYC on my blog under the title I love NYC.

  32. Tiffany

    Ever make a return trip? If not you really need to check out Pukk, if you’re fond of Thai. The curry sauce is soooo good and fresh tasting, but it does make your nose run. I had a dish that was mushrooms in a coconut batter, in red curry sauce, and it was AMAZING. One of the best meals I’ve ever had. I haven’t had a chance to go back yet, but i will asap. Steer clear of the desserts though, they are super super super sweet, and usually people are disgusted with how sweet I like things, so thats saying alot.

    If you ever go to Kate’s, which I saw recomended a few times, the turkey club is delicious, and make sure to get a side of there really spectacular mashed potatoes, yum yum.

  33. ryan

    We need your all vegan resturants in Fort Myers.
    nobody has done it yet and so we arn’t moving forward. all we have is meat and cheese tainted vegan options. I need to move to New York.

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