NYC has what feels like millions of eateries. There are uber expensive steakhouses, super fancy sushi/fish restaurants, and a million other well-known, meat-heavy restaurants that get all the fuss. But there are some EXTREMELY delicious vegetarian places for us veggies out there that I have come to really appreciate as a New Yorker. So for anyone who has lived here for a while resigning yourself to another salad-at-a-steakhouse dinner with friends or if you’re visiting and want to make sure you eat good food while in the Big Apple, here’s our list of our favorite vegetarian places.
Nix is a lovely, fancy vegetarian restaurant in the East Village. It is one of our go-to anniversary spots. The food is to be shared–so you pick several dishes from each category and then everyone digs in. Nix changes the menu every season (if not more often), so it’s nice to go there and not eat the same food every time. I love the dips and they have great alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages!
2. Champs Diner
Champs Diner is in East Williamsburg/Williamsburg, Brooklyn area. We always sort of stumble upon it somehow. Unlike Nix, Champs is vegan. They have incredibly delicious milkshakes, burgers, mac and cheese and a ton of other vegan offerings in a diner-style restaurant. It’s often packed even very late at night and for good reason! Those smores milkshakes…mm…. Anyway, it’s a little hard to get to, so it’s more of a neighborhood-y spot, unless you’re like me and willing to walk to your food.
3. By Chloe
By Chloe is one of my fav grab-and-go vegetarian places. There are a few locations, but I typically go to the one in the West Village. On their menu is several burgers, salads, fries, etc. It’s all quite tasty and a little pricey. Usually, it’s hard to get a seat in the Village. The one I went to in Brooklyn was empty! This is a great place to grab a quick bite, though.
4. Modern Love
Another excellent vegetarian place in Williamsburg is Modern Love. Compared to Champs, this place is easy to get to! It’s a moderately-priced (less than Nix) vegetarian place with a great atmosphere and yummy yummy food. They like to take traditionally meat dishes and put a veggie twist on it. In this picture, I had Hen of the Woods Piccata, a mushroom dish with potatoes and lima beans. Modern Love doesn’t change their menu as often as some restaurants, but the staples are really good. With a name like that, we like to come here for Valentine’s Day.
5. Avant Garden
Avant Garden – another gem in the East Village – has solid upscale vegetarian fare. It’s a small, adorable place. The chefs obviously care about presentation and do a great job making the food look too pretty to eat. This place is vegan, so no worries about what broth they might be using or if there’s dairy somewhere hidden in an ingredient.
6. Honey Bee’s
Finally, a BBQ joint! HoneyBee’s is a very cool place in the East Village. Like way too cool for me. It’s kind of hidden up a gross set of stairs. When you get to the top, all of a sudden you’re in a fancy lounge bar. The drinks are fantastic! The food is classic BBQ but all vegan. I got the pulled pork, which was mushrooms. It was so good! Neal got the burnt ends and swears that they are better than any actual burnt ends he’s eaten (he is not vegetarian). We were so impressed by the food here.
7. Dirt Candy
Dirty Candy is not too far from HoneyBee’s, also in the East Village, but near Little Italy/Chinatown. It’s a VERY fancy tasting menu-style restaurant. It’s relatively expensive, too–$99 for 9 courses (2 are dessert). A wine pairing adds $70. But the food is inventive and interesting and most importantly, tasty. When we went, they had some fancy veggie caviar, some beets on a cooker, a cauliflower cake dessert…a lot of interesting courses and a lot of big bursts of flavor. Their menu changes all the time based on the season, except for a few signature dishes.
abcV is a design-forward vegetarian place in Union Square. I’ve actually only been here for brunch, but loved it! The food is clean and pretty, just like the decor. The cool thing about it, too, is that you can finish your meal and then head to their decor store! They have beautiful home goods, bowls, trunks, blankets, etc. to peruse to help burn off the breakfast. I’m a big fan and have to get here for dinner!
9. Cinnamon Snail
Okay, Cinnamon Snail had to make this list for me. They’re located in the Pennsy next to Penn Station. Every time I am anywhere near there, I have to go. They have these awesome veggie burgers that are packed full of flavor and have crazy toppings like mac and cheese and coconut bacon. It’s all vegan, but the prices aren’t bad. They have tots! You can smoother them in cashew cheese. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. They also have some Korean-inspired dishes that are to die for.
10. Superiority Burger
Superiority Burger is another East Village hot spot that is about as big as a $600,000 studio in Manhattan–which is to say SMALL. REAL SMALL. It’s basically got a few seats along the side of the room and then enough room for other people to order. It’s tiny, and so are the burgers. Small and mighty! They’re delicious. I’m a big fan, though this place is a bit out of the way.
As an honorable mention, because I haven’t been there, but I’ve heard it’s sooo good, next on my list is JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana. I also want to mention that there are a lot of veggie-friendly places with inventive, flavorable veggie options. But if I can get Neal to one of these 100% veggie places, I will every time 🙂
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