The Big Apple! Vegan cafes, restaurants, grocery stores and shops are hard to miss in NYC… I tried to hit them all, but obviously I’ll just have to go back over and over again! I hope this NYC vegan dining guide will help you make the most of your eating adventure while you’re in this incredible city.
The purpose behind my NYC trip was to become a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator through Main Street Vegan Academy. Mission accomplished, I came home with a new certification and beautiful piece of paper, but more importantly an incredible fire burning inside of me for this plant-based revolution. The 5 days was full of vegan restaurants, plant-based doctor presentations, vegan chef demos and the creation of a passionate community who fuelled off of each other’s good energy!
Thanks to the inspiring Victoria Moran for creating such an amazing week.
I was welcomed to NY by Dan and Keziah with some delish vegan pasta, and after the 5 day course, a glorious friend made the trek down and we explored more arts, culture, food and views.
Some inspirational peeps who’ve sparked my vegan fire over the last week:
Vegan Mos (influencers Michael and Ethan of NYC Vegan)
Martin Rowe (Brighter Green – ALL about the environment)
JL Fields (podcaster + culinary coach)
Mariann Sullivan (Our Hen House- Animal law pro)
Tatiana Ferero Puerto (lifestyle coaching)
Marty Davey Dietician
Fran Costigan (Vegan Chocolate guru)
For a behind the scenes look of my week in New York, check out my saved instagram story at @hookedonplants
On to the guide.
I made it to most of these, but added some that I couldn’t fit in…this trip. Until next time NYC!
What: 100% Plant-based sushi take-out with 5 spots in Manhattan
Known For: Chef Guy’s (a Hell’s Kitchen chef) incredible whole food flavour creations with rolls, soups, dumpling and salads
Personal note: One of our dinners at Victoria’s Main Street Vegan Academy was catered from these guys. The sushi came with a variety of amazing sauces, and a delish seaweed side salad.
What: Classic diner! For breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner!
Known For: Mozzerella Sticks, Hangover Hippie dish, S’mores Sundae, Tempeh Wings and Tater Tots
Addy: 197 Meserole Street, Brooklyn
Personal note: If you’re worried about being deprived of your favourite foods by going vegan, just eat at this place and you’ll be blown away. Serious comfort food. I had the waffle with fresh berries, and tried some of the hangover hippie tofu scramble …YUM. Ohhh and those tots. So crisp and delish.
What: Vegan Louisiana soul food in the heart of Harlem
Known For: Their crawfish, hot cakes, + mac & cheese
Addy: 55 St Nicholas Ave
Personal note: I tried their raw walnut sushi (so good), and shared some hot cakes with vegan butter (amazing), and had to try bites of their famous crawfish, gravy-smothered chicken and the deeply delicious mac + cheese! The restaurant was bustling with a constant stream of hungry New Yorkers, and yup …. Mind = blown.
What: Ayurveda is all about that balance, and quite literally the ‘knowledge’ (veda) ‘of life’ (ayur). It goes back over 5000 years of traditional holistic system of well-being from india. By including all 6 tastes (sour, sweet, bitter, astringent, pungent, salty) it’s incredibly satisfying and rejuvenating. Here you can take the decision making out of the equation because the set menu changes daily (fun). Tapa’s style!
Known For: They’re balanced meals and a new menu daily. Ordering seconds for free is encouraged:) Just ask for it.
Addy: 706 Amsterdam Ave
Personal note: I loved this place. It’s super casual and welcoming and so fun to have mini dishes of a variety of food that you know is balanced with healing herbs and spices. Cauliflower carrot curry, brown rice, spicy lentils. The naan was the only gluten-containing part of the lunch.
What: Ethiopian in NYC! It’s not a completely vegan restaurant, but has a handful of delicious vegan options.
Known For: Their teff sourdough bread is somethin’ else (stretchy and yum, perfect for dipping), and the veg dishes are raved about.
Addy: 113th and Frederick Douglass
Personal note: I love dipping, so this was right up my alley. No utensils needed, just tear the bread and dip away. Order a few different veg options and get those taste buds in a higher state! The 3 of us shared the 4 veg dish sampler of Shiro Wett (chickpea/lentil/roasted peas), Gomen (collard greens simmered in veggie broth, onion + garlic), Atakakilt Wett (carrot, potato, cabbage, onion tomato dish), and Misir Wett (spicy red lentils).
What: An incredible vegan cafe with a 1970’s, low-key, hippie vibe with a massive menu full of options from raw, to macrobiotic, to comfort food. Walking into this place feels like you’re walking into a dream land. Founded in 1991, by Angel, it’s considered to be one of NYC’s leading vegan restaurants combining, food, culture, entertainment and healthy vibes.
Known For: There’s something for everyone! Their elixir drinks are packed to the brim with crazy superfoods.
Addy: 405 East 6th Street, East Village
Personal note: One of my favourites. I had the raw food platter, and it was the most colourful dish I’ve seen with beet carpaccio, raw lasagne, strawberry cashew bites, raw meat balls, house made sauerkraut and mango somethin! So flavourful, bright and energizing. I started the experience off with their ‘Good Mood Tonic’ with ashawagandha, skullcap flower, macuna prurient, shilajit, cordiceps, St.John’s wort flower, prickly ash bark, lucuma, cacao, mesquite, chug and mulberries (I know… amazing right?!).
Candle Café West
What: 1 of the 3 Candle Restaurants. These creative restaurants have something for everyone and are known for their celeb guest sightings. Candle Cafe West is a more casual sister restaurant to the fancy-vibe, well known Candle 79 restaurant. It’s 100% organic, kosher and vegan with a full bar!
Known For: Seitan chimichurri appy, avocado tomato tartare and their artichoke heart happy.
Addy: 2427 Broadway, Upper West Side
Personal note: It was tough to decide, but I chose to share the avocado tomato tartare + cheesy seitan nachos to start, and topped it off with the Nori Crusted Tofu main dish with black rice, asian veggies and sake-miso sauce. It felt like I was ordered the catch o’ the day! Incredibly satisfying and flavourful. Candle restaurants are on the pricier side, but a nice experience with super creative veg dishes! Total worth it.
What: A vegetarian restaurant (still serves egg and cheese), with a ton of creative vegan dishes.
Known For: The creativity with their veggie dishes (roasted sunchokes + wok-fried cactus). People come for their Tandoor bread and smoky caramelized onion eggplant dip.
Addy: 72 University Pl
Personal note: Love this place. Beauty aesthetic with white brick walls, green plants and patterned seats. Mandy and I shared the Cauliflower Tempura Wings (great crunch), Tandoor Bread and 3 dips (avocado mint, eggplant, and hummus) that I could have easily eaten for eternity, plus the miso soup with pickled veggies…and rosé of course, being our last meal in the Big Apple.
What: Super cute, sit-down, 100% vegan cafe with an extensive menu and baked goods.
Known For: Their 2 bite brownies (VegNews winning dessert), cookie sandwiches, their chickpea fries, and layered sweet potato, cashew quiche!
Addy: 460 Amsterdam Ave
Personal note: After renting bikes and doing a big loop around Manhattan in the sunshine, we found our way to this gem. We shared the chickpea fries, and they were all they were worked up to be (must try!!!). We also enjoyed the rainbow-layered Sweet Potato, Cashew Kale Quiche which was up there for the best dish of the trip. So gorgeous and packed with beautiful colour. Plus…. the Mushroom Duxelle pizza with a base of roasted sweet potatoes, onion and beans, all topped off with zucchini and red peppers. NOM.
On our way out the door, the torrential down pour moved in, and we were forced to stay in the cafe for a house-made Cashew Milk Latté, their famous 2 bite brownies and the Grasshopper Cookie Sandwich with mint filling, and the Chocolate Chip cookie sandwiches with chocolate cream. Everything happens for a reason right?:)
What: Hip vegan restaurant with a DJ booth, full bar and comfort-style breaki, lunch and dins. The menu was created by @mississippivegan and owner, @bigapplevegan ! She’s the same owner of Blossom and Blossom Du Jour (vegan fast food with 4 spots in NYC)
Known For: Their Chick-Un & Waffles made from southern fried seitan with maple mustard aioli.
Addy: 41 Charmine Street
Personal note: So good, I had to go here twice. Walking into this space immediately made me feel excited for the food. Photos of animals everywhere with hidden words on the brick walls, with a bright graffiti-covered wall behind the DJ booth and a downstairs perfect for groups. Dinner for me started with the Jackfruit Quesadilla with numu mozzarella, grilled peppers and vegan sour cream, followed by the Urban Macro Bowl with garlic mustard marinated tempeh, sautéed kale, herbed quinoa, arugula, roasted carrots, and beautiful creamy cashew beet dressing. It did not disappoint!
We had to come back from brunch that brought on the Seitan Buffalo Wings to start (why not), the Tofu Scramble with maple mushroom bacon (oh my) for me, and the BLT for Mandy. Seriously savoury deliciousness.
What: French Vegan Food! The cutest little restaurant you’ll ever see. Seats only 22, so reservations are a good idea. It feels like you’re taking a trip to France in the middle of NY, but vegan.
Known For: Their incredible french dishes! HOW do they do it?
Addy: 20 Christopher Street
Personal note: My Mom used to make the most amazing Coq Au Vin (after living in Europe for 7 years in her Freestyle competitor days, she picked up on the local cuisine and perfected her SacherTorte and Coq Au Vin recipes to match the true french flavours). But, it was far from vegan. Now both of us are vegan, so I didn’t expect to taste Coq Au Vin like up to my Mom’s par ever again. I had to order it here and… MAGIC! The seitan ‘chicken’ and deep, french flavours brought me back, I couldn’t believe it!!! We also shared Oyster Mushroom Escargot. Wow. This place is top-notch, quaint and a place you simply must experience.
What: A 100% vegan mexican + latin, Mathew Kenney restaurant.
Known For: Vegan share plates and sustainable tequila!
Addy: 65 2nd Ave
Social: @barverdenyc @mathewkenneycuisine
Personal note: Mathew Kenney is a powerhouse plant-based chef, creating the future of food in the form of plant-based cuisine! He has multiple restaurants all over the world (including Plant Food + Wine in LA) His others in NYC are Plntmade and Double Zero pizza.
What: Vegan Mexican. Beautiful, happy, light decor!
Known For: Their immensely flavourful jackfruit taco’s that taste exactly pulled pork.
Addy: 162 E. Broadway
Personal note: It was so busy that we couldn’t get a walk-in table, so this is one for the next trip (make a reso!).
What: A small, elegant foodie’s dream from the famous Ravi DeRossi, an esteemed NYC restaurateur who went vegan! He’s in the process of turning all of his restaurants (close to a dozen) vegan: YAY. Reserve well in advance.
Known For: Paella + Hen of the Woods (made with mushroom puree and kohlorabi!)
Addy: 130 E. 7th St
What: Restaurants by @BigAppleVegan (Pamela Elizabeth)
Known For: Blossom, with 2 locations, is a sit down restaurant, and Blossom Du Jour, with 4 locations, is a grab n’ go ‘fast foody’ kind of place. Fun, healthy, quick and delish. That’s her moto. Blossom has become an NYC leader in the vegan restaurant movement.
Social: @blossomnyc @blossomdujour
Personal note: I made it to her sister restaurant, @urbanvegankitchen, twice! But did have the time to check out the Blossoms (I’ve heard so many great things about them though). Guess I have to go back!
What: Vegan Sweets, Vegan Fast Food
Known For: The amazing Chef Chloe can be found all over instagram and youtube, veganizing old favourites. Her ice cream, cookies, burgers, and fries bring people in from around the globe.
Addy: 7 Locations in NYC!
What: Vegan Chocolate & Wine!
Known For: Decadent chocolates paired with vegan wines.
Addy: 174 Ninth Ave
What: 100% vegan, toxin-free, cruelty-free soap + beauty product dispensary started by Amanda Fox and her mama Kathy! Amanda is a Main Street Vegan graduate who followed her passion and created this beautiful store with magical branding.
Known For: Her mystical, creative vibes throughout her whole store! All of her products are ‘tested on dirty vegans, not animals’ 😉
Addy: 204 Irving Ave, Brooklyn
Personal note: Majestic. This beautiful Mama/Daughter duo has created something really special. My favourite is the ‘Fire Dance’ air freshener, ‘Unicorn Dream’ candles, and ‘Dirty Hippie’ hand sanitizer. This shop oozes passion from the Fox’s.
What: An emporium of spices, herbs, superfoods and Ayurvedic products. What seems like a little hole in the wall has an incredible variety of allllll the things!
Known For: It’s abundance of powders, tonics, essential oils and superfoods. It’s pretty much a pharmacy in the form of plants.
Addy: 91 1st Avenue
Personal note: I could have spent hours in this place. I came home with an extra carry-on packed with superfood mushroom powders, essential oils, Amla powder (one of the highest antioxidant and highest vitamin C superfood powders available), cordyceps and reishi powders, beet powder (for unicorn hummus :), digestive tonic, black Hawaiian salt, turmeric golden milk powder … to name a few
What: The first ever raw-food store in America to open up, run by raw food guru and health coach, Dagger and his wife. This place has all the raw vegan goodies, and prides themselves on the local vibes by supporting local vendors and creating an inclusive community of high vibers
Known For: Their array of goodies! Raw vegan chocolate, desserts, cheeses, crackers, and natural body care products.
Addy: 138 E 3rd St
Personal note: Just walk into this place, and you’ll feel right at home. Owners Gay and Dagger say their philosophy is to treat every customer as if they were they’re Mom or Grandma; with respect and like a queen! We were lucky enough to get a run down of some high vibe products, and just before heading out, a serenade from Dagger on his guitar. He sees his store as a 2nd home, and a place for creativity, fun, comfort and high vibe raw foods.
What: Vegan Shoes, Bags & Accessories
Known For: Fashionable vegan shoes and bags
What: 100% vegan grocery store, deli and gelato shop (a door frame away from Moo Shoes and owned by the same awesome people)
Known For: New vegan cheeses, their delish gelato and vegan snacks!
Addy: 78 Orchard Street
What: Vegan Bakery! Erin has been on the Martha Stewart show, the Today Show, and has a bakery in Disney World too.
Known For: Her gluten-free, soy-free, non-gmo, 100% vegan cupcakes, cookies and cute outfits.
Addy: 248 Broome St
What: 100% Vegan Cheese Shop created by Main Street Vegan alumni, Michaela Grob.
Known For: Look forward to sampling pretty much every vegan cheese you’ve ever heard of, and some you haven’t. Toasted cheese sandwiches anyone?
Addy: 820 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
Personal note: If I was to go back to NYC and all I could do is visit this shop, I’d go in a milli-sec. I’m drooling just from reading about the array of vegan cheese she has!
I hope this NYC vegan dining guide helps you make the most of your trip to New York!
Or, at least I hope it inspired you to eat more plants in a creative way:)
Other things to do in NYC?
Go see a Broadway show
Walk the HighLine
Run in Central Park
Rent a bike and go along Hudson’s River
See a Burlesque Show at House of Yes!
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