Best Vegan Restaurants in NYC
If you follow my Instagram or Snapchat, you know that I just spent a week in New York City. I had the best time! I’m especially grateful for the vegan restaurant recommendations you guys gave me <3 I’ll have to go back a few more times to even get through them all! I think NYC actually has more vegan restaurants than LA… but they’re different. LA’s restaurants and cafes definitely have more of a fresh, healthy vibe than the ones in NY. NY has a lot of fast food vegan, which I still appreciate, because sometimes you need those quick options.
I wanted to do a little recap of where I ate and what I had so you guys can get some ideas if you visit or live in NY. Ok, so…
Fresh & Co
Not all vegan; but great salad spot with great vegan options. Especially the salad dressing! This is very similar to SweetGreen (one of my favorite salad spots) where you put together your own salad. Honestly, these salad places can be hit or miss. Not all salad bars are created equal! Sometimes they just don’t chop the veggies well so they’re in big chunks and impossible to take a bite, and the lettuce is too big so it doesn’t really take to the salad dressing. I’m picky about my salad bars, and I can say I really liked this one. Here’s what I got:
The Kale Caesar with my own modifications:
- It came with a kale/romaine blend, which I kept, but then I asked for no cheese and no croutons. Instead I added chick peas, cucumbers, and avocado. I also obviously didn’t get the Caesar dressing because it had dairy. Instead I got ½ the lemon tahini dressing, and ½ the avocado cilantro dressing. Both of these are REALLY good, and creamy. Sometimes the only vegan salad dressings available are oil and vinegar or something light. So I appreciated this option. It gave it a Caesar salad-y vibe while being so healthy and nourishing.
So many of you recommended this place! I realized that there are 3 of these around NYC, and each one has a slightly different menu. I went to the one in Flatiron. It’s definitely got a fast food kind of feel, but I’d say one step above fast food. You walk up to the counter and order, and can take it to go or wait for a seat at one of their tables. It was really busy, my friends and I were actually surprised we found a seat! It was honestly hard to choose one thing here, but luckily there were 3 of us so I was able to try a bite of my friends’ meals too! Here’s what we got:
The pesto meatball sub on gluten-free bread (this one was mine)
- It came on a potato roll, I asked for gluten-free bread. They also had multigrain bread available. I think that actually would have been a better choice. Regardless, this was TO DIE FOR. I love finding vegan meat alternatives that are soy free, and this was one of them. Honestly, of all the meals mine tasted the best
The Classic Burger with Beet Ketchup
- This was really good, too. It's definitely more of a nourishing meal (the burger is made up of lentil, tempeh and chia). I wasn’t a huge fan of their beet ketchup though. I LOVE beets because they have the best health benefits, but as ketchup it was just a little too sweet/tart for me. I prefer my beets in salads, smoothies or juices.
- This was definitely the biggest/heartiest of all of them. The other 2 items were just the sandwiches. This salad was big and full of yumminess. If you want a more filling meal – go with this one! If you’re just going for incredible taste, then try the pesto meatball one.
I went to ABCV 3 times in 24 hours. So, yeah… I’ll let you decide if I liked it or not! Honestly, I fell in love with this place as soon as I walked in! The décor and ambiance were just so perfect. Everything was white and slightly minimalistic and it just had a very fresh vibe to it. Keep in mind, there's 3 different ABC's. There's ABC Kitchen, ABC Cocina, and ABCV. ABCV has the most vegan-friendly options. Here’s what I got each time:
My first time there was for a breakfast meeting with my Sulwhasoo team (love those girls)! I wanted to order everything on the menu, but in lieu of being professional, I couldn’t pig out!
- Some of you know I’ve been on a no coffee kick, and I’m truly loving it. I am enjoying tea so much, especially herbal teas! This one was just delightful. It came in a French press (is that what it's called?), and I finished the whole thing.
- The girls ordered some fresh fruit to start. This was actually very sweet, because they follow my content and know that I like to always start my breakfast with fresh fruit! The fruit plate was beautiful and exotic, but not too filling. Perfect as an appetizer.
- These were so good. they came with fig compote, coconut cream, and maple syrup. I got everything on the side, and ended up using nothing but the coconut cream! It was so rich and amazing that the other sugary toppings weren’t necessary at all (See below). Everyone else who had a bite agreed as well.
I went back that same evening for dinner. I actually arrived a bit late so my friends ordered a bunch of stuff for the table that I just shared. Here’s what we got:
Whole roasted cauliflower, with turmeric-tahini and pistachios
Market carrots, stone ground nut and seed butter, chilies, lime
Beluga lentils, chili oil and black vinegar, yams, broccoli stems, cilantro
Green chickpea hummus, thai basil, fresh pita or crudité
Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart for dessert (SO GOOD)
I then went back one last time for breakfast. 😬 To be fair, it was walking distance to the W Union Square which was where we stayed, so it was also pretty convenient to go back! Although, who am I kidding? I probably would have ubered back for breakfast regardless. Anyway, here’s what we got:
- I love starting my day with green juice. This came in a fancy champagne glass and I quite enjoyed that
Market Vegetable and Red Lentil Soup, Fennel, Crispy Seeds
- I’m not a big soup for breakfast kind of person (I hadn’t eaten yet so I was still in breakfast mode), but this was honestly one of the best healthy soups I’ve ever had. Definitely try this, especially if it’s winter when you go!
Lemon Verbena tea
- This actually didn’t taste very lemon-y, I’m not big on lemon flavored tea. It’s more of the natural lemon stems that are in the tea, so it’s just very light. I loved it. Also caffeine-free.
Dosas with coconut yogurt, avocado and sprouts
- This was almost like a giant crepe. Make sure you request coconut yogurt if you're vegan, because it comes with dairy yogurt unless requested otherwise :)
Fresh steamed tofu, roasted cauliflower, harissa, coconut yogurt, pistachio
- This was pretty cool. The tofu was all along the bottom in such a way that it felt/looked like egg whites. Honestly, if you told me it was egg whites I would have believed you. Especially mixed in with the sauces, you really couldn’t tell the difference.
I stopped at Serephina while I was running around the city trying to get my bearings. I was starving and saw it and just ran in for something to-go. I got the most delicious salad! It was called the “our chopped salad.” Here’s what it had:
Frisee salad, green apples, celery hearts, red beets, walnuts, white balsamic vinaigrette
- This salad is absolutely delicious. If you want to make it more filling / more of an actual meal, order it with a side of lentils. You can request sautéed or broiled lentils, I recommend broiled. Healthier and still full of flavor!
Legasea is a newer restaurant in NY so I was super excited to check it out. I went with a group of friends Saturday night before Halloween. The funny thing is, more than half the table was vegan, and it wasn’t even a vegan restaurant! The chef brought out a lot of really amazing vegan dishes. I lovedddd this place! I posted some of it in my Instagram stories, but then got distracted eating everything and didn’t share the rest. So here’s a recap:
Trio of Veggie Dips with Hot Bomba Bread
- Two out of three of these dips were vegan: the chickpea tahini, and the sweet potato. It came with one other that had ricotta cheese. This could be a great appetizer for a group with vegans and non-vegans! Something for everyone :)
Chopped Green Goddess salad
- Personal favorite. Try this one!
- Broccoli is one of my favorite sources of vegan protein. Try to get it as a side when you can, it's worth it
Golden Beat Salad
- I can't seem to find this on the menu so perhaps it was off menu? Either way, ask for them if you go! They're delicious.
I kind of stumbled upon Murray's Bagels with my friend Melissa. We were walking with her 2 year old, and when we passed it he said he wanted a bagel (they’re NY locals). Melissa and I are both plant-based so I looked at her confused, to which she responded: “they have vegan cream cheese”! So.. then I couldn’t get this bagel out of my mind. On the way to the airport on Sunday (in the POURING rain mind you) I had my uber stop at Murray’s Bagels, got a toasted whole grain bagel with vegan cream cheese, and it was delightful.
Whole Grain Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese
And thats it! Hope this was helpful :)