Where to start?
New York City is a vegan haven and the list of vegan/veg-friendly places is endless. In this list, I share my favorite, most-visited places, along with how pricey they are. I’m always discovering new restaurants, so keep an eye out for updates!
This list is organized by neighborhood, not preference!
Buddha Bodai $ (Chinatown - the one on Mulberry!)
Serving all vegan + kosher dim sum, this restaurant is in the heart of Chinatown. They have lots of mock meats and veggie dishes alike, as well as your typical dim sum like dumplings, steamed buns, etc. My usual order is sticky rice in lotus leaf, the cantonese dumplings, turnip cake and the taro bowl. Bring friends! It’s the most fun when shared :)
Luanne’s Wild Ginger $ (Nolita and Brooklyn)
I love to go here when I want a fresh, healthy meal that’s also relatively affordable. The atmosphere in both locations is very cozy and perfect for meeting a friend or for a date. Their menu is very extensive - I recommend the macro bowl if you want a really veggie-based meal, the big miso noodle soup, or the basil soy protein if you’re craving mock meat. For dessert, their chocolate peanut butter cake is absolutely delicious.
Double Zero $$ (East Village)
If you follow on me on Instagram, you know that I go here quite often. When people ask what it is, I describe it as “upscale, vegan pizza,” but it is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. They make their own cheeses (think macadamia ricotta and cashew mozzarella), and all of the flavors complement each other so well. My personal favorite is the white pizza (pictured), but I also love the truffle cashew cream and the pesto one. I definitely recommend getting one pizza per person, or order a few and share if you’re in a group. They also offer a gluten-free crust!
Bar Verde $$ (East Village
This restaurant is from the same chef as Double Zero (he actually has four restaurants all next to each other on the same East Village block). It’s a vegan, Mexican-inspired restaurant, and I love how they make their dishes super fresh as opposed to imitating flavors with a lot of processed ingredients. You’ll want to order several dishes for the table to share, as the plates tend to be a bit small. Get the nachos! The butternut squash queso is...just get the nachos, okay?
Divya’s Kitchen $$ (East Village)
This cozy spot is the only Ayurvedic restaurant in New York City. I’ve been several times and am never disappointed. They label each dish with the appropriate dosha according to the properties of the ingredients. They also serve teas that correspond to different doshas to help you get the full Ayurvedic experience. I recommend the kitchari and the curry out of all the dishes. They also have a vegan lasagna that I have yet to try! For dessert, their pistachio fudge and the carob cake are both delicious.
Orchard Grocer $ (East Village)
This is an all vegan grocery store, serving up outrageously good sandwiches and delicious soft serve. They don’t have much seating, but stop by for all vegan grocery items and head next door to Moo Shoes, where they sell all vegan shoes and accessories!
Rawsome Treats S (East Village)
Right now Orchard Grocer, they sell all raw vegan desserts that are fresh, light and made from whole ingredients. Watt, the founder and head chef, is an absolute sweetheart, so make sure you say hi! My favorites are the black sesame and the chocolate peanut butter.
Sacred Chow $$ (West Village)
This is my go-to brunch spot for when a friend is in town, but they also serve dinner! It’s a relatively small space, but I haven’t had a problem getting seated for brunch time. I love their waffle (it’s GF too), topped with coconut whipped cream and berry compote. Their nama gori panini is mouthwatering - they cook their tofu very precisely, a process that takes a few days. Highly recommend!
AbcV $$$ (Union Square)
While it’s definitely on the pricier end, this place does not disappoint. They serve small, shareable veggie-forward plates that have the most delicious and thoughtful flavors. It’s vegetarian, not vegan, but most dishes can be made vegan if they aren’t already. Take your time when eating here so that you can fully appreciate all the flavor that it has to offer!
If you’re going for brunch, get the vegan pancakes. They prepare the batter for two days and it tastes like cake batter to me. And get their dosa too! For dinner, get the market carrots, roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce, and the slow roasted beets.
Peace Food Cafe $$ (Near Union Square)
They have a wide menu from salads to vegan cheeseburgers, and their desserts are some of the best in the city. Some of my favorite items are the veggie dumplings, the peace bowl and the pumpkin cashew cheese quiche. I will say that I prefer their desserts over their food - some favorites are their peanut butter cheesecake, the grasshopper cookie (two chocolate cookies sandwiches with mint cream), and their carrot cake. Note that they don’t take reservations for parties under six, I believe.
Candle Cafe $$ (Upper East Side)
Another favorite brunch spot, although they serve all meals of the day. Do yourself a favor and get their breakfast crepe - it’s gluten free too! It’s loaded (seriously) with veggies, gooey tapioca cheese, and I recommend adding tempeh bacon as well. Their quesadillas are also delicious, and get the coco date shake to wash it all down.
Candle 79 $$$ (Upper East Side)
Perfect for a fancy date night, this cozy restaurant is fully vegan. I’ve only been once but absolutely loved it and want to go back! We got the seaweed salad to start, and I got the wild mushroom crepe, which was absolutely mindblowing and very similar to the breakfast crepe from Candle Cafe East. For dessert, we got the cannoli (good but not amazing) and the pumpkin cheesecake (amazing).
By Chloe $ (Multiple Locations)
You’ve probably seen By Chloe all over your Instagram, and for good reason! This all-vegan, fast casual restaurants has a wide variety of plant-based dishes, from mac and cheese to salads. I’m honestly not a huge fan of their burgers, but their quinoa taco salad and their kale caesar salad is a must. Also try their air-fried sweet potato fries! They also have a bunch of different desserts, like a cinnamon espresso cookie that’s larger than anyone’s face, and yummy cupcakes.
Beyond Sushi $ (Multiple Locations)
The perfect place for when you’re on-the-go but want something fresh. Their Mulberry and Midtown locations have great seating areas, too! I love how Chef Guy doesn’t try to imitate fish. Instead, he creates unique veggie combinations with sauces that tie the rolls together. My favorites are the mighty mushroom roll, the sweet tree roll and the wild shroom noodle salad.
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream $ (Multiple Locations)
Not a restaurant, but it would be so wrong not to include VL on this list. They have THE best vegan ice cream made from cashews and coconut milk (they also have a seasonal oat milk flavor right now!). If you’re with someone that wants dairy ice cream, they have that too!
My favorite vegan flavors are salted caramel, planet earth, and strawberry jam cookie crumble.