New York City has always provided locals with endless choices when it comes to delectable dishes and stylish dining options. New Yorkers never want for anything, and with the rise of the vegan movement, that now extends to establishments serving up a plant-based menu that caters to patrons with a range of dietary requirements.
As always, the problem with eating in NYC is that there’s sometimes too much to choose from! So check out this narrowed-down list of the top cafes, restaurants and casual eateries that offer the best vegan fare around New York City, without compromising on quality or taste.
10 Greedi Vegan, Crown Heights
Greedi Vegan is where soul meets contemporary. The idea behind it is that everybody is able to enjoy the menu, regardless of their diet restrictions. It’s all about inclusivity, and this is the kind of place where you don’t have to feel bad about eating until your pants no longer button up.
A few highlights are their vegan mac and cheese, vegan grits and gravy and vegan crab cake sliders. They also serve up a Greedi Soul Bowl, which features a grain base layered with “fried chicken”, kale or spinach, and sweet potatoes.
9 Taïm, West Village
If you’re a fan of falafels, Taïm in the West Village should be a must. Here they serve falafels made from chickpea batter that’s been seasoned in one of three ways: with parsley and cilantro, roasted red pepper or Tunisian spices. The falafels are then paired with delicious Middle Eastern-inspired treats like marinated beets, baba ghanoush eggplant dip, as well as other dipping sauces, and Moroccan carrot salad.
Chef Einat Admony draws from her Israeli roots to serve up authentic vegan dishes, as well as her experience working under iconic chef Bobby Flay.
8 Sol Sips, Bushwick
Casual and cozy, Sol Sips is a spot you can try when you feel like a no-fuss vegan meal. Situated in Bushwick, Sol Sips is run by Francesca “Sol” Chaney with the intention of providing affordable plant-based eating to members of the communities who are of a lower socio-economic group and would otherwise be unable to access vegan meals.
The weekend brunch menu is priced according to how much money diners make and what they can afford. Sol Sips is the perfect place for vegan adaptations of bacon and eggs.
7 Jajaja Plantas Mexicana, Chinatown
Though it’s small, Jajaja Plantas Mexicana is bursting with so much color and atmosphere that it’s hard to miss. The all-vegan menu includes a “chorizo” burrito made from cauliflower rice, fermented black beans and a divine dish of nachos with faux cheese. The café also features an enticing brunch menu complete with kale pancakes.
Come to Jajaja for the food, and stay for the sunny vibe, friendly service, and an enthusiastic crowd. Plus, there is a list of delectable Mexican-inspired cocktails to choose from. It won’t be surprising if this is the next hot vegan hangout.
6 Kajitsu, Murray Hill
Kajitsu is one of the only establishments in New York to offer shojin, a vegetarian cuisine that’s been used by the Zen Buddhists of Japan for centuries. Modern Japanese food is thought to have evolved from shojin, which focuses on simplicity and the importance of honoring the seasons. A reverence for nature also comes through in the menu, which is understated yet memorable.
Though the menu is vegetarian, many dishes are without dairy and eggs. The mood at Kajitsu is quiet and peaceful, which is amplified by the polite service and the antique ceramics.
5 Sans, Carroll Gardens
Sans in Carroll Gardens is the place to go for vegan comfort food when you’re in the mood for a gorge. Think pasta shells without the cream, vegan Brussels Caesar salad that’s served warm, pho with a mushroom-based broth, lasagna with foam and “meatloaf” with mushroom stuffing, along with traditional sides like carrots and peas cooked to perfection.
A French word meaning “without”, Sans highlights the fact that the menu can be positively scrumptious without meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and honey. This pop-up is one to try. You won’t be disappointed!
4 Screamer’s Pizzeria, Greenpoint
Every vegan needs a go-to pizzeria for when those pizza cravings hit. Screamer’s in Greenpoint is the kind of place you stop by on the way home from a night out for a greasy fix.
Screamer’s boasts a menu of plant-based pizzas, including the Old School (made with broccolini, caramelized onions and almond “ricotta”). There’s also the Sausage & Mushroom, which features tomato sauce, vegan sausage, vegan cheese, and cremini mushrooms. But if the menu doesn’t suit you, there’s always the custom option where you can build your own pie.
3 Ladybird, Greenwich Village
Speaking of late-night favorites, Ladybird is also one of New York’s top providers of vegan drunk food. Here you’ll find divine breaded mac-and-cheese balls with accompanying non-dairy ranch dressing, and an artichoke-chardonnay fondue platter featuring some smoking-hot broccoli.
The true star of the Ladybird menu might just be the avocado plate, which includes black garlic ponzu, seaweed and fried avocado croquettes sitting atop a bed of fanned raw avocado. The Greenwich Village hotspot is all about indulgence, so remember to check your guilt at the door when you get there.
2 Hangawi, Midtown West
Hangawi is heaven for vegetarians but it is also worth checking out if you’re vegan, since many of the dishes are adaptable. The Korean dishes on offer include kimchi, mushroom and mung-bean pancakes, thin leek and maitake mushrooms sautéed with spinach. It’s also a good idea to stick around for the chocolate-tofu ice cream.
Following eastern values, the vibe is peaceful and quiet and is the perfect place to practice being mindful while you enjoy your plant-based food. Before you sit down to eat, you’ll also have to take off your shoes.
1 abcV, Gramercy & Flatiron
The food is more than appetizing at abcV, whose minimalist décor definitely leaves an impression. The menu isn’t completely vegan, but vegans are welcome and can be catered to through the seasonal plates on offer. A highlight of this glam eatery is that each menu comes with a chart describing the health benefits of different vegetables.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, abcV serves up everything from roasted carrots smothered in nut butter to white truffle shaved over tofu. Nothing’s too rich for this spacious and chic spot, which is leaving behind a legacy on the vegetarian scene.