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The 6 Best Vegan Restaurants in NYC

Sam Tracy | December 3, 2020 | Food & Drink

Best Vegan Restaurants NYC

The Big Apple is full of fine dining and delectable cuisine from every corner of the globe. whether you want Italian or Middle Eastern, East Asian and everything in between, foodies can always find what they're looking for in New York City.

Recent years have seen a boom in plant-based diets, and chefs are pushing the limit on what meatless meals can do. Even people who love steaks are giving plant-based dishes a try, and when they taste this good, why wouldn't they?

Whether you're a vegan purist or a flexitarian, there's a veggie-centric spot in town for you. Nix the animal products without losing any flavor with our list of some of the best vegan restaurants in all of NYC.

See also: The 8 Best Bagels in NYC

ABCV

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38 E 19th St./ Website

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten elevates plant based cuisine at this Gramercy neighborhood eatery. Located just above Union Square, ABCV prides itself on utilizing the finest seasonal ingredients from family farms as well as non-GMO artisanal and organic goods whenever possible. Menu items include green chickpea hummus with fresh pita and crudite, ancient grain pilaf and mushroom walnut bolognese. Enjoy these high vibrational foods in ABCV’s modern bohemian atmosphere of communal tables, all-white furniture and pops of millennial pink. The fare is fresh and simple but oh, so good.

Champ’s Diner

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197 Meserole St, Brooklyn / Website

Pancakes, waffles, milkshakes, oh my! If you’re craving American diner grub, Champ’s diner is the go-to spot for all your favorite indulgences. The Brooklyn based establishment has veganized options of American breakfast classics including chik’n & waffles, a vegan “chicken” steak on top of a warm waffle dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with maple syrup. The pancake options are plentiful, including flavors like cinnamon swirl, cookie dough and bananarama, a house specialty with chocolate chips and bananas. For dessert, cannolis and a smooth housemade cheesecake are on the menu. This is a vegan restaurant that every herbivore and carnivore alike won’t want to miss!

Avant Garden

130 E 7th St. / Website

Tucked away in the East Village is this plant-based gem that offers fine vegan dining and a dynamic menu. The veggie-centric cuisine is beautiful and contemporary. Unlike others, Avant Garden doesn’t try to make vegetables taste like meat but rather allows the vegetables to speak for themselves in each of their menu items’ rich flavor palettes. Tuck into hearty fare including salt-baked sweet potato with puréed watercress, crispy jicama and Meyer lemon, or dig into a deep bowl of pasta tossed with pesto, tomatoes, haricot verts and Kalamata olives. Restauranteur Ravi Derossi doesn’t skimp out on flavor in any of the upscale meatless menu options.

See also: The 10 Best Sushi Omakase Menus in NYC

Caravan of Dreams

405 E 6th St. / Website

This eclectic vegan restaurant has been a mainstay in the East Village since 1991, and it's easy to see why. Outfitted in bohemian decor, Caravan of Dreams is an homage to the hippies who popularized the plant-based movement and their free spirit philosophy. The menu is large, with item names like "the Lovers Salad," and all the ingredients are pure. There are plenty of raw vegan entrees for nutrition of the highest vibration. Try the raw quesadilla with Brazil nut filling and herbed cashew cheese stuffed inside a flax tortilla, or the raw zucchini garden pasta with Brazil nut and sesame meatballs, kalamata olives and fresh seasonal vegetables tossed in a creamy alfredo sauce.

Kajitsu

125 E 39th St. / Website

The ancient Zen Buddhist vegetarian fare known as shojin is the keystone to Japanese restaurant, Kajitsu. The Murray Hill establishment serves diners kaiseki-style, the Japanese equivalent of haute cuisine. Each meal is multi-course and focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared in a way that emphasizes natural flavor (think seasonings of nutty sesame, salty soy and hearty nama fu, a vegan protein alternative to tofu). They say the eyes eat first, so presentation is paramount. Each course is beautifully arranged for the ultimate visual consumption. Diners can expect a large menu of traditional cuisine, updated monthly according to the season’s finest offerings. Just note, this ten-course "Omakase" menu runs $120.

Beyond Sushi

Multiple locations / Website

Herbivores can now enjoy sushi thanks to Beyond Sushi’s innovative culinary prowess. The plant based sushi joint transforms vegetables into fancy sushi rolls with a flavor palate and texture similar to that of traditional seafood sushi. Founder Guy Vaknin caught the attention and support of two sharks on NBC’s Shark Tank, and the rest is history. From dumplings to wraps, pasta to sandwiches and everything in between, the menu is loaded with veggie-centric options. Try the best-selling Spicy Mang sushi roll comprised of black rice, avocado, mango and cucumber topped with a toasted cayenne spicy veggie slaw. For a sweet treat, you can’t forget to try the Black Bean Sweet Potato brownie served in a pan skillet and topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce drizzle. Yum!



Photography by: Brian Ach