Thanks to the plant based and vegan diet movements, more people are becoming interested in shifting their diets. Whether it's from learning about the devastating effects of animal agriculture on the environment, learning just how detrimental animal products are to our health or gaining awareness of just how sentient animals are, people from all walks of life are becoming more concerned with eating more plants. As more people are shifting to eating a plant based diet, vegan restaurants, cafes, bakeries and delis are popping up all over the world. The United States alone has countless options and big cities like Los Angeles, New York City and Philadelphia are meccas for vegan foodies looking for their dining out fix.
New York City has long been a contender as the east coast’s most vegan friendly city, offering a wide variety of all vegan restaurants as well as many “normal” restaurants offering vegan options. Simply googling “vegan restaurants NYC” results in an overwhelming list of restaurants. Most of these restaurants have a minimum of a few worthwhile dishes, but which ones are worthy of taking your family and friends to? We’ve narrowed down the extensive list of New York City vegan restaurants to share to you the top ten best vegan restaurants in NYC. Book yourself an AirBnb and make NYC your next travel destination. Just remember to bring your pants with the elastic waistband!
This restaurant offers all the best of the raw food movement with a unique Peruvian Creole twist. The space is cozy, warm and inviting, making it a great option for a date or taking friends at any time of day.
The organic and gluten free menu is enticing and intriguing, offering dishes such as “Crab Cakes” with Creamy Dill Aioli, a Rawboy Sandwich, and Cajin Jicama Fries with Heirloom Tomato Ketchup. The dessert menu is equally as fascinating with items such as a Lucuma Cheezcake, Hemp Brownies, and Ice Cream Sandwiches. An all raw meal can be extremely filling due to the use of nuts and seeds, so we recommend going one night for their appetizers and an entree and another night to try drinks and desserts. Our favorites are the Fully Loaded Nachos, the brunch Ranchero, and the Cold-Pressed Peruvian Coffee Mousse Pie with a scoop of vanilla cream.
This cute spot offers the perfect mix of organic vegan health food and vegan comfort food. The interior is eclectic, with casual vibes and no concern that you need to show up in your best to feel comfortable just eating this delicious food. The menu is extensive and has dinner, lunch, brunch and drinks. The range of food offered is unique, from fresh pressed juices and kale caesar salads to meatball parm and chopped “liver” seitan pastrami. There is food here for vegans with any dietary preferences including gluten free, and the cuisine does not conform to any region, as they offer dishes such as Mexican latkes, Thai ginger bbq seitan, Indonesian tempeh and masala burgers. We highly recommend the truffle fries and grilled Nama gori.
This vegan sushi chain has several locations all over New York City and it’s easy to see why it’s growing. Depending on what location you visit, you may be greeted with a more casual vibe or a higher end, more modern decor. Opened by a chef and past contestant on Hell’s Kitchen, this fast casual restaurant offers sushi that is made primarily from whole foods and does not feature mock meats or mock seafood. The food all comes out artfully arranged and just begs to be eaten. This dining experience is not limited to sushi, as they also offer soups, dumplings, noodle bowls, wraps and more. We recommend trying the white miso soup which features kimchi as well as any of the sushi. The seasonal sushi can be exquisite , offering distinct combinations such as coffee roasted kabocha squash.
Delice & Sarrasin
This vegan sushi chain has several locations all over New York City and it’s easy to see why it’s growing. Depending on what location you visit, you may be greeted with a more casual vibe or a higher end, more modern decor.
Opened by a chef and past contestant on Hell’s Kitchen, this fast casual restaurant offers sushi that is made primarily from whole foods and does not feature mock meats or mock seafood. The food all comes out artfully arranged and just begs to be eaten. This dining experience is not limited to sushi, as they also offer soups, dumplings, noodle bowls, wraps and more. We recommend trying the white miso soup which features kimchi as well as any of the sushi. The seasonal sushi can be exquisite , offering distinct combinations such as coffee roasted kabocha squash.
At first glance, the simple modern interior of Blossom on Ninth may appear lackluster. The Blossom opened on Columbus is extremely visually appealing, with a welcoming and hip upscale modern vibe with some natural elements peppered throughout. Whichever you dine at, the food will convince you to come again, and again. This restaurant has been in business for thirteen years and its experience shows in its creative food. With options for brunch, lunch and dinner as well as a variety of drinks, you are sure to find something for everyone to enjoy, vegan or not, regardless of time of day.
They offer clear marking on their menus for what items are gluten, nut or soy free, showing just how well these seasoned chefs know their crowd and cater to them. Items such as Zucchini Blossom Tempura and Seitan Cordon Bleu appear on their dinner menu while brunch offers classics such as pancakes, French toast and huevos rancheros. Whatever elegant dish you pick, you can expect to see a beautiful presentation that will wow you before you even take a bite. Our picks are adult versions of our childhood favorites, the Wild Mushroom pizza and Root Beer Float.
Avant Garden offers incredible food in a beautifully simple and rustic, yet modern space. The room is simple with its white brick, open shelving, and wood everywhere, yet lends itself to elegance and an intimate dining experience. Reservations are a must for a table although seating is available at the bar as well.
The food is amazing, and the chef knows how to take on any and all vegetables (we’re looking at you kohlrabi) and turn them into masterpieces using simple plant based foods. These foods are not traditional vegan fare. They are not overly processed or mimicking other food, but simply allow the vegetables to be savored in all their glory. The food comes out looking absolutely stunning, as if it were art and yet still approachable enough to want to dive in. The menu changes with the seasons. So we recommend getting there and trying a bit of everything as it doesn’t stay on the menu for long.
Jajaja is a hip Mexican eatery that offers an all vegan menu as well as drinks. The vibe is light, airy and inviting, as the space has white brick, mosaic, lots of wood and vibrant chairs. The restaurant has a variety of traditional Mexican fare such as tacos, nachos, quesadillas and enchiladas as well as lesser known yet equally delicious dishes. The food comes out looking tantalizing and approachable. They offer a simple yet delectable brunch menu for the weekends and best of all their prices make it easy to make this place your go to for regular dining. Check it out and see why it’s receiving so much buzz, you won’t regret it.
Double Zero is one of the many restaurants opened and owned by vegan chef Matthew Kenney, and it does not disappoint. This pizzeria has a modern aesthetic, its simple white brick and wooden space invite you in for an intimate evening, although it gets filled quickly and this often translates to a louder experience. Warm summer nights invite you to their outside dining area for a slightly quieter experience. The pizza is incredible, although their other dishes stand alone as amazing and worth the trip. Every kind of wine imaginable is available to pair with your dinner, and dessert is as exceptional as the rest of the food if you manage to have room. We highly recommend trying any of their pizzas, the cultured nut cheese plate, and the roasted beet bruschetta.
A long standing New York City institution, Candle 79 has a long past as a health food store, a juice bar, and finally a restaurant in 2003 after the founders won the lottery. They currently have three locations and our favorite is the Upper East Side restaurant. The interior decor is rich and warm, letting you know you’ve stepped into a fancy and elegant establishment. The menu offerings range from lunch and dinner to dessert as well as a wide array of drink offerings, and even a special menu for gluten free diners. Their menu offerings are diverse and showcase just how delectable plant based dining can be, from a Housemade Live Cheese Plate, to Breadcrumb-Crusted Cauliflower, and wild mushroom crepes. We highly recommend saving your appetite and going for dinner with a friend or two so you can splurge and try several dishes at once.
We had no doubt that Matthew Kenney has an eye for design and launching restaurants with exceptional plant based foods. But XYST proved to us just how talented he and his team are. XYST is an all vegan restaurant with Mediterranean inspired cuisine. The restaurant is absolutely a dream, with clean lines, lots of wood, beautiful succulent wall fixtures and lighting that creates the perfect ambience.
XYST offers the finest in plant based gourmet foods with a brunch, lunch and dinner as well as a wide array of specialty drinks. The brunch menu has many of the savory items from dinner, but also offers traditional fare such as waffles and pancakes. Although the pancakes have an unexpected rose meringue. The lunch menu offers classic Mediterranean fare such as soups, salads, bread and bowls. The Carrot Saffron Soup with pistachio yogurt and Green Harissa Cauliflower with tabouli, cucumber, tomatoes and lemon tahini are absolutely must haves. Dinner offers one dish after another of mouth watering creations such as Cashew Halloumi, Smoked Hummus with sumac, harissa oil, grilled pita and crudite and Cast Iron Socca with market greens, green herb puree and avocado. All menus offer a few delicious dessert options for those with a sweet preference.
No matter what you choose and when you go, just be sure to get here. XYST is plant food that truly celebrates the flavors from the plant world and can impress any palate.
Just remember these are all our favorite vegan eateries with what we consider to be the best food. But many more solely vegan establishments exist in Manhattan and Brooklyn! Always check to see if there are vegan friendly options near where you are staying. And if you’re in a pinch for quick options for breakfast or lunch, New York City is packed with juice bars. These bars offer a wide array of quick options such as juices, smoothies, salads, bowls and more! Juice Press, LIquiteria, The Juice Shop and The Butcher’s Daughter are all excellent easy options if you need a little pick me up or want something lighter throughout the day before indulging in more gourmet or heavier fare at night. They’re also great options to enjoy after a night of overindulgence or drinking. Because let’s face it, when we’ve got so many incredible vegan restaurants, we have to enjoy them all and try as much as possible.