Vegan restaurants or even just vegan-friendly dining options in restaurants used to be extremely difficult to find. However, there are now a ton of restaurants solely dedicated to vegan-friendly dishes, with new ones popping up in every corner, especially in New York City.
With so many available options, especially in the city, here is a list to help you narrow down your options depending on what you are in the mood for, budget, and how fancy you want to get dressed up.
6. Toad Style
93 Ralph Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Located in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, this vegan sandwich place makes everything from scratch. All of their food is soy-free, palm oil-free, and from non-GMOs. Although their menu is not long relative to many restaurants, they offer a large variety of food to satisfy every vegan– from a bahn-mi sandwich to a BBQ pulled-jackfruit sandwich to cheese fries and daily brunch options. Toad-Style also has gluten-free options. This is a casual place, decorated with kung-fu memorabilia on the inside, with menu options ranging from $3 to $11.
5. Blossom du Jour
4 locations in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Columbus Circle train station, and 81st street
Established at its first location in Chelsea at 259 West 23rd Street, Blossom du Jour has been serving up vegan fast-food to New Yorkers since 2010. Founder Pamela Elizabeth’s mission was to give New Yorkers a fast-food option that is cruelty free, quick, healthy, and environmentally conscious.
Menu choices range from an all-day breakfast menu, to a make-your-own-salad option, to cookie dough milkshakes, and philly cheesesteaks. Blossom du Jour is your typical grab and go place, but vegan friendly. There are a few counter seats. Grab your date, grab some food, and then grab a spot by the park!
4. Modern Love Brooklyn
310 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Modern Love is a more upscale-romantic restaurant dedicated to vegan cuisine since it was recently established by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, renowned cookbook author, in 2016. They offer their “swanky vegan comfort food” in a cute cozy area adorned with vintage-retro décor.
The exposed duct work on the inside helps gives Modern Love an industrial, city feeling. The high ceilings, spacious seating area, and dimmed lighting help create a more private feel for when you are dining with your date.
Although their menu is inspired by Moskowitz’s “Brooklyn Jew” lifestyle which she grew up with, it ranges from “scallop” linguine, to pumpkin praline cheesecake, to truffle poutine, and seitan chops.
210 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY, 10014 and 326 East 6th Street, 10003
Souen serves Soho and East Village a great variety of vegan Japanese cuisine. They are dedicated to macrobiotic foods. They believe that by simply eating local and in-season foods, one can maintain good physical and spiritual health and live in harmony with nature, without going on a diet.
A typical Macrobiotic plate consists of grains, beans, seaweed, vegetables and vegetable protein, such as tofu, seitan, beans and tempeh – which is what the typical Japanese diet looks like.
In addition, they are dedicated to using unrefined and unprocessed foods, taking food in as a whole, together with their skins and stems. They have a large selection of sushi, soups, salads, and rice/vegan side dishes.
162 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002
Jajaja is a Mexican place with an abundance of vegan substitutions. Their cozy café-like atmosphere is great for a casual lunch date or for a intimate gathering of close friends . However, this will not be a typical meal at all.
They have creative menu options ranging from a variety of empanadas to tacos with a large selection of tortillas including hemp & flax, turmeric, beet tortillas, and a variety of cookies, cakes, milkshakes, and brunch options. One piece of advice I can give is to leave room for some Mezcal and wine!
1. Mother of Pearl
95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
Mother of Pearl is a Polynesian restaurant that puts vegetable proteins and fruits as the stars of their dishes. Its tiki-style, Hawaiian-inspired menu features small fruit-plates with cocktails and cold-pressed mocktails.
They have a variety of option such as drunken fried rice, tahitan vanilla crème brulee, tofu pad thai, and mushroom pot stickers that can all be prepared gluten-free upon request. Their brightly-lit interior with white and tropical décor helps bring the island vibe to the dining experience.