For me spending 10 days in New York City felt like a kid in the candy shop. There are establishments offering plant based/vegan cafes, restaurants and grocery stores pretty much on every block, making it impossible to starve, or even just feel hungry for that matter. Luckily I took to the pavement and got my daily steps up to around 25,000 as I moved between meetings, catching up with friends and eateries. The best thing, despite slightly over indulging in food (hey, to give you the best review I have to taste it all…that’s my excuse anyway) I consumed no animal protein, animal fats, cholesterol etc…the perks of a whole food plant based diet! So whilst I probably ate more than normal I never felt bloated, sick in the stomach or like a 300g piece of steak was stuck in my small intestine (if you eat meat you may be able to relate to that).
Here’s my list of go to food establishments in New York City that offer vegan/plant based food. If you get the chance to visit any of them be sure to capture your experience with a photo and tag @plant_proof on Instagram so I can see the amazing food you have enjoyed.
If you go here you need to ask for Vlad (Vladamir) and let him know I sent you. He’s an absolute legend of a fella and exudes passion. He is working on some amazing innovation with regards to new dishes so I am sure when you are there he will have some new items on the menu to try. I was recommended this place by the great John Joseph and pretty much ate there every other day during my stay.
The best thing about the food here is that it’s made with love and everything on the menu, as per the restaurant name, is 100% Organic. Vlad takes so much pride in his food and you really do feel amazing after eating here…the food’
s tasty, nutrient dense and unlike a lot of restaurants they don’t rely on sugars and oils.
I recommend trying any of the bowls and whatever you do get a black bean burger patty on the side or added to the bowl. I will dearly miss that patty (haha).
Find them on Instagram: @organicgrill
Great for a slightly up market but not over the top dinner (something in the middle). Really high quality food & great ambience.
Find them on Instagram: @blossom.nyc
Fast food style outlets that serve plant based sushi in multiple locations across the city. They have one location at the Chelsea Markets which is certainly worth going to if nearby. Also, not sure of the name of the café just next to it (to the right if you are inside Chelsea Markets and looking at the Beyond Sushi counter) but they serve excellent coffee and do their own homemade almond milk.
Find them on Instagram: @beyondsushinyc
Hearty, home style cooking which you can tell is prepared with love. If I was staying longer I would of gone back here a few more times. I had a beluga lentil curry and it was delicious. Recommend for lunch or dinner. Really charming, relaxing environment – nice one that’s not to over the top.
Find them on Instagram: @divyaskitchennyc
These juice, smoothie and acai bowls are literally scattered across the city. Plug in their name into Google Maps and there is usually one not far away. My favourite of the three is Juice Generation which is also conveniently located at the bottom of most Equinox gyms. I felt they used the best quality ingredients. Their extreme green smoothie was my personal go to. As you probably have seen in my posts/blogs I prefer whole foods to juices so I usually stick with smoothies and use them as a meal (most are 400-550 calories). With the smoothies they put the entire fruit in so you get the fibre component which is really important when it comes to digestion of all the ingredients and long term health.
If you add protein make sure you ask for PLANT protein (specify ‘not whey protein’). I always do this as the staff can get into a rhythm and otherwise just scoop the nearest protein not thinking that it will bother you either way.
Find them on Instagram:
Fine dining classic vegan restaurant that you should go to if you want a romantic or memorable dinner.
Find them on Instagram: @candle79
Highly recommend for dinner. Not cheap so more of a memorable dinner but the food is really interesting and high quality. They are well known for their ‘toasts’ which you will see on the menu when you get there. Book in advance, not many seats. If going as a couple I would reserve a spot at the bar so you can watch the chefs in action! Great spot to go if you want a moody & intimate restaurant with high quality plant based share plates and great wine.
Find them on Instagram: @avantgardennyc
Wow this place was fun. Really vibrant café, lots happening inside and outside (people watching) that offers truly unique food. I had the no tuna ‘tuna sushi’ and then an avocado salsa type dish. My dad had the burrito and he absolutely loved it. We had to wait 30 minutes for lunch (quite a line) so it was clear the locals absolutely love this place! If you are up the north end of Central Park this is a must for lunch.
Find them on Instagram: @seasonedvegan
A ‘fast food’ take on plant based eating. Still healthy but probably not as home style cooking as I typically stick to. In saying that 100% worth a visit (just don’t expect it to be super clean…sauces seem to be loaded with sugar) and I would highly recommend trying 1 (or two) of their choc chip cookies. Twice now I have gone to the NBA in New York and eaten at By Chloe’s before hand (food at the game is terrible if you want anything healthy) and then snuck cookies into the game in my pockets (they don’t allow you to bring in any food…don’t report me). Last game when I took the cookies out at ½ time the fella next to me said “No way…By Chloe’s have cookies here now!?”. I had to let him know the sad news…but it highlights how good these damn cookies are.
My favourite bowl here was the Thai Bowl with Tempeh. I added the tofu feta too.
Find them on Instagram: @eatbychloe
Another restaurant of well known Vegan Chef Matthew Kenney. Incredible flavours – sure to surprise any non vegans too. Recommend going for dinner – again one of those in the middle type dining experiences (not fast food, not fine dining).
Find them on Instagram: @doublezeronyc
Hearty plant based food with a really unique set up. Their menu is titled “Prescriptions” with the premise being “Food is Medicine”. I had a brilliant Chilli Bean dish and a serve of their carrot hummus. Top quality ingredients that’s for sure. Highly recommend for lunch.
Find them on Instagram: @Le_botaniste
I found this grocery store to be amazing during my stay. High quality produce, great variety of plant based milks, healthy dips, super foods and much more. It is located on 1st Avenue literally opposite Organic Grill.
Find them on Instagram: @eastvillageorganic
While this place is not entirely plant based/vegan it is still one I recommend for a few reasons. Firstly, if you are with friends who are really adamant they want meat then this place caters for both. The cuisine is Moroccan – I had an amazing hummus , chickpeas and falafel mezze plate with some spicy grilled carrot and other vegetables. It was a huge dish and more than enough to fill you up! Vibrant restaurant which was jam packed so If you can book ahead – recommend for dinner.
Find them on Instagram: @cafemogadornyc
1 – Jajaja Plantas Mexicana (vegan), Lower East Side, New York City
2 – Ladybird (vegetarian/vegan), East Village, New York City
3 – Cienfuegos (vegan), East Village, New York City
4 – Peacefood Café (vegan), New York City
5 – Kajitsu (vegan), Japanese Michelin Star Vegan Restaurant, Midtown, New York City
6 – Franchia (vegan), Korean Tea House on Park Avenue near Grand Central, New York City
7 – Hangawi (vegan), New York City
8 – Screamers Pizza (vegan), Williamsburg, New York City
Lastly, wherever you are in the city if you are unsure where to go just refer back to this blog or download the Happy Cow app and you are bound to find somewhere very close. If you are wanting Organic produce and are not near East Village Organic grocery store then there is a number of similar grocery stores around the city which I am sure you will come across and of course Wholefoods.
If you feel like I missed something and have a suggestion for my next trip let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org
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