Best Vegan Friendly Restaurants in NYC
Many people in 2022 are making small changes to implement a vegan diet. There are many NYC restaurants that create dishes that rival the taste of non-vegan food. This is not an easy task, but many restaurants subtly swap out ingredients for vegan choices that don’t compromise the taste. These small changes can shave off hundreds of calories. In addition, these changes aid with the stoppage of the deforestation, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with meat production. These restaurants in NYC have delicious food with an added boost of morale because of their vegan status.
When The VIP List gives a stellar review about vegan food, you know the restaurant must be good. Somehow Jajaja managed to create a completely plant based menu that still looks and tastes incredible. Jajaja has locations in the West Village, Hudson Yards, Lower East Side, and Williamsburg. Jajaja makes innovative changes to build their plant based menu, such as swapping heart of palms for carnitas and jackfruit for chicken. Their popular nachos contain vegan chorizo, turmeric queso fundido, and ‘sour cream.’ Some of their other popular dishes are their ‘chorizo’ burritos, mole enchiladas, and birria tacos made with banana blossoms. Jajaja brings the indulgence of classic Mexican food without the guilt of eating excessive meat or dairy.
Located in Chelsea, Glur has been serving stellar Thai food since 2020. The idea for opening a vegan-friendly Thai restaurant started when owner Eim Wee was pregnant and suddenly found out she was allergic to fish sauce, a key ingredient in many Thai dishes. Wee set out to maintain the flavors and textures of Thai comfort food cooking while making it entirely plant-based. What was born was delectable Thai food that satisfied all eating preferences. Some twists on classic Thai dishes included impossible larb, Curry Puffs stuffed with curried chickpeas, corn, and sweet potatoes, and “duck” noodle soup. Their menu isn’t solely plant based; they offer meats such as chicken, beef and fish. Glur gives all plant-based eaters in NYC a wonderful Thai option.
In my opinion, avocado makes any meal instantly better. Located in Chelsea and Nomad, Avocaderia is the world’s first avocado bar. Their specialties include healthy salads and bowls, avocado toasts, and smoothies. Avocado is a staple food for most plant based eaters because it provides the sustenance that they can’t get from meat. Avocaderia highlights on their website that avocados contain 20 vitamins, antioxidants, and heart healthy fatty acids that can help lower cholesterol levels. Some of their popular items include the Impossi-bowl with impossible meatballs, the Chill Out avocado toast, and of course their guacamole. Basically, I have found heaven for all avocado lovers, including myself.
Located just 6 blocks up from the meaty Katz Delicatessen, Avant Garden serves an entirely vegan menu on the Lower East Side. Rather than serve vegetables that taste like meat or meat alternatives, Avant Garden serves vegetables that taste like vegetables. They aren’t trying to create meat like dishes; their goal is to highlight vegetables and show the potential they have in dishes. Highlights include their celery root pasta, roast beet toast, and roasted carrot farro. The Michelin Guide highly praised Avant Garden claiming “this is excellent food that just happens to be vegan”. This is a must try for all foodies in NYC.
Owned by the Avant Garden owners, Ladybird serves vegan style tapas on the Lower East Side. Similarly, they center their dishes around vegetables and don’t use fake meat. They serve fun dishes such as steamed buffalo mushroom buns, mushroom and onion toast, and chocolate fondue. They have reviews just as sparkling as their sister restaurant Avant Garden.