The Top 10 Plant-Based and Vegan Restaurants in Brooklyn, New York
It used to be that vegan food was only found in select places the heart of New York City, but thanks to a boom in plant-based eating in recent years, the vegan influence has stretched across Manhattan, and well into other boroughs. It's no surprise then, that Brooklyn is packed with vegan and veggie-friendly restaurants that boast delicious fare at affordable prices. Here we break down the top 12 spots to find plant-based options when in Brooklyn.
1. Modern Love
Plant yourself: Self-described on their Instagram as “swanky vegan comfort,” Modern Love is home to the hands-down best vegan food in Brooklyn. Owned by Isa Moscowitz, former Post Punk Kitchen blogger and bestselling cookbook author, the restaurant boasts a happy medium between ornate and homey decor in addition to a cool, calm, and collected ambiance, even when every seat is filled, which is more often than not.
Don't miss: Modern Love's dishes boast rich sauces, fried-to-perfection proteins, and ample portions that remind the eater that five-star food doesn’t have to be skimpy. Can’t choose between protein, pasta, salad, or bread? Not to worry: the chickpea parm boasts all four on a single plate because Modern Love understands the impossibility of choosing between those most important food groups.
Must try: look no further than the Brooklyn Fried Tofu. This jaw-dropping creation is dipped in a savory batter and fried until no bite lacks a decadent crunch, comes complete with creamy mashed potatoes and tangy cabbage slaw, and leaves nothing to be desired but an extra helping to-go. My favorite dishes are the Chorizo Nachos, Buffalo Tempeh Wings, Chickpea Cutlet Parmesan, Brooklyn Fried Tofu.
Take Note: Modern Love’s menu changes seasonally, plus they add specials all the time, so make sure to check their menu and Instagram before you head to this vegan nirvana.
Address: 317 Union St., Brooklyn, NY
4. Bunna Cafe
Calling all: Vegans trying to stretch their dollar! Ah, Bunna, light of my life, taker of my coins. If any restaurant knows the meaning of “bang for your buck,” it’s this all-vegan Ethiopian gem in the center of Bushwick, where only $17 gets you a literal “feast,” as per their menu, of 7 dishes, and just $37 gets you and a friend two helpings of all 9 dishes--that’s $18.50 a head for even more food than the “feast” option, for those of us who are too hungry to focus on math. But what exactly does this feast entail? Only the best veggies, legumes, and spices this world has to offer – gomen (steamed collard greens with ginger, garlic, and onion), shiro (split peas with tomato and berbere), and my personal favorite, butecha selata (kale and cranberries with chickpea flour stuffing), just to name a few. Now, if you somehow think this isn’t the best deal this side of Myrtle Avenue, the lunch special allows you to try 7 dishes for just $14.
Don't Miss: Every dish rests atop a platter of pillowy injera, Ethiopian sourdough flatbread traditionally used in place of utensils. If you’ve never had Ehtiopian food, it may seem like a challenge at first, but you’ll soon be asking yourself how you could ever eat with a fork again. Plus, with a lengthy list of creative cocktails and several Ethiopian beers and wines, you’ll find there’s plenty of reason to visit Bunna even if you aren’t hungry--but honestly, how could you not be?
Must-Try: Feast for 2 so you can try every dish (bring a friend, or just treat your future self with leftovers), lentil sambusa, baklava, Pushkin (Ethiopian white Russian).
Address: 1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn NY, 11237
5. Loving Hut
Calling all: Tired commuters looking for a quick option. Though not exclusive to New York, Loving Hut has secured itself a very special place in many vegan hearts. Quirky, cheap, and steps from the Grand St. L train, this Williamsburg favorite offers a hodgepodge menu of vegan Pan-Asian and American staples to satisfy those lazy nights when you just want some General Tso’s delivered to your door... and some butternut risotto, French onion mac and cheese, and a side of yam and yucca fries, of course. A collage of supposed vegetarian and vegan celebrities and historical figures adorn the walls of the restaurant at the Brooklyn location, making a fun and informative experience dining in.
Don't Miss: Get there between 11 and 4 any weekday for perhaps the best lunch special in the borough: just $7-$8 for one of thirteen options, from curries and salads to saucy seitan dishes. Add only $1 for a side of soup, salad, or spring roll (or, let’s be real, all three).
Must-Try: Golden nuggets, crispy rolls, General Tso’s Delight, Thai iced tea.
Address: 76 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn NY, 11221
Calling all: Hipsters! With locations in Park Slope and the East Village, this all-vegan Latin American restaurant proves that plant-based is translatable in every cuisine. Gone are the days of just eating rice, beans, and tortillas, of asking for no cheese, of waving goodbye to the arepa cart longingly. At VSpot, you can have it all: tacos, burritos, nachos, arepas, and best of all, empanadas.
Don't Miss: For $10, you can choose three of four creative empanadas (Colombian, red bean, Jamaican, or Philly), though you certainly won’t regret trying all four. Best of all, VSpot knows when you want Latin food, you want a lot of it, resulting in generous portions of all the best things in life. And if you can’t choose between all those things? The appetizer sampler is your new best friend--$22 will score you two empanadas, supreme nachos, avocado fries, and buffalo strips. Never waste valuable eating time in the name of decision-making again.
Must-Try: Red bean and Philly empanadas, arepa con todo, buffalo chk’n, bandeja paisa.
Address: 156 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 and 12 St. Marks Place, New York, NY 10003
Calling all: cozy breakfast spot seekers! For such a vegan-friendly city, I’ve found that New York is still lacking in a very important department: vegan breakfast. Sure, you’ve got your delis that serve Tofutti, and who doesn’t love a bagel on the go, but there aren’t very many sit-down spots that offer a proper plate of breakfast. Clementine, a patisserie cafe, makes this mission a cakewalk.
Don't Miss: Start with a giant cinnamon bun, work your way to a jalapeno mozzarella scone, and finally arrive at a savory biscuit and gravy, classic tempeh B.E.C., or a tofu scramble breakfast burrito literally stuffed with tater tots. Wash it all down with a bowl of their decadent soft-serve (but watch out if you’re like me with eyes bigger than your stomach: it’s self-serve). But the real cherry on top is that Clementine is just so cozy--the perfect place to work on, say, a Top 10 Vegan Eateries of Brooklyn list, maybe?
Must Try: Biscuit and gravy, cauliflower wings, cinnamon sticky bun, blueberry cheesecake.
Address: 395 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn NY, 11238
8. Stay Fresh Deli & Grill
Calling all: Plant-based people in a pinch! Okay, this isn’t exactly a destination spot, and I’m biased because it’s in my neighborhood, but Stay Fresh knows what vegans want--24-hour access to sandwiches. Boasting a menu of over ten vegan sandwiches, ranging from the NYC classic chopped cheese to the American favorite “chicken” club, in addition to pints of Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream and myriad vegan snacks, this Bushwick bodega is far more than meets the eye.
Don't Miss: Though served on a roll free of charge, for just a dollar more you can basically double the size of any sandwich by requesting it on a hero. With nearly all of its food, snack, and beverage options available to order for delivery on Seamless, you don’t even need to leave your bed--just don’t fall asleep before it gets there.
Must Try: Chopped cheese, turkey cheddar, chicken club, meatball parm.
Address: 889 Broadway Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Calling all: Plant-based eaters looking for some delicious fried grub! Hartbreakers will win you over with their decadent fried chicken, an array of vegan dipping sauces, and an unbeatable retro aesthetic. Currently, Hartbreakers is doing exclusively outdoor dining as well as delivery and pickup and is open Thursday thru Sunday, 2 to 8 pm. The restaurant is located right near Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick, so it's a great idea to grab takeout for a picnic.
Don't Miss: The fried seitan “chicken” recipe that the restaurant spent 6 months perfecting. A customer favorite is the fried chicken buckets that are available with an array of dipping sauces and feature waffle fries and slaw. Another classic is the Picnic Basket Sandwich which comes complete with seitan bacon, vegan cheddar, creamy slaw, pickled red onion, and mondo sauce on a sesame seed bun.
Must-Try: To accompany any sandwich you have to get an order of Hartbreaker’s animal fries, which are waffle-cut fries smothered in plant-based cheese, grilled onions, and mondo sauce.
Address: 820 Hart St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
10. Terms of Endearment
Calling all: Pastry lovers in search of a vegan café: This 100 percent plant-based café has all of the baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and drinks you’ve been searching for. Terms of Endearment features a sophisticated Parisian vibe and makes decadent croissants, danishes, and artisan drinks in-house. Currently, Terms is open Friday thru Sunday, 9 am to 3 pm with limited outdoor seating, and also offers takeout and delivery on Seamless and Grubhub.
Don't Miss: The menu changes every day, but one thing customers can’t get enough of is the café’s croissants. Some past favorite flavors include almond, stuffed cookies and cream, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, tricolor stuffed with berry filling as well as savory options like the Breakfast Bombs, flakey croissant dough stuffed with vegan cheese, and tofu scramble. Be sure to check the café’s Instagram to stay on top of the rotating menu.
Must-Try: The Breakfast Sandwich, which features plant-based bacon, JUST Egg scramble, and vegan cheese on a croissant, or the Everything Croissant stuffed with a vegan cream cheese center.
Be Sure to Enjoy: Terms’ carefully crafted drinks, which include artisan sodas, coffees, teas, and lattes like matcha, lavender, and rose.
Address: 135 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249