The 12 Best Places to Eat Vegan in Manhattan
It's no secret that Manhattan is a vegan paradise: walking by a newly opened vegan restaurant in the city is hardly a rare occurrence, from high-end cuisine to your casual post-workout hangout, NYC does not disappoint. The wide array of vegan options actually made this list difficult to assemble: it was hard to choose from all the incredible choices Manhattan has to offer, but these 12 restaurants offer many different choices of cuisine, ambiance and location.
1. Délice and Sarrasin
20 Christopher Street, b/t Gay St and Waverly Pl in West Village
Calling all: French food aficionados, from those with refined palates looking to capture a nostalgic taste of traditional French cuisine to the lovers looking to impress their non-vegan date, Délice and Sarrasin is for you.
Plant yourself: at one of the cozy tables in an elegant-yet-intimate setting with impeccable service, enjoying your meal with the sound of French music. The wine selection is 100% vegan.
Take note: the restaurant is always booked several days in advance so make sure to plan ahead.
Must-Have: For starters, try the cheese platter (plateau de fromage) and the Vegan Foie Gras with fig jam, it is all homemade with love in this family-owned kitchen. For the main, crêpes are our absolute favorites, a very traditional dish of the Britany region. Order the Mr Petrossian Galette de Sarrasin made with Vegan Smoked Salmon, yes you read right! Vegan Smoked Salmon, made with konjac root and algae.
Be sure to enjoy: Coq au vin, no hesitation. All my non-vegan friends were absolutely amazed. You can be sure to impress them with this vegan version of braised chicken and mushrooms.
What to skip: If you’re not a fan of the taste of meat, stay away from meat imitation dishes because they truly taste real. If this is your first time, I would say skip the Steak Frites. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious, but I would recommend trying the other incredible items.
Don't leave without: Dessert! The Lavender Infused Rice Pudding is to die for.
2. Double Zero
65 2nd Ave, East Village
Calling all: Pizza lovers!
Plant yourself: At the terrace to catch some sunshine and indulge in people-watching. Outdoor seating is pretty rare in Manhattan so it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. Inside, there’s Double Zero has shared seating at large communal tables which is great for meeting new people.
Must-Have: The food is crafted by Chef Matthew Kenney, so there is nothing that can go wrong here. If you like truffles, make sure you try the Truffle Cashew Cream pizza, the melty texture is incredible and will drive your senses out of whack.
Be Sure to Enjoy: As much as you can! I recommend ordering several dishes to share with your friends or your date. It would be a shame to only try one dish on the menu because there is such a wide array of flavors.
3. Jajaja Plantas Mexicana
162 E Broadway and 63 Carmine Street, Manhattan
Calling all: Vegans and non-vegans alike, because the food will blow your mind. If you're into spicy food, this is your spot.
Plant yourself: At the bar to try one of their amazing cocktails while waiting for your table. My favorite cocktail is the Cucumber and Basil, which has the perfect balance of sweetness and freshness. Jajaja's restaurants do not take reservations, but I promise it is worth the wait! The scene is super versatile, making it the ideal spot for a date, or for pre-drinks and snacks with your coworkers.
Must Haves: I used to eat quesadillas on a weekly basis before switching to a plant-based diet, so I would describe myself as a rather harsh judge when it comes to rating the cheesy treat. JaJaJa makes the best ones in town by far. Who would think to use coconut milk? If you are looking for a healthier or a less-cheesy option, go for the turmeric cauliflower rice, it is exquisite.
Be Sure to Enjoy: As much as you can! We recommend ordering several dishes and sharing with your friends, or your date.
Don’t leave without: Taking a picture for your Instagram feed. And while you're at it, check out Jajaja's Instagram account for a daily dose of well-curated inspiration and updates on new menu items.
4. Spicy Moon
328 East 6th St, between 1st and 2nd Ave, East Village, Manhattan
Calling all: Chinese food experts! Spicy Moon is your ultimate cool-yet-not-overly-pretentious spot for a pre-Girls Night Out dinner or even for a more casual date spot.
Take Note: Don't worry, the menu says 'vegetarian Szechuan', but Spicy Moon is 100% vegan.
Must-Have: The food selection is huge (usually a bad sign for indecisive eaters like me!) but I was impressed with how succulent everything was. Everything is so delicious, its nearly impossible to recommend any specific dish! Get it all and then get a doggy bag to-go for anything that’s unfinished- leftovers taste just as good the day after, dare we say even better?
Be Sure to Enjoy: all of their noodle dishes, which are my personal favorites for their incredible texture and flavoring. The dumplings are exquisite. If you're looking for something spicy, I recommend the mapo tofu.
Don’t leave without: Spicy Moon, where is your dessert selection? I definitely would have loved to finish on a sweet note. Hopefully, that will be added in the future.
5. Le Botaniste
833 Lexington Ave, Upper East; 137 Grand Street, Soho; 666 3rd Ave, Manhattan
Calling all: Mindful plant eaters, seasonal food enthusiasts and planet caregivers.
Plant yourself: On a high table or by the window. Le Botaniste is the perfect spot for a healthy lunch break, or to catch up with a friend you have not seen in a while.
Must Haves: Red beet caviar is a great small bite to start with. Load up on appetizers like green pea hummus and seaweed tartare if you're dining with a group.
Be Sure to Enjoy: The Spicy Chilly Sin Carne or the Vegetable Tajine.
Don’t leave without: Everything is delicious. You can rest assured you gave your body the healthiest organic fuel it needs, so you can carry on with your busy schedule.
6. P.S. Kitchen
246 W 48th St, Theater District
P.S. Kitchen is your ultimate dining spot post-Broadway show! I love to support their business every time I'm in the area because this is a non-profit restaurant, donating 100% of profits to sustainable charitable work locally and overseas. Plus, the setting and lighting are perfect for that cute Instagram story/post.
Must Haves: The Smokey BBQ Burger is incredible, the cheese melts in your mouth and the pretzel bun is delicious, with a side of fries that are light and crispy.
Be Sure to Enjoy: The Brunch Prix Fixe! The P.S. Breakfast will put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. To all the matcha lovers, be sure to order their matcha latte, supposedly the best the city has to offer.
Don’t leave without: Making some room for a Brownie Sundae or the Peach Cobbler, or both, if you're feeling crazy.
7. Urban Vegan Kitchen
41 Carmine Street, Washington Square Park
Plant yourself: at a table by the window if the weather is nice. It's one of the rare Manhattan restaurants that leaves the bay window open during nice weather. They have a large room downstairs to accommodate groups: I had my birthday party here and all my guests were more than impressed by both the food and ambiance.
Must Haves: I am officially naming Urban Vegan Kitchen the Best Spot for Vegan Mac and Cheese on the Planet. It is an absolute must! If you are hungry, go for the Lasagna—you won’t be disappointed.
Be Sure to Enjoy: their chocolate cake. Everyone at the table could not believe it, and even said it was the best cake they had ever had (one victory for veganism: check!).
What to Skip: Almost everything if you are on a diet. We go here to indulge without thinking about our weight scale! (More seriously, the tofu scramble plate is amazing if you are looking for a healthy options).
8. Night Music
44 West 17th St, East Village
Plant yourself: in the lounge, or by the bar with your date. Night Music is the recently opened (Early September 2019) sister restaurant to Lady Bird. The atmosphere is cozy and rich with soft lighting.
Must Haves: Most dishes are Indian fusion with a twist (inspired by the owner’s mother’s recipe book), and you can sense the Indian inspiration.
Be Sure to Enjoy: The Vindaloo Maitake Bun! If you like mushrooms, it is hands down the best dish on the menu.
What to Skip: I was not a huge fan of the Baked Seasonal Biryani, which was a little too bland for me.
Don’t leave without: Asking Ben for the restaurant’s playlist!
111 E 17th Street, Flatiron
Plant yourself: by the bar to have a drink and chat with the friendly bartenders, or in the rustic interior back room to enjoy full service. Xyst is not your typical vegan restaurant: If you prefer dishes that do not try to imitate meat-based plates, Xyst is your place.
Must-Have: Be ready to be amazed by the creativity of the seasonal plates. The Cashew Halloumi is clearly a highlight. Plates are meant to be shared and are very Instagrammable. The menu is very much vegetable-centered and everything is surprisingly filling.
Be Sure to Enjoy: The Beet Hummus and the Zaatar Roasted Carrots are my personal favorite. Xyst is yet another restaurant from Chef Matthew McKenney, so be prepared to be dazed by both taste and visual presentation.
What to Skip: If you're on a first date, avoid the Sunflower Seed Baklava Rose Water. Even though it is one of their best desserts, there is, unfortunately, no gracious way to eat it… Go instead for the Chocolate Cake, it pairs perfectly with the homemade ice cream.
10. Seasoned Vegan
55 Street, Nicholas Avenue, Harlem
Calling All: Vegans who want their favorite comfort food without sacrificing taste!
Must-Have: The “chicken” wings, no hesitation. I was stunned at how delicious they tasted. Officially the best vegan “chicken” wings in the city, and that title still doesn’t do them enough justice. I guarantee you and your friends will fight over the last piece.
Be Sure to Enjoy: something on the raw menu. I would recommend the Raw spaghetti with Marinara sauce.
Don’t leave without: Saying some kind words to the staff before you leave, because everyone is so friendly in this family-owned business that puts so much love into making the food.
11. Petisco Vegano
189 E Broadway, Lower East Side
Calling All: Brunch aficionados, bring your non-vegan friend and they will be blown away. This café was converted to a vegan restaurant in August 2019, as the owner transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle. How cool is that? The menu is also very gluten-free friendly.
Plant yourself: at the terrace (cannot say enough how much I love outdoor seating!) to enjoy the last ray of sun, or inside by the plant wall.
Must-Have: The carrot lox is absolutely incredible. Don't skip the butternut squash soup, which is so flavorful with a blend of fresh herbs. Exquisite!
Be Sure to Enjoy: Their avocado toast, because it comes with vegan feta cheese that is to die for! I brought some home to my vegan friends, and they couldn't believe it was non-dairy, it tastes just like real feta cheese! Not trying to be overdramatic, but I almost shed a tear.
12. May Kaidee
215 East Broadway, Lower East Side
Calling All: Thai food lovers! Don’t be thrown off by the simple restaurant setting, the food is the centerpiece here. The restaurant can seat large groups, and May and the staff are extremely gracious and accommodating.
Must Haves: I recommend going for their prix fixe menu, which changes every day. On the À La Carte menu, I would go for the green curry if you like spicy food, or the Pumpkin Hummus if you have a more delicate palate.
Be Sure to Enjoy: The black sticky rice dessert is an absolute killer. Do not leave without trying it.
Don’t leave without: May Kaidee also offers cooking classes, so if you loved your meal, make sure to book a class, or leaf through the restaurant cooking book for some inspo. Or, check out the website to purchase your own cookbook copy!