Vegetarian, vegan, and health-conscious New Yorkers have a lot of great restaurant choices these days. Happily, the options go way beyond bland tofu and sprouts! You'll find gourmet raw food, vegan delicacies, and even organic wine and cocktails. In fact, even meat-eaters will enjoy dining at these 5 great vegetarian restaurants in NYC and sampling just how delicious healthy eating can be.
Candle Cafe, Candle Cafe West, and Candle 79
For delicious vegetarian and vegan food, it's hard to beat sister restaurants Candle Cafe West (on the Upper West Side; 2427 Broadway, btwn W. 89th & W. 90th sts.), Candle Cafe (on the Upper East Side; 1307 3rd Ave., btwn E. 74 & E. 75th sts.), and Candle 79 (Upper East Side; 154 E. 79th St. at Lexington Ave.). All three restaurants offer great good and excellent service, with a focus on farm-to-table, organic, vegan cuisine. The restaurants take pride in highlighting sustainability, food sourced from local farms, and compassionate practices towards animals. It's a delicious experience, in every way!
In the heart of Koreatown, close to the Empire State Building, Hangawi (12 E. 32nd St., btwn 5th & Madison aves.) offers a transporting eatery serving up vegan fare, zen music, and Far East-inspired decor. (Note you'll have to take your shoes off to dine here.) Tuck into signature dishes like crispy mushrooms in sweet and sour sauce, which are best paired with a nice selection of teas.
These two sister restaurants, in Chelsea (187 9th Ave., btwn W. 21st & W. 22nd sts.) and on the Upper West Side (507 Columbus Ave., btwn W. 84th & W. 85th sts.), rank high for their standout vegan fare. At either Blossom outpost, expect fresh organic ingredients hailing from area farms, with a menu that's entirely animal free.
Hit up two Taïm locations in the West Village (222 Waverly Pl., btwn Perry & W. 11th sts.) or Nolita (45 Spring St. at Mulberry St.) , for this delectable falafel dished out by Chef Einat Admony and her husband Stefan Nafziger. The Israeli-inspired menu is centered on traditional street food from the couple's hometown of Tel Aviv, with a gourmet twist. Order up gluten-free falafel here that is made to order, and strictly vegetarian. Most of the menu is vegan-friendly; just watch for non-vegan items like babaghanoush (their recipe includes honey and mayonnaise), feta cheese, egg, and beverages sweetened with honey. Taïm has expanded and you can find more of their locations here.
Touting a vegan kitchen and bakery, two Peacefood Cafe outposts invite guests to tuck into delicious fare while enjoying a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle. Head to the location on the Upper West Side (460 Amsterdam Ave. at W. 82nd St.) or near Union Square (41 E. 11th St. at University Pl.) to order up crowd-pleasers like vegan cheeseburgers, quinoa salads, and tempeh avocado sandwiches.