New York City Vegan Guide: The Best Plant-Based Restaurants & Eateries

New York City Vegan Guide: The Best Plant-Based Restaurants & Eateries

New York City is one of the top travel destinations in the world and for good reason—it’s got some of the best art, culture, and food on the planet! Nicknamed the Big Apple, NYC is home to more than 8 million people across five distinct boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island). With more than 800 languages spoken in Queens alone, NYC is truly a melting pot of different cultures and cuisines. But what are the best places to eat that are vegan in New York City?

If you’re planning a trip here or just love learning about regional foods, this NYC vegan guide will give you a tiny taste of the city’s many offerings!

A NYC Vegan Guide Must: Vegan Delis

The bustling city of New York is known for many things and while you’d be right to think pizza and bagels right off the bat, deli food is also a vital New York City staple, especially late at night. While there are a few places to get super late-night vegan options around Gotham such as at the occasional vegan-friendly bodega, we’re focusing on deli spots that are 100% vegan here.

Orchard Grocer

Located in the deli-lined streets of the Lower East Side, Orchard Grocer is an all-vegan market with a deli counter! On their menu, you can expect to find a wide variety of sandwiches, salads, pastries, and best of all, vegan soft serve with seasonal flavors (mmm). They also feature products from an extensive selection of vegan favorites including The Herbivorous Butcher, Vegan Rob’s, Yeah Dawg, and Miyoko’s in addition to more unique items such as vegan caviar, local vegan cheeses, and a wide variety of dairy-free sweets. They also feature a daily special on their deli menu! Past specials have included double-decker Beyond Burgers, tofu-fried chick’n sandwiches, and JUST Egg on a vegan croissant!

Seitan’s Helper

Across the bridge in the neighborhood of East Williamsburg, Brooklyn is Seitan’s Helper. This queer and worker-owned vegan deli specializes in incredible house-made vegan meats and sandwiches. Vegan versions of pepperoni, mortadella, ham, and much more are available by the ½ pound if you want to enjoy their delicious seitan at home. In their deli case, you can also find veganized comfort classics such as pasta or potato salad along with other savory specials. On a budget and in a rush? Their grab-and-go sandwiches are pay-what-you-wish! How awesome!

Vegan NYC Asian Delights

Our NYC vegan guide could be solely dedicated to all of the incredible vegan Asian options available around the city! With delicious dim sum spots and no shortage of sriracha-heavy dishes, NYC is a haven for amazing Asian cuisine. Below we’ve included two spots that are very much worth your time in different parts of the city.

Amituofo

Located in the same area of Brooklyn as Seitan Rising, Amituofo serves a wide variety of delicious vegan dishes. My personal favorites include their Traditional Fried Rice and Grilled “Fish” Banh Mi. And once it starts to cool down, their Curry “Chicken” Noodle Soup is an absolute must! You can also find Chinese classes such as Smashed Cucumbers and Steamed Red Bean Paste Buns. You can also get Kimchi Fries, which are a delight all on their own! Want to have a Beyond Burger with a side of Spring Rolls? You can do that here at Amituofo!

Lily’s Vegan Pantry

In NYC’s Chinatown area lives Lily’s Vegan Pantry, formerly known as May Wah Vegetarian Market. This vegan Asian market features a huge variety of spices, snacks, and more mock meats than you can shake a leaf at. If you’ve ever wanted to try vegan abalone, or a vegan lobster shaped like one, this is the spot to hit up! They also partner with local vegan vendors such as Kozy Toasts and Veggie Grub.

Take Me to the Café

The beauty of the Big Apple is that there’s room for a little bit of everything. If you’re craving something on the greener side, we’ve got great news! These cafés will hit just the spot.

Peacefood Cafe

With locations in downtown and uptown Manhattan, Peacefood Cafe offers a variety of fresh dishes, juices, and desserts for the whole family. An absolute must-try is their award-winning Chickpea Fries, which are among some of the only ones you can find in New York! Other notable dishes include their Seitan Medallion Panini, Pumpkin Quiche, and Fluffy Quinoa Salad.

Jungle Cafe

Nestled in the cozy neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Jungle Cafe features a delicious list of juices, smoothies, burgers, tacos, and more! They also have a vegan buffet with a rotating weekly menu so if you want a little bit of everything, you can have it! They even offer a children’s menu, which is a rare feature of many independent restaurants in New York!

Bangin’ Brunch Options

Sometimes finding vegan-friendly brunch options can be a little tricky. It’s easy to get stuck with a basic bowl of fruit or some dry toast and little else. But here in NYC, vegan brunch options are not only plentiful but they’re absolutely delicious! Whether you’re in the mood for a plant-based scramble or vegan crêpes, The City That Never Sleeps is here to help you wake up.

Little Choc Apothecary

If you’re looking for the perfect place to take someone on a date or need a relaxing afternoon to yourself, look no further than Little Choc Apothecary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Famous for their incredible vegan and gluten-free crêpes, Little Choc also features a huge menu of custom tea blends, açaí bowls, pastries, and an extensive drink list. Whether you’re in the mood for a savory Pizza crêpe or a glass of rosé, you are in for quite the treat at this adorable apothecary

Champs Diner

Home to the Breakfast Slam, Chik’n & Waffles, and a variety of vegan diner classics, Champs Diner in Bushwick, Brooklyn serves up a bangin’ dose of brunch flair. You can also build your own brunch plate with items such as tofu scramble, sautéed kale, and a solo pancake! If sandwiches are more your roll, you’ll have to try their Reuben made with corned beef seitan or a Cubano with Louies Luncheonette ham.

Flavorful House-Made Flair

With more than 23 restaurants per square mile, the chances of you finding a vegan restaurant that features house-made vegan meats and cheeses is higher than in most places. These two restaurants have totally raised the bar for excellent vegan fare that won’t break the bank.

Delice & Sarrasin

In the vibrant West Village tucked between Gay Street and Waverly Place is Delice & Sarrasin, a completely vegan French restaurant that serves traditional fare with a plant-based twist. You can find French classics such as veganized escargot, buckwheat crêpes, coq au vin made from pea protein, steak tartare, and much more. They also feature a house-made vegan cheese plate which is absolutely divine. If there’s one restaurant not to miss on a trip to NYC, this is it.

Modern Love Brooklyn

Owned by the incomparable Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Modern Love offers comfort classes with an elevated touch. Vegan mozzarella sticks, seitan burgers, and “Mac & Shews” are among the many delicious items on Modern Love’s meticulous menu. Looking for a Beyond or Impossible patty? You won’t find it here! If you ever find yourself in Omaha, you can also visit their flagship restaurant!

Seriously Good Soul Food

You don’t need to search far for some excellent vegan soul food in the City of New York. Home to large a large Black population with roots in the West Indies, Africa, and Puerto Rico, New York serves up some fantastic Southern fare.

Uptown Veg

Located in historic Harlem, Uptown Veg is a casual vegan soul food restaurant that features delicious plant-based spins on classic dishes. You can enjoy items from their buffet such as vegan mac’n’cheese, chick’n drumsticks, and chickpea curry, and much more. They also feature signature Jamaican patties filled with soy chicken, soy fish, kale, callaloo or lentil. Don’t sleep on their “chicken” wrap or macaroni salad!

Greedi Vegan

In the neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, is Black and woman-owned Greedi Vegan, a soul food restaurant with an intentional touch. Menu highlights include the Greedi Beef Burger, Crab Cake Sandwich, Watermelon Arugula Salad, and Fried Okra Bites. They also have a robust juice menu and even serve a gluten-free mac’n’cheese! In the mood for drinks and dessert? Greedi Vegan has it all!

Plant-Based Pizza

No NYC vegan guide would be complete without the mention of pizza! The city is home to two 100% vegan pizzerias in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Screamer’s Pizza

The brainchild of the owners behind Brooklyn’s Champs and Philly’s Blackbird Pizza, Screamer’s serves some of the finest slices in NYC. With locations in Greenpoint and Crown Heights, Screamer’s features pizzas with toppings like housemade seitan, Violife cheese, garlic oil, and more. There are slightly different items available depending on which location you’re in. Crown Heights has a more extensive menu, featuring sandwiches such as a Philly Cheesesteak, a Kale Caesar Salad, and fried items.

Double Zero

Matthew Kenney’s Double Zero features an extensive menu of wood fired pizzas and finely crafted Italian staples in the East Village. They can also make any pizza free of gluten and nuts! Pizzas such as Pepperoni or Squash Blossom are served with artisan cashew cheese by default but can be made with rice cheese upon request. They also serve a variety of pastas, antipasti, and salads along with a really nice brunch menu.

Delectable Desserts

Our NYC vegan guide would not be complete without a dessert list! From vegan soft serve to raw cakes, here is are just a few of many vegan dessert spots to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  • Erin McKenna’s BabyCakes – Completely gluten-free and utterly delicious, this Lower East Side bakery is 100% worth a visit! Get cookies, madeleines, bagels, and so many other amazing treats.
  • Happy Zoe Vegan Bakery – Did someone say lavender almond cookies? Why, yes! This Greenpoint bakery has that and much more.
  • Rawsome Treats – Find raw revisions of tiramisu, peanut butter cups, strawberry shortcake, and beyond at this Lower East Side shop.
  • Dun-Well Donuts – Located just down the street from CHAMPS, Dun-Well Donuts makes completely divine artisinal donuts. Get flavors such as chocolate, sprinkle, jelly, and rotating specials such as apple cheesecake!
  • Confectionery! – Queer and woman-owned chocolate shop in the East Village that has some seriously amazing sweets including macarons, chocolate truffles, and even vegan dog treats!
  • Whipped Urban Dessert Lab – Black and woman-owned vegan ice creamery offering delicious oat-based ice creams with a variety of toppings! Located in the Lower East Side.
  • Clementine Bakery – Brooklyn bakery with pastries, sandwiches, salads, and more!

Honorable Mentions

The following restaurants are our honorable mentions! These establishments aren’t 100% vegan but still offer substantial plant-based options and are totally worth a visit!

  • Superiority Burger – Vegetarian restaurant serving housemade veggie burgers, praiseworthy yuba sandwiches with incredibly crafted sides and desserts.
  • Bodhi Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant – Kosher Chinese Cantonese style restaurant with an incredible array of dim sum, vegan meats, sushi, and traditional dishes.
  • Natural Blend – A juice bar and cafe with loads of fresh vegan options.

We hope you found this New York City vegan guide to be helpful in planning where to eat during your next vacation or neighborhood outing!

More Vegan Restaurant Guides & City Guides

This NYC vegan guide was written by Amanda Meth. Be sure to check online for the latest restaurant menu updates and hours of operation. Cover photo from Canva designed by Michelle Cehn

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  1. Michelle · Edit

    I’m dying to try it all!! Can’t wait for my next NYC trip to try all these vegan gems.

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