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City Guide: Best Vegan Restaurants in NYC

Non-vegans might not realize the versatility of many natural ingredients. How can almonds become mozzarella cheese, or cashew crema take the place of dairy? As anyone who’s met a stellar vegan chef can attest, though, vegan food can do all this and more. With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that some of the best restaurants you can find are those with the best plant-based eats and vegan dishes.

From salads to desserts, New York City eateries are, without question, some of the best restaurants in the world. This is just as true, if not even more so when it comes to vegan food. Some of the best vegan restaurants in NYC are, in fact, some of the best vegan restaurants out there, regardless of location. From chefs who can make tofu mimic the texture of your favorite sandwich toppings to flavors like tomato, onion, avocado, and even cauliflower taking taco specials to the next level, local NYC diners and vegan tourists alike depend on the city’s greatest chefs and vegan food experts to transform the principles of a veggie diet and lifestyle into some of the best vegan food worldwide come brunch, dinner, or dessert.

Of course, the United States as a whole has a lot to offer in terms of vegetarian eateries. West Coast destinations like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego, or even Eastern standouts like Orlando, Philly, and Asheville try their hand and vegan restaurants, serving everything from curries to cocktails that meet the needs of this particular lifestyle and diet. But, somewhere in between, there’s nothing quite like a taste of the vegan eateries you’ll find in New York City.

Vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike are sure to find something to love at the great vegan restaurants or even a veg-friendly food truck in NYC. With a veggie burger for takeout or jackfruit that’s spiced just right, there’s a vegan option just waiting for your reservation or takeout order—and ready to be your personal pick for the best vegan restaurant in the city.

Whether you’re looking for new ways to try agave, a hummus that doesn’t skip on spice, or a second location to add to your takeout favorites, you’ll certainly find your own personal best vegan restaurant in the city. And, whether you have to avoid wheat gluten or you only eat food that’s been kosher-certified, you’re in luck—there’s truly a vegan option that’s available for everyone, whether it’s drenched in peanut sauce or drizzled in a white wine demi-glace.

Jajaja Plantas Mexicana

This Lower East Side eatery unites all things NYC with the flair and flavor you expect from Mexican cuisine, including drinks to wash down your veggie nachos, street tacos, bowls, or even brunch fare. Must-try menu items at Jajaja include their brunch tacos, chorizo burrito, and jackfruit tamale. For dessert, try their churritos, frosted carrot cake, or peanut chocolate cake.

Jajaja Plantas Mexicana has four locations in total, including the Lower East Side, West Village, Hudson Yards, and Williamsburg. Whether in-person, for takeout, or delivered right to your door, Jajaja has a bit of spice you’re sure to love, with the best plant-based Mexican cuisine that you didn‘t even realize you needed.

Lekka Burger

Nearly anyone could set out to find the best restaurant around and find their decision hinges on where they’ll find the best hamburger. This is true, too, of vegans and vegetarians, who love a veggie burger with all the toppings and flavor an omnivore would expect between their own sesame seed-coated buns—but with none of the animal products, of course. Luckily, Warren Street’s Lekka Burger has one mission in mind: To serve the world a better burger.

They come through with fresh, whole food ingredients that craft the gluten-free, soy-free patties Lekka’s quickly become known for. Chef Amanda Cohen has options ranging from guacamole and hatch chili sauce to the classic house pickles and other traditional toppings—ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion. You can even have this taste of New York City vegan cuisine sent nationwide thanks to Lekka’s Goldbelly partnership!

The Original Buddha Bodai

Looking for some New York City flavor in the form of vegan, vegetarian, and kosher dishes? Look no further than The Original Buddha Bodai, home to Chinatown’s vegetarian favorites for nearly two decades.

With gluten-free options available as well, this vegetarian eatery offers some of the best vegan meals in New York City. Their entrees, soups, noodles, and other menu must-haves utilize tasty mock meats to create the Asian flavors you know and love, from General Tso’s veggie chicken to gluten-free dim sum and mushroom and bean sprout pancakes.

Marty’s V Burger

For “great vegan food fast,” you’ll want to turn to none other than Marty’s V Burger, a Support + Feed New York partner that feeds you on 27th Street, then uses those same flavors to help those in marginalized communities.

In addition to supporting those in need, your Marty’s visit simply has to include their popular vegan comfort food, like the best plant-based burger and fries. From the original world-famous patty to Marty’s “crabby patty” or “no clucks given” chicken patty, vegan burgers have never tasted so good.

Willow Vegan Restaurant

Chelsea’s must-visit vegan eatery, Willow, is a kosher-certified bistro led by vegan chef Guy Vaknin. With their upscale vegan comfort food and twist-on-traditional American classics, Willow is sure to have something to please every diner.

Stop by their brick-and-mortar restaurant to enjoy 100% high-quality vegan ingredients in a relaxed place—always a bonus amidst the bustle of NYC. Enjoy oyster mushrooms in lieu of scallops in their cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) or bite into a plate of eggplant lasagna. Wash it all down with a glass of coconut, beet, or cucumber juice and you’ve got a vegan meal that’s worthy of the city that never sleeps.

Vegan Deli

Locals and TikTok users alike are sure to praise 3rd Avenue’s Vegan Deli for all the best tastes of NYC. From a crunch wrap caked in vegan cheese to a “pastrami” or “turkey” sandwich packed with vegan meats, you can satisfy any former omnivore’s cravings with this New York-style vegan cuisine.

Start your day with an all-vegan high-protein breakfast platter or treat yourself to an order of plant-based wings. When you’re in NYC, there’s not always time to stop and savor a bite to eat. Vegan Deli is the sort of solution that offers all the delicious eats you could desire with the speed and convenience that make delis such a staple in the city.

Urban Vegan Kitchen

Another Support + Feed New York partner, Urban Vegan Kitchen is another stop that both tourists and locals must not miss. From macaroni and cashew cheese to chick-un and waffles (and everything in between), you just might find this stop has your new favorite NYC vegan eats.

Enjoy a tempeh bacon BLT, seitan po’ boy, or house-made onion rings with vegan ranch dressing. Sweet tooth? Try a chocolate chip tahini cookie for dessert after clearing your plate.

Champs Diner

If you’re even slightly familiar with vegan NYC, you’ve certainly heard tell of Champs Diner, even if you haven’t had a chance to visit just yet. So, it should come as no surprise that this is a truly can’t-miss part of any vegan-centric NYC trip.

From roasted and f n a classic New York Reuben to soy-free cookie dough pancakes, Champs has something delicious for any time of day. Whether you chow down on a chik’n caesar salad and poutine fries or bite into tofu benedict and girl scout or banana cream pie shakes, your taste buds may never be the same.

Avant Garden

The Michelin Guide calls this East Village menu “excellent food that just happens to be vegan.” Who could ask for a more glowing review?

From roasted carrots with a pickled ferment and scorched cauliflower to house-made pasta and paella, Avant Garden has something for everyone, not to mention a delicious pun.

HanGawi

Self-described as “a vegetarian shrine in another space and time,” HanGawi has an assortment of veggie dishes to offer, ranging from kimchi stew to braised tofu with quinoa in garlic and chili sauce. Spicy dumplings, rice cakes, salads, or green tea classics, you can enjoy Korean cuisine fit for anyone who enjoys a vegan diet.

From bibimbap sans gluten to spicy tofu with broccoli, HanGawi is another New York City eatery with a little something for everyone. Enjoy leek pancakes, stone bowl rice, or another delicious hot plate—in any case, you’ll leave HanGawi satisfied with this vegan twist on NYC-Korean cuisine.

Of course, these are just a few hot spots for veggie-lovers making their way through New York City. Whether it’s vegan sushi or plant-based pizza, there’s surely an eatery with whatever you’re craving to offer. Whether you’re biting into tacos loaded with chickpeas, sour cream, pico de gallo, and lots of vegan cheese or you’re trying out some veggie food truck specials with chipotle aioli, cabbage, or cherry tomatoes, this United States highlight has something for everyone. Plant-based southern comfort food, jackfruit bao buns, a lentil burger, or a coffee shop free from animal products, New York City could easily change its nickname to the city that never sleeps on veggie-based taste.

Forget Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando, Asheville, Philly, or San Diego. Whether you’re looking for takeout sushi and pad thai or lentils and black beans with plenty of spice, New York City has vegan food for every diner. Do you love coleslaw and brown rice or jalapeno and brussels sprouts? Vegan pizza and pastries, Just egg and an Impossible burger, or lobster, shrimp, and other kinds of veggie-made seafood treats, you’ll only be able to nod enthusiastically if anyone asks what you think of vegetarian food in NYC. Your mouth will be too full of deliciousness to speak!

Whether your priority is local ingredients, classic New York City dishes, or just a delicious way to get a taste of plant-based sustainability, New York’s delicious vegan options have something for everyone. And, with indoor dining options once again welcoming New Yorkers to try their menu after the past year and a half of exclusively outdoor seating and takeout, there’s no better time to slip off your masks and dig into vegetarian ravioli, cashew cheesecake, or cauliflower wings. From Nashville to Italian cuisine, New York’s natural ingredients can take your favorite pasta dish or grain bowls and showcase it in everything from fine dining to vegan breweries.

Perhaps best of all, though, you’ll find that these restaurants make just enough menu changes to keep you coming back for more. In some instances, it might even seem like an entirely different eatery from where you ordered on a visit last year! This just means you’re in for a whole new treat—the menu is sure to have something new that will please, whether it’s a greens salad, burritos, calzones, or some other new vegan dishes, all with the high-quality ingredients you know and love. Add in friendly staff, a welcoming patio, beautiful decor, or simply a stellar happy hour, and you and your friends may very well become regulars at your new favorite New York City vegan restaurant.

Vegans and omnivores alike are sure to love this New York-style vegan fare, for both the taste and the sustainability. Meat-eater or veggie-only diner, it’s worth taking a taste of vegan NYC at some of these veg hot spots or any of the vegetarian restaurants that New York City has to offer. From comfort food to vegetarian takes on traditional meats you’ll find in New York City, there’s only one question left to uncover the best vegan restaurant in the city: Which one do you think is the best thing in vegan NYC?

Tourists might plan a trip to experience the full menu of NYC vegan dishes, while locals can try a new dish every weekday until they find their own specialty of choice. From seitan bacon to shiitake mushrooms, you’ll undoubtedly find a high-quality vegan ingredient to crave. Either way, one thing is for certain: New York City has some of the world’s best vegan restaurants for all your dining needs.

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