Best Vegan Restaurants in NYC
If the word VEGAN conjures up images of sprouts and tasteless tofu, think again! Vegan dishes can give any other cuisine a run for it’s money when it comes to taste AND health. Going vegan is definitely a lifestyle choice as opposed to a diet. Vegans don’t consume any foods of animal origin for reasons including animal rights, the environment, and personal health. Becoming a vegan is a process that must be approached gradually, but is becoming much more doable with the countless vegan options in supermarkets and restaurants. This is a guest post by Stefani Pappas, Clinical Nutrition Master’s Student at New York University.
A vegan diet boasts many health benefits, especially the low amount of saturated fat due to the avoidance of dairy and meat products. Vegans generally eat a lot of fiber, which can help fight against colon cancer. Vitamins and minerals high in the vegan diet include magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin C, and various phytochemicals. Additionally, eating a healthy vegan diet has shown to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and several forms of cancer.
A few years ago, trying to find a vegan dinner option in New York City was close to impossible. Today, nearly every corner of NYC has a raw juice bar and vegan items to grab in a pinch. Vegan restaurants are on the rise in NYC and many restaurants are adding vegan options to their menu. However, sometimes vegan restaurants can be hit-or-miss. If you are a vegan, or are interesting in becoming a vegan, here are some of the best vegan restaurants in NYC for your next night on the town:
Pure Food and Wine
Everything served at Pure is not only delicious, but also completely raw and vegan. The food presentation is flawless and the atmosphere is gorgeous. They have a great selection of organic wines, and some signature dishes include the Thai Lettuce Wraps, Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna, and the fabulous desserts.
With several locations (including a Blossom Bakery), this candlelit restaurant is cozy and offers a variety of delicious eggless pastas and faux meats. The Chelsea location has more interesting plates such as the Cashew Cream Ravioli and the Raw Zucchini Rolatini. Whichever location you choose, you really can’t go wrong with Blossom. The Soy Bacon Cheeseburger is a unique vegan delight that is hearty and satisfying.
This is the perfect restaurant for a relaxing night out with friends. You take your shoes off at the door and sit at low tables, making this experience fun and laid back. The vegan Korean menu at Hangawi is amazing and you’ll want to try everything on the menu. Some highlights include the Organic Dandelion Avocado Salad and the Organic Maitake Mushrooms with Spinach.
Sister to the Upper East Side’s Candle 79, Candle Café brings healthy and delicious vegan dishes to the Upper West Side. The additional gluten-free menu is a plus, and the entrees are very satisfying. Some favorites include the Aztec salad, Cajun Seitan Sandwich, and the delicious cocktails. They also serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
If you’re looking for indulgent and inventive vegetarian/vegan food, Dirt Candy is the place for you. Located on the lower east side, everything here is vegetarian but can be made vegan on request. Make sure you get reservations because it is quite small, but the dishes are very elaborate and delicious. Try the acclaimed broccoli dogs.
Although Angelica’s Kitchen is one of the oldest vegetarian/vegan restaurants in NYC, it is definitely one of the best. Located in the East Village, this is a popular vegan dining spot. The daily dinner menu specials are fresh and amazing, but you can never go wrong with ordering the filling Wee Dragon Bowl Combo. This restaurant is also BYOB, so bring a bottle of wine and some friends for a delicious vegan dinner.
Last but not least, my personal favorite….
This vegan restaurant turns classic comfort foods into gourmet vegan dishes. It’s the upscale version of sister restaurant, Candle Café. The two-story restaurant boasts a chic and sophisticated interior on the Upper East Side.The salads are all delicious, and Angel’s Nachos are a hearty appetizer. (above salad pic credit) Some popular entrees include the Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Cake, Seitan Piccata, and Spaghetti & Wheat Balls. The weekend brunch is lovely and includes a juice, smoothie or mimosa to pair with Homestyle Quinoa Pancakes or Tofu Scramble.
I’d like to thank Stefani Pappas for writing this post. Stefani is currently a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition Student at New York University. She has a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University. She is a contributing writer for Elite Daily, member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Equinox Fitness Instructor, and aspiring Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. As a Schwinn Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor, Stefani is dedicated to leading a healthy and active lifestyle, and inspiring others to do the same. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @stefhealthtips for more nutrition and fitness tips!
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