By Neha Gosalia
Vegan food is currently trending. It is no surprise that so many just participated in “Veganuary,” meaning eating vegan for the first full month of this year. You’ve probably been hearing a lot about vegan food, plant-based meals, or perhaps you’ve seen menu items with a little green leaf next to it. Were you curious to try these, but wondered if you would feel full? Will it taste good? Is it just salads? Tofu? What do vegans actually eat?!
The vegan diet is fully plant-based, which means no meat, seafood, or dairy. There are a lot of misconceptions people may have about eating vegan before actually trying it. Let’s change that. As a self-proclaimed foodie who loves to explore new places to dine, I ventured out to find the best vegan food around NYC. Interestingly, I’ve been seeing more and more all-vegan places opening, and restaurants in this space have really gotten creative offering options for everyone from nut-free to gluten-free. Vegan or not, I’m sure you’ll find something you like on the menu. Here are some of my top picks:
- Red Bamboo (140 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012) – Craving some soul food? This is the spot. Everything from barbecue buffalo wings to soy steak and mash potatoes and gravy–this is all food for the soul. If you have an ounce of space after a meal here, go for a slice of vegan cake. Worth every calorie.
- Ladybird NYC (111 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009) – Fancy feels at this restaurant offering creative tapas and cocktails. Beautiful seating that would be great for a date night or special celebration. The truffle mac ‘n cheese with breadcrumbs is everything!
- Bar Verde (65 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003) – Fun and flirty, this Mexican place has an inviting vibe with Latin music and friendly service. The tacos, nachos, and much more all taste so fresh! Photo worthy food with colorful creations.
- Beyond Sushi (multiple locations around the city) – Vegan sushi? Yes, you read that right. A colorful assortment of sushi rolls that hit the spot. Not only that, they have dumplings, wraps, and rolls all made with the concept of eating clean.
- Little Choc Apothecary (the 141 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211) – For me, this is a weekend indulgence. Come here for a sweet or savory crepe and cozy up with some of the best freshly brewed hot teas and served in beautiful teacups. Cheers.
We can’t leave out the sweet treats! These bakeries are dishing up some of the best desserts that may leave you wondering if they truly are vegan.
- Confectionery (440 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009) – Offering everything from macarons to cookies and chocolates, this little East Village shop is a hidden gem. Go early and take your pick because they sell out fast. They have the absolute best macarons with an assortment of flavors. I bet you can’t just buy one!
- Clementine Bakery (395 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238) – All plant-based and community rooted in the heart of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The line is always long, and I see why! Grab a sweet treat with tea and sit outside to enjoy. If you are really hungry, they offer full menu food options as well. Bonus – they are sustainably sourced and you will be supporting a local business.
- Little Cupcake Bakeshop (not all vegan but offers vegan options; multiple locations) – I have never had a vegan cupcake like this! The strawberry cupcake frosting is made with real strawberries! Sustainable ingredients and predominantly sourced locally.
I hope you now have a better idea of what vegans eat, and that you are inspired to try some of these places the next time you are out! If you’re craving more of my food favorites, feel free to follow along my journey on Instagram at @WhereSheGos. Until next time. Eat well, Live well.