Since I’m currently galavanting around Vietnam, I decided to schedule this post ahead of time – a mash-up of my 5 favorite restaurants in NYC. I eat out, a lot, and I know that there’s no way I’ve been to all the vegan restaurants in NYC. But some are my absolute favorites, and I’ve done posts about them throughout the blog – but never in one big list. So without further ado…I give you the Girl Eats Greens 5 Best Vegan Restaurants in NYC, (in no particular order).
Pure Food & Wine – Gramercy
Pure is one of my go-to restaurants for all occasions. I recently had a group brunch there to celebrate my birthday, we’ve had date nights there, and I even brought my parents there for Easter brunch. It’s a raw vegan spot (meaning nothing is cooked above 180 degrees I think?) and everything is also gluten-free. The food is always fantastic, as is the service, and nothing, absolutely NOTHING beats their outdoor garden space.
Candle 79 – Upper East Side
I really think the owners behind the Candle “franchise” got it right. (I say “franchise” because there are three locations in NYC – one of which is also on my list below). The ambiance is nothing like a typical vegan restaurant, it’s perfect for date nights. There’s nothing grungy or hippy about this place. It’s upscale, fresh, vegan food that’s inventive and beyond delicious. One of my favorite parts about the East side location – the cannoli. You absolutely must try the cannoli.
Peacefood Cafe – Upper West Side
Peacefood is exactly what I picture when I want a vegan cafe. It’s completely laid back, the service tends to be a bit slow, but the food is decently priced, and always delicious. It’s a perfect place to catch up with friends, take your time, and just enjoy. I have an affinity for their desserts, often picking them up to-go at the counter on my way walking by. The grasshopper (pictured below) is out of this world. As are their paninis, pizzas, & salads. Peacefood always hits the spot.
Kajitsu – Midtown East
Now, it’s unfortunate that I have no photos to go along with Kajitsu, because they would be pretty insane. I took R here for his birthday years ago and we were blown away. Based on shojin cuisine, which is based off of Zen Buddhism. The menu changes frequently based on the ingredients that are in season, and this was one of the most inventive dinners I’ve ever had. We went with a tasting menu, which I believe was about 6 different courses with a sake pairing. Granted, when we were there it was still in the East Village and has since moved to Midtown East, but I assume the food is still the same. It is definitely a place for very special occasions – as the bill reminds you. But it is definitely, definitely worth the occasional splurge. You won’t regret it.
Candle Cafe West – Upper West Side
Candle Cafe West, a sister restaurant to Candle 79, is my go-to vegan restaurant in the neighborhood. Whether it be an impromptu date night, dinner with friends, or a weekend brunch, I generally end up here. It’s just as delicious as it’s East side counter part, but they often have differences on the menu (for example, no cannoli usually at this one!), which can help if you frequent both often. The service is always fantastic, and it’s location makes it one of my top picks.
You’ll notice a couple of these are on the Upper West Side, and seeing as though that’s where I reside, maybe I’m bias. But I really do love both Peacefood and Candle Cafe, and they both definitely deserve a place on this list. I have yet to get to every place in the city (that would take a book, not a blog!) but if you’re visiting NYC and wondering where to start, this will get you well on your way.