The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in NYC

Vegetarian

by Jasmine Greene

New York City might be known for its hotdogs, steaks and delis, but thanks to the growing popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets more options are popping up every year.

These restaurants do a great job showcasing how delicious meat-free dishes can be and are the perfect place for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

Buddha Bodai

5 Mott Street

Buddha Bodai

Walking around Chinatown, you might think there aren't any vegetarian friendly restaurants, and you'd be wrong. Buddha Bodai is the perfect place if you're craving some delicious Chinese dim sum or standard entrée.

While the menu offers items such as "chicken" and black pepper sauce, roast "pork" fried rice and even salt and pepper "ribs" you can rest assured all of the meat is a substitute. Even better, everything is kosher and there are even a few gluten-free options.

By Chloe

185 Bleecker Street

By Chloe

Fast food doesn't have to be unhealthy or at least that's what chef Chloe Coscarelli believes. At her restaurant she serves up traditional diner fare like tacos, hamburgers, mac and cheese and even ice cream. Of course everything here is plant-based, but that doesn’t mean it lacks flavor.

Everything on the menu is made from scratch (even the condiments – beet ketchup anyone?) from seasonal and local ingredients when possible. So whether you want a burger or some brunch, by Chloe is the perfect vegetarian spot.

Champs Diner

197 Meserole Street, Brooklyn

Champs Diner

If you're looking for a quiet place to eat lunch or dinner, this is definitely not the spot. However, if you're looking for some delicious and budget-friendly vegetarian comfort food, it's definitely worth your time to eat at Champs Diner.

The menu offers classics like Buffalo wings, Reuben sandwich, "chicken" and waffles and even "meatloaf." The meals here are so flavorful and filling you'll absolutely walk out stuffed and satisfied. Will you be getting the healthiest meals around? Probably not, but they sure are tasty.

Dirt Candy

86 Allen Street

Dirt Candy

Due to the popularity of this restaurant, it needed to move out of its 18 seat location in the East Village to much bigger digs in the Lower East Side. Still even with triple the seating you'll want to make reservations to ensure you can get a taste of these inventive dishes by Chef Amanda Cohen.

While billed as a vegetarian restaurant, almost every item on the dish can be made vegan by request save a few. What sets Dirt Candy apart from other competitors is its focus on providing not only great flavor but texture as well. This dedication to serving only the best earned it two stars from the New York Times and recognition from the Michelin Guide.

Kajitsu

125 East 39th Street

Kajitsu

It's not just the tranquil decoration of Kajitsu that will put your heart at ease it’s the food as well. The food is based on Shojin cuisine, a type of vegetarian cooking with origins in Zen Buddhism. This is said to be the foundation of all Japanese cooking as it focuses on enhancing the flavor of fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The restaurant specializes in kaiseki – a multi-course meal that highlights the freshness of the ingredients. You can choose from either a four-course or eight-course menu though you can add some additional sides if the meal is not filling enough. The menu changes monthly, which means you'll need to visit every month to get a taste of the season.

Peacefood Cafe

460 Amsterdam Ave

Peacefood Cafe

Even though Peacefood Cafe is more of a vegan gem it have its place on this list as well. Being located Upper West Side, and perhaps the only veggie compliant spot in this area, they serve delicious food such as the earthly salad with red quinoa and the fried seitan. That said, you simply must try the chickpea fries and Japanese pumpkin sandwich. All their dishes comes with a slight flair of creativity which makes you to come back again.

Honorable Mention

Tiffin Wallah

127 East 28th Street

Tiffin Wallah

While most people are more familiar with the lamb vindaloo and chicken tandoori of North India, South Indian cuisine offers just as much curry flavor without the meat.

While you can stumble into any South Indian restaurant in Lexington Avenue's "Curry Hill" Tiffin Wallah stands apart as one of the best. They're cheese and vegetable filled dosas will make you wonder why you hadn't heard of dosas until now. You'll also want to try some the Gujarati curries for an authentic Northern Indian curry.