An ecogastronomic route through the Big Apple, with 18 proposals between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The West Coast of the United States has long been the leader of the vegetarian (and vegan) scene in the country, although things are starting to change on the Atlantic coast, especially in New York. The local food nourishes the menu of many new restaurants in the Big Apple, which seduce with style, good atmosphere, wines, liquors and desserts of excellent quality. I
Vegetarian and vegan restaurants
n the city there are more and more establishments that do not serve meat, and some as fashionable as Nix, in Greenwich Village, a very creative vegetarian who has received good reviews and a Michelin star. Almost all letters – including those from prestigious meat restaurants – include sections for vegetarians, or mark special days dedicated to green. And besides, vegans see how new proposals come up for them every day. Modern Love, which serves comfort food in Williamsburg, the elegant Blossom coffee or Seasoned Vegan, star of the soul food (African American cuisine of the southern United States) in vegetarian version, in Harlem, are three of the 18 stops that this delicious and green route through Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Organic food in New York
1 Healthy food in the market
To get organic food, New Yorkers often go to the greenmarkets, overflowing with fruits and vegetables grown around the city. The one in Union Square, in Manhattan, works four days a week, although the best one is Friday. In addition to buying organic products you can recycle clothes and carry organic waste for composting. And, of course, go as eco-friendly as possible: by bike on the Manhattan Greenway, with almost 200 kilometers of bicycle lanes that allow you to tour the city (Brooklyn, Central Park, Riveside Park and the banks of the Hudson River).
The New York greenmarkets are a healthy food option for visitors, as well as Whole Foods, a mecca for organic and natural food supermarkets in the United States. Most of their products have no transgenic fats, no artificial colors or flavors. They ensure a good diet, yes, at fairly high prices.
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They also have a section of food ready to go (which is charged by weight), with salads, hot dishes and desserts. You just have to take a cardboard box, choose what you most want, weigh and pay. The good news is that, being a supermarket, you do not have to leave a tip.
This informal café decorated with artwork, which opened its first location in Brooklyn in 2005, offers Manhattan (292 Elizabeth St) delicious organic food and a fireplace in winter. Soups and salads, homemade hamburgers, sandwiches and vegetarian lasagna. Among their virtuous drinks are fruit smoothies and natural juices, with optional supplements. Vegans and those allergic to gluten will not be hungry.
3 Butcher’s Daughter
In spite of its name – the daughter of the butcher, in English – this chain with presence in New York (two premises in Manhattan, another one in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and Los Angeles has rebelled and only serves vegetarian food. And it’s not boring at all: from the organic muesli with almond milk and the spicy Caesar kale salad with almond parmesan, to a tasty vegetable burger and black beans with cashew cheddar cheese for dinner.
4 Buddha Bodai
It serves exquisite vegetarian cuisine with Cantonese flavors such as vegan duck casserole, rice rolls with spinach and vegetarian roasted pork rolls. Since another restaurant with the same name and a similar letter opened a few blocks away in 2015, people refer to it (in the neighborhood since 2004) as The Original Buddha Bodai.
Lower East Side
It is not a restaurant but an independent bookstore where to broaden horizons on feminism, the homosexual and transgender community, globalization and African-American studies, among other topics. But the good thing is that it has an ecological and fair trade cafeteria that offers vegan food and numerous lectures and lectures.
6 Red Bamboo
Fried and crunchy prawns, parmesan chicken, chocolate cake … Red Bamboo offers all this and much more, such as Asian dishes and soul food. The funny thing is that everything in the menu is vegan (although you can also ask for real cheese). It should not be missed by vegans, vegetarians or anyone who wants to try something new.
7 Urban Vegan Kitchen
This restaurant has a new name – it belonged to the New York chain Blossom – but still offers an extraordinary vegan cuisine in a dark and fun environment. You can have a brunch and enjoy chicken waffles (without chicken), with kale and garlic and mustard and maple aioli, and for dinner, two-storey tacos with seitan.
8 Natural Village
Vegetarians, vegans and companions flock to this unpretentious West Village restaurant (46 Greenwich Ave) en masse for years. The menu stands out for its large portions of sautés and pasta, as well as the abundant salads and vegetable burgers.
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Vegetarian oasis in Chelsea (with a second location at 507 Columbus Ave), quiet and romantic, serving imaginative dishes of tofu, seitan and other vegetables, some raw and all kosher. In addition to its main menus, at dinner it offers the In Bloom section with fresh seasonal vegetables.
In this sober vegetarian restaurant with a Michelin star, chefs Nicolas Farias and John Fraser transform the vegetables into art, with very well executed dishes that delight the senses. You can start with a tandoori bread and creative sauces such as spiced aubergine with pine nuts, before moving on to more complex elaborations, such as cauliflower in tempura with steamed buns or spicy tofu with chanterelle mushrooms, kale and Sichuan pepper.
A vegan whose appeal is, above all, his Korean cuisine, very well achieved. After taking off your shoes at the entrance, you access a zen space of meditative music, soft low seats and complex dishes. They impress the spongy pancakes and the tofu with ginger sauce.
Upper West Side
12 Peacefood Cafe
This bright and spacious vegan paradise offers 460 Amsterdam Avenue real delights, healthy and good for the diner. In addition, it is respectful with the environment because it cooks with products of proximity. It has a second location in Downtown (41 East 11th Street).
13 Candle Cafe West
The extensive menu of this well-known restaurant is totally vegan, ecological and delicious. One will not go hungry with their spaghetti with wheat dumplings, chopped seitan, roasted filet of portobello mushrooms with chimichurri, summer vegetable risotto and lasagna. It also serves generous salads, natural juices, fruit smoothies and homemade ginger ale. It has gluten-free options and two more places on the Upper East Side.
14 Seasoned Vegan
Run by mother and son, this place has earned a loyal clientele thanks to its delicious adaptations of soul food. Everything is ecological and free of animal products. It has creative versions of grilled ribs (made with lotus root and fermented soy), po’boys (with yam) and macaroni and cheese (with cashew milk). You have to arrive early because the waits can be long at peak times.
15 Govinda’s Vegetarian Lunch
Located under a Hare Krishna temple, prepare five or six different vegan proposals for lunch (aubergine parmesan, vegetable curry, lentil soup, among others), as well as delicious desserts. There is not much atmosphere, but it will please the vegetarian savers.
16 Dun-well Donuts
“The best vegan artisan donuts in Brooklyn” may seem like a commercial attraction of the most hipster, but the real offer of this place surpasses advertising, since one can choose from a multitude of delicacies of vegetable origin made daily with organic ingredients and a touch of wit and sense of humor. We can, for example, ask for a Homer, surprising version of the Simpsons donut.
17 Modern Love
The new restaurant of the renowned chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz serves an “elegant homemade vegan food” with delicious versions and vegetables of classic dishes such as mac ‘n’ shews (macaroni with creamy cashew cheese and tofu with crust of pecans and corn flour) ), Manhattan’s glamorous soup, Philly cheesesteak de seitan and truffle poutine (chips with dark sauce and cottage cheese). It is always lively and, although it is not mandatory, it is advisable to book.
18 Champs Diner
This little diner prepares a delicious homemade totally vegan American food. It is always full thanks to the breakfasts and its reasonable prices (although the service is not fast). We recommend French toast slam (with scrambled tofu and tempeh or seitan bacon), pancakes with chocolate and banana chips, macaroni and cheese or bacon burger (actually, black beans with tempeh and cheese bacon) vegan).