There are enough hip restaurants in New York City right now that choosing a place to eat can make your head spin. If you’re vegan, however, you may feel like your options are pretty limited: no dollar slice, no Levain cookies, and no Magnolia cupcakes. While there are plenty of great vegan restaurants in New York (check out this rundown on the 27 best), you can also find plenty of non-vegan spots that dish out good ole’ fashioned comfort food, vegan style.
1/2 of us here at @trailmixblazers is vegan! Now I know what you're thinking! "What do you even eat!?" I eat everything… Tasty that is! And traveling to NYC constitutes for no exception! People choose to go vegan for many reasons, but I chose it for health reasons. Being already gluten, soy, and dairy free, I thought I would be extremely limited with what I ate, but I was so wrong! This "burger" is a perfect example! The patty is made out of sweet potato and wild rice. The "bun" is a collard green wrap. And to add to the already overwhelming flavor, I got spicy pickles wrapped in. Any of you out there thinking about veganism!?
While the duck and elk burgers at this organic, eco-minded burger chain don’t exactly scream vegan, you’ll be just as happy with a sweet-potato wild rice patty or a quinoa burger, topped with radical accompaniments such as chickpea onions, alfalfa sprouts, and tomato fig jam. Or just slather it in ketchup. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Vegans can have pizza too! Motorino has an simple marinara pizza, which is topped with garlic, oregano, and olive oil. As an added bonus, you can add most of the vegan-friendly toppings and your bill will still be less than most other pizzas on the menu.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
If you’ve been in New York for over five minutes, you’ve probably heard about David Chang’s Momofuku empire. True, a restaurant family known for their cereal-flavored milks and pork belly dishes doesn’t exactly scream vegan, but you can still experience the genius of David Chang at the Momofuku Noodle Bar with the hozon ramen, made with chickpeas, kale, and mushroom broth.
Soho Tiffin Junction
If you’re in a rush, forget Chipotle and head over to its Indian cousin, Soho Tiffin Junction. There are tons of great vegan options including kale with cauliflower, curried avocado, lentils, and an impressive variety of chutneys, many of which are vegan–friendly. As an added bonus, so are the samosas – because who doesn’t love samosas?
Handmade corn tortillas, creamy guacamole, easy on the wallet – it’s no wonder so many people love Otto’s Tacos on 2nd Ave. Purists in pursuit of an L.A.-style street taco should try the Carne Asada or the chicken, but Otto’s also offers a completely vegan cremini mushroom taco. Trust me, it’s amazing: so flavorful and juicy, you’ll want all your tacos stuffed with mushrooms after this. All tacos come with freshly chopped onions and cilantro, but be sure to pay extra for the guac.
Peanut Butter & Co.
I bet you didn’t realize that every after-school PB & J that mom made you was vegan. If you find yourself craving that little slice of your childhood, you’re in luck: Peanut Butter & Co. on Sullivan Street is a peanut-butter centric sandwich shop and bakery with a ton of vegan-friendly menu items. Try the “Ants-on-a-Log” – sliced celery and raisins, naturally – on their house-made vegan black bread.
Not even a delicious bowl of hot, steaming mac and cheese is off limits. Yes, the famous S’MAC Mac n’ Cheese shop may be famous for their glorious, cheesy creations, but they sure haven’t forgotten about can’t eat dairy. Made with coconut milk, their vegan “mac and Cheese is available with all the same mix-ins as their regular menu – except maybe bacon.
An ice cream shop entirely devoted to vegan ice cream? Don’t knock it ‘till you try it. DF Mavens on St. Marks offers an impressive variety of classic and inventive vegan ice cream flavors made out of coconut, soy, and almond milks. If you’re overwhelmed by the awesomeness of it all, make a beeline for the coconut green tea flavor. If you can’t get enough, why not just buy a pint for your next vegan Netflix binge?
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
If you can’t rally your friends to try out DF Maven’s, here’s another great option for dessert. Brought to you by the team behind the famous El Rey Luncheonette, this classy ice cream parlour is the way to indulge your dessert cravings in style. Vegans and the lactose-intolerant, rejoice: they have an awesome selection of vegan (of course) sorbets as well. Word on the street is that the chocolate flavor is out of this world.