It's Monday morning and I'm already on OpenTable booking Sunday brunch (Vegan)...

A day trip into Manhattan during the changing of the seasons is completely worth braving the cold for. A beautiful, brisk stroll through the Winter Village at Bryant Park or a Broadway matinee is made all that much better with an additional stop at a cozy, picturesque cafe. An oat milk latte and a stack of chocolate chip pancakes are just too good to pass up. 

Amidst the reputable, go-to spots there are quite a few quaint cafes and restaurants with a plethora of options for those of us who follow plant-based diets. You might even be surprised by how delicious these meals really are...

1. The Smile 

The Smile is nestled away at the bottom of a landmark 1830’s style townhouse on the infamous Bond Street. This cafe serves Mediterranean-style dishes that allow you to both indulge and leave with no regrets. I recommend the smashed avocado toast or the steel cut oats served with coconut milk, berries, and dried currants. And if you aren't yet satisfied, stroll over to the bakery section for banana buckwheat bread or quinoa muffins that just so happen to be both vegan and gluten free. This place does not disappoint. 

2. ABCv

This modern, seasonally inspired restaurant serves light and incredibly fresh all around plant-based meals. Upon entering, you are bound to run into some of New York’s most devoted wellness junkies. If I could take one guess as to what they are ordering, I'd have to say their meal starts with a beverage from the extensive list of juices and protein-packed smoothies. Their coconut yogurt topped with figs, vanilla pear compote, and pistachio granola is ground-breaking. Oh, so are the vegan einkorn pancakes with bananas, ripe pears, coconut butter, and maple syrup. Yup, we’re drooling too. 

3. Two Hands Cafe

Two Hands is an Australian inspired cafe with an attractive, coastal aesthetic and food to match the vibe. The “Build Your Breakfast” was a best-seller amongst my group of friends. This dish (pictured) includes two eggs (any style) on sourdough toast with sides including bacon, sweet potato, and pickled beets. If you are eating completely plant-based, I recommend the smashed avocado toast or the açaí bowl loaded with toppings such as granola, bee pollen, coconut flakes, toasted pepitas, and fruit. The chocolate chia pudding with house-whipped peanut butter and chocolate avocado ganache is also gluten and dairy free. Make sure to add an order of the “my way” smoothie packed with banana, blueberries, açaí, cacao, and almond milk to help kick-start your day. 

Emma Barker

4. Bluestone Lane 

Bluestone Lane doubles as both a cafe and coffee shop. This Australian style spot just opened a new location in Hudson Yards and the menu covers cappuccinos to green juices. The signature banana toast is a crowd favorite: a thick, toasted slice of multigrain toast with almond butter, cinnamon, and honey (for those non-vegans). Aside from the typical matcha latte, Bluestone Lane created a beet latte which sticks out among the rest providing great health benefits for optimal digestion.

New York City has endless options to brunch (vegan) but i've narrowed it down to a few of my faves. Stay warm and happy brunching!