Best Restaurants For Vegetarians in NYC

September 9, 2018
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by Zagat Staff

Vegetarian options in New York have long been more than mere veggie burgers - but the meat-free options at these restaurants are particularly impressive.

Peacefood
Vegan · Greenwich Village · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.7

“Fresh, creative” (and kosher) vegan fare – including “terrific baked goods” – keeps “health-conscious” types returning to these “relaxed” neighborhood joints; though service may be “spacey” , the “affordable” tabs and “guilt-free” feeling are fine as is.
Westville Chelsea
American · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

Popular with “young 20s and 30s” , these “local hangouts” dish out “New Wave” American “diner food” with an emphasis on “heavenly” market-fresh veggies that make them a “vegetarian’s paradise” ; they’re often “crowded” with “elbow-to-elbow” seating, but “value” prices keep the appeal high.
Narcissa
American · East Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

“Talented” chef John Fraser puts forth “inspired” , “veggie-forward” New American cuisine at this “upscale” destination in the Standard East Village Hotel with serious “farm-to-table” cred (some produce is “grown Upstate” at the co-owner’s farm); its “lovely” , “sunny” interior and garden have a “relaxed” vibe, and the “fun crowd” adds “energy.”
Candle Cafe
Vegan · East 70s · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

Candle 79’s crosstown cousins lure “Gwyneth Paltrow wannabes” with “intriguing” vegan eats “prepared with love” ; though the low-key East Side locale is “cramped” , things are more “upscale” if you head west – either way the cooking is “right-on” at both.
Bunna Cafe
Ethiopian · Bushwick · $$

For about $15 per person, diners at this Bushwick spot can get The Feast, a plate of seven or nine scoops of things like red lentils and collard greens on top of a pile of injera (which functions as the utensils). The simple, brick-walled space has a neighborhood feeling to it.
Hangawi
Korean · Murray Hill · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

A “wonderful respite” in “honky-tonk” K-town, this “transporting” Korean provides “exquisite” vegan fare that tastes even better in its “Zen-like atmosphere” ; “knowledgeable” service is also part of the “relaxing” package, but “be willing to take your shoes off” – it’s a “requirement” here.
abcV
Vegetarian · Flatiron · $$

Jean-Georges Vongerichten goes vegan at his latest venture with ABC Carpet & Home, serving plates based on market veggies, noodles and grains, plus items like dosas and pancakes for breakfast. Banquettes made with handwoven Andean textiles lend warmth to the light-hued space, where there’s also a standing central bar for cold-pressed juices, tonics and kombucha, along with cocktails and biodynamic wines.
Loring Place
American · Greenwich Village · $$$

Chef Dan Kluger, who previously led the charge of local, veggie-forward fare at ABC Kitchen, is behind this Greenwich Village American serving handmade pastas, wood-grilled dishes and pizzas made with house-milled flour and seasonal toppings. The setting has a serene feel with gray-stained oak, whitewashed brick walls and tables constructed from the 19th-century building’s original pine beams.
Cocoron
Asian · NoLita · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.5

For “amazingly delicious” soba “done right” , fans command you “go immediately” to these tiny noodle shops set in “unpretentious digs” just like “you'll find in Japan” ; while the staff is “friendly” , be prepared “for long waits at peak time” ; P.S. the NoLita outpost's next-door sib, Goemon Curry, focuses on Japanese curry.
Spring Natural
Brunch · NoLita · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.9

The “interesting” health-conscious menu “covers all the bases” with “good, solid” choices that’ll work for “omnivores, vegans and the gluten-free” ; “decent” prices and “hospitable” service are other payoffs, and the new NoLita location is especially “attractive.”
Cafe Clover
American · West Village · $$$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

Health-conscious fare in a “chic” setting is the “refreshing” spin at this West Village New American, where the “creatively prepared” locavore menu features “ultrafresh” vegetables; “inviting” vibes and seasonal cocktails help account for the “lively atmosphere.”
The Little Beet Table
Murray Hill · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

It’s “hard to believe it’s so healthy” say diners “pleasantly surprised” by the “tasty, original” gluten-free menu at this Murray Hill American, where the seasonal roster highlights “creative” uses of veggies; the “cute little” space has a communal feel with a small front bar.
Momofuku Nishi
Italian · Chelsea · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.9

An “adventurous” take on Italian staples makes for “mostly delish” dishes, including an “epic” riff on cacio e pepe, at this “hype” -generating David Chang joint; the updated Chelsea digs (swapping “tight” communal tables for leather booths and barstools) lend a relaxed feel to the sophisticated space, and despite “expensive” pricing, most agree it’s “something to try” – at least once.
The East Pole
European · East 60s · $$$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

“Downtown moves Uptown” via this "mostly healthy" Fat Radish offshoot that's “enchanting” Upper East Siders with its “farm-to-table-done-right” , British-accented New American fare and “original” cocktails served in airy, “hip” quarters; despite “pricey” tabs, it's generally “crowded” – especially at the “fantastic brunch" , while its Fish Bar location focuses on seafood and oysters.
Little Park
American · TriBeCa · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

“Another hit” from chef Andrew Carmellini (Locanda Verde, The Dutch), this all-day TriBeCa American delivers a “beautifully conceived” seasonal menu with “veg-centric” twists in “classy” contemporary digs; it’ll “cost you a pretty penny” , but the “Condé Nast chic” clientele confirms “there’s a good reason.”
Nix
Vegan · Greenwich Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

Chef John Fraser (Dovetail, Narcissa) uses a “global palate of flavors and techniques” to craft “delicious, interesting” vegetarian cuisine at this “grown-up” Greenwich Villager; a “fresh” modern space and “conscientious” team boost the “class” factor – “too bad it's already an impossible reservation.”
Dirt Candy
Vegetarian · Lower East Side · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

Chef-owner Amanda Cohen shows “serious skills” at this “vegetarian mecca” on the LES where “exciting, innovative” dishes are “beautifully presented” by a “knowledgeable” crew; the airy space has a “buzzy” vibe, and tabs include an administrative fee (no tipping).
Lighthouse
American · Williamsburg · $$

A Williamsburg favorite for a casual, healthy meal, the menu here is heavy on vegetables and seafood but also has an excellent burger. Big windows let in natural light and a breeze, and although it gets busy, the space rarely feels too crowded.
Kajitsu
Japanese · Murray Hill · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.5

This wood-lined, “Zen” -like Japanese vegetarian in Murray Hill is a “hushed” oasis for “excellent” ancient Buddhist shojin cuisine, served kaiseki-style at dinner by an “impeccable” staff (and priced “as if it were Harry Winston jewels” ); the more casual first-floor adjunct goes by the name Kokage, and offers non-vegetarian, à la carte dishes for lunch and dinner.