This past summer I went to New York City alone for a mini-trip. Kind of a spontaneous trip, but I felt I had to do it. Anyway, while I was there I had a plethora of vegan restaurant options at my fingertips and it was so hard to choose where to go during the four days I was there. The options in NYC are far better than in Toronto, with some sort of vegan-friendly restaurant or cafe on every corner. I came, I saw, I ate and I swooned. These are the places I chose to eat at on my trip and hopefully places you’ll visit too!
I cannot say enough about this place. I want to live in one of their booths. The decor is magical and beautiful and the food was amazing. I ordered avocado toast (something they’re apparently known for) but did not expect it to be the mountain of avocado that was put in front of me, topped with lime, cilantro and mustard seed. With my toast I got one of their cold-pressed juices, the Water Flower, which has watermelon, fennel, cactus pear, honeydew, lime and and lavender. My goodness. Trust me when I say you have to go here, because you do, and with three locations in Manhattan and one in California, you can make it happen.
I’m sure you’ve seen a photo on Instagram from this joint, since I’m pretty sure that’s how they got so popular. When I visited there was a line-up going out the door, but no way was that going to stop me from trying one of Chef Chloe’s famed veggie burgers. I ordered a classic burger, air-baked fries, and kale-artichoke dip. There’s not much I’ve missed as a vegan in the past few years, but artichoke dip is definitely on that list. The dip from By Chloe did not disappoint! It was creamy and cheesy and garlicky and all the things you want from a kale-artichoke dip, yet it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves on Instagram. Order it!! The veggie burger was also very good, probably one of the best I’ve had. The line-ups might scare you away, but it’s worth the wait.
One night on my trip I decided to splurge a bit and go out for a more upscale dinner, so I went to Blossom in Chelsea. I hadn’t heard too much about Blossom (another underrated one I suppose) but it was so good, I still dream about my meal. They have a special “in bloom” menu with seasonal items, so from that I ordered a cauliflower steak-au-poivre with morel mushrooms, vinegar frites, horseradish creme and brandy gravy. I have never had a meal that came close to this (probably because I don’t do much vegan fine dining but still). This place is awesome for date night, girl’s night out, or even take yourself out night. It’s cozy with dim lighting so you know you’ll look cute (but sit by the window for better food photos – I got you).
If you like baked goods, burgers, and just tasty food in general, you should visit Cinnamon Snail. They’re located in The Pennsy, a food hall attached to Penn Station, so it’s awesome for people who go that way on their commute anyway (they also have a seasonal food truck!). The beastmode deluxe burger was insane. As described on the menu, it’s “ancho chili seitan burger grilled in maple bourbon bbq sauce with jalapeno mac n cheese, arugula, smoked chili coconut bacon, and chipotle mayo on a pretzel bun”. Are you drooling yet? I am. I paired this with a passion-fruit custard donut and sailed off into the sunset on a unicorn cloud (not really, but my tastebuds felt this way).
Who doesn’t like ice cream? Especially when it’s cashew-coconut based and matcha flavour… Van Leeuwen makes vegan and non-vegan flavours, and also has an ice cream truck that drives around the city. I tried the matcha flavour and it was ridiculously good. Matcha ice cream has always been my favourite and I hadn’t found a vegan version until my friend told me to go here. They also have rotating special flavours that sound pretty awesome.
This is another place I didn’t hear much about before my trip, but I think it’s a newer restaurant. 00 + Co is a plant-based italian place specializing in their pizzas and wine. I ordered a margherita pizza and a glass of red, and boy was it good. I love real, italian style pizza and this was the closest I’ve had to that since cutting out dairy. The cashew based cheese was super melty and creamy, and just overall really yummy. They also do brunch, so grab a spot on their patio and enjoy some blood orange mimosas for me.
I visited other food joints on my trip but these were probably the most memorable, and the ones I have photos of. Part 2 will be completed in January, when I go back to the big apple, so stay tuned!