My Fav Veggie Spots in NYC

I get asked about my favorite vegetarian restaurants a lot, so below is a list of my favorite veggie/vegan restaurants in Manhattan in no particular order. I’ve also indicated if the restaurant is vegan (ND-for “no dairy”) or just vegetarian (V).

West Village
Urban Vegan Kitchen (ND) – Everything is good but my personal favorites are the breakfast sandwich and the avocado ranch salad with buffalo fried seitan.
Le Botaniste (ND)
West-Bourne (V) – My go-to is the Mushroom Reuben with a Kin non-alcoholic cocktail.
Greenwich Village
Quantum Leap (V) – They have a robust menu but my fav is the Vegan Pineapple Up Side Down Pancakes.
Red Bamboo (ND)
Go Zen (ND) – My favs are the wonton soup, curry noodle soup, and the sweet and sour divine (which is sweet and sour fake-chicken and the bomb). Go Zen is right next to Red Bamboo so it’s easy to go to either if there is a wait to be seated.
Sacred Chow (ND) – My go-to is the Tempeh Reuben and Black Olive Seitan.
Kips Bay
Marty’s V Burger (ND)
Murray Hill
Franchia (ND) – Everything is good here but some of my favs are Spicy Kimchi Pancakes, the soy ‘duck’ wrap, and Singapore Curry Angel Hair.
Upper West Side
Blossom (ND)
East Village
Double Zero (ND) – This is one of Matthew Kenney’s restaurants and it’s my favorite vegan pizza spot.
Bar Verde (ND) – This is another Matthre Kenney restaurant (he has three right next to each other in East Vill). I love the vegan nachos.
Lower East Side
Jajaja (ND) – Best tacos and frozen margs.
Petisco (ND) – kitty-corner from Jajaja, Petisco is one of my all-time fav vegan spots. I love everything on the menu.
Orchard Grocer (ND) – I love this place so much and wish they had a location in Soho. They have daily sandwich specials that are amazing.
Hangawi (ND) – I love the ambiance of this place. Be prepared to take your shoes off at the door before being seated at a traditional Korean table.
Herald Square
Cinnamon Snail (ND) – Located in The Pennsy, I fell in love with the Cinnamon Snail several years before when they just had a food truck. They have great donuts and sandos.

The following are not solely vegetarian or vegan restaurants but they have some good options as well:

  • Vandal – Amazing ambiance with fun art and robust veggie options.
  • Saxon & Parole – They have one of the best Impossible Burgers in the city.
  • Umami Burger in Brookfield Place is another one of my fav spots for a good Impossible Burger.
  • Grey Dog – My favorite is the spicy caesar salad with tofu.
  • Blockheads – Surprisingly they have a whole vegan section on their menu.
  • Taco dumbo – The vegan chorizo tacos are bomb.
  • 12 Chairs – Good spot in Soho for nice sit down with Mediterranean food. They have the best hummus in the city.
  • Counter/Chef’s Club in Nolita- Though the chefs and menu changes every few months, there are always usually great veggie options.

Happy Eating!!

Why We Eat What We Eat -Book Recap

I’ve been on a challenging journey to try to cut back on sweets and curb my insatiable sweet tooth, so I downloaded Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship With Food by Rachel Herz on my Kindle to learn a thing or two. Below are my notes/key takeaways:

  • One reason why food that looks artistic, interesting, and attractive is enjoyed more is because the appearance of food affects our expectation of how it will taste. We assume that the better food looks, the higher the quality and the more delicious it must be.
  • Translating calorie information into meaningful real-world energy expenditure has the greatest likelihood of success in reducing calorie consumption and encouraging healthier purchases. (i.e a soda or fruit juice of 250 cals takes 50 mins running or 5-mile walk to burn) – Yikes that’s a lot of expenditure for relatively little fulfillment!
  • Even though companies like Coca-Cola are advocating a “don’t eat less, just exercise more” lifestyle, it takes an unrealistic amount of activity for most people to counteract the American diet (i.e 2-hrs of working out to burn off a Big Mac).
  • All senses are involved when we eat. Tomato juice tastes better when flying because the pressurized cabin makes it hard to hear and hearing and taste are connected. It’s the same with loud music; it’s harder to tell how much alcohol is in the drink. Another takeaway is that dimmer lights have restaurant-goers taking their time and ordering more. Music can impact wine choice. Weight, shape, and color of the dishes that the food is served in effects our taste perception as well.
  • The shorter the distance between us and food, the more of it we eat. (Out of sight out of mind is actually true!)
  • Labels that downplay healthiness are often better for your health. We trick ourselves into eating more when labels say low fat or healthy.
  • The more common cause of endorphin release is the learned connections to comfort and pleasure that we have associated with certain dishes through our past experiences.
  • Stress makes high-calorie food more pleasurable and decreases the ability to make prudent decisions.
  • For young adults, just one bout of thirty minutes of moderate physical activity can improve mental capacity which may instill the willpower needed to resist food passions.
  • Be fully present while eating without other distractions to pay attention to flavor of food, how much you eat, and feeling of fullness.
  • Interacting with products that are ethically branded has the counter-intuitive effect of making us feel entitled to be greedy and immoral (this point was interesting to me–let me be kind to others!)
  • Food is more than taste or nutrition, it’s emotion.

I really enjoyed this book. It definitely made me more aware of my relationship with food.