Americas USA Vegetarian Food

Vegetarian Eats in New York: 7 days, 7 cuisines

October 30, 2015

There’s no lack of amazing, delicious, vegetarian-friendly restaurants in one of the best cities in the world: New York. So no matter what neighborhood you find yourself in, you’ll always be spoilt for choice. On a recent trip back, I had made reservations at all my favorite restaurants for the week, and ended up having a different cuisine for dinner for 7 days straight without realizing it! Here’s a round up of my week, dining at my favorite, vegetarian-friendly spots 🙂

1. Middle Eastern- ilili 

Why it’s a favorite: authentic cuisine & fancy ambience

Where: 27th St & 5th Ave

Cost: $$$

What to order: Hummus, Muhammara, Labne, Phoenician Fries, Tabouleh

Reservations: Recommended – it fills up!

Other favorite restaurants: Al Mayass, Kashkaval Garden (the BEST fondue!!)

2. Ethiopian – Queen of Sheba


Why it’s a favorite: deliciously flavorful food, super cheap & a no-frills place

Where: 46th St & 10th Ave

Cost: $$

What to order: Veggie combo platter (served with injera bread, and 7 different vegetables and lentils) – tastes very similar to Indian food, if you’ve never tried it before! Truly a burst of flavors!

Reservations: Not needed – can walk in

3. Mexican – Ponche Taqueria & Cantina


Why it’s a favorite: family-run home-style authentic Mexican food & BYOB

Where: 49th St between 9th & 10th Ave

Cost: $$

What to order: Ensalada del Monte (delicious Mexican salad), any of the burritos/tacos/enchiladas are good

Reservations: Recommended

Other favorite restaurants: Blockheads (fast food), Toloache (truffle quesadillas)

4. Italian – Bar Pitti


Why it’s a favorite: outdoor seating in my favorite neighborhood, West Village

Where: Bleecker St & 6th Ave

Cost: $$

What to order: Truffle pasta

Reservations: Don’t take reservations so get there early; they’re always full!

Other favorite restaurants: Piccolo Angolo (the most authentic Italian pasta you’ll find), Briciola (16-seater dimly lit, brick-walled date-night type restaurant serving excellent Italian tapas)

5. American – ABC Kitchen


Why it’s a favorite: great veggie appetizers

Where: 18th St & Broadway

Cost: $$$

What to order: Any of the pizzas!

Reservations: Recommended a couple weeks in advance

Other favorite restaurants: Blue Hill (very expensive but worth it for a special occasion – farm-fresh vegetables, like you’ve never had before, cooked to your taste. Even the simple stands out here!)

6. Asian – Shun Lee Café

Why it’s a favorite: Dimsum trolleys are moving non-stop around the restaurant, with several veggie options – your plate will never be empty!

Where: 65th St & Broadway

Cost: $$$

What to order: All the veggie dimsums they have

Reservations: Recommended (make sure to go to the café not Shun Lee Palace, located right beside it)

Other favorite restaurants: Hangawi (all-vegetarian Korean)

7. Spanish/European – Gato


Why it’s a favorite: The best paella in NYC!

Where: Lafayette St between Bleecker & E. Houston St

Cost: $$$

What to order: Gato spreads (greek yogurt, pesto, hummus) with buckwheat pita, kale and wild mushroom paella, crispy potatoes with smoked paprika

Reservations: Recommended a couple weeks in advance

Other favorite restaurants: Fig & Olive


8. Pizza – Tappo/Vezzo


Why it’s a favorite: gourmet, thin-crust pizzas with custom toppings (both outlets run by the same owner)

Where: Tappo – 24th St & 6th Ave, Vezzo – 31 st St & Lexington Ave

Cost: $$

What to order: A make-your-own pizza with fresh garlic, pesto, basil and onions

Reservations: Not needed – can walk in

Here’s a map marking the top spots to help you navigate! Please do visit the other favorites listed as well; in many cases, they are just as good as the primary featured restaurants, but I only had limited meals in hand 🙂

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This list is in no way exhaustive of all the mouth-watering dishes New York has to offer, so stay tuned for more posts on Manhattan’s eclectic food scene 🙂

  1. Reply


    October 31, 2015

    Great Post!
    Can you do a post on best indian eateries in and around NYC?
    Also, would you recommend any hidden gems that tourists should visit while in NYC?

    Keep em’ coming girl!

    • Reply

      Mehek Punatar

      October 31, 2015

      Thanks! Glad you found it helpful!
      Yes definitely – have a lot of recommendations for Indian food in NYC, so will do a post on that very soon! Will also be putting up posts on the best hidden cafes, funky outdoor bars, and some offbeat and unique NYC experiences over the next few weeks. But if you are visiting NYC soon and need these recommendations asap, feel free to send me a message on my Facebook page ( and I’ll send you some suggestions!

  2. Reply


    December 23, 2015

    Any Indian Eateries around Midtown?

    • Reply


      December 24, 2015

      Tons! Midtown East: there’s Bukhara, a sit down place. Really great North Indian food, a little on the pricier side. Their black daal is heaven! (I think it’s around 49th and 2nd). Midtown West: Indikitch, an amazing Indian fast food spot – think Indian chipotle! Get the dosa tacos there! There’s also Kathi Roll Company for a quick bite, around Bryant Park. If you can make it to west village though, I’d really recommend Bombay Duck and Masala Times – both fast food type spots but right beside eachother, and delicious Indian snacks – rolls, dosa, vada pao, pav bhaji etc! There’s also a ton of Indian eateries in the mid 20s on Lexington Avenue – try Bhatti – amazing North Indian food and very reasonable! Enjoy!! Let me know if you’re looking for more fine dining options and I’ll send those along too 🙂