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Satisfying Vegetarian Options in NYC

Satisfying Vegetarian Options in NYC Photo

Photo by sMorris

Posted on July 25, 2011 in Food and Drink

When you have friends visiting -- particularly friends from the West Coast -- you may need some vegetarian options for dinner and/or brunch. You can become an entertaining hero/heroine by keeping a go-to list of restaurants that cater to vegetarians, locavores and omnivores on hand. Even in New York, the thought of finding a restaurant that can satisfy carnivores (like me) and my vegetarian guests can seem daunting. Luckily, most restaurants in the city are pretty amenable to creating tasty off-menu selections for our veggie friends. There's also a pretty impressive selection of vegetarian (and even vegan) restaurants to choose from.

Vegetarian/Vegan Options

HanGawi (Vegan,Vegetarian) -- HanGawi is a Korean vegetarian restaurant with an almost Zen-like atmosphere. In traditional Asian style, guests remove their shoes and sit on mats at low tables. The food is so well- prepared, it's almost enough to keep my mind away from a big, juicy steak (almost). Try the Emperor's Tasting menu, which has a fine list of seasonal starters and mains for about $40/person.

Candle79 (Vegan) -- Candle 79 offers haute cuisine for the vegan crowd. The service is impeccable and the cocktail/wine list is pretty impressive. If you'd like to win the heart of a vegetarian/vegan with fancy food, this place is my choice. However, if you'd like a more casual atmosphere and a lower price point, try their sister restaurant Candle Cafe.

Another fancy food option that I've yet to try is Pure Food and Wine. In addition to offering vegetarian and vegan choices, Pure Food and Wine also specializes in live/raw food.

When my vegetarian friend from San Francisco is in town, she swears by vegetarian diner Curly's Lunch, especially for weekend brunches.

Photo by frangliz

Vegetarians and Omnivores

Cookshop -- Locavores, omnivore and vegetarians can all find a home at Cookshop. I love their seasonal, organic menu, which includes items like Chilled Jersey tomato gazpacho, fried squash blossoms and a salad of marinated beets, purslane and goat's milk feta. Although this isn't a vegetarian restaurant, there is very nice selection of vegetarian appetizers and entrees. Their sommelier is both helpful and knowledgeable--not a wine snob. I would definitely recommend Cookshop.

Photo by SeenThat

Indian and Indian fusion restaurants are usually good bets for vegetarians. Mehtaphor is the TriBeCa flagship restaurant of former "Next Iron Chef" runner-up Jehangir Mehta. Mehtaphor specializes in global fusion small plates a features a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian menu. Chef Mehta also has a more casual venue with a similar format in the East Village called Graffiti.

Posted by hillypill (Gwynn Turner)

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