What to expect when you're Connecting: Vegan and vegetarian restaurants near ICNY

Our favorite places to find vegan and vegetarian food near Times Square

One unfortunate byproduct of living a plant-based lifestyle is that when you’re eating out, you typically have only a handful of options (if that) at many of the more popular eateries, and sometimes you have to quiz the waitstaff to make sure there isn’t any chicken broth or beef flavoring lurking in a dish that appears to be vegan.

Thankfully, the Big Apple is full of plant-based restaurants that offer nothing but all vegan food, all the time, so you have the luxury of choosing anything from the menu — and you can be sure it suits your diet. Here’s a sampling of some of our favorite places to find vegan and vegetarian food near the Inman Connect New York headquarters.

1. The Cinnamon Snail
2 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10121

The Cinnamon Snail began its illustrious vegan food service career as a food truck; now there are a couple of brick-and-mortar locations, including this one in the Pennsy Food Hall, so expect a no-frills experience with great food and plenty of seating. The food is all kosher and totally plant-based, open for both lunch and dinner; try the Beastmode Burger Deluxe, an ancho chile seitan (wheat meat) burger that’s grilled in maple hickory barbecue sauce and served with jalapeno mac-and-cheese, baby arugula, chipotle mayo and smoked chile coconut bacon all loaded on top of a pretzel bun. The Cinnamon Snail also has an array of donuts and pastries (about 30 different options that rotate out daily), and you can order coffee from the Snail or wander around Pennsy to find yourself a beer to pair with your meal instead.

2. P.S. Kitchen
246 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

Instead of keeping its overage dollars, P.S. Kitchen donates all of its profits to local and overseas charities; it’s also committed to creating jobs for marginalized New Yorkers in addition to serving up delicious, nutritious plant-based food to the masses. In short, it’s a place you can feel good about eating on many levels, whether you’re stopping in for lunch, dinner or a late-night post-bar snack. There are a couple of prix-fixe options — one comes with both soup and salad and one with either/or; if you’re in a soup mood, the Colombian potato soup is highly recommended, and if you’d rather order a la carte, try the buffalo maitake wings with house blue cheese, potato salad and celery. The orzo alfredo is another popular choice, made with cashew cream, broccoli puree and a paste made from sun-dried tomatoes and chiles; add some meat substitute (chicken or sausage) to the mix for a little extra protein and flavor.

3. By Chloe
1 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

By Chloe is located in the Rockefeller Center and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so no matter what your meal needs are, this outpost has you covered. You’ll find salads, of course, plus burgers and sandwiches, pastas and dessert — including some brownies, cookies and other sweet treats that are infused with CBD, one of the active ingredients in cannabis. The avocado pesto pasta is one of the most popular items on the menu, featuring avocado-cashew pesto, grape tomatoes and almond parmesan; the burgers are also deservedly popular. Try the guac burger, a black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty with guacamole, corn salsa, lettuce, tomato, onion, tortilla strips and chipotle aioli on a whole-grain bun. Gluten-free versions of most dishes are available, too, and clearly marked on the menu.

4. Beyond Sushi
134 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018

Maybe you weren’t aware that sushi goes beyond just raw fish — and if you were, then get ready to really enjoy yourself at Beyond Sushi, which offers an array of sushi, dumplings, noodle soups, shared plates and main dishes, all plant-based and all absolutely delicious. You’ll have to make a reservation at least two days in advance for groups larger than 10 people, which involves a prix fixe menu featuring some of the most popular items on the menu that can be shared among you. The Fun Guy dumplings — packed with porcini, shiitake and portabella mushrooms plus baked tofu, spinach, micro arugula, chili panko and a spicy bean-and-shiitake truffle sauce — are one of the standouts on the menu, and there are plenty of sushi rolls (try the mighty mushroom or spicy mango) to give you a full sushi experience without harming a single fish.

5. Blossom du Jour
617 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

You can get breakfast, lunch and dinner at Blossom du Jour, but seating is pretty limited, so it’s usually best to plan on grabbing your meal and taking it back to the hotel with you. The salads and build-your-own bowls are relatively healthy, but there are also plenty of fast-food alternatives on the menu if you feel like indulging in a burger or a Philly cheesesteak sandwich (minus the cheese and the steak). Some of the most popular menu items include the un-chicken avocado griller, made with grilled rosemary soy “chicken,” avocado, pesto mayonnaise and lettuce, served on rosemary focaccia bread, and the egg, cheese and bacon sandwich: tofu scramble, peppers, onions, sauteed greens, cheese sauce, hollandaise sauce and mushroom bacon bits on an English muffin or wrapped up in a spinach tortilla.

6. Urban Vegan Kitchen
41 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

Urban Vegan Kitchen might be a better bet for dinner than lunch; you’ll probably want to catch a ride share to this location, but its take on bar and comfort food is well worth checking out while you’re in New York. The happy shrimp po’boy is a popular choice — popcorn-fried seitan, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles and housemade remoulade on toasted French bread (tip: add avocado to your sandwich) — as is the “chick-un” and waffles, made with fried seitan, sauteed garlic kale and maple mustard aioli on a crispy Belgian waffle. The buffalo “wings” (also seitan) and Mexican street corn make lovely starters, and the beer, wine and cocktail list should satisfy your need for a little extra something at dinner — or try some fresh-squeezed juice, in a full glass or as part of a juice flight.

7. Peacefood
41 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

Peacefood is both a vegan restaurant and bakery, which means you can find desserts like tiramisu, cheesecake, cookies and even a handful of raw desserts — try the cashew cream cheesecake or cocao mousse pie. You can also get raw lasagna, pizza or sushi rolls, but some of the more popular dishes do come cooked, such as the roasted Japanese pumpkin sandwich: mashed, seasoned pumpkin topped with caramelized onions, walnuts, cashew cheese and greens. The pan-seared Shanghai-style dumplings, with shiitake and wood-ear mushrooms plus tofu and vegetarian protein, is another dish that keeps locals coming back; Peacefood also offers several smoothies (the mango lassi is highly recommended) that you can order to-go. In fact, if you’re in a rush, try the online ordering function and get your entire order to go before you book it back to the conference.

8. Delice & Sarrasin
20 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

Just because you eat plant-based doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate a good French meal — and Delice & Sarrasin is an all-vegan French restaurant that focuses on crepes but has an assortment of other options that you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to find without meat, such as escargot (made with oyster mushrooms) and coq au vin (a pea-protein “chicken” leg braised in pinot noir and herbs de provence with carrots, mushrooms, shallots and onions. There’s even vegan foie gras and vegan steak tartare! Gluten-free and soy-free dishes are clearly marked, and everything on the menu is also entirely organic. Best of all, the prices are reasonable enough that you can come back to Delice & Sarrasin more than once during your trip to New York.

9. Caravan of Dreams
405 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

Caravan of Dreams offers vegan and kosher food with a full bar and nightly live entertainment — in short, the Spanish expat owner built the restaurant of his dreams and unleashed it on New York. There’s a menu for raw-food enthusiasts — nori rolls, zucchini garden pasta, a quesadilla and a California tostada — plus juices and smoothies, but most visitors come for entrees and sandwiches. Some popular choices include the huitlacoche and chorizo quesadilla, made with house-cultured cashew kefir cheese, soy-based chorizo and corn heated in a whole-wheat tortilla and served with watercress and mango salad; the wild rice and cremini risotto croquettes, made with shiitake mushrooms, roasted red pepper puree, asparagus and French lentils; or the tempeh Reuben with grilled onions, Russian dressing and tomato on rye toast with house sauerkraut and pickle.

10. Red Bamboo
140 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012

Red Bamboo offers both Asian and Southern dishes served with a vegan twist, including several faux-seafood options that are worth chasing down. You can get crab rangoon, Cajun-fried shrimp, almond coconut “chicken” or buffalo wings for starters (the wings and the coconut chicken come particularly recommended); the menu is massive, so it’s a good place to bring groups or non-plant-based folks who are nonetheless up for an adventure. They’re sure to find something suitable between the rice dishes, noodle and pasta offerings, vegetable entrees, main courses, burgers and sandwiches, salads and more. Try the pulled pork sandwich, the Southern-fried chicken or the coconut chicken entrees for a bigger meal. The prices at Red Bamboo are also very reasonable for New York, so you might be tempted to order another meal to go before you leave to save for later.

Did we miss your favorite vegetarian or vegan eatery in New York? Tell us where it is in the comments!

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