If you live in or visit New York, you already know that the area is a hotspot for diverse vegan food, ranging from classic fast food to fine dining. In the past few months alone, plant-based eating has gotten even better with the addition of 10 all-vegan restaurants.
In New York’s East Village, raw vegan restaurant Rabbit, created by restaurateur Ravi DeRossi and Overthrow Hospitality, is an intimate 12-seat chef’s counter that serves a seasonal tasting menu with more than a dozen dishes for $75 per person. The small, upscale restaurant sets itself apart from other local vegan hotspots with its whimsical storybook theme that aims to transport customers “down the rabbit hole” – a Lewis Carrol reference. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland— via its menu, presented to guests in the form of a storybook embellished with poems and illustrations.
“Rabbit is our first raw vegan concept – it was an idea we had been toying with for a little while and were looking for the right chef and the right format,” Overthrow Hospitality founder Ravi DeRossi told VegNews.
Located next to Rabbit is vegan dessert and wine bar The Fragile Flour. Run by pastry chef and burlesque dancer Lady Ashton Warren, the bar offers an opening menu of desserts such as chocolate tiramisu soaked in coffee rum, lemon meringue pie and strawberry and basil parfaits served with wines from all over the world. Savory pre-dinner bites such as Gouda-Stuffed Pretzels and Arancini with Mushroom Pesto are also offered in the early evening.
“I’ve been a vegetarian since 2007 and have cornered the market creating delicious treats to accommodate all dietary restrictions,” Warren said in a statement. “I believe everyone deserves a dessert, and The Fragile Flour celebrates that.”
NYC vegan options are growing
In the same East Village area, you’ll find the English-style vegan craft beer bar Proletariat, which offers over 20 selected draft beers and a rotating list of hard-to-find bottles and cans, as well as a food menu. vegan pub food such as maitake sliders, shepherd’s pie, and potato and polenta cakes.
New York’s largest vegan restaurant is the new upscale Brasserie Belse, with nearly 200 seats in its 11,000 square feet of space. From the team behind Los Angeles’ Little Pine, Belse is the New York outpost that offers similar upscale comfort food, such as apple sandwiches, sausage and fennel flatbread and chick’n picatta, as well as beer brewed on site.
Soon in the West Village, the vegan empanada shop Fons. Billed as America’s first vegan empanada shop, Fons first opened in Chicago last year and has since expanded to two other locations. The New York outpost will be the fourth location and the first outside of Chicago. The husband-and-wife team is putting the finishing touches on their new location on Bleecker Street and plans to open next month for catering, take-out, delivery and catering services.
“Last year, we opened our first store in Chicago, Illinois, and were named the first plant-based empanada store in the United States. After a year and a half with this incredible journey, the time to go to New York had arrived,” Fons co-founder Daniel Briceno told VegNews. “Our first steps in the United States were in New York — we are from Venezuela and arrived here in 2018 — and we moved after six months. [from NYC] in Chicago with the idea of coming back with our company, and it’s happening.
Fons offers empanadas in flavors such as chorizo cheese and potatoes, smoked mushrooms and pulled barbecue, served with a garlic sauce – “which is the icing on the cake for empanadas”, says Briceno – drinks such as lemonade and matcha, and customizable açaí bowls from Chicago-based Deep Purpl.
Vegan fast food and soul food thrive in New York
In the Flatiron NoMad neighborhood, the second location of vegan fast food chain PLNT Burger serves American comfort classics such as burgers, chicken sandwiches, milkshakes and fries. Created by celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn (a former Bravo’s Excellent chef) and Seth Goldman (former executive chairman of Beyond Meat), PLNT Burger will soon have more locations all over New York. This new flagship location joins another outpost outside of Whole Foods Market in the Union Square neighborhood.
“This is our first store nationwide to be spacious enough to host events surrounding the plant-based movement while enjoying classic comfort foods that are delicious, nutritious and kind to the planet,” said Mendelsohn in a statement.
If vegan soul food is what you’re looking for, NYC has you covered. Located at World Artisan Market, a repurposed warehouse in New York’s Astoria neighborhood, Latin-inspired Urban Vegan Roots, Urban Vegan Kitchen’s sister location, offers soul dishes such as mac and cheese, buffalo wings, vegan chicken and waffles, pizza and burgers.
Vegan food is also growing in Brooklyn
In Brooklyn, the borough now has its own vegan ice cream shop, deli, and French bakery. Located in Clinton Hill, Dreamery offers seasonal ice cream flavors like Burnt Plum Sesame, Lavender Earl Grey, Beetroot, Banana, Chai, and Cherry Pie, as well as other homemade vegan treats like long churros and tart gummies by the pound.
In Williamsburg, you’ll find the Garden Carver vegan cafe offering deli-style fare such as breakfast sandwiches, ‘smashed’ veggie burgers, deli cuts, or take-out containers of orange ‘chicken’ with broccoli . And in Bedstuy, French vegan bakery Le Petit Monstre has opened a second location offering pastries, cakes, pies and coffee.