Eat your vegetables. We have all heard it from our mothers, our doctors, our wellness experts, and our health conscious friends. Vegetables are low in calories, and rich in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They keep us healthy, radiant, active, and youthful. Plant-based diets have been shown to benefit heart health, reduce wealth, and decrease mortality. Whether you choose to go vegan, or just to make vegetables the star ingredient in your meals, a plant-based diet is good for your body and it is good for the planet. Thankfully, in New York City we have countless opportunities to indulge guilt-free at the many vegan and vegetarian restaurants that take a creative approach to the old “Eat your vegetables” adage. Here are five haute picks for a vegan meal that will please both your taste buds and your wellbeing.
1 Blossom Restaurants
Blossom is a vegan restaurant group committed to a creative approach to animal-free eating in New York City. Located in Hell’s Kitchen, Blossom du Jour is an eight-seat establishment that fuses vegan cuisine with comfort food. Stop by for an organic fruit or vegetable juice, or a sandwich. At Blossom in Chelsea, Blossom on Carmine and Blossom on Columbus, diners experience innovative vegan cooking at its best with dishes like Buffalo Risotto Croquettes with blue cheese dressing, Seitan Scallopini, and Chocolate Ganashe.
2 Candle 79 and Candle Café
Be sure to check out Candle 79 and Candle Café, mainstays on the New York City vegan dining scene. Menu items include health-supportive veggie heavy salads and side dishes, and creative approaches to cooking vegan mainstays like tofu, tempeh, and seitan. Candle 79 is known for a more traditional, upscale dining experience, while Candle Café is a go-to for a burger and a smoothie. The atmospheres are trendy and comfortable: crowd-pleasing for vegans and omnivores alike.
3 Dirt Candy
The mission of Dirt Candy is to make vegetables so delicious that you crave them like candy. Menu highlights include Korean Fried Broccoli, a Cabbage Hot Pot, and a Kale Matzo Ball Soup. Most items highlight and celebrate a single vegetable in ways that are both surprising and decacent. Indulge your taste buds with these creative approaches to veggie eating and vegetables celebrating on the Lower East Side.
And now for something completely different: check out Zen Buddhist cuisine at this Midtown East establishment. Kaijitsu means “day of celebration” in Japanese, and this restaurant serves vegan shojin cuisine, a type of vegetarian cooking that originated in Zen Buddhism. Shojin is regarded as the foundation of all Japanese cuisine and focuses on the preparation of fresh, seasonal ingredients in ways that enhance the flavor of each component. The mutli-course meal provides a mutli-senosry experience and another traditional creative approach to plant based eating. Vegans, omnivores, and food snobs will all appreciate this cultural and gustatory experience.
5 By Chloe
At this quick-serve vegan restaurant, chef Chloe Coscarelli serves her famous Guac Burger, her Air-baked French Fries, and her Avocado Pesto Pasta. As the first vegan chef to win a culinary competition on live television with “Cupcake Wars,” she is committed to using organic, seasonal, and local ingredients. Come try this creative take on health-supportive, vegan comfort food in Greenwich Village for an experience that is good for your wellbeing and somehow nostalgic but modern at the same time.