July 20, 2017

Vegan Guide to NYC


vegan nyc guide

New York City is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the world; it is what inspired the term concrete jungle (not sure if this is actually true, but let’s roll with it). If you’ve ever visited, you know that the city truly never sleeps. It’s the land of opportunity for people from all walks of life from actors, artists, writers, dancers, bankers, entrepreneurs, and the list goes on. Whether you’re a fan of the city life or not, there’s one thing you gotta love about New York: the food.

The good news for us vegans is New York isn’t all hot dogs and Italian pizza – it’s actually a plant-based playground if you can find the hidden gems. And because I have a passion for doing the dirty work and finding these hot spots, I dedicated my most recent trip to NYC to finding the best vegan food in the city without breaking the bank. After a full week of stuffing my face, here is the list of some of my favorite vegan eats in New York City:

1. Peacefood Cafe

vegan guide nyc

Did someone say vegan burger on focaccia bread? I’m always on the hunt for vegan burgers that are packed with flavor but don’t resemble the fat-dripping American burgers that I don’t miss from my meat eating days. This burger I ordered was definitely my top choice on the menu and it did not disappoint! And nothing beats upgrading your traditional burger bun for two slices of soft focaccia bread: kudos, Peacefood Cafe.

vegan guide nyc

The menu is diverse and has everything from fresh salads to curry and vegan chicken tenders, and is worth the price.

vegan guide nyc

Fully Vegan: Yes
GF Options: Yes
Price: $$
Yelp Ratings: 4*, 955 reviews
My rating: 4*

2. Beyond Sushi

vegan food in nyc

Guys… I have officially found my new favorite Asian chain, and its name is Beyond Sushi. This fully plant-based sushi restaurant prides itself in using locally sourced ingredients and takes a modern approach to traditional sushi. Sadly vegan options aren’t the easiest to come by when it comes to Asian food because much of their food contains egg or fish sauce, so finding a fully vegan sushi spot is a dream come true! Not only that, but the food is very affordably priced at only about $6.50 for 8 rolls. And my favorite part, they also have dumplings!!  (You guys don’t know how happy dumplings make my tummy).

vegan food in nyc

The restaurant is fast-casual, so it’s a good place to grab and quick and cheap bite when you’re in between adventures around the city.

vegan food in nyc

Fully Vegan: Yes
GF Options: Yes
Price: $
Yelp Ratings: 4.5*, 755 reviews
My rating: 5/5*

3. The Butcher’s Daughter

best vegan food nyc

I had been hearing about this place for years, and I finally got to try it for myself this last trip. The Butcher’s Daughter is trendy 100% vegetarian restaurant committed to sourcing local and organic ingredients. Their menu is healthful and unique and makes healthy taste really good. Certain dishes come with a fried egg, but the restaurant is mostly vegan and gluten-free and offers vegan meats and cheeses.

best vegan food nyc

The Butcher’s Daughter has two beautiful NYC locations in NoLiTa and West Village, and also an LA location in Venice.

best vegan food nyc

Image Credit: The Butcher’s Daughter

Fully Vegan: Almost
GF Options: Yes
Price: $$
Yelp Ratings: 3.5*, 773 ratings
My rating: 3.5/5*

4. Van Leeuwen

vegan ice cream nyc

Vegan adventures are never complete without finding some vegan ice cream! Van Leeuwen is a New York based artisan icecream shop that makes their ice cream from scratch daily in Brooklyn. They also happen to be killing the plant-based game with their vegan menu items made with housemade cashew milk, organic coconut milk, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic cane sugar, pure cocoa butter, and organic carob bean. They have some of the most unique flavors I’ve seen, which is always an added bonus.

vegan ice cream nyc

I got the dark chocolate and salted caramel (pictured above), but it’s totally worth trying some of their more obscure flavors

vegan ice cream nyc

Fully Vegan: No
GF Options: Yes
Price: $
Yelp Ratings: 4*, 673 reviews
My rating: 4.5/5*

5. By Chloe

vegan food nyc

Image Credit:Nutrition Happens

Last but not least is one of my all-time favorite vegan spots, By Chloe. This growing chain was founded by plant-based chef Chloe Coscarelli who wanted to create a place with vegan alternatives to traditional comfort foods in a bright and casual atmosphere. I actually got to meet Chef Chloe a few months ago and not only is she the sweetest human, she’s super talented, too! My favorite menu item is their Taco Salad which has soy picadillo and vegan cream sauce that is so dang good (taco salad pictured below on left). Sadly I lost the photos I had taken here, so I’ve shared some from fellow bloggers.

best vegan food nyc

Image Credit: Love Wild Live Free

I give this restaurant 5 stars because of the quality, fair prices, and good atmosphere – all the things I look for in a vegan spot!

Fully Vegan: Yes
GF Options: Yes
Price: $-$$
Yelp Ratings: 4*, 1225 reviews
My rating: 5/5*

This list is just scratching the service of all the vegan goodness this city has to offer, but here’s a great place to start! If you end up trying any of these, please let me know on social media what you thought and as always, let me know some of your favorite NYC vegan eats!

*Images by me unless otherwise credited

meet the writer

I'm Donna Irene.


A photographer, writer, and educator with a passion for helping people quit the hustle and live filled with purpose. When I picked up
a camera over 10 years ago, I had no idea it would take me around the world getting to photograph for everything from fortune 500
companies, brands, and people like you.

And now that I've been to 40+ countries and counting, I want to
use my talents to inspire others to use their creativity to make the world better. Follow along for resources on authentic travel experiences, sustainability, and building a business with intention.



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