Here on StephMyLifeTravel.com, I love sharing the best things I’ve seen and done on my travels around the world. But try as I might, I still haven’t made it to every place on my bucket list. One place I get asked about a lot is New York City, but apart from a brief trip to the city for my 21st, I haven’t had the chance to spend time here. So when Alice of @easybeangreen got in touch to do a guest post about things to eat in NYC, I was immediately on board.
So if you’re vegan, veggie, or just feel like making a more sustainable food choice – here is her list of the best vegan & vegetarian eats in the Big Apple!
In Summer 2018, I lived the dream and spent 3 months in New York City, the “Center of the Universe”. I arrived with a suitcase and a list of things I wanted to do and I’d be lying if I said most of them didn’t involve food.
Here is my guide to eating vegan in The Big Apple. Prepare to let your mouth water and your mind wander…
- Breakfast / Brunch
- Healthy Lunches
- Ice Cream Parlours
- Donuts & Desserts
TASTY BREAKFAST / BRUNCH
Prices: $8 Acai bowls, drinks from $5.
Location: 3155 Broadway
Opening Hours: 8am-4am, kitchen closes at 1am. Happy Hour is 4-7pm Monday-Friday. They also have a Jazz Night every Sunday
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Matcha bowl, Açaí bowl and Pitaya bowl looking fine! #squadgoals . . . #matchabowl #acaibowl #pitayabowl #healthycanbegood #kiwi #strawberry #banana #blueberry #almondbutter #peanutbutter #chiaseeds #healthy #healthyeats #eeeeeats #yum #vegan #morningsideheights #harlem #nyc #craftcafebyday #craftbarbynight
This cosy little Harlem spot is owned by a fellow Irish person and has some of the friendliest staff you could meet. Craft Café by day, Craft Bar by night, The Craftsman has stunning interior and is definitely worth a visit when you’re in New York – it’s located a 1 minute walk from the 125th Street Station on the 1 Train and a 10 minute walk from the world famous Columbia University, 116th St Station on the 1 Train.
The Craftsman is a perfect spot for breakfast, brunch and late night drinks! Their food menu has a whole section dedicated to avocado (what’s not to love?!) but my personal favourite breakfast was their Acai Bowls. I recommend walking 10 minutes to the West Harlem Piers to sit and enjoy your food while taking in the views of New Jersey and the Hudson River.
Craftsman Café are also available on UberEats, Seamless and various other delivery apps so in colder months, you won’t even have to step outside your door to enjoy your favourite dishes!
Locations: 60 W 22nd St, 240 Lafayette St, 1 Rockefeller Plaza, 171 N 3rd St, also Sweets by Chloe 185 Bleecker St Suite B. Opening Hours: FlatIron and Rockefeller open at 7.30am, all others at 11am, 10am at weekends. Close at 10pm.
What to order: Pancakes and quinoa hash browns for breakfast, avocado pesto pasta for lunch.
ByChloe is a popular vegan café with multiple locations around New York and London. They serve breakfast, brunch, ice cream, baked goods, burgers, pasta, salads, juices and even options for your dog! I would highly recommend this place, there really is something for everybody.
While we all like to treat ourselves and think of our holidays as a time to eat more junk food than we normally would, sometimes your body just wants and needs something healthy to help fuel your busy days and nights.
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 7.30am-8.50pm Friday 7.30am-8.20pm Saturday 7.15am-8.20pm Sunday 7.40am-8.50pm
Location: 36-03 30th Ave, Astoria, New York
Prices: $10.99 for a HUGE quinoa bowl, $6.95 for a smoothie
What to ORDER: The Vegan Hippie Bowl
Not many tourists go to Queens but if you do, I would highly recommend Create.
Just 25 minutes from Midtown Manhattan, the N Train to 30th Avenue stops a 6 minute walk away. Create have an incredible menu of smoothies, açai bowls, sandwiches, wraps, rice bowls, quinoa bowls, soup and coffee. It was genuinely some of the best healthy food I had in New York.
Prices: About $10 for a meal
Locations: Multiple Locations around the city. Click here to find the closest one to you.
Opening Hours: Vary from store to store. Open 11am – 9pm in most locations
Dig Inn has multiple locations around New York and Boston and is also available on Uber Eats. They have excellent ‘design your own’ salad bowls which allow you to make your salad to your own tastes.
Their ingredients are all super fresh and something I love about this place is that they are striving to be more environmentally friendly. They use “ugly” vegetables that wouldn’t be commonly purchased and often go to waste but are just as tasty and nutritious. Food that tastes good and does good, can’t go wrong!
Locations: 60 W 23rd St (Chelsea, near the Flat Iron building) and 100 Maiden Lane (Financial District, near Wall Street and the World Trade Centre)
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-10pm Saturday and Sunday 10am-9pm.
Terri is a great spot, serving milkshakes (I recommend chocolate!), sandwiches, salads, smoothies and breakfast. Their menu is entirely vegan and everything I tried there was delicious! Found near the Flat Iron Building in Chelsea and the iconic Wall Street, World Trade Center and Staten Island Ferry Terminal, both Terri locations are great spots to stop and re-fuel while seeing some of New York’s most famous sights.
Prices: $15-20 for a main. $4-15 for a dessert. So worth it!
Location: 197 Meserole Street Brooklyn
Opening Hours: 9am-12am daily.
What to order: Seitan Wings, S’Mores Shake.
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The fourth MUNCHIE WEEK special, our Half Bake'n Chicken Sandwich 🤤🍗🍔 made with a juicy vegan @gardein chicken patty dredged and breaded in crushed @latejulyorganic bacon habanero tortilla chips, deep fried and topped with sriracha aioli, lettuce, tomato and seitan bacon! 🌶🥓 Served with fries 🍟 We're running four specials leading up to 4/20! Check out our story highlights to see the rest! 📸 by @codylentini and @makennnahale
Champs was described to me as “the best vegan junk food” and my eyes nearly popped out of my head. Located in trendy Williamsburg in Brooklyn, I would probably travel back there from Ireland for this food if I could.
Champs is the perfect spot for a good, filling meal guaranteed to satisfy your cravings and leave you wondering why anyone eats meat when vegan food can taste this good!
Prices: $10-20 for a main course. $1-10 for dessert/bakery.
Locations: 41 East 11th Street University Place 9 (downtown, a 2 minute walk from Union Square! ), 460 Amsterdam Avenue at 82 Street (uptown).
Opening Hours: 10am-10pm daily, both locations.
What to order: French Toast, chocolate chip cookie sandwich
Peacefood was located near my job so I would often pop in for a cookie after a long day. I also had breakfast and dinner there on different occasions and every single thing I tried was incredible!
THE BEST NYC PIZZAS
New York is famous for many things – yellow cabs, tall buildings, PIZZA! It’s very difficult to walk down any street in Manhattan and not see several places selling pizza slices the size of your head, each one cheaper than the last. The vegan options tend to be a bit pricier and not as common but are most definitely worth the extra effort.
Location: 2578 Broadway
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 11.30am-10.30pm Saturday + Sunday 11.30am – 10.45pm. Take-Out and Delivery available.
My personal favourite spot for vegan pizza was Café Viva on 97th and Broadway. They have a few vegan options, as well as gluten free, wheat and yeast free and Kosher pizza, pasta, desserts and other Italian specialities.
I chose the “Mother Earth” pizza, which has soy meatballs, mushrooms, red peppers, broccoli, sautéed onions, and a rich tomato sauce with an amazing whole wheat crust. It is such a lovely little place and only a 1-2 minute walk up Broadway from the 96th Street Subway station on the 1, 2 or 3 train, also a 10 minute walk from Columbia University.
Locations: Two Boots has three locations in New York, find your nearest location here.
Opening Hours: Varies from store to store but they do open later at weekends!
Two Boots specialises in Cajun-Italian cooking and has an exciting menu that changes daily.
There is always at least one vegan option on the menu, topped with “Daiya” non-dairy cheese and their homemade vegan ricotta. I’d definitely recommend paying this chain a visit, for both their vegan pizza and their artsy, vintage decor.
Prices: About $40 for a main, side and dessert.
Location: Candle 79 154 E 79th St, also the less fancy Candle West 2427 Broadway and Candle East 1307 3rd Ave.
Opening Hours: Vary a lot so I would check online or call the restaurant to make sure they’re open before you go.
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Spring has sprung and so has the new menu here at Candle 79!!! So many fresh and new dishes are now available featuring all the best spring vegetables you can think of, including this amazing Live Heirloom Tomato and Zucchini Lasagne (which is one of my personal favorites) ☺️🥑💚 #nyc #spring #springfood #vegetables #springvegetables #lasagna #vegan #veggies #cruetlyfree
If you’re looking for a fancy dinner in New York, Candle 79 is a must. Honestly one of the nicest restaurants I’ve ever been to, with lunch and dinner favourites such as an all vegan cheese plate, Eggplant Parmesan and “Spaghetti and Wheatballs”, desserts including Cannoli and Pumpkin Parfait along with mouth watering cocktails.
Candle 79 really raises the bar and shows the world that being vegan doesn’t mean saying goodbye to all your favourite dishes! Gluten free options are also available.
THE BEST SPOTS FOR VEGAN ICE CREAM
Summer in New York is HOT, so luckily, almost any ice-cream shop you see will have a dairy-free option.
Prices: $5.75/scoop, $7.75/2 scoops, $10 for a sundae, portions are huge and absolutely worth it
Locations: Food trucks and stores operate throughout the city. Find your nearest one here.
Opening hours: Varies from store to store but usually midday-midnight.
Recommended Flavour: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough topped with vegan chocolate sauce and peanut brittle
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OAT yes we did! Our fourth and final "Early Summer" seasonal special is Vegan Oat Milk & Cookies. 🥛🍪 Made in small batches in Brooklyn, we soak gluten-free organic oats for 36-hours in filtered water and blend them smooth with coconut cream, organic cane sugar, coconut oil and cocoa butter. For Oat Milk & Cookies, we use muscovado sugar which is brown sugar in its most raw form. We then mix in housemade gluten-free oatmeal cookie crumbles and a vegan caramel swirl. The result: a classic treat with a VL twist! Our oat milk ice cream specials are dairy-free, cashew-free AND gluten-free. ✔✔✔Now scooping at all VL shops in NYC & LA! .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #new #icecream #veganicecream #summer #oatmilk #oats #organic #oatmilkicecream #oatmilkandcookies #housemade #housemadeeverything #milkandcookies #dunk #caramel #vegan #madefromscratch #madeinbrooklyn #since2008 #vanleeuwen #vanleeuweniceream⠀
If, like me, you’re an ice-cream lover, this is a place you just have to try while in New York, vegan or not! Van Leeuwan has at least 10 different vegan flavours made from cashew milk and also offer vegan whipped cream and chocolate sauce (would highly recommend both). They serve sundaes which include 2 ice-cream flavours and lots of topping options.
Prices: $5.75 +
Location: 25 East 17th Street
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-10.30pm Saturday 9am-11.30pm Sunday 10am-11.30pm
If you’re looking for a healthy dessert option, Chloe’s soft serve made from “just fruit, water and a touch of cane sugar” is what you need.
Chloe’s simple ingredients mean that all of their flavours are vegan (also gluten free and Kosher friendly). They also serve vegan waffles and acai bowls which looks amazing and most of their toppings are vegan. “Chloe’s Pops” multipacks are also available in the freezer section of many US supermarkets.
BEN & JERRY’S
Prices: $4 +
Location: 200 West 44th Street but also many other locations around New York.
Opening Hours: 11am-12 am (until 1am Friday and Saturday) for this store, may vary for others.
Have you ever strolled out of a Broadway show at night, walked 30 seconds down the street to buy vegan Ben & Jerry’s and sat enjoying it in the middle of Times Square? If not, I highly recommend you add it to your bucket list immediately.
I tried the Caramel Almond Brittle and Coconut Almond Fudge Chip. Delicious, and made even better by the fact that you can sit and enjoy it in Times Square, watching the world go by!
Prices: $4.99 +
Location: Stores can be found throughout the city, search Google maps for your closest
What to order: Vegan Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle
Häagen-Dazs, a brand that originated in New York, has recently created some amazing dairy free flavours, including Coconut Caramel (delicious) and Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle – absolutely life changing. I would fly back to New York just for this ice-cream!
Sightseeing is tiring, so a tasty little treat will satisfy your taste buds and boost your energy to help you to see all that New York has to offer!
Prices: $2.25 +
Location: Pennsy Food Hall 2 Pennsylvania Plz, New York.
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-5pm Closed Saturday and Sunday.
What to order: Graham Cracker Donut
A Graham Cracker donut with a view of the Empire State building? Cinnamon Snail is your place. Located in Pennsy Food Hall right beside Madison Square Garden, this is bliss.
Their donuts are to die for and they also have savoury food options if donuts for dinner isn’t up your street.
Prices: $3.95 +
Location: 379 Grand St
Opening Hours: 7am-10pm
Who said vegans can’t be chocaholics?!
Doughnut Plant sells ring donuts, filled donuts, square donuts and even rose shaped donuts! They have a few vegan options and I would definitely recommend the “chocolate chocolate” flavour for any chocolate lovers.
I’m Alice! I’m from Dublin, Ireland and am currently training to be a midwife. I love to dance and act – I work part time in the National Performing Arts School teaching musical theatre to little kids. I set up EasyBeanGreen when I was in dance college and really wanted to show people how easy it is to be vegetarian or vegan! Since then, Instagram has helped me find some amazing accounts, including Steph’s, that have really inspired me and deepened my passion for food and travel! I love to bake and create exciting cakes, and usually I don’t tell anyone they’re vegan until after they’ve already tried them. I plan to continue to travel the world and take in all the wonders and vegan food our lovely planet has to offer!
To see more of my travels and food pictures, follow me on Instagram @easybeangreen !