The 12 Best Vegetarian Restaurants in NYC That Will Make You Forget About Meat

Not your mama's veggies

ny vegrestaurants hero

Whether you're an omnivore trying to eat less meat or already happily a plant-based-diet acolyte, you have to admit: Vegetables are pretty damn delicious. (If only we could explain that to our six-year-old selves.) Here, the best vegetarian restaurants NYC has to offer.

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1. Nix

We wouldn’t blame you for making a meal out of Nix’s incredible dips and tandoor bread, but don’t stop there—the rest of the menu is equally swoon-worthy.

72 University Pl. (at E. 11th St.); 212-498-9393 or

2. Dirt Candy

Chef Amanda Cohen has been doing haute veg since before it was cool—actually no, it was always cool here. Don’t skip dessert: The cucumber semifreddo is the stuff summer dreams are made of.

86 Allen St. (at Broome St.); 212-228-7732 or

best vegetarian restaurants nyc avant garden
Credit: Avant Garden

3. Avant Garden

The creations at this spot are almost too pretty to eat, like a beet salad with horseradish, kumquat and rosebud. Oh, there’s an entire portion of the menu dedicated to toast…kinda avant-garde, no?

130 E. Seventh St. (at Ave. A); 646-922-7948 or

4. Ladybird

We’re not sure if “vegetable tapas” were a thing before, but we’re so glad they exist. If you need us, we’ll be knee-deep in seared-peach caprese and this adorable gazpacho trio (honeydew, sweet corn and watermelon).

127 MacDougal St. (at W. Third St.);

5. Mother of Pearl

This Polynesian spot might be known for its much-Instagrammed Shark Eye cocktail, but we’re more interested in its inventive eats. Cantaloupe gazpacho, anyone? (FYI, numbers 3 to 5 on this list are all brought to you by vegetable evangelist Ravi DeRossi.)

95 Ave. A (at E. Sixth St.); 212-614-6818 or

6. Black Flamingo

On first glance, you might not realize those gorgeous tacos are meat-free. With fillings like ancho-chili-marinated jackfruit, seared mofongo and beer-battered oyster mushrooms, we don’t miss the carne asada one bit.

168 Borinquen Pl. (at S. Second St.), Brooklyn; 718-387-3337 or

7. Bunna Cafe

This Ethiopian spot is a Bushwick staple, probably because of rainbow-colored spreads like this.

1084 Flushing Ave. (at Porter Ave.), Brooklyn; 347-295-2227 or

8. The Thirsty Koala

Australians know their way around a vegetable (see: avocado toast), and this Astoria café is no exception. Avocado-key lime mousse? Don’t mind if we do.

35-12 Ditmars Blvd. (at 36th St.), Queens; 718-626-5430 or

best vegetarian restaurants nyc westville

9. Westville

The market sides at this perennially popular minichain are legendary—we dream about the sautéed kale and the Dijon Brussels sprouts.

Multiple locations in Manhattan;

best vegetarian restaurants nyc hangawi

10. Hangawi

Korean fare might bring to mind barbecue or fried chicken, but at this K-Town spot, it’s all about the plants. We’ll take a double order of kimchi vermicelli rolls and avocado bibimbap, please.

12 E. 32nd St. (at Fifth Ave.); 212-213-0077 or

11. ABC Kitchen

We will never tire of eating expertly cooked vegetables in one of the city’s prettiest dining rooms. And if those veggies are served atop pizza, even better.

35 E. 18th St. (at Broadway); 212-475-5829 or

12. Le Botaniste

This Belgium-based house of greenery specializes in customizable (and Instagrammable) organic veggie bowls—and did we mention it’s also a wine bar?

833 Lexington Ave. (at E. 64th St.); 917-262-0766 or

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From 2016-2019 Carolyn Kuang-chen Stanley held the role of Editor covering food, travel and all things nyc.