A version of this article was originally published on Conscious City Guide.
As one of the biggest cultural melting pot of the world, New York City also happens to be refreshingly vegan-friendly. NYC has a history of blended ethnicities and cultures, of immigrants hailing from all parts of the world. This, combined with a shift in values towards a more earth and animal-friendly society, means that plant-based eaters can try just about any kind of cuisine imaginable in The Big Apple.
For Italian: Double Zero
WEBSITE |ADDRESS: 65 2ND AVE.
People come to NYC for the pizza, and they want the good stuff. Matthew Kenney, aka the God of Plant-Based Restauranteurs, opened up the first Double Zero restaurant (they will soon be expanding to Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia) in East Village as an homage to arguably America’s favorite food. Because, come on, who doesn’t love pizza?
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this place is life-changing. After delving into a dairy-free lifestyle, I thought I was forever doomed to tasteless pizza topped with an un-melted, rubbery, sad excuse for cheese. This was until I made it to Double Zero. Featuring local, seasonal ingredients, house-made tree-nut cheeses, and a selection of organic, bio-dynamic wines, this plant-based pizzera cannot be missed.
For Korean: Hangawi
WEBSITE | ADDRESS: 12 EAST 32ND STREET
Bibimbap and kimchi lovers will love this plant-based restaurant, which is owned and operated by Korean natives. The Ancient Eastern wisdom of its owners translates into a menu that focuses on healthy, balanced, vegetarian meals. They always have seasonal highlights on the menu, which exist to support the body through the changes in seasons. Their zen-like atmosphere turns a meal at Hangawi into an almost spiritual experience. You are asked to leave your shoes at the entrance, just as you would at a traditional Korean house.
For Ethiopian: Bunna Cafe
WEBSITE | ADDRESS: 1084 FLUSHING AVE. BROOKLYN
Wrapping your food up in spongey injera bread and eating with your hands is all part of the experience when it comes to Ethiopian cuisine. Bunna Cafe in Brooklyn is an entirely plant-based restaurant serving Ethiopian food, which is made up primarily of slow-cooked vegetables and lentils. The food is colorful, flavor packed, anddelicious. If you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing the glory that is Ethiopian cuisine, let Bunna Cafe sweep you off your feet.
For Mexican: Jajaja Mexicana
WEBSITE | ADDRESS: 162 E BROADWAY
Jajaja Mexicana is “a patchwork of culture, community, and comida threading plant-based eaters to the Mexican palate.” This isn’t your typical vegan rendition of Tex-Mex. Instead, Jajaja offers a diverse assortment of traditional Mexican dishes, like enchiladas mole, pupusas, and Mexican street corn, with a modern twist.
For (More) Mexican: Bar Verde
WEBSITE | ADDRESS: 65 2ND AVE
‘Cause there’s not such thing as too much Mexican food. Just a stone’s throw away (literally) from Double Zero is Matthew Kenney’s take on Mexican cuisine, Bar Verde. In a dimly lit, intimate space, you can nosh on guacamole, nachos, tacos, and ceviches, over a cocktail made with sustainable tequila.
For French: Delice & Sarrasin
WEBSITE | ADDRESS: 20 CHRISTOPHER ST
French cuisine is not exactly known for its veg-friendliness, but at this 100% plant-based restaurant, vegans can get a little taste of la cuisine Francaise. Dishes here like beef bourguignon, cassoulet, and French onion soup are totally cruelty-free, so don’t feel guilty for indulging. Its pint-sized space adds to its quaintness, but be sure you book reservations in advance.
See more vegan ethnic restaurants in NYC, here!
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Photo: respective restaurants