Want to enjoy the best ethical cuisine that NYC has to offer? Savoring the healthy food at the following top vegan restaurants means no animals have been harmed for your dining pleasure, and that your evening can be truly a gratifying experience.
While not 100% vegan, this upscale Indian eatery has plenty to offer if you’re not into a carnivorous lifestyle. Admire the space modeled after an Indian oasis—featuring sandstone statues and candle-outlined pools with floating lotus blossoms—before sitting in the expansive dining room. Dip into roasted kombucha squash, enhanced by squash seed gunpowder for a peppery twist; or heirloom carrots done in a sweet caramelized coconut milk with spicy mustard. Afterward, head downstairs to the Spice Room to view the herbs and spices that go into Junoon NYC‘s dishes, and learn all about their benefits.
Dirt Candy isn’t like other vegan restaurants with a simple country theme. In fact, you may think you’ve stepped into a Las Vegas scene, with the glittery outdoor signage and a bold red-and-white color scheme. Perusing the fun-fonted menu is an education, as you learn what can truly be done with veggies.
Chef Amanda Cohen looks to reinvent the way you look at produce, kicking out jalapenos done hush puppy-style, and portabello mushrooms made into a mousse and mixed with sauteed Asian pears and cherries served atop truffle toast. All dishes that are made with butter and cream but can be made vegan, too. Dirt Candy is one of NYC’s few meat-free venues to have an on-site pastry chef, so you shouldn’t miss their decadent celery cheesecake roll with a peanut butter filling, celery ice cream, and raisins for a texture twist.
Rockin’ Raw takes eating vegan a step farther by adding a raw component, sometimes denoted as “live” on a menu. Raw vegan diets test the creative limits of chefs and excite the palates of ethical eaters with rare ingredients. The healthy food at this impressive eatery adds a Peruvian-Creole twist through dishes like a seed meat burrito and spicy pasta in a Peruvian aji/sunflower “cheese” sauce.
Erin McKenna’s Bakery
If you’re craving sweets but want healthy food, Erin McKenna’s Bakery serves up vegan, gluten-free desserts like chocolate soft serve topped with donut chunks, vanilla cupcakes with lemon frosting, and double chocolate chip cookie sandwiches stuffed with mint filling. Moist pieces of crumb cake and sticky cinnamon bun icing coating the roof of your mouth has never felt so sinless (though the decadent taste remains).
Caravan of Dreams
For those seeking astral planar vegan restaurants, Caravan of Dreams is an apt name for this Spanish-influenced organic vegan and raw eatery. Even the typically fried tostada stands no chance, as this spot’s version uses a corn and flax tortilla, topping it with cultured kefir “cheese” and mushroom “meat.” Meatless dishes like tricolor quinoa pasta gowned in tomato cashew cream sauce, tortillas topped with vegan soy-based chorizo and spicy chile de arbol, and maple-glazed squash filled with cranberries and pine nuts (then paired with hearty tempeh) are enhanced by a glass of spiced pear & blood orange sangria—sipped while watching live music, listening to a culinary lecture, or having your tarot cards read.