Healthy restaurants and great options for vegetarian and vegan food in Manhattan abound, thanks to a robust dining scene that caters to every taste. But in a city with more than 10,000 restaurants, how can you decide? Start here with these five spots—all healthy restaurants with a little bit of something for everyone.
Blossom on Carmine
Take a seat in this upscale West Village spot: one of three locations in the Blossom family, and the place to be for vegan food in Manhattan. The chilled-out vibe at Blossom on Carmine agrees with you, from the unfussy whitewashed brick to the refined marble tabletops. While you wait, gaze at the veggie glamour shots (a beet, a chive flower, a singular ramp) that adorn the walls. For dinner, twirl long noodles of fettuccine Alfredo. This satisfying bowl of pasta, shiitake mushrooms, and roasted cherry tomatoes gets its creamy boost from cashew cream. The result? A yummy, dairy- and meat-free dish you’ll crave long after the meal is finished.
Quickly expanding micro-chain Bareburger has more than a dozen New York spots, so you’ll never be far from options for great vegan food in Manhattan. There are no wimpy side salads here. The Cali Fresh delivers a heaping portion of baby kale, cauliflower hummus, grape tomatoes, red quinoa, red onions, watermelon radish, and alfalfa. But for the star of the show, the burgers are where it’s at. Get creative and build your own. Start with one of three inventive vegan patties—quinoa, black bean, or sweet potato with wild rice—and choose from toppings like vegan cheddar cheese and a host of veggies to top it all off. For your carnivorous friends, there’s the standard fare, plus bison, elk, and wild boar. Even better? Almost everything on the menu is organic and all-natural, helping Bareburger top the list for healthy restaurants in the tri-state area.
When you take a seat at the Asian fusion Franchia Vegan Cafe, it’s like entering a Zen oasis in the middle of the Manhattan hustle. The multi-level space features a blend of dark woods, cozy tables, and flickering candles to create the perfect setting for this blend of flavors—everything from Japanese sushi to Korean bibimbap. Sample from an extensive tea list that promises to cure whatever ails you. The floral and refreshing chrysanthemum is said to have calming effects, while dandelion helps detoxify and aids digestion. Hungry? Good. Start things off with fluffy Peking buns stuffed with crispy vegetarian “duck” and scallions for a vegan spin on the traditional Asian dish. For dinner, slurp your way through a bowl of Panang noodles with flavorful curry spice and cooling coconut broth paired with soy chicken, tofu, and vegetables.
Now with four Manhattan locations, Westville is a veggie lover’s dream. Step into the whitewashed location in the West Village—a tiny, seven-table spot that cooks up big flavor. There’s a little something for everyone here, but you’ll love the Westville Market most of all. Design your own plate of veggie goodness by selecting from a regular rotation of sides posted up on the chalkboard, and assemble a heaping dish of healthy eats. Roasted beets combine with creamy goat cheese and a crunch of walnuts for a classic combo that doesn’t disappoint, while Brussels sprouts and Dijon will have you looking at those tiny cabbages in a whole new way. And if you can’t snag a table, don’t fret. They also do takeout.
Dirt Candy seeks to elevate the simple vegetable and to reinvent how you look at these humble foods. Take a seat at the red banquette inside this spacious restaurant, where a wildflower mural behind you sets the scene for this inventive, veggie-centric meal. Expand your vegetarian culinary quest with radishes done three ways (black radish spaghetti, radish ravioli, and radish greens pesto), or dig into the Korean fried broccoli, which the staff at Dirt Candy affectionately calls “crack in broccoli form.” While you wait, get a front-row seat to the action as a crew of cooks whips up your meal in full view in the open-air kitchen.