Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Vegetarian's Guide to New York City

Brooklyn Grange
I've been vegetarian for 18 years, and since I've grown up around Indian food, which uses a plethora of spices, my meals are jam-packed with flavor. So I can tell you that when I eat out, I want flavor in my food!!! Is that too much to ask? ... In traditional cookery, there is a heavy reliance on meat for flavor, but the good news is that it is completely and utterly possible to create flavorful vegetarian meals. To create umami (a depth of flavor), I rely on ingredients such as chipotle in adobo sauce, tamarind, shiitake mushrooms, spices, seaweed, Vegetarian Woochestershire sauce, soy sauce, onions, garlic, tomato paste, fermented foods and so on. I think this is what chefs out there need to know and incorporate to make their dishes more interesting and exciting and bursting with flavor. Life is too short to eat dull food!

I've been living in New York City (and New Jersey) for over 10 years now. Even though I now reside in Stockholm, I return to NYC at least once a year, for a good month or two, and I'm always on the look-out for delicious, flavorful feasts. So here are my tips, starting with breakfast, my favorite meal of the day:

My DharmaCo sunglasses, The Sunday Times, iced coffee & croissant at Lafayette Bakery

Abracco - 86 E. 7th Street, East Village. The BEST iced coffee (with notes of caramel so there is no need to add any sugar and put very little milk (if any) to let the coffee flavor shine! A very moist olive oil cake. A great egg-biscuit-onion sandwich for breakfast on the run (as there's no place to sit in there!).

Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery - 380 Lafayette Street, SoHo. Try their glazed brown butter madeleines, need I say more? Lovely ambiance.

Northern Spy - 511 E. 12th Street, East Village. Biscuits.

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop - 727 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The best honey-dipped doughnuts ever. They have good bagels too!

Chalk Point Kitchen brunch
Buvette - 42 Grove Street, West Village. Fresh mini croissants and croque forestier! Not the friendliest service but great ambiance nonetheless.

Chalk Point Kitchen - 527 Broome Street, SoHo. Their fried green tomatoes are insanely good, tofu chipotle tacos and a different variety of egg dishes makes this place unique.

Five Leaves - 18 Bedford Avenue. Scrambled egg sandwich with tomato jam and pastries and truffle fries.

By Chloe - 185 Bleecker Street, West Village. The veggie burgers and veggie balls are delicious. I just don't like that they serve everything in paper and plastic.

The Butcher's Daughter - 19 Kenmare Street, Nolita. They have the Full English with homemade white bean sausage and adzuki bacon which makes up for the bland-ish food.

Vegetarian Dim Sum House - 24 Pell Street, #1, Chinatown. It's all pretty much delicious!

Francesco's - 186 Columbus Avenue, Upper West Side. Best New York slice! Worth the ride uptown!

Han Dynasty - 90 3rd Avenue, East Village. The dan-dan noodles are delicious!

Burgers at By Chloe
Cafe Habana - 17 Prince Street, Nolita. I love the Tlacoyo de Tres Marias that come with tamales and tomatillo salsa, so delicious!

Wild Ginger - 182 N. 10th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This location is better than the one in the city. All vegan. I just love the dish with Thai basil and their miso soup is so comforting.

Love Mamak - 174 2nd Avenue, East Village. The best roti canai!

Glasserie - 95 Commercial Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Kind of middle-eastern inspired. Nice ambiance.

Rye - 247 S. 1st Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The most addictive brussel sprouts I've ever eaten! (Just request it without bacon).

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream - 48.5 E. 7th Street, East Village + other locations. They have a great vegan ice cream base made with coconut and cashews, so none of that processed stuff you normally find! Try their vegan chocolate ice cream with cocoa nibs!

Lavagna - 545 E. 5th Street, East Village. The BEST buttery crostata with seasonal fruit you'll ever eat served with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. The end.

Gallow Green - 542 West 27th Street, Chelsea. On a rooftop with a lot of lovely plants and fairy lights overlooking the city.

Brooklyn Grange
Union Square Farmers market - a dream for anyone interested in fresh produce!
Chelsea Market - not a traditional farmers market but it has a lot of lovely gourmet shops and eateries.

Barry's Tempeh is made in Queens, so very local, and he has soy-free varieties, which is what makes his products extra special. Look out for them in the freezer section of various stores and also farmers markets! Have a look at his website for more details.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Museum of Modern Art
Fritz Collection
Neueu Gallery

Brooklyn Grange
Central Park, Prospect Park, Fort Greene Park - designed by the same guy!
The High Line for some vegetation
Brooklyn Grange Roof Top Farm - you can book a tour of the farm and see how it functions and try to capture the view of the skyline as well!

The Hudson Valley is large and beautiful and there are many cozy places to discover!

Massage Williamsburg - 169 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Run by a young and inspiring entrepreneur and licensed massage therapist, it's the only place I'd trust for a proper, calming massage!

DharmaCo is a local, small-scale New York-based eyewear company that gives a portion of the proceeds to those in need of glasses! Not to mention I want their entire collection! All their sunglasses are UV-protected, which is important for all exploring the city in the blazing summer heat!

Please let me know if you found these links useful, it's always nice hearing from you!



  1. Peter Pan! YES! Those doughnuts are one thing I definitely miss about NYC. :)

  2. Nice to hear from you Eileen, yes I'm so with you there, I miss that place already!!



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