New York City is often considered one of the best cities in the world for vegan dining. With its huge population and diverse neighborhoods, NYC offers endless plant-based cuisine options. But is the Big Apple truly a vegan paradise? Let’s take a closer look at what NYC has to offer for vegans.
Vegan Restaurant Options
When it comes to sheer number of vegan restaurants, NYC does not disappoint. The city is home to over 50 fully vegan restaurants serving everything from vegan comfort food to raw cuisine. Brooklyn especially is a hot spot for vegan dining, with popular spots like Champs Diner and Modern Love. Manhattan classics like Candle 79 and Blossom also offer elevated vegan fare. Here’s a table of some of the top rated NYC vegan restaurants:
|Candle 79||Upper East Side||Upscale Vegan|
|Champs Diner||Brooklyn||Comfort Food|
|Modern Love||Brooklyn||Vegan Comfort Food|
|Jajaja Plantas Mexicana||Lower East Side||Vegan Mexican|
|Seasoned Vegan||Harlem||Soul Food Vegan|
In addition to dedicated vegan establishments, many omnivore restaurants in NYC offer ample vegan options. You can find vegan ramen at many Japanese restaurants, vegan slices at pizzerias, and global vegan cuisine from Mexican to Ethiopian. Upscale restaurants are also jumping on the vegan bandwagon, with Michelin starred spots like Nix and Dirt Candy serving plant-based tasting menus.
Vegan Grocery Options
Finding vegan groceries and specialty products is also easy in New York. Along with major chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, the city has dozens of fully vegan grocery stores. Vegan bodegas like Orchard Grocer on the Lower East Side offer grab-and-go snacks and pantry items. Destination spots like Food Sermon in Brooklyn and Monkifoods on the Upper West Side stock harder to find vegan meats, cheeses, baked goods and more. For vegan meal delivery, companies like VeginOut cater specifically to plant-based NYers.
|Vegan Grocery Store||Neighborhood|
|Orchard Grocer||Lower East Side|
|Monkifoods||Upper West Side|
|Lifethyme Market||West Village|
|By Chloe||Flatiron, Soho, West Village, Williamsburg|
Major events like the annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival also showcase the city’s extensive vegan offerings with hundreds of vendors sampling plant-based versions of every food imaginable. The city’s vegan grocery scene makes sticking to a plant-based diet while living or visiting NYC a breeze.
Vegan Bakeries, Ice Cream and Sweets
Satisfying a sweet tooth is not a problem for NYC vegans either. The city offers ample bakeries crafting cakes, cookies, doughnuts and more without dairy or eggs. Popular all-vegan bakery Champs Diner serves Instagram-worthy, over-the-top milkshakes, pastries and desserts. Long-time staple BabyCakes NYC draws crowds for their extensive gluten free and refined sugar free baked goods menu. Even mainstream bakeries like Mah Ze Dahr offer vegan versions of their iconic French pastries.
For vegan ice cream, Van Leeuwenserves indulgent flavors like salted caramel made from cashew milk. Newer spots like OddFellows Ice Cream utilize inventive bases like avocado and coconut for creamy, dairy-free pints. And food shops like The Butcher’s Daughter sell wholesome oat milk soft serve. Vegans hunting for chocolate in NYC can find boutique shops crafting bars without milk or whey, along with major brands offering dairy-free options.
|Vegan Bakery/Sweet Shop||Specialties|
|Champs Diner||Doughnuts, Milkshakes|
|BabyCakes NYC||Cupcakes, Brownies|
|Mah Ze Dahr||French Pastries|
|Van Leeuwen||Ice Cream|
|Raaka Chocolate||Bean to Bar Chocolate|
The extensive availability of vegan sweets and treats makes resisting a sugar craving possible for herbivores in the city.
Vegan Fast Food and Street Eats
On the go plant-based eaters have many options too. NYC is home to multiple locations of vegan fast food chain by Chloe, which serves burgers, tacos, salads and more on busy corners throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Blossom du Jour crafts vegan takes on classic deli sandwiches and melts. For a healthy lunch on the run, spots like The Butcher’s Daughter offer grain bowls, soups and juices.
Street cart snacks get a vegan re-vamp too. Longtime NYC staple The Cinnamon Snail serves pastries alongside monumental vegan sandwiches and burritos from their food truck. And newer vendors like Coco Taco offer dairy-free soft serve on the city streets.
|Vegan Fast Food/Street Food||Offerings|
|by Chloe||Burgers, Tacos, Salads, Sides|
|Blossom du Jour||Sandwiches, Melts|
|Cinnamon Snail Food Truck||Sandwiches, Burritos, Pastries|
|Coco Taco||Coconut Milk Soft Serve|
New Yorkers on the move can grab vegan snacks, meals and sweet treats on nearly every corner.
Along with local eateries, NYC boasts outposts of popular plant-based chains. Fast casual spots like by Chloe, Blossom du Jour, and The Butcher’s Daughter have multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Vegan fast food joints including Veggie Grill and Native Foods cater to those seeking quick service options. For grocery and pantry staples, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and online delivery services provide easy access to vegan products citywide.
|Vegan Chain||# of NYC Locations|
|Blossom du Jour||3|
|The Butcher’s Daughter||3|
The presence of major vegan brands makes the plant-based diet familiar and accessible for locals and visitors alike.
Vegan Meal Delivery Services
For those who prefer home delivery, NYC offers many services catering to vegan diners. National companies like Veestro ship plant-based, pre-made meals to doorsteps citywide. Local organic food delivery service Fresh Direct partners with NYC vegan establishments to provide ready to eat meals. Services like Veggie to Go offer customizable meal plans with gluten free, soy free and nut free options. Meal subscription companies like Splendid Spoon ship healthy, plant-based smoothies, soups and grain bowls weekly.
|Veestro||Pre-made Vegan Meals|
|Fresh Direct||Local Vegan Meals & Ingredients|
|Veggie to Go||Customizable Meal Plans|
|Splendid Spoon||Plant-based Smoothies & Meals|
Those opting to eat in can take advantage of these convenient NYC delivery options on lazy days.
Farmers Markets and CSAs
For fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products, NYC offers options tailored to vegan shoppers. Smorgasburg hosts 100 local vendors, including purveyors of vegan cheese, faux meat, kombucha and more. Union Square and other greenmarkets connect shoppers with Hudson Valley farmers offering organic produce. CSAs like Farmer’s Choice NYC source from regional, sustainable farms and offer add-on vegan items like dairy-free breads, spreads and smoothies. The extensive farmers market and CSA options provide plant-based consumers access to local goods.
|Smorgasburg||100 Vendors including Vegan Products|
|Union Square Greenmarket||140 Regional Farmers|
|Farmer’s Choice NYC CSA||Add-on Vegan Items|
Vegans in NYC looking for farm fresh ingredients have no shortage of providers to choose from.
Vegan Cooking Classes
For those looking to sharpen their plant-based cooking skills, NYC offers an array of vegan cooking class options. Upscale cooking school Rouxbe allows students to take vegan courses online from home. Haven’s Kitchen holds in-person cooking classes focused on special diet needs like gluten free and dairy free. Chic spots like Haven’s Kitchen and Pure Food and Wine even offer fine dining vegan cooking classes so home chefs can recreate 5-star plant-based cuisine. Field trips to local restaurants and markets like Community Vegan are also available for hands on learning.
|Rouxbe||Online Vegan Courses|
|Haven’s Kitchen||In-Person Classes|
|Pure Food and Wine||Gourmet Vegan Instruction|
|Community Vegan Classes||Market Tours & Demos|
Budding vegan cooks have ample programs and classes to choose from throughout the city.
Vegan Fashion and Beauty Products
Beyond food, NYC offers ample ways for vegans to maintain an ethical plant-based lifestyle. The city is home to dozens of boutiques selling sustainable, high-end clothing and accessories without animal products. Large shops like MooShoes carry an extensive collection of cruelty-free, often handmade shoes, bags and more. Smaller spots like The End Brooklyn and Obakki in Soho focus on emerging ethical designers. Beauty shops like Credo specialize in makeup, skincare and haircare lines that are organic, natural and vegan.
|MooShoes||Vegan Footwear & Accessories|
|The End Brooklyn||Ethical Fashion|
|Obakki||Sustainable Apparel & Accessories|
|Credo Beauty||Natural Skincare & Cosmetics|
Style conscious vegans have no shortage of boutiques to shop for animal-free clothing, shoes and beauty care.
Vegan Events and Festivals
The NYC vegan community also offers ample events and festivals to connect like-minded residents. The annual Veggie Pride Parade marches down city streets bringing awareness to animal rights and environmentalism. Events like Vegan Drink NYC provide alcohol-friendly spaces for plant-based networking. Large scale festivals like the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival highlight local and national vendors showcasing the latest in vegan products, food and more.
|Veggie Pride Parade||Animal Rights March|
|Vegan Drink NYC||Vegan Mixers with Alcohol|
|Veggie Food Festival||Vendor Fair & Eating Extravaganza|
Vegans can find a sense of community and celebrate their lifestyle at various events throughout the year.
Vegan Activism and Outreach
NYC is also home base for many vegan activists and animal rights organizations. Non-profits like Mercy for Animals are fighting factory farming through undercover investigations and public awareness campaigns. Grassroots groups like The Save Movement bear witness during live animal transport and slaughterhouse runs. And sanctuaries like Farm Sanctuary provide rescue and forever homes to factory farm survivors while advocating for institutional reform.
|Mercy for Animals||Exposing Factory Farming|
|The Save Movement||Bearing Witness for Live Transport|
|Farm Sanctuary||Rescue, Education & Advocacy|
From investigations to protests to rescue, these NYC-based organizations lead the charge in activism for animals, the environment and human health.
With its bustling dining scene, extensive grocery and farmers market options, abundance of specialty shops and connection to activism, New York City has cemented its status as a world class destination for vegan living. Locals enjoy access to the latest plant-based products, meals and services across neighborhoods, while visitors find it simple to stick to their animal-free diets while exploring the Big Apple. Though it may lack the laid back vibe of stereotypical vegan meccas like LA or Portland, NYC sets the bar high for urban plant-based living. For those desiring convenient, enlightened and ethical veganism, New York City has everything on the menu.