My fellow vegetarians and vegans know all too well our dining options are limited when it comes to traveling. We have to sift through bacon and beef laden menu after menu to find a decent place to eat, and (usually) don’t have the comfort of cooking in a kitchen for ourselves.  

While most restaurants have a token vegetarian item like a veggie burger or (insert some form of pasta here), finding a good vegetarian friendly restaurant can be challenging. Luckily, New York provides endless options for plant-based eaters, from paella to teriyaki “chicken,” here are my favorite places to grab a bite to eat:


For a quick, casual meal: Pret-a-Manger (locations all around the city)

Vegetarian travelers and New Yorkers alike can find plenty of options for a reasonable price at Pret. My personal favorite is the Moroccan lentil chili, but there are numerous other sandwich and salad options available as well.


For an intimate, multi-course spread: Avant Garden (130 E 7th St., Manhattan)

I recently dined here for my birthday, and it did not disappoint. This cozy vegan spot holds about 40 patrons, and the food is made to share. My favorite dishes were the romesco toast and paella, but be sure to save room for dessert!

   Romesco toast from Avant Garden

 Romesco toast from Avant Garden

For the vegan buffet you’ve always dreamed of: Jungle Café (996 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn)

The Jungle Café offers menu options alongside their buffet, but I definitely recommend the latter. You can choose from various salads, entrees, sides, and desserts. The food is reasonably priced and will leave you heading back for seconds.


For a hip, fun dining experience in a nightclub setting: Sea (114 N. 6th St., Brooklyn)

Yes, you read that correctly— Walking into Sea feels like entering one of Williamsburg’s hottest nightclubs. The atmosphere is great and there are plenty of vegetarian options to choose from, my favorite being the vegetable dumplings.


For the vegan + kosher Chinatown meal you didn’t know existed: Bodhi (77 Mulberry St., Manhattan)

I’m going to be honest, I did not know what to expect when I ordered from Bodhi, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t regularly crave their teriyaki “chicken” and spring rolls. Located in the heart of Chinatown, Bodhi is a great spot to rest and refuel after an afternoon full of shopping.


For an aesthetically pleasing, elegant date night: Ladybird (111 E. 7th St., Manhattan)

Phenomenal food paired with an emerald accented interior makes Ladybird a spot you definitely want to add to your NYC restaurant bucket list. If you’re willing to shell out extra cash, the fondues are a fan favorite.

  View of the interior at Ladybird

View of the interior at Ladybird

While I’m partial to the restaurants noted above, I know I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of great veggie eats in NYC. One of my favorite perks of living in this city is the ability to try endless restaurants without ever repeating. I’d love to hear about your favorite spots in NYC in the comments!


Written by Marin Meiners

Typically with an americano in hand, I play a role in all things operations and recruiting for Kolu. As I like to say, I’m "nothing if not thorough." Originally from Chicago, Illinois, I graduated from the University of Missouri in May with a degree in Business Administration and emphasis in Marketing. Beyond studying abroad in London, I found a passion for travel in Iceland, South Africa, and Spain, which are my favorite among the 24 countries I have visited.

My travel interests include food and dining, music and entertainment, and sports