Ahh, New York, New York. Is there any city that’s managed to capture the hearts, minds, and imaginations of so many people? New York City is the iconic setting for not only many historical events but also many-a pop culture references — c.f. Seinfeld, Law and Order, Futurama, and Friends, to name a few. But if you ask us, the thing we love most about New York is the food. Thanks to New York’s diverse population, it’s home to a lot of great food from many different cultural backgrounds and while many of them contain meat and dairy, we can easily make them vegan. Craving a subway churro? Try these Churros With Lime Sugar and Caramel Dipping Sauce. These Portobello Gyros With Hemp Tzatziki, a staple in diners and in street food carts, swap out the meat for meaty, tender Portobello mushrooms. You can make kebabs, too! Just try these Tofu Vegetable Kebabs With Peanut Sauce. And you don’t need eggs to make this Potato and Onion Kugel With Sautéed Apples.
Hungry yet? Then, get ready, because we have 15 meat-free, dairy-free versions of your favorite recipes from the city that never sleeps!
1. Bagels With Tomato Lox and Cashew Cream Cheese
A bagel with lox and cream cheese is a breakfast ubiquitous to New York. As it turns out, boiled and peeled tomatoes make the absolute perfect fish-free lox ever, hence these Bagels With Tomato Lox and Cashew Cream Cheese. The color, the consistency, it’s all so right. Liquid smoke, tamari, and kelp powder give it the traditional lox flavor that goes perfectly with the tangy cashew cream cheese. Serve both on a toasted bagel with toppings of your choice.
2. Mayim Bialik’s Reuben Sandwich
It can be hard to give up your favorite sandwich when you decide to eat more plant-based foods … That is, until you learn that you can make everything you’ve ever dreamed of, like this Reuben Sandwich! This delicious hot sandwich is said to have originated from Reuben’s Delicatessen in NYC in the early 20th century. It recreates the flavor of a classic deli Reuben with ingredients and spices that mimic the original to a T. It’s packed with veggie bacon, sauerkraut, and deliciously spiced onions. Grilling the rye bread makes all the difference, so don’t skip that step!
3. Tofu Benedict With Avocado Hollandaise
This Tofu Benedict With Avocado Hollandaise is the perfect brunch item or breakfast for a special occasion. While there are several conflicting origins, it’s said that it was originally served at NYC’s Waldorf Hotel in the late 19th-century. In this egg-free, meat-free version, a rich, creamy, slightly salty, and tangy hollandaise sauce is slathered all over grilled tofu on a crispy, pillowy English muffin. Top that with a slice of fresh tomato and some peppery arugula and this might just be your new favorite breakfast.
4. Chickpea Waldorf Salad
A Waldorf salad is a salad traditionally made of fresh apples, celery, and walnuts tossed with mayonnaise, and usually served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal. Like eggs Benedict, it comes from the Waldorf Hotel. In this Chickpea Waldorf Salad, the addition of chickpeas, tart cranberries, and a seasoned mayonnaise make it even more delectable.
5. Orange Walnut Cronut
This indulgent dessert made its rounds as a popular food fair item and now, you can make it in your own home. These light and fluffy Orange Walnut Cronuts are flavored with fresh orange juice and zest, giving them a bright and citrusy flavor. A sprinkling of chopped walnuts and a drizzle of chocolate sauce adds a finishing touch and makes these cronuts as photo-worthy as they are tasty.
6. Indian Chickpea Tacos With Cucumber Raita
What’s New York without its creative street food? With the popularity of taco trucks and taquerias that specialize in fusion foods, you could easily come across something like these spicy and satisfying Indian Chickpea Tacos With Cucumber Raita. Creamy coconut curried chickpeas and greens are topped with tangy chutney and cooling vegan raita in a warmed corn tortilla. Yum!
7. Everything Bagel Soft Pretzels
Who doesn’t love a good pretzel? While street pretzels in New York have been sitting around for goodness-kn0ws-how-long, these fresh-baked Everything Bagel Soft Pretzels are absolutely divine! They combine the soft and fluffy texture of pretzels with the fun and flavorful seasoning of an everything bagel. Garlicky, textured, and perfect for dipping in some mustard! Or you can get creative and slice this pretzel in half and make a sandwich.
8. Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza
Pepperoni pizza is a comfort food with flavors holds a permanent spot the hearts and minds of all New Yorkers. But what can you do when you want it meatless and dairy-free? This Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza recreates that hot, spicy pepperoni flavor with crispy, thinly sliced zucchini marinated in a spicy and flavorful sauce. Top that with melty vegan cheese and you’re ready for pizza night.
9. Holiday Candied Pecans
If you’ve visited New York, chances are you’ve been tempted by the sweet, sugary aroma that billows gracefully from those roasted nut carts. If you want to make them for yourself, then try these Holiday Candied Pecans! They are sweet, nutty, crunchy and delicious, just like the famed street food. Eat them on their own or add a sweet crunch to your favorite desserts by sprinkling a few candied pecans across the top.
10. Homemade Seitan Hot Dogs
When we think about New York street food, there’s just no way we can forget about hot dogs — you can find those little carts on practically every corner! If you want to make a hot dog that tastes just like the real thing, make these Homemade Seitan Hot Dogs. They’re super simple, juicy, and are perfect for piling on the mustard, sauerkraut, and ketchup.
11. Chicken and Waffles
Crispy fried “chicken” on top of a fluffy stack of waffles … what could be better?! Whether it’s the hot sauce baked into the tofu chicken, the sprinkle of rosemary, or the truffle oil in the waffles, this Chicken and Waffles is full of tasty surprises. We have to thank Harlem, New York for this wonderful food creation that is a must at your next weekend brunch. Don’t forget the maple syrup!
12. Vodka Cream Sauce
This Vodka Cream Sauce is hearty, filling, and is great for busy nights when you want to use packaged foods such as rice pasta and organic tomato sauce. Combine those with cashews and vodka, and voila, you have a delicious sauce and a cheap meal. While it’s said that penne alla vodka originated in Italy, other sources place its place-of-origin as none other than NYC — either way, it’s New York’s big Italian-American population that helped popularize this dish in the early 1900s.
13. Challah French Toast
Even people who don’t eat challah regularly know it’s one of the best breads for French toast — especially New York diners. It’s soft and soaks up the batter, yet it’s hearty and can hold it all. This amazing Challah French Toast uses a chickpea batter in place of eggs. It tastes very eggy and if you have black salt, even more so. A little cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg add more delicious flavor. It is crispy but tender; the challah is so light and delicious! The batter is perfect and topped with maple syrup and fresh fruit, so it’s the perfect breakfast or brunch dish.
14. Cinnamon Coconut New York Style Cheesecake
The firm, dense, yet somehow fluffy texture you get in a New York cheesecake, is what makes this craveable. This Cinnamon Coconut New York Style Cheesecake is nut-free, oil-free, tofu-free, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and raw! No cashews, oil or tofu in this baby, like you typically see in vegan cheesecakes. Coconut butter is the secret ingredient to this wonderful creation.
15. General Tso’s Tempeh
General Tso’s sauce is that deliciously sticky, sweet, and slightly spicy sauce that you can get from Chinese takeout dishes. Contrary to popular belief, this popular dish does not originate from China, but from American Chinese restaurants — and it’s said that it all started in New York. This General Tso’s Tempeh is a revamped version where you can control the sodium levels, but still enjoy that same sauce you love over crispy, fried tempeh. It’s easy to make and will certainly feed your jones for takeout.
What’s your favorite food from New York City? Tell us in the comments!
Lead image source: Cinnamon Coconut New York Style Cheesecake