We’re fans of our base city, and now, The Big Apple has been crowned as the most Vegan-Friendly City in the US! PETA recently presented NYC City Council members with a Manhattan skyline replica that was carved entirely from vegetables – a fitting reward. We have to agree with PETA; NYC is pretty rad and totally vegan-friendly. Here are 11 reasons why!
1. New York City Has More Than 140 Vegetarian Restaurants
We’re bursting with vegetarian restaurants here, some of which are all-vegan, such as Peacefood Cafe, Blossom, Candle Cafe, Candle 79, and Sacred Chow. Each one is different and you can find one to match your taste and needs. There are the more expensive, fancy date night restaurants like Pure Food & Wine or Caravan of Dreams, whose prices for organic fare rivals that of a steakhouse. Then, there are places like Terri, or Blossom du Jour, where you can get a decently priced, protein-packed sandwich on the go. Other places include Dirt Candy, Angelica Kitchen, Wild Ginger and Vegetarian Dim Sum. If you want to eat plant-based, you can get it all here, from the best falafels, to vegan Korean food, awesome dim sum in Chinatown, fancy Japanese, a vegan diner, amazing Indian options, soul food, plenty of vegan options at regular restaurants, and more!
2. Our Vegan Food Trucks Are The Coolest Kids on the Block
The Cinnamon Snail food truck makes some of our favorite vegan sandwiches in this city, and they just so happened to be crowned the best food truck in NYC. It is not uncommon for the line to snake around the block during lunchtime for their mouth-watering sandwiches and donuts. Another truck we love is The Green Radish, who created a vegan donut-tart hybrid.
3. We’re a Great Example of Urban Farming
NYC may be full of skyscrapers, taxis and numbered streets, but that doesn’t mean we skimp on the practice of growing and harvesting our own food in this urban landscape. Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, for example, performs green roof and rooftop farm consulting and installation services, as well as selling their produce at markets or wholesale.
4. Drinking Your Veggies Is Super Easy Here
Ah, we love our city and the current juice craze that’s swept us all up into a cold-pressed frenzy. That’s right, we don’t mean you can just pick up juices from concentrate on any block, but you can get fresh, cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices in almost any area of Manhattan, including pre-bottled varieties at places like Whole Foods and Starbucks. We sip our salads in the morning and chomp on seitan sandwiches for lunch. Some NYC juice spots include Juice Generation, Liquiteria, Juice Press, Gastronomie 491, and Organic Avenue.
5. There Are Vegan Options Everywhere
New York is full of delis and bodegas that sell sandwiches, salads, burritos, pasta, chips, cookies and more. These places are particularly great at making fresh dishes right in front of you, and super quickly for the get-in-and-get-out work desk eaters. Luckily, it’s not just turkey sandwiches and chicken burritos behind those glass panels. You can find tasty vegan meals at most bodegas and delis, like our favorite quinoa bowls at Pax Wholesome Foods.
6. Most International Restaurants Have a Special Section for Veggie Meals
NYC is a huge melting pot, so if you name a cuisine, we’ve got it. This is a great city to try meatless dishes from around the world, like Chinese veggie stir-fries, Indian curries, Thai noodle bowls, Ethiopian pea dishes, Russian borscht, Italian pasta, and Mexican tacos. You can even get Japanese sushi with a twist if you’re tired of the typical cucumber avocado roll. Beyond Sushi is tasty and super cool!
Keepin’ It Kind
7. You Can Still Have a NYC Bagel With Dairy-Free Cream Cheese
NYC is famous for bagels, but not just butter-laden flavors! f you’ve woken up with no plan for breakfast, you can hop on over to some delis and order vegan bagels complete with vegan cream cheese made from tofu. We’ve tried places that even serve multiple flavors, like scallion, vegetable, and cinnamon, yum!
We Heart Astoria
8. Local Farmers’ Bounty Will Come to Your Door
There are many grocery and meal delivery services that cater to the NYC area. Many offer fresh, organic produce from local farms like FreshDirect’s offerings from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative in Pennsylvania. You can live in the middle of Manhattan, yet still get organic kale and tomatoes delivered right to you!
9. No Sad Salads for Us
In many parts of the country, a house salad means iceburg lettuce, some scarce veggies, cheese, croutons and Ranch dressing. Not in our city! NYC graces us with dark, leafy greens of all kinds. The delis wait for us with rows of freshly-chopped veggies (and not just cucumbers; they’ve got sun-dried tomatoes and edamame, for example). The bodegas often have vegan proteins to add like falafel, tempeh, beans or tofu. Getting a salad means getting a nutrient-packed, delicious meal here in the city.
10. We Have a Shop Entirely Devoted to Vegan Cheese
Sure, it’s not uncommon to find cheese shops throughout the country, but how about a strictly vegan cheese shop? It exists in NYC! Dr. Cow Tree Nut Cheese in Brooklyn sells all sorts of cheeses that are made from 100% raw organic nuts.
11. And One Devoted to Vegan Donuts!
Yes, that’s right, you can get scrumptious vegan doughnuts here in NYC from Dun-Well Doughnuts in Brooklyn, where every doughnut is free of milk, butter and eggs. Among the dozens of flavors are peanut butter and jelly.