Restaurant for vegan and non-vegan in NYC
February 25, 2012 10:43 AM   Subscribe

What restaurants would be good for a vegan and a non vegan in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens?

I'm a vegan, and my girlfriend is not. Aside from Thai restaurants it is difficult to find common ground in a restaurant that we both really like. We're looking for recommendations that have options that we'll both want. We like smaller casual places with dishes from $10-20. East Village or downtown Manhattan would be ideal, but anywhere in Manhattan, Queens, or Brooklyn is also welcome.

Exclusively vegan restaurants, and restaurants that may have just one vegan dish are not what we're looking for—a variety of options for both of us would be ideal.
posted by ridogi to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
VP2 has a ton of vegan food, is amazingly delicious, and is otherwise strictly vegetarian.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:44 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I take vegan, vegetarian, and meat-loving friends to Dirt Candy - the chef, Amanda Cohen, was the first vegetarian to compete on the Iron Chef.
posted by sestaaak at 10:55 AM on February 25, 2012

Previously. Although the question mentions Grand Central, all the recommendations in my answer (i.e. the best answer) are below 14th St.
posted by John Cohen at 11:02 AM on February 25, 2012

It would also help to know what your girlfriend does like instead of just what she doesn't. You've been much more specific about your preferences than your girlfriend's: all we know is that she doesn't want exclusively vegan options. Does she want beef, bacon, etc.? Fish, seafood? Vegetarian dishes with dairy and/or eggs? Any particular type of cuisine? If she's happy to eat lots of fish/seafood, that would open up the question to recommendations for pescetarian restaurants. But if she is uninterested in any kind of vegetarian or pescterarian restaurant and really wants to have meat options other than fish/seafood, that's different.
posted by John Cohen at 11:07 AM on February 25, 2012

Response by poster: I'm ridogi's girlfriend, and I'll try to answer John Cohen's question. I don't like seafood or Mexican food. I like beef, chicken, bacon, and dairy, but I do not like eggs. I usually do not like vegetarian only dishes, unless they are pasta or rice dishes.
posted by ridogi at 11:12 AM on February 25, 2012

VP2 / Red Bamboo or Angelica Kitchen
posted by nathancaswell at 11:28 AM on February 25, 2012

Oh, and I just saw you said East Village is ideal, so you definately want to go to VP2 or Red Bamboo (they're owned by the same people and are right next to each other).
posted by nathancaswell at 11:34 AM on February 25, 2012

Mundo in Astoria has both veg and meat options. The red sonja is a good vegan dish, and sometimes they have a good fish special.
posted by bunderful at 11:50 AM on February 25, 2012

Organic Grill on First Ave. is vegetarian but almost anything can be made vegan. And it's good--it's where I go with my non-vegan friends. In the west village is Quantum Leap. Same deal--vegetarian but most anything can be done vegan and it's really good.

Also, check out You can search by neighborhood and sort by 100% vegetarian places, 100% vegan places and places that are neither but have decent vegan options.
posted by Rudy Gerner at 12:11 PM on February 25, 2012

Bogota in Park Slope is a really good Columbian place with four or five solid vegan options.
posted by lunalaguna at 1:40 PM on February 25, 2012

Since you are searching for a casual restaurant with both vegan options and meat options, I'd suggest Westville.

When a good friend was still vegan, he'd often get a vegan hot dog there, and the market plate of four vegetable sides. Most of their vegetable sides can be made vegan upon request. The rest of us could get mac and cheese, hamburgers, sandwiches, etc.
posted by kathryn at 2:25 PM on February 25, 2012

Best answer: I have this problem all the time. It is so annoying. Places my boyfriend (basically eats only meat and potatoes) and I (vegan) like:

Risotteria in the West Village. has vegan risotto and meat-friendly stuff also. There's Souen on 6th street in the E. Village which is vegetarian with fish options. On that same stretch of 6th Street has Awash Ethiopian which has a full vegan menu as well as meat... it's right down the street from Lula's, a vegan ice cream parlor, bonus.

Also, the cheapest place is Atlas Cafe on Second Avenue in the E. Village, which is very tiny and has a million vegan crepes, sandwiches and desserts along with meat. Better for take-out, but you can sit down now and then, esp if the weather is nice and the tables outside can be used.

Saluggi's in Tribeca is a good family-style pizza place which also serves pizza with vegan daiya cheese if you ask. Pala pizza is ok, same deal, but trendier and smaller portions with less options, E. Village-- Viva Herbal Pizza is awesome, on Second Ave, if you just want to grab a slice, it's nuffin' fancy.

Vinnie's Pizza on Bedford in Williamsburg has vegan daiya options, too-- it's just counter service, not a place with a menu.
posted by devymetal at 2:27 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

S'mac in the East Village makes delicious vegan and non-vegan mac and cheese. Brick Cafe in Astoria is mostly a traditional bistro but also has a vegan menu and a lovely atmosphere.
posted by Pineapplicious at 3:00 PM on February 25, 2012

Blossom is probably the only vegan restaurant I--an omnivore who eats mostly pescetarian/vegetarian and who puts cheese and a pat of butter in everything--have ever enjoyed. It may not work for y'all, as there are no meat dishes but I really enjoyed it. I also really like Terri, which is all vegetarian, but it's mostly a quick lunch plate. So if your girlfriend is the sort of person who sometimes eats a vegetarian meal--like a roasted veggie sandwich or hummus wrap--it's a good choice.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:38 PM on February 25, 2012

Risotteria is excellent. They are a gluten-free restaurant, but perhaps can accommodate vegans as well. I'd call and ask - awesome food and totally worth it! Also prices are very reasonable.
posted by luciddream928 at 5:13 PM on February 25, 2012

Candle 79 is a vegan/veg place on 79th and something....soooooooooo good. My bf and I (who aren't veg - I was/he never was) have gone on multiple trips to NYC. It's a nice place but won't break the bank. I highly, highly recommend.
posted by shrimpsmalls at 6:55 PM on February 25, 2012

Mundo in Queens seems exactly what you're looking for. I also liked Vesta Trattoria, but I'm vegetarian and not sure how often they go full vegan.

Chinatown had several restaurants I liked, but they tend to split fully vegan or not and I imagine you've heard of the biggies already - Buddha Bodhai and such.

I also loved a wide variety of Japanese restaurants especially Menchanko Tei in Midtown, and Indian places are always easy to go to. Also, a lot of chefs, particularly with Indian but also other cuisines, will make delicious off-menu vegan dishes if you ask.
posted by vegartanipla at 8:38 PM on February 25, 2012

I'm a vegetarian and I eat at Cafe Himalaya on the lower east side a lot and I've noticed they have a ton of vegan dishes. I'll often bring out of town visitors there because they have a variety of meat dishes in addition to the vegetarian ones. Plus the prices are *very* reasonable.
posted by stagewhisper at 1:14 PM on February 26, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for all these answers. We will be back to mark as favorite as we try these out.
posted by ridogi at 2:18 PM on February 26, 2012

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