nice, sexy, vegetarian New York City restaurants?
November 16, 2005 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Any really nice, sexy, vegetarian New York City restaurants you can recommend. Looking for dinner and brunch ideas.Thanks from this out-of-towner. (Travel period 12/01-12/04 2005)

I have been viewing other NYC threads for ideas. Any additional information is helpful.
posted by pissfactory to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Candle 79, the Upper East Side annex of the Candle Cafe, is superb. I'm an omnivore and I'm often underwhelmed by vegaterian - and especially vegan - food. Candle is all vegan and its some of the best food I've had anywhere.

Candle 79 is upscale, but not too pretentious. The service is great. A meal for three with appetizers, entrees and wine was about $200 with tip and well worth it.
posted by nyterrant at 10:38 AM on November 16, 2005

nyterrant posted just about the answer that I was going to post, word for word.
posted by Prospero at 10:42 AM on November 16, 2005

I highly recommend Vatan (map and info) if you like Indian food. I'm about as far from a vegetarian as you can get, and I'd happily eat there any time. You don't have to worry about what to order, they just keep bringing you platters of stuff, and it's all delicious.
posted by languagehat at 10:55 AM on November 16, 2005

I've never been to Vegetarians Paradise, but I'm told it's one of the best. John Darinelle of The Mountain Goats supposedly dreams about the joint.

Alternately, if you ever journey across the river into New Jersey, I HIGHLY suggest Veggie Heaven. There are 3 of them, but the one in Montclair is my favorite.
posted by GilloD at 10:59 AM on November 16, 2005

Hangawi. I don't know if it qualifies as sexy but exotic would fit, ( you remove your shoes at the entrance). If you want to save money go for lunch.
posted by flummox at 11:05 AM on November 16, 2005

Red Bamboo.

Cheaper than Candle's 79, better than Vegetarian Pradise.
posted by piratebowling at 11:09 AM on November 16, 2005

Pure Food and Wine is sexy.
posted by iconomy at 11:16 AM on November 16, 2005

Response by poster: as usual you all rock so hard.
posted by pissfactory at 11:20 AM on November 16, 2005

Gobo is an excellent vegetarian restaurant in the West Village. There is also one on the Upper East Side
posted by DannyUKNYC at 12:16 PM on November 16, 2005

Sorry languagehat, but as an Indian, I absolutely do not like Vatan's food. The food tastes is just too off for my Indian tastebuds.

Instead I'd recommend Baluchis, located all over the town. On weekdays they have 50% off (check with the location though.)

For very good Indian food that people from India enjoy, I highly recommend Chennai Garden on 27th Street between Lex & Park (closer to Lex.) They also have a very reasonably priced buffet lunch on weekdays. Although their primary focus is on South Indian cuisine, which consists of dosas, idlis, vadas, etc, their North Indian menu is very good too. If you go for buffet you'll have be able to enjoy a nice mix of North & South Indian cuisines.
posted by riffola at 12:34 PM on November 16, 2005

both red bamboo and vegetarian's paradise 2 are very good. they're next door to each other in the west village, just off the w 4th street stop. but red bamboo is better, but consequently a little bit harder to get into. neither restaurant is all that large.

also recommended: atlas cafe, kate's joint, madras cafe, angelica kitchen, josie's, veggie dim sum house, or one of the many zen palate branches.
posted by kathryn at 12:37 PM on November 16, 2005

My brain doesn't work today, so pardon my mistakes.

I'm a vegetarian who doesn't even have eggs, so I'll just list out a few more places around the city.

Whole Foods Market @ Time Warner Center has a nice mix of cuisines available, prices are not too high.

Noodles on 28th (on 3rd Avenue & 28th Street) has good vegetarian chinese available.

Shaan (near Rockefeller Center), has decent Indian food

Sido (80th & Columbus) has good cheap Middle Eastern food.

(a few locations) has pretty good Ethiopian food.

American Burger (6th Ave & 33rd or 32nd Street) has pretty good veggie burgers, but their fries suck.
posted by riffola at 12:43 PM on November 16, 2005

Indian Bread Co. has pretty good wraps and Indian style paninis.
posted by riffola at 12:48 PM on November 16, 2005

I recommend checking the Chowhound Manhattan discussion board (assuming that you're not looking for recommendations in other boroughs ). You'll find a lot more information on vegetarian restaurants there than you will in the general NYC threads on AskMetafilter. (There are 8 vegetarian questions posted in just the first sixteen days of this month.) Moreover, anyone can post a question on Chowhound at no cost -- you don't even have to register.
posted by WestCoaster at 1:00 PM on November 16, 2005

Just popping in to second Candle 79 (never had seitan so good!), Vatan (the ambience is amazing - huts, pillows, monkeys in trees!, third-eye dots), veggie dim sum house, and Kate's.
posted by hellbient at 1:48 PM on November 16, 2005

I second Pure Food and Wine.. it is way sexy there.. and the food is divine.
posted by dhammala at 2:51 PM on November 16, 2005

Sorry languagehat, but as an Indian, I absolutely do not like Vatan's food. The food tastes is just too off for my Indian tastebuds.

That may well be, but I (not an Indian) and everyone I've taken there (also not Indian) love it. If pissfactory is also not Indian, I suspect your reaction may not be applicable.
posted by languagehat at 2:57 PM on November 16, 2005

He might like it, but that doesn't mean it truly represents good Indian food. There are better options in the city.
posted by riffola at 3:09 PM on November 16, 2005

I'm no expert on Indian food, but I thought Vatan was really good. The ambience might make it taste better. ;) riffola - just curious, is this maybe a regional thing?
uh, that's regional as in India, not NY.
posted by hellbient at 3:56 PM on November 16, 2005

I'm no expert on Indian food, but I thought Vatan was really good.

It is really good; it's just not to riffola's taste. Which is fine, but he seems to think his taste should prevail, which is odd. You just get one vote, riffy, like everybody else.
posted by languagehat at 5:38 PM on November 16, 2005

Angelica Kitchen and Zen Palate are both very very bland. If you're into that, great, but I would not send people with tastebuds there.

Both Candle 79 and Candle are yummy. (The chef at Candle is a friend of my boyfriend's, and she's awesome.) Also recommended is Counter. However, it is popular with the NYU kids, so I would recommend a reservation or going before 7.30/after 9.30.
posted by dame at 8:48 PM on November 16, 2005

Angelica Kitchen and Zen Palate are both very very bland.

agreed. quite overrated, which is fine by me, cuz it helps free up the tastier spots.
posted by hellbient at 10:06 PM on November 16, 2005

The problem with Vatan is that their food tastes really off by even Indian restaurants in NYC standards. I know things can't always taste like they do back home. But these guys manage to make it taste really different and not quite right. Things are either too bland, too sweet or just weird tasting.

I don't think my vote counts for more in general. Just like I would defer to languagehat when it comes to matters relating to the nuances of any language, English in particular, and give his opinion more weight than someone like say me. I only pointed out that as an Indian, and knowing other Indians' opinions about Vatan, except for one particular individual, I have yet to meet someone from Mumbai who would go back to Vatan. If you enjoy it, great, just know their food's taste is not quite authentic.

For the amount one spends at Vatan, there are better options in NYC. I know a lot of people love Jackson Diner in Jackson Heights, I used too, but lately I can't justify their regular menu prices when it comes to their quality & taste. I feel over the last four years, Jackson Diner has had a slight but noticeable drop in quality & taste, previously I'd compare it to many good but not great restaurants in Mumbai, but now I'd say it's about average. I'd rather spend the same amount at Baluchi's or Shaan in Manhattan.
posted by riffola at 11:15 PM on November 16, 2005

Absolutely right about Jackson Diner—it's gone way downhill, and starting longer than four years ago if I remember correctly. But such is the fate of good restaurants. I remember when Uncle George's in Astoria was a truly great place (and a little hole-in-the-wall on 32nd St., not the big corner purveyor of bland dining it is now). As for Vatan, I would absolutely defer to your judgment if I were trying to decide where to send Indian tourists; it just seems to me that the fact it seems inadequate to Indians isn't particularly relevant to diners who aren't Indian. But maybe pissfactory is Indian. What do I know?
posted by languagehat at 6:26 AM on November 17, 2005

languagehat, it doesn't matter if pissfactory is Indian or not. Sending people to Vatan and claiming it is good Indian food is like sending someone to Singa's Famous Pizza/Ray's Original Famous Pizza and claiming they make authentic Italian pizzas. They might make good tasting pizzas but they are not authentic. That's all.
posted by riffola at 7:07 AM on November 17, 2005

Anyway, you're right if in the end people like Vatan's food, it doesn't matter if it not close to being authentic. It can be an enjoyable experience because of the atmosphere and the food might be delicious.
posted by riffola at 7:09 AM on November 17, 2005

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