Vegetarian friendly restaurants in NYC, 2018 edition
February 11, 2018 2:45 PM   Subscribe

I am traveling to NYC with my family and I am looking for restaurant that will please vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

I am specifically not looking for exclusively vegetarian restaurants, but for restaurants with vegetarian options as well as meaty fare. We like things like fancy burgers, Asian food and Mexican. The vegetarian in the group is fairly picky and is usually satisfied with tofu, pasta, pizza and veggie burgers. We would rather stay away from chains and would like to try some local places. We are staying on the upper east side but are happy to travel around the city for good food. One night we are seeing a show at Radio City, so something close would be great! Any ideas?
posted by Biblio to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Might I respectfully suggest that the meat eaters gasp contemplate going to a vegetarian restaurant at least once, especially if you or they live somewhere without vegetarian restaurants? "Vegetarian-friendly" ought to mean more than "stuck a portobello mushroom on the menu as an afterthought", which is often a meat-eater's definition, and there are a number of good ones. I will stick to your parameters, though--these places all serve meat.

Ellary's Greens is probably the standard answer for "serves meat and actually tried on the vegetarian options", but it's one of few restaurant meals I've had where the food was stone cold. (There was something else disappointing about it too, but I don't remember what.)

There are a number of places with vegetarian ramen.

I don't know that Westville is somewhere you'd go out of your way for, but does have a good selection of meat and non-meat options.

I feel like the fancy burger places are all chains (but what do I know, I don't eat meat). Bareburger does have more than one vegetarian option as I recall.

There will almost certainly be a perfectly good, but not particularly special, Thai restaurant somewhere near your hotel. (Probably similarly for Italian and Chinese, I just tend to look for Thai first.)

Gran Electrica is not going to win any prizes for having an array of vegetarian options (to be fair, it's a not exactly a large menu), but I did enjoy the meal I had there.
posted by hoyland at 3:43 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Emily in the West Village is a very solid Detroit-style pizza. I went in prepared to hate it for several reasons, including that it replaced my beloved Blue Ribbon Bakery, but they got me.
posted by praemunire at 4:23 PM on February 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

(Oh, I haven't tried the burger, but it has an excellent reputation.)
posted by praemunire at 4:23 PM on February 11, 2018

one of my party simply will not try vegetarian food. It’s not an option.
posted by Biblio at 4:56 PM on February 11, 2018

We were in NYC last month with a vegan in our group and she found good options everywhere we went. Her faves though were Momofuku (ramen) and Indian Accent (uh, Indian-ish small plates).
posted by notyou at 7:10 PM on February 11, 2018

hoyland beat me to it, but I'll signal-boost Westville. Maybe not worth a special trip from the UES, but a good bet if you're already going to be in lower Manhattan for something else. (Fair warning, though: their “west” location on 10th St. is much smaller than the others.)
posted by D.Billy at 7:53 PM on February 11, 2018

For something different than you’ll get at home, but highly accessible to not-hugely-adventurous eaters, I’d recommend Georgian food (slavic, not southern) at Oda House. Lots of excellent vegetarian options, but also a good number of very meat-centric dishes as well.
posted by amelioration at 6:14 AM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Nthing Westville. Skeptical about the Momofuku rec--I love those places but they are profoundly meat-centric. Adding: Kashkaval in Hell's Kitchen (not fancy but very enjoyable. Balkan fare.)
posted by Smearcase at 8:29 AM on February 12, 2018

Westville is a great idea. Empellon Taqueria is great for fancy Mexican food with veg options.
posted by ferret branca at 8:50 AM on February 12, 2018

If the vegetarian person has any interest in trying out Cinnamon Snail (an excellent, locally famous vegan place with some crazy veggie burgers), you all should go to the Pennsy. It's a fancy food court over Penn Station, so very centrally located (there's also a pretty decent taco place with nice veg options and a Pat LaFrieda for the meat eater, plus a bar).

There are a handful of other fancy food courts around, and they're a good option for lunch with a mixed group (City Acres is downtown, there's another whose name is escaping me right by Grand Central, and yet another way over on the west side in the 40s that's convenient if you wind up going to the Intrepid or doing stuff in Hells Kitchen).

If you ever get some time without the vegetarian restaurant skeptic, ABCV is insanely good. I think it's my favorite restaurant in the city right now. You definitely need a reservation though. I haven't been, but ABCKitchen (obviously part of the same restaurant family) serves meat and also seems to have some really nice veggie options.
posted by snaw at 11:01 AM on February 12, 2018

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