Blossom's New Restaurant on Carmine Street in Greenwich VillageBlossom’s New Restaurant on Carmine Street in Greenwich Village

Vegan-friendly restaurants are quietly expanding through New York City, on top of long-standing luncheonettes and temple canteens. Even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, these great joints will hit the spot.

1. Cafe Blossom

The Blossom family of organic vegan restaurants began with their flagship restaurant in Chelsea in 2005. Today, in addition to the Chelsea restaurantyou will find Blossom on Carmine  with varied small plates meant to be shared, Cafe Blossom on the Upper West Side for casual dining, and the Upper East Side V-Note, so elegant, you’ll find it in this list at #4. Each location has its own unique menu, but all with the same fine quality.

2. Sacred Chow

Sacred Cow located at 227 Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village
Sacred Cow located at 227 Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village

Sacred Chow began life in 1995 by a Legal Aid Lawyer turned restauranteur. Originally opening as a take-out deli in the West Village, great reviews right from the very beginning and a loyal fan base propelled them to this small but comfortable space on Sullivan Street with room for seating. Their logo: a meditating cow.  This tiny restaurant is said to be “serious vegan.”

3. Beyond Sushi

Beyond Sushi located at 229 East 14th Street

Yes, there is even vegan sushi!  Husband and wife team Guy and Tali Vaknin own and operate Beyond Sushi at two locations – Union Square and an outpost in the Chelsea Market called The Green Roll.  They are well known for combining unconventional pairing of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, adorned with their original sauces.

4. V-Note

V Note NYC-Vegan Restaurants-Upper East Side-Untapped Cities-2

The Blossom family of organic vegan restaurants is now blooming on the Upper East Side with the high-end V-Note.. Boasting an organic wine bar and elegant setting, this upscale member of the Blossom family is located at 1522 First Avenue, between 79th & 80th Street. They are open for lunch, brunch and dinner, and they deliver.

5. Candle 79

Candle 79 located at 154 East 79th StreetCandle 79 located at 154 East 79th Street

An interesting history is attached to the upscale vegan restaurant Candle 79. It began in the summer of 1984 when Bart Potenza purchased Sunny’s health food store.  The previous owner had a custom of lighting candles every night to bless his establishment and so that shop on Third Avenue was renamed the Candle Cafe by Bart and his partner Joy Pierson. Their wish to expand was answered by the winning of a take-five lottery, giving them $53,000, and in 2003 the upscale restaurant Candle 79 on East 79th Street was born.

 7. Blossom du Jour

Photograph by Bryan Graves, Courtesy of Blossom Du Jour

We’re big fans of these tiny vegan counters, of which there are three locations in Manhattan. Blossom du Jour is afraid to brand itself as “Shrewd Fast Food,” there are always fun slogans in the locations. For example, “Find your mind and your ass will follow,” and “What time is it? It’s time for Kale.” We swear by the Un-Chicken Avocado Griller. So good, we might order one right now. Here’s a peek at their menu.

8. Avant Garden in East Village

avant garden - untapped cities- nyc -vegan restaurants

In the space formerly occupied by Gingersnap’s Organic, famed restauranteur, Ravi DeRossihas opened the upscale vegan eatery, Avant Garden. The beautifully done rustic interior, has both tables and counter space, recently opened. Located in the East Village at 130 East Seventh Street, near First Avenue.

9. Vegan Soul Food in Harlem – Seasoned Vegan

Seasoned Vegan Untapped Cities AFineLyne

Seasoned Vegan began by renting a small space inside a local bakery but soon had long lines and a loyal following. Now located at 55 St. Nicholas Avenue at 113th Street in Harlem, owners Brenda Beener and her son, Aaron, were the darlings of the recent Marcus Samuelsson event, HarlemEatUp – this is vegan soul food.

We’re quite sure there are many more out there waiting to be explored. We’d love to hear about your favorites.  Many of these are also gluten-free and certified kosher.

11. by Chloe.

by Chloe. is located at 185 Bleecker Street, on the corner of MacDougal Street. Founder Chloe Coscarelli and partner Samantha Wasser have several signature items on the menu including the kale-matcha mojito! Also on the menu, meatless burgers and fries and homemade chipotle aioli.

12. V-Spot 

VSPOT, located at the East Village, Gramercy and Park Slope specializes in Latin Vegan cuisine (the food is kosher, too). Using traditional Latin seasonings, signature dishes are Jamaican jerk, empanadas, black bean and a Philly cheese style and breakfast scramble.

13. Red Bamboo


The tiny Red Bamboo vegetarian/vegan restaurant came highly recommended by one of our readers. We hear the buffalo wings and baroque chicken are just two of the specialties to be found on an Asian, Creole and Caribbean fusion menu. Be sure to save room for dessert –  like ice cream. Red Bamboo is located at 140 West 4th Street, between 6th Avenue and Macdougal.

14. Go Zen


Earlier this year, Go Zen vegan small plates restaurant opened in the space which housed the popular Vegetarian Paradise 2 (VP2). The space has been updated with more lighting, and the menu is Thai/Malay/Asian. We hear the service is excellent. Try the vegan Roti bread. Go Zen is located at 144 West 4th Street, next door to Red Bamboo.

Get in touch with the author @AFineLyne