Eat & Drink Vegan in New York City
NYC has so many vegan restaurants, cafes and great bars that it’s impossible to list them all. This is not exactly a comprehensive list and we didn’t really eat out a lot during our time there but hopefully this can guide some vegans & drinkers on a budget.
The Impossible Sliders from White Castle were easily one of the tastiest and wallet friendly things we had in our whole time in NYC. The taste and texture is so freakishly similar to a beef burger. These are manufactured by Impossible Foods, the Silicon Valley startup behind the ‘bleeding’ plant-based lab burgers, that are available at selected and usually more upscale restaurants. White Castle is actually the first fast food chain selling their product and you can get a combo meal of 2 mini burgers, crinkle cut fries and a drink for as cheap as $4.89 or $1.99 just for the burger, just make sure you ask them to skip the cheese if you are vegan.
OddFellows Ice Cream Co. offer amazing vegan flavours and truly tasty coffee. It’s a great combo for a sweet tooth’s breakfast (you’re on holiday, right?). They change the flavours almost on the daily!
If you fancy a quick but filling bite, fresh&co is like a better and healthier version of Pret. They are dotted all around the city and have a lot of vegan options for sandwiches, grain bowls and soups with hearty portions.
Two Boots Pizza is a family friendly place that has several vegan options with punny names and funky decor. Their Cajun-Italian style pizza is probably the best vegan slice you can have in the city.
Overall, NYC is one of the most vegan friendly cities out there, if not in terms of price, then definitely in terms of abundance of choice and, in our experience, beats Cali by a mile!
Even street food carts, such as the ones next to Central Park, cater for vegans. You can buy vegan cheese and faux meat almost anywhere, even in a lot of bodegas so you can save some dollars and make your own packed lunch.
Tanner Smith’s is a prohibition era themed bar in Midtown Manhattan. We loved the early 20th century decor and the vibe with low lighting, the bar staff were friendly and the craft beer was on point!
If you want to grab a drink while waiting for your designated time slot to go up on Top of The Rock, we can suggest Johnny Utah’s as it’s about a 3 min walk from there. It didn’t look like there were many vegan options, apart from (maybe) fries but they do have beer, for sure. It might also be worth it because of the interior - it’s a Southwestern themed bar with a massive mechanical bull in the middle so you can play cowboy in NYC.
Probably the best night out we had was in East Village. After an evening at Upright Citizens Brigade East Village (which has a pretty decent bar as well), we were out in the streets lined with bars catering to different tastes.
We made a stop at Manitoba’s, a punk rock bar, owned by the lead singer of The Dictators. It has that grimy punk rock vibe that we like.
We randomly wandered in and hit the dancefloor at Niagara. They played a lot of retro tunes and about 2 ABBA songs in the time we were there which is about 2 x more than any other bar we have been to on a Friday night so we got to bust some moves.
We just kept bar-hopping, had a lot of fun and cannot possibly remember all the establishments we attended that night but if you are new in the city and stuck for ideas for a night out, heading to East Village is a good bet.
68 Jay Street Bar is a low key watering hole for locals, mellow and dimly light but probably with most decently priced beer in Brooklyn. It’s a very short walk from the Brooklyn Bridge and has cheap beer compared to other bars in the area.
Maggie Mae’s is a Sunnyside local serving great craft beer. We only ended up here because we had to wait to check in our Airbnb and this was a good surprise in terms of selection and lovely bar staff.
Also, tomato beer is a thing in New York! Modelo Chelada is like a mix of Bloody Mary and lager. We got it from our local bodega in Queens and you can try it if you dare.
Please leave us some suggestions of your favourite places in New York. We can’t wait to go back and try everything we didn’t have time for this time around!