The 8 Best Vegetarian Restaurants In Manhattan

Dirt Candy, NYC vegetarian restaurants

Photo: goodiesfirst via Flickr

Vegetarians may get knocked for turning up their noses to steak and bacon, but they know that you don’t need meat to make a great meal.Chefs whose restaurants are exclusively vegetarian or vegan get creative to construct their enticing, artful meatless dishes. New York is home to a lot of vegetarians, so it makes sense that some of the best vegetarian restaurants are in the Big Apple.

Zagat has explored and rated the finest herbivore-friendly restaurants in the city, with food so gluttonously good you’ll have a hard time believing it’s healthy.

#8 Caravan of Dreams

405 East 6th St.

Food: 24

Decor: 18

Service: 21

Cost: $28

Caravan of Dreams is the vision of Spanish expat Angel Moreno, who opened the vegan restaurant in 1991 with the goal of serving delicious, organic, and humane Mediterranean dishes. Caravan also features a calendar of live music performances at dinner and brunch.

#7 Candle Cafe

1307 3rd Ave.

Food: 25

Decor: 17

Service: 21

Cost: $32

Candle Cafe can be found on the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side and the menus are very similar. The simple yet tasty organic veggie dishes are inspired by a wide and satisfying variety of ethnic cuisines, including Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, Asian, and Cajun.

#6 Candle 79

154 East 79th St.

Food: 25

Decor: 22

Service: 23

Cost: $47

Candle 79 is the 'upscale, elegant sister' of the Candle Cafe that serves the kind of fare typical of a fine dining restaurant, only it's all plant-based, so the chefs can get creative as they depart from the chicken or beef dishes you might normally find at dinner.

#5 HanGawi

12 East 32nd St.

Food: 25

Decor: 24

Service: 23

Cost: $51

Right in the heart of 'Korea Town,' diners take their shoes off and enter a food sanctuary where they can find traditional kimchi and bibimbap dishes, but also various fresh, seasonal dishes and sides.

#4 Pure Food & Wine

54 Irving Place

Food: 25

Decor: 23

Service: 24

Cost: $52

A product of the One Lucky Duck brand, Pure Food & Wine started as New York's 'first upscale raw vegan restaurant.' They offer lunch and dinner, and have a spectacular brunch menu, which one might think is difficult to do without eggs, but Pure Good & Wine gets it just right.

#3 Dirt Candy

430 East 9th St.

Food: 26

Decor: 18

Service: 24

Cost: $50

Besides having a spectacular name, Dirt Candy serves up a delicious selection of vegetarian comfort foods like soups, breads, salads, sandwiches, and fritters.

#2 Taim

222 Waverly Place

Food: 26

Decor: 10

Service: 17

Cost: $13

In the heart of the West Village, Taim is a small falafel shop practically hidden on Waverly Place, usually identified by its line of hungry customers stretching out the door. People come from all over for their no-nonsense falafel and other vegetarian Israeli fare.

#1 Kajitsu

414 East 9th St.

Food: 28

Decor: 23

Service: 27

Cost: $91

Guests at Kajitsu are welcomed with 'ancient Buddhist shojin cuisine'. The delicate, almost deconstructed-looking Japanese fare is as Zen as the dining experience, and diners praise the phenomenal customer service.

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