All Things Veggie – Guide to New York City
I know New York City is most commonly known for lots of other things, but holy KALE is it also a veggie lover’s dream! Although I do eat meat, dairy, and pretty much anything someone would put in front of me, I decided to dedicate my eats during a 48 hour trip to the city strictly to plant-based restaurants and meals, so I could throw together a quick little guide of my favorites. Looking for more? Check out my guides to the Chelsea Market and other New York eats too!
Like any other food-obsessed blogger, I did a little research before my trip. After all, how does one just go to New York, the city of a million restaurants (ok I made up that nickname too) and not have a plan?! So I’d like to thank a few bloggers and podcasters who inspired my choices:
- Talia from the Party in My Plants podcast and blog
- Sign up for her email list and you can get access to her AWESOME list of plant-perfect restaurants in all areas of NYC. She’s shown lotsa love to By Chloe over the past few months, so I knew I had to try it for myself.
- Rachel from Rachel’s Good Eats
- Her pics of breakfast at the Butcher’s Daughter absolutely solidified my decision that visiting there was #1 on my list!
- Addie from Chickpea in the City
- Okay YES, she lives in Chicago, but seeing her praise about Soul Cycle pretty much every day inspired me to try it in New York, but I’ll definitely be going to a Chicago location the next time I’m in town!
On to the eats! I was able to hit up three different areas of New York in my two day trip, so I’ll organize my guide by Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Williamsburg:
Veggie Eats in Manhattan
I wasn’t kidding earlier when I said that The Butcher’s Daughter was my first priority stop in the city, I took an Uber literally STRAIGHT from JFK to the lower Manhattan location for breakfast. I was hungry and I wanted avocado toast!!
Yeah, avocado toast was certainly what I got. I was verrry tempted to order one of pretty much everything on the menu, but I swore to myself I’d stop here again (dragging whoever was with me) the next time I’m in the city. There’s just too much to choose from! That morning, I decided on a half order of avocado toast (one piece) and added a fried egg on top.
A “Goddess of Green” juice (Kale, cucumber, green apple, fennel, pineapple, thyme, and blue green algae) and Café Latte filled in the cracks of my tummy and I was superrr satisfied. Definitely the best juice.. and possibly breakfast.. I’ve had to date. The atmosphere in the tiny but chic restaurant helped add to the fresh-feeling ambiance.
Come to Ohio, pretty please!
When traveling by yourself, food rules don’t matter and you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Right?? So after a quick shopping trip (let’s not discuss how my “drop by” into Lululemon ended) I skipped over to Cha Cha Matcha to see what the hype was all about.
With the popularity of matcha on the rise, this ultra-Instagram friendly coffee/matcha/bakery has been all over my timeline the past few months. Although small inside, the Cali-themed coffee shop is decked out in palm trees, pinks, and greens. I decided to go for the classic Matcha ice cream and really liked it! If you’re new to matcha, I’d suggest the swirl or an iced latte with some sweetener added—matcha can be pretty bitter when not mixed with anything else! But boy, did it make a pretty pic 🙂
Laughing Lotus: Manhattan
Now that I was stuffed full of food, it was time to work a little off (so I could eat more later, obviously!) I checked my ClassPass app and found a “Soul Sweat” class coming up at Laughing Lotus, so I booked it and power walked to Midtown to make it in time! Because I had never been, the beginning of class threw me off a little bit. The instructor and whole class began a “om” as she played a giant accordion on the floor…not what I was expecting, but it was an experience to say the least!
By Chloe: Manhattan
On the trek from yoga to my hotel, I needed a little snack and stopped at By Chloe in Manhattan on the way. I’d heard so much about this fast-food styled vegetarian eatery that I couldn’t let a stop in NYC go by without trying it! I picked up just an iced coffee and side of sweet potato fries, but boy was my mind blownnn.
I’ve had a good amount of amazing sweet potato fries in my day, and these guys definitely stood among some of the best (Northstar and Bareburger sweet po’ fries have yet to be beaten). However, I have never had beet ketchup and By Chloe definitely takes away the trophy on this one! I didn’t check up on the nutrition facts, but it made me feel a little better that I was loading up each fry with beet puree instead of super-sugary tomato ketchup. I’ll be back for a full meal!
Soul Cycle: Brooklyn Heights
If a food hangover is a real thing, I definitely was feelin’ it when I woke up the next morning. It certainly didn’t last long, because I was about to finally try my very first Soul Cycle class! I’m a morning person through and through, so my bike was booked for a 6am ride at the Brooklyn Heights location. I’m a die-hard Cycle 614 fan, so I don’t think any studio will ever compare. HOWEVER, I did really like the “ride to the beat of the music” style of class, and my instructor did a great job of working the lights to give the room a super vibey feel. I left covered in sweat, so I’ll definitely be back!
Veggie Eats in Brooklyn
Surprisingly enough, my next veggie-stop wasn’t planned, and it might have been one of my favorites!
I joined a group of co-workers to celebrate a birthday at Gran Electrica, an authentic Mexican restaurant in the heart of DUMBO (oh, and it’s just casually RIGHT UNDER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE). We were seated at a big table in their outdoor patio/garden/good vibe heaven, and I couldn’t have been happier. I mean look at this view!
Although the restaurant wasn’t totally plant-based, it had a little something for everyone. I found some veggie tacos that hit the spot (cabbage and cucumber mixed with pickled fennel, carrots, beets, queso fresco, all tossed in a serrano vinaigrette). I’d love to bring a group of friends back here so I can try a few more things on the menu—their queso choices are BANGIN’.
Conveniently, Gran Electrica shares a building with the super famous Brooklyn pizzeria, Grimaldi’s. After walking by with a taco-stuffed belly, I knew I had to have a slice later that night. (Plus, the line at the time was out the door and down the street!)
Pro tip: Order ahead and you can skip the line and pick it up! Pro Tip #2: Grimaldi’s only takes cash.
In my opinion, I’ve never had a bad late night slice of pizza, but my slice of Grimaldi’s might have been one of the best. In fact, I ate it so fast I didn’t even get a picture. Typical. 🙂 Here’s a pic from their IG account, but the picture definitely doesn’t do the cheesy goodness justice!
Veggie Eats in Williamsburg
On to Williamsburg! I decided to pick up a healthy lunch from the infamous Sweetgreen. Although not exclusive to New York, I had never been one before and needed to add it to my list! Some of my fave food bloggers like Chickpea in the City (linked above) rave about this place alllll the time, but I’ll admit I was pretty disappointed. I hate to try a place once and immediately shoot it down, so I’d be willing to try it out again, possibly in a different city. After standing at the front of the line for about six minutes to get the attention of any of the 15 workers to come up and take my order, someone finally (begrudgingly) came up to ask me what I wanted. I felt that my Strawberry and Feta salad was a little lacking on everything except dressing (I loved that they asked if I wanted heavy/med/light dressing, but my answer was light and still ended up with a drenched salad. Hmm). I tried my best to get a good pic, but I was just not having it! Better luck next time, maybe.
So earlier when I said I totally dedicated my two-day trip to New York solely to veggie dishes and restaurants, I lied a little. Because I’d never been to Williamsburg before and now had the opportunity, I could NOT turn down a rainbow bagel. Plus, I’d been pretty healthy so far in the trip (ignoring that slice of ‘za) and I was craving a treat!
There’s probably some sort of veggie somewhere in that confetti cream cheese right..? Okay maybe not, but this IG-friendly rainbow sandwich was SO worth the trek to the northern part of Brookyln. Once again, I’d heard about The Bagel Store mostly from stalking New York foodie Instagram accounts, so I didn’t know what to expect! In fact, I almost missed the casual spot completely.
Maybe if they put in as much effort on the outside of their building as they do on their picturesque rainbow bagels, they’d stand out a little more! The shop itself probably holds about 8-10 standing people max, and I was lucky enough to stop by when there was no line. (I heard from a few Brooklyn natives that the line can get up to 50 people long during the day..wowza)
Either way, these guys know how to do a pretty bagel right. Although the sandwich definitely leaned more toward a piece of cake and it took me about 5 hours to come down off of the sugar high, it was totally worth the stop. Check it out!
I hope you all enjoyed my veggie-lovers guide to New York, I hope to add to it in future trips! Let me know if you have any other recommendations, and happy plant munchin’ 🙂