One of my favorite things about New York City, is that you can pretty much find any cuisine you could possibly desire with a simple Google search.
I’m Sha Goode and I started own lifestyle blog after moving to NYC in February of 2017. Fitness and Food in particular are two of my biggest passions and at the beginning of the summer when I finally made the decision to start eating a plant based, vegan diet, I knew this city wouldn’t disappoint.
I don’t know about y’all, but it’s not always easy having dietary restrictions and being able to find GOOD food. Just recently I was back in Minneapolis for a little over a week and had to eat from the same restaurant the entire time because there just weren’t any other options for me to choose from. Anyway, that’s not a problem you have to worry about here and I figured I’d share some of my faves in hopes of making it even easier to enjoy your time here in NYC eating good food.
BREAKFAST: DIRT CANDY
Dirt Candy, first of all the name–I mean how cute is that?! Anyway, Dirt Candy was the first vegetable-focused restaurant in the city. I actually stumbled upon this gem while searching for a vegan friendly restaurant for my birthday dinner. Unfortunately, by the time I found it, it was too late to make rezzies for a reasonable hour so instead I dragged a non-vegan but very brave friend here for breakfast!
What I love about their menu, is you can find dishes that appeal to all your brunch cravings. I don’t know about y’all but I can never just have something sweet OR savory. I need both! First we started off with a pick from their Pastry menu. I had their Tomato Biscuit, which sounds like it’s going to be a pizza rolled up into a ball and served on a small tea cup dish, but in fact it was the perfect blend of sweet and savory flakiness that makes my mouth water just writing about it. As for my entree, I decided to go with their Green Eggs and No Ham dish, which was made vegan by replacing everything from the cheese to the eggs with a vegan substitute. The thing I loved most about this whole experience is that they have a brunch special where you get a pastry, entree, drink and coffee or tea all for like $30 bucks which is a pretty amazing deal here in the city!
LUNCH: THE LITTLE BEET
I very rarely have time to sit down for lunch so I love to find restaurants that are quick, has an easy menu to follow and have multiple locations around the city. So when I stumbled upon their 26th and Broadway location during a casual stroll, I knew my wallet was in for treat.
I’d compare the The Little Beet to a Chipotle-esque experience. You can either have them create one of the Chef Made Bowls or create your own. My favorite options on their menu are either the Avo Fresh or Power Veg bowl. Their both packed with Sweet Potato, avocado, greens and a TON of flavor. I’m always so stuffed after devouring one of their bowls and you better believe I never leave leftovers.
All of that said, my favorite part about The Little Beet, is actually their website. I love it when a restaurant makes doing research on their nutritional facts super easy. Not only are you able select an option to see which menu items matches your dietary preferences but you can literally see the calories and macro breakouts of all their menu items! So if you’re a macro counter or just like to know how much grams of protein, fats, etc. are in the food you’re consuming, head on over to their site and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
DINNER: URBAN VEGAN KITCHEN
I literally saved the best for last. If the name didn’t give it away already, this is a purely Vegan restaurant that will leave even your biggest meat lovers satisfied. Believe me, I know. I dragged one of my dates to this restaurant and he was in utter shock with all of the crazy menu options like (Chickpea) Hush Puppies, Shrimp Po’ Boy, a Quarter Pounder and that’s just naming a few. Located in the West Village, one of my favorite neighborhoods, this restaurant has SO MUCH CHARM while also being super hip and so inviting. They even had a DJ downstairs to entertain you as you headed to the bathroom. I don’t think that’s the actual point of the DJ but regardless, he’s there.
Anyway, I love The Urban Vegan Kitchen because they know how to make a Vegan feel like they can eat more than just a salad with vinaigrette dressing. I’ve been there a few times now and haven’t held back on what I’ve chosen. I’ve had the Brussle Sprouts which were roasted with maple syrup and whole grain mustard; the Double Decker
Tacos, which oh my goodness where freaking amazing. They were packed with refried pinto beans, seasoned ground seitan, guac and had this chili lime aioli that added a nice kick to it. I’ve also enjoyed a few of the many cocktails on their menu, in addition to their Macro bowl which I’ve also attempted, and failed to recreate at home.
Basically this place is the best and if there’s anything you take away from my list of faves, it’s that you’d be doing a disservice to yourself by not visiting UVK.
I’ve really enjoyed bopping around the city, finding little pockets of Vegan goodness. From my experience cooking in my own kitchen, it’s not always easy to take traditional meat filled dishes and turn them into flavorful, filling and satisfying meals for both vegans and non-vegans alike to enjoy, but I think these three gems certainly do it well.