Food is fundamental to create. Every single process in our body needs the energy that comes from what we put in our mouths. Every sense in our being relates to its pleasures. It connects the insides and outsides of nature. A few years back I made a list of my favorite places in Manhattan to get vegan and vegetarian friendly food that would be both healthy and delightful. It was inspired by a wonderful restaurant-hoping experience with a friend that was a macrobiotic chef at the time. Wonderful food has taken the experience of the city to a next level, it keeps me curious, nourishes me and provides an oasis of relaxation and warmth. What I eat is not only what I am, it’s also what I become. Food feeds every little transformation and an endless appetite for city dwelling. The list keeps growing and changing. I’m open to suggestions and invitations, of course.
Souen. They have three locations. One in Union Square, one in Soho and one in the East Village. The last one is my favorite. It’s their Noodles bar and the food is amazing, still has a homemade feeling to it.
Ozu. This is a more Japanese-inspired version of Macrobiotics in the Upper West Side.
Mana. This is a low-key place. The food is good but not outstanding. Still, they have the classic macrobiotic things.
Semi macro/ macro options
Caravan of Dreams. I love this place. They have great food, ambiance and, mostly on weekends, live music. It’s in the East Village.
Angelika’s Kitchen. A classic in the vegan world, also in the East Village. If you are alone they have communal tables and specials that change every day. A bit on the hardy side, so it’s better in the winter and if you feel you have strong digestion.
Spring Street Natural. It has a large menu, some good some average. It has sidewalk/outdoor seating in the summer. It’s in Soho and it works for large parties.
Pure Food and Wine. Gourmet. Raw. Spectacular food. Great tamales and outdoor patio in the summer. They also have a cafe around the corner in Gramercy and a take-out place in the Chelsea Market.
Candle 79. Good to lurk non-vegetarians into the veggie world. Flavorful meals. They also have Candle Cafe with a nice brunch for when you go to visit the museums in the Upper East Side and they opened a new one in the Upper West Side.
Dirt Candy. Innovative versions of everything that you can do with veggies. It can be heavy, but very tasty.
Blossom. Great vegan brunch and deserts. One restaurant and one take-out in Chelsea and one in the Upper West Side.
Hangawi. Absolutely beautiful and peaceful place. Delicious vegan Korean food. Feels like a Zen monastery. I love it.
Beyond Sushi. Tiny heaven of vegan Sushi with multiplicity of sauces and careful presentation.
Sacred Chow. Small, low-key, great veggie latkes and apple pie. NYU area.
Gobo. Beautiful place. Great for sharing small plates. Nice smoothies. They have two locations, one in the West Village and one in the Upper East Side.
Quintessence. Raw pecan and apple pies to die for in the East Village.
Wild. Gluten free vegan crust pizza that tastes awesome. In the West Village and Williamsburg.
Peacefood Cafe. Perfect place for a quick bite, a meeting, a nut chai, a vegan cookie, a raw avocado based key lime pie. In the Upper West Side and Union Square area.
Cheap, good or in places where there’s nothing else to eat
Zen palate. Decent Asian-fusion vegan in the Times Square and Union Square areas.
Dojo. Student’s budget favorite in the NYU area. Nice for a quick bite.
Taim falafel. Falafel heaven in the West Village.
Loving Hut. A vegan oasis in the Midtown/ Penn Station madness.
Bombay Sandwich Co. Indian-inspired sandwiches and vegan bowls.
‘snice. Great sandwiches and salads in the Meat Packing District and Park Slope.
Terri. Vegan sandwiches with tons of options.
Baby Cakes. Cupcakes madness in the LES and other vegan baked goods.
City Bakery/Birdbath. Seriously dangerous vegan chocolate chip cookie all around the city.
Cinnamon Snail. Award-winning food truck, get them if you find them.
Caracas Arepas Bar. Arepas are my comfort food. They are Colombians and Venezuelans equivalent of bread. This place makes an outstanding vegetarian and vegan version.