what i ate in new york

vegan food in new york_Lauren Toyota

Oh, how I love New York! I think it’s called the Big Apple for a reason, cause it’s got more vegan food joints than I can count. My first trip to NY was way back in 2014, and since then I’ve added a LOT more places to the “hot for food approved” list. Here’s the best vegan food in New York that I’ve been able to scope out!

hot for food approved

Little Choc Apothecary

My hunt for vegan food in New York began with a breakfast crepe from Little Choc. It was stuffed with a delicious tofu scramble, coconut bacon, cashew cheese, spinach, and cucumbers. I thought the cukes would be kind of odd in a crepe, but they really tied it all together! My own recipes for coconut bacon and tofu scramble are pretty close competitors, though.

verdict: an impressive tasty crepe stuffed with lots of vegan goodies! You need one of these in your belly asap.

Beyond Sushi

beyond sushi_hot for food

Being in New York also meant I could meet and connect with other vegan YouTubers like Jenne Claiborne (aka Sweet Potato Soul). We hit up Beyond Sushi for BBQ jackfruit dumplings that were beyond tasty, and a mang roll that had me rolling outta the restaurant from how full I was. This is a place I visit almost every time I come to New York, including in other travel vlogs!

verdict: this menu is definitely something you need in your life, and this is the perfect place to get vegan food in New York if you’re a sushi enthusiast.

Double Zero

It was basically necessary that I stop by Double Zero, a vegan restaurant owned by none other than Matthew Kenney! My pals and I really had to roll up our sleeves for this gourmet meal. We had an amazing vegan cheese platter that included smoked gouda and herb cheese. Charcuterie for the vegans? Oh hell ya! We also had a white bean bruschetta, and incredible vegan pizza with a ricotta made from macadamia nuts! Rose cider was the drink of choice to tie it all together.

verdict: totally worth every penny for a more fancy vegan indulgence! Their take on vegan cheeses and ‘za can’t be beat.

Brooklyn Whiskers Bakery

brooklyn whiskers bakery_hot for food

I assumed by the name of this bakery that the owners were feline fans, and my suspicion was confirmed by the cat mug they served my coffee in. Too cute! This pillowy vegan croissant filled with tofu scramble was an ideal brunch choice.

verdict: a quirky and purr-fect spot for a satisfying vegan breakfast sandwich! (I think Snickles would appreciate that pun, don’t you?). For a vegan croissant it’s missing that distinct flakiness, however, overall this place really cares about the quality of food they serve and the sandwich all together was satisfying.

Urban Vegan Kitchen

My good friend Timothy (aka MississippiVegan) took me to this restaurant, Urban Vegan Kitchen, where he re-vamped the menu and gave me the ultimate vegan feast! Honestly, one of these dishes would have served me well and this cherub shared seven of his best. We had mac & cheese, grilled corn with chili lime aioli, crispy garlic broccolini, maple mustard brussels, chick’un & waffles, AND a breakfast sandwich. He even gave me a breakfast sandwich to go for the next morning!

verdict: all of these dishes are totally worth indulging in! That chick’un & waffles has a maple mustard aioli that’s to die for. I could have licked the plate clean. UPDATE: While Timmy did have a hand in making this menu in 2016, I can’t guarantee the quality of the food is the same or that the menu is the same since he has nothing to do with the restaurant anymore!

Dunwell Doughnuts

dunwell doughnuts_hot for food

Of course, I had to stop and grab a vegan doughnut because… well, I just had to. Can you blame me? Those chocolate sprinkles and maple were a killer combo. I was basically daydreaming about ordering more even though I wasn’t too hungry to begin with! This is a spot I visit a lot when I’m over in Brooklyn and when I get the regular doughnut craving. All the doughnuts are delicious, but I’ve had the blueberry french toast doughnut, and yassss queen.

verdict: a great spot to fulfil your sweet tooth. Take my advice and order more than one for the road so you have snacks for later. Truthfully, these are some of the best vegan doughnuts I’ve ever had!

Screamers Pizzeria

screamers pizza_hot for food

It wouldn’t be a complete New York trip without visiting a classic pizza joint, so I hit up Screamers Pizzeria to try three of their best pies! I got the buffalo cauli slices, the screamers slice, and the ultimate veggie slice. They use Follow Your Heart cheese (I think) and make everything else from scratch, proving to make these slices anything but ordinary.

verdict: the homemade crust is DAMN good, and they sure know how to top a vegan pizza. Plus there’s so many options to choose from, you’ll be screamin’ with excitement!

Modern Love

My last stop on this trip was Isa Chandra’s restaurant, Modern Love! Once again, I was basically eating like a vegan queen with the amazing dishes being served. I shared with friends, and we had a grilled caesar salad, truffled poutine, epic eggplant lasagna, curried fried rice, horseradish seitan, and just when I thought we were done… we caved and got the chocolate cheesecake, too. Which I’m not upset about at ALL. I don’t know what ridiculous secret ingredients they have in it, but holy moly. It was the best vegan cheesecake I’ve had yet!

verdict: a must-visit spot for all-around impressive, tasty and satisfying food! The eggplant lasagna is mind-blowing and that vegan cheesecake, well, you know how I feel about that one. Follow Modern Love on Insta to see all the new items being served frequently.

Xi’an Famous Foods

Food in the comfort of my hotel is a must. So I got takeout from here as recommended by my friend! They insisted that I get the A1 which is cold noodle salad with seitan & chili oil, and I also opted for a cold cucumber salad. I agree with them, cause these are a must-try!

verdict: this is what inspired my cold-cucumber chili noodle recipe in my cookbook! An absolute must-try for some killer takeout. This place once again proves that vegan food in New York is like no other! 

Toad Style

At this lovely spot, I dug into some cheesy broccoli, fried cauliflower, deep fried pickles and BBQ jackfruit tacos. As a humble brag, I have my own recipe that I’ve perfected, but these were pretty dang good too.

verdict: all these comfort foods were a win in my books! Especially those fried pickles dunked in creamy vegan ranch. Drool!


hangawi_hot for food

This restaurant had a really cool and relaxed vibe. Their selection of cocktails and mains was incredible! My Reincarnation Soju cocktail looked and tasted amazing. I had steamed veggie dumplings as an appie, and a killer vermicelli stone bowl as my main.

verdict: authentic Korean cuisine in a very zen, chilled-out space. This was a really nice spot for me to enjoy on my own without feeling like I was in a rush. Depending on where you’re staying or a lack of travel time, you can also check out their sister restaurant, Franchia, that’s opened up since!

Sweet Green

This was a quick takeout option that ended up being pleasantly surprising! Warm salad is totally my kind of salad, that’s just me. This one was SO GOOD! I obviously had some bread from this place too because carbs are life, and that’s what balanced eating is… right?

verdict: I definitely recommend the warm salad with mushrooms, especially with extra squash!

Very Fresh Noodles

I might have had a slight freak out about these noodles. They were huge, and you know I’m a sucker for big flat noodles! Nat had to stop me from eating them all as soon as we dug in… sorry not sorry. This big bowl of heaven also had mock duck, bok boy, and shitake mushrooms. I go to this place often since I tend to stay close to Chelsea Market, and it always hits the spot!

verdict: Cozying up to a bowl of these fresh noodles is basically a form of self care.


abcv_hot for food

I also visited abcv, which was a super impressive and beautiful restaurant! The only word I can come up with to describe it is MAGICAL, cause it truly is! I ate fresh steamed tofu, a cauliflower bowl with harissa, coconut yogurt, and pistachio, the seabuckthorn & persimmon bowl, and einkorn pancakes with coconut cream and syrup.

verdict: everything I ate here looked like a work of art, even the coffee mugs! I was especially a fan of that smoothie bowl… it had tons of fresh flavors that you’ll love, too.


Next, Russell (aka rollercoastervegan) recommended we try out Taim for some killer vegan food in New York, and I’m so glad he suggested it! I love a good falafel. We feasted on the green falafel plate, cauliflower shawarma, and french fries with harissa ketchup. Plus that pita was almost the size of my head, and it was totally dreamy. 

verdict: This place was a tight squeeze, but totally worth the amazing flavors. I don’t think chickpeas and my stomach are BFF’s but you should definitely sill give it a try!


kajitsu_hot for food

This is a restaurant that offers vegetarian and vegan Japanese cuisine. Timothy and I shared the seasonal menu being offered at the time, however this was back in October 2018! You can check out what they’re currently offering on the menu here. Regardless of what they’re serving up when you dine here, I guarantee you’ll feel like you’re in an episode of Chef’s Table.

verdict: a super authentic Japanese tasting experience. A full menu tasting is a great way to sample all the vegan dishes without having to commit make hard decisions!

Orchard Grocer

orchard grocer_hot for food

This grocer has it all, including sammies, vegan grocery products, and soft serve ice cream. It’s my version of heaven! I got a pumpkin spice and vanilla vegan soft serve that wasn’t featured in the vlog, but holy moly was it GOOD. Once again, this proves that vegans don’t have to miss out on literally any comfort food at all. I also munched on a bag of Bjorn Qorn, which is super tasty popcorn covered in nooch that had me feeling like one helluva nooch god. Apparently you can buy a big bag of it too, which I totally wish I did!

verdict: for a perfect sweet and salty combo, get the soft serve AND the Bjorn Qorn. Treat yo’self. But their deli menu has lots of epic sandwiches that change all the time, so be sure to hit this place up often. This grocer has it all!

I got even more vegan food in New York because it was one of the #hotforfoodbooktour stops! So with my bestie Nat, we hit up some more eats!

Studio 00

This was the restaurant at the Freehand Hotel I was staying at. It’s beautiful inside, and the vegan options were delicious. We indulged in the market grain salad, and the roasted eggplant flatbread with tahini and dates. I never thought eggplant would go well on a “pizza” type dish, but I stand corrected.

verdict: a glam spot for vegan food in New York! Especially if fancier dishes are more of what you’re into!

Blossom NYC

The little french press coffee at the table reminded me of how I brew at home. I had the blossom benedict and Nat had the country breakfast with french toast.

verdict: this cute lil’ place is a delight, and totally veg-friendly.

Blossom Du Jour 

We grabbed vegan egg, cheese and bacon sandwiches from this place to go! On top of that, we stopped by Whole Foods and grabbed some COYO vegan yogurt, berries, and a cranberry pistachio vegan scone. And we couldn’t forget our caffeine fix, so we stopped by Starbucks too… jeez! A lot of running around for one meal, but it was hella worth it. The breakfast sandwich used tofu as the egg substitute which you know I’m a huge fan of, so it was a winner!

verdict: eat your breakfast sandwich from Blossom Du Jour right away if possible, so it doesn’t get soggy! The flavors were super delicious, though. I’ve also tried other things from the menu since this trip and you can Watch Me Eat them all with comedian, Chris Clarke!

This is the first of many of my travel vlogs from Lauren In Real Life that will be turned into lists on the blog here! And even better you can take this hot for food approved check list with on your own trip to New York or pin it for a future trip. Happy eating!

new york_hot for food

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