Vegan Guide to Special Occasion Non-Vegan Restaurants
Every vegan knows the struggle of wanting to go somewhere nice but having guests who “need” meat or cheese in their meals. This guide is for all those family dinners, celebratory meals, and fourth dates where you want to enjoy a nice vegan meal but also have a good time with your fellow omnivores. The lights are most probably dim at these restaurants, a reservation will help, and you won’t want to fight for the check because the bill won’t be cheap, but it will all be tasty! Let’s make the world more cruelty-free, one meal at a time.
This upscale Michelin-Starred restaurant from Joe and Lydia Bastianich serves luxurious Italian dishes and a wide array of wines. Along two non veg tasting menus, Del Posto offers an all vegan 8 course tasting menu for $179 per person (made by the chef of Superiority Burger), complete with a dark chocolate and coconut tartufo. This is one of my favorite places to dine in the city because it’s a real high-dining experience.
Vegan Option: $179 Vegan Tasting Menu with rotating items
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Latin American Inspired
A restaurant and nightclub from the Tao Group, Vandal offers an experience beyond its menu of multicultural flavors, with modern artwork on the walls that makes for the perfect instagram post. As for the food, the menu features a mix of American favorites and twists on international foods, like the Tortilla Soup Dumplings.
Vegan Options: Vandal has a separate vegan menu that is heavily inspired by Latin cooking, with Crispy Cauliflower Tacos, Vegetable Enchiladas, and Roasted Squash Tostadas, plus many other spiced up vegetable dishes.
199 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Seeking to serve authentic Lebanese food in a trendy Midtown East environment, Yara’s menu has an extensive list of Mezze options, plus salads, entrees, and craft cocktails.
Vegan Options: All of Yara’s salads are vegan, as well as several Mezze platters, like the Vegan Kibbe, Falafel, or Spinach Pie. There is also a Vegan Okra entree option and three vegan fries. It’s all well labeled with 18 total vegan dishes!
319 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022
This traditional Japanese spot is perfect for anyone looking for an authentic Japanese meal full of seafood, sake, and sushi while still needing vegan options. Everything is fresh including the tofu (made six times a night), so quality is not spared even for vegans.
Vegan Options: $80 vegan tasting menu that includes, hot pot, skewers, tofu, and other traditional Japanese dishes
435 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Advertising “Grilled Meats and Aquatic Delights,” Saxon and Parole seems an unlikely place to find a vegan meal, however a section on their menu is dedicated to hearty plant based dishes. Omnivores can enjoy a slew of meat and fish driven dishes and sandwiches, while vegans can opt for burgers, hot dogs, or a BBQ sandwich made with meat-free alternatives.
Vegan Options: Plant based section on the menu which includes the Impossible Burger, alongside a Southern Veggie Dog, and Pulled Portobello Sandwich.
316 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
A small Italian joint in the heart of the West Village feels very romantic and quiet even on the busy streets of New York. They serve fish and vegetarian options here, but don’t forget to leave room for wine!
Vegan Options: Everything is labeled with a V for what’s vegan or can be made vegan. I personally love the cashew & pepper (vegan version of cacio e pepe)
57 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011
This lower east side New American restaurant is incredibly popular and trendy. It’s a pawn shop on the outside, but opens to a restaurant with cool vibes and even a vegan menu! Take someone you want to impress here, drink the fancy cocktails, and eat up!
Vegan Options: Entire vegan menu full of appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Some options include…fried tofu lettuce cups, ginger marinated portabella mushrooms, and avocado chocolate mousse.
146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
In the meatpacking district exists Catch, where they specialize in seafood. However, they have incorporated more vegan items on their menu and have clear labeling for everything vegan. There’s a rooftop bar and many celebrity sightings while you eat your veggies. :)
Vegan Options: Vegan labeled items + a separate vegan section of the menu. Speciality includes: hearts of palm “crabcake,” sweet potato gnocchi, crispy cauliflower, and an amazing pistachio vegan cheesecake!
21 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014
This Indian restaurant/gastrobar is beautiful and known for their amazing drinks and food. Every part of this restaurant feels elegant and creative, and they don’t forget the vegans. They have a separate vegan menu in additional to their meat dishes. On Mondays they also do a special menu for vegans/vegetarians!
Vegan Options: They have a separate vegan menu, but I love the flatbread + dips and the cauliflower 65 (crispy and spicy cauliflower).
13 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003
With 13 International locations, authentic Japanese flavors find a home in a modern midtown setting. Zuma has a main dining menu and a lounge menu for a more relaxed setting, as well as a selection of signature desserts and cocktails.
Vegan Options: Separate Vegan & Gluten Free Menu. The main dining menu carries Piri kara dofu to abokado salada, a fried tofu starter, and Shiitake no garlic fuumi, a mushroom based main dish. The lounge menu has a grilled shishito starter and an asparagus centered entree.
261 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016