A city known for its varied food offering, New York has no shortage when it comes to catering to those with dietary restrictions. Whether you’re vegetarian or are making dinner plans with a friend who’s just gone vegan, our lowdown of NYC’s best plant-based restaurants has you covered for Midtown lunch meetings and meat-free meals in Brooklyn.

The eight best plant-based restaurants in NYC

Superiority Burger

A meeting place for East Village cool kids, Superiority Burger is renowned for producing what might just be the city’s best veggie burger. A mish-mash of quinoa, walnuts and chickpeas (paired with just the right spicing), the patty is topped with muenster cheese and the classic lettuce-tomato-dill-pickle combo. Beloved by Cate Blanchett and NYU students alike, it’s truly a must for any vegetarian in the city. The veggie sloppy joe, hippie wrap and burnt broccoli salad are equally inventive and worthy of the praise they consistently receive. Eat in or grab a few items to go for your office BFFs and know you’ll be in good standing for the rest of the year.

Franchia

Right between Murray Hill and Midtown, and a few blocks down Park Avenue from Grand Central Station, Franchia is a vegan haven in an area swarmed by chain restaurants. Owned by the creators of Hangawi, a sit-down Korean favourite just a few minutes away, this lunch spot offers Asian-fusion choices such as spicy kimchi dumplings, crispy scallion pancakes and wild sesame ramen. Come here as a group for a celebratory lunch, or use it as your lunchtime go-to for one-on-one affairs.

Jajaja Plantas Mexicana

Jajaja boasts a vegan take on empanadas, quesadillas, nachos and even chorizo, making it an easy choice for vegetarians looking for a Mexican fix without being limited to one option on the menu. Some must-try items include the buffalo cauliflower tacos and dinosaur kale, which comes chock-full of mango, avo, smoked coconut and red quinoa, as well as the pressed cucumber and basil cocktail. With locations in the Lower East Side, the West Village and Williamsburg, it’s a great spot for a group lunch, and you can also order out when you’re looking for something a little more interesting than a salad at your desk on a Friday.

abcV

For a colleague’s birthday celebration or a client lunch that’s heavy on dietary requirements, abcV is the ultimate in high-end plant-based eats in the city. Nestled in the area that also houses Gramercy Tavern and Cosme, it’s certainly on the chicer end of the scale, and is a fun place to head when you’re taking care of a larger group. The smoky aubergine dosas cooked on a crepe skillet are a no-brainer, and the green chickpea hummus and avocado cups are also crowd pleasers. Order a selection of dishes to sample and know you’re in good hands with Jean-Georges’ team.

Little Beet Table

A Park Avenue South staple, Little Beet Table is always hopping, making it a fun place to punctuate the work day. There are meat and fish options on the menu here, but a lot of it is plant-based, making it a safe choice for a group with varying diets. It’s hard to come here without sampling one of the juices, so start off with the beet and clementine or the kale and cucumber glow. As for your meal itself, the green rigatoni topped with arugula pesto, asparagus, mushrooms and parmesan is ultra-filling and delightful, as is the mushroom and black bean burger and the crispy rice bowl with shiitake topped with a farm egg. If this one is close to your place of work, count yourself lucky, as you’ll be returning time and again.

Peacefood Cafe

A standout in a sea of family run restaurants and old-school favourites that populate much of the Upper West Side, Peacefood Cafe is a great spot for a chilled weekend lunch after a walk in Central Park when you’d like to avoid the downtown crowds. The menu features a great mix of raw eats for more regimented diets and homey focaccia and pizzas when you’re in the mood for something comforting. The focaccia topped with pan-seared mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke aioli is to die for, while the tempeh avocado sandwich served on toasted spelt rye sourdough and fluffy quinoa topped with sprouts are equally tempting.

Double Zero

A vegan pizzeria flanked by plant-based Japanese and Mexican eateries run by the same owner, Double Zero is one of the best meat- and dairy-free pizza spots in a city overrun by dollar slices. Located on 2nd Avenue, it’s got a lovely terrace that intermingles with the buzz of the East Village, as well as a cosy indoor space to which to retreat on chillier days. The wood-fired pizzas here are, dare we say it, almost just as good as any non-veggie counterparts elsewhere, and there is a huge selection to boot. We’re partial to the macadamia ricotta and maitake mushroom pizza on the midday menu, as well as the spicy marinara arrabiata topped with shiitake bacon. Bear in mind: this spot only opens at 3pm on weekdays, so it’s best saved for weekend meals or late lunches.

Champs Diner

For a weekend lunch following a big night out, Champs is the go-to for non-meat eaters. Instead of queueing up for brunch spots that primarily dish out bacon and eggs, head to this Williamsburg sweetheart for all things hangover curing à la vegan. Featuring lobster rolls made of hearts of palm, meatless cubanos and reubens and plant-based buffalo chicken wings, the menu here is incredibly creative and will please even the most resolute meat eaters who have been dragged along.

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