While we didn’t get to many of the fully vegan restaurants during our short time in New York City at the end of March 2017, we were on a mission to eat all of the vegan versions of the fast food the city is famous for: pizza, bagels, donuts and ice cream, because why not? These were our highlights to eating our way through the Big Apple in just three days.
With multiple locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, this long-established New York pizza franchise has several vegan options as well as some gluten free pizzas too. We visited the location in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, one of the oldest in the city. It’s a brightly coloured and cosy little place, great for people watching. The vegan cheese was melty and satisfying and feels like a good deal given the location.
Another place with multiple locations around Manhattan, this old-fashioned and not-at-all hipster bagel joint is a quintessential New York experience. With a mind-boggling array of bagels and spreads, almost all of which have a vegan option, it’s perfect for a large snack or small meal. The tofu cream cheeses were so rich and creamy, I doubted for a moment if they were actually vegan! Everything is wrapped ready to take away, but at least at the location we visited on 3rd Avenue, you can sit inside and eat there without being bothered if you wish.
This minuscule café serves all vegan cakes, muffins and donuts. Mostly they do take away, but there are three tiny tables you can sit at although all drinks are served in paper cups regardless. The chocolate cupcake we had was moist and pleasant, and the donuts were fine: baked rather than fried, so not as greasy as I was hoping for! A decent option to satisfy your sweet tooth if you’re passing by.
Right around the corner from where we stayed in Brooklyn, this place served as our breakfast stop more than once. With a nice range of bagels and a huge array of spreads and toppings, just ask for a recommendation to get something vegan: the friendly staff will happily help you out.
We visited here twice in our short time in New York because well: doughnuts! There are like a million flavours (that might be an exaggeration) and they’re all great. Perhaps a little sweeter than I was ready for, but still worth coming back for. On Wednesdays they have two-for-one on all doughnuts, so come hungry! They serve all the hot drinks you’d expect too as well as homemade milkshakes in the summer. Everything is vegan.
With about a third of their options being vegan, this relaxed, homely place served giant slices generously filled with toppings. There are also tasty garlic dough balls for extra carbs and the staff are cute which definitely doesn’t hurt. You can eat in or take away and it makes for a great quick and easy lunch stop.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Dotted around the city with a few outlets and an ice cream truck, Van Leeuwen is relatively new on the New York ice cream scene. Their location in Brooklyn is tiny but cosy and has almost as many vegan as non-vegan flavours, thankfully none of which are sorbets! It’s a little pricey, but portions are generous and the fully loaded sundaes are definitely worth it if you’re feeling like indulging.
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