Vegan Restaurants to Know

vegan restaurants to know

It felt like only yesterday when vegan meant bland, uninspired, and just plain weird in restaurant terms. And that enjoying a cocktail, heaven forbid, was mutually exclusive to any vegan restaurant experience. But luckily, life is about progress. And at these vegan restaurants, you won’t miss the meat, or forgo the booze.



The founders of PLANTA are all about guilt-free pleasure. That’s why they committed to serving accessible, actually good vegan food back in 2016. And they’ve kept the ball rolling ever since, with 10 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Their 100% plant-based restaurants are not to be missed by either vegans or meat lovers. The NoMad location’s interior is sophisticated and a bit darker than other PLANTA establishments. It’s a refreshingly swanky departure from the bright, greenhouse-chic vegan restaurants we’re all used to. 

The Food

It’s impressive when a menu can please all the senses without using half the food pyramid. And PLANTA Queen does exactly that. The cuisine lands somewhere between Asian fusion and vegan dim sum, inventive but familiar. Juicy jackfruit takes the place of Peking duck. Cauliflower tots get a dusting of truffle almond “parmesan,” and ahi watermelon mimics juicy strips of tuna. Remember, they promised guilt-free, not boring. PLANTA pushes boundaries with its drink menu, too. We have to point out the Thai chili-infused tequila, for starters. The wine list is small but mighty, and we always love it when a restaurant commits to a great non-alcoholic selection as well. PLANTA Queen serves up mocktails (or as they say, “ant-intoxicant tonics”, which is much more fun) as well as cold-pressed juices for all the Dry January soldiers. And for the rest of us, there’s always the option to spike the pressed juices with your favorite spirit. 

The Innovation: Authentic Sustainability

What we love about PLANTA Queen is that it isn’t interested in making vegan food anything it’s not. Yes, watermelon replaces ahi and hearts of palm takes the place of crab in a hand roll. But you won’t find any Impossible Meat in the dumplings, or processed chick’n in the bao buns. That’s because chef David Lee wants you to experience the true essence of each ingredient, not trick you into thinking you’re eating something else. And PLANTA’s so committed to this guilt-free mission, the sustainability doesn’t stop in the kitchen. The staff strives to operate in a paper-free, low waste environment. That means fewer printed materials, less single-use serve-ware, and more clarity about the footprint of your meal. From the restaurant design to the to-go packaging, PLANTA makes decisions for the planet so its guests don’t have to. 

Hours & Location:

15 W 27th St.

New York, NY 10001 

(917) 675-7700

Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 10:00pm

Friday – Saturday 11:30am – 11:00pm



We’re definitely not the first to tell you that Jean-Georges Vongerichten knows what he’s doing. With 60 restaurants worldwide and a three-star Michelin background, he’s somewhat of a culinary God. Here we’re looking at one of his most legendary creations: the ABC establishments. Specifically abcV, where the V stands for vegetables, of course. The third installment in the ABC culinary universe, abcV is like the spunky little sister who knows all the trends before you do. It’s maybe the vegan restaurant to know, and certainly where you should take your herbivore friends for a luxurious lunch.

The Food

No offense to the soul-cycle disciples and juice-cleanse advocates, but abcV says the farm-to-table fad is a bit passé. At least according to Paulette Cole, CEO and creative director at ABC Carpet & Home. She and the rest of the team behind abcV are uninterested in trying to adhere to timely culinary buzzwords. Instead, they’re coming at their menu from a place of creativity and thoughtful wellness. The dishes aren’t just there to be eaten, but to make you think. How can a chickpea be reworked into a fluffy chocolate mousse? How does a simply-prepared bowl of spinach spaghetti feel so special? And most importantly, how can a plate of woodroasted beets look more like a Picasso painting than an entree? AbcV’s menu aims to serve both our personal and planetary ecosystems. It’s a lofty goal, but if anyone can do it, it’s Vongerichten. The chef has been on the frontlines of health food trends for three decades, dating back to his first restaurant opening in 1986, and it shows in each dish. 

The Innovation: Plant-Based Intelligence

If you couldn’t tell by the anti-farm-to-table statement, abcV is pretty particular when it comes to labels. In fact, Vongerichten thinks the very identity of vegetarianism “sounds like a disease.” So instead, abcV is focused on cultural descriptors, ones that convey their mission to serve and inspire through food. Our personal favorite is the concept of “plant-based intelligence.” It’s a thread that runs through the entire establishment, from the high-tech juicers behind the bar to the homey Apple-store ambiance of the interior. And each menu item really does feel like an intelligent one. The drink list includes not only cocktails and juices, but vibrations. Which is basically a fancy way to say that you can order a glass of vibes. If that doesn’t say plant-based intelligence, we don’t know what does. Each dish and libation serves a purpose, for your body and the earth. The tonics are restorative, the produce is local, and the menu is educational. (Literally — there’s an illustrated plant encyclopedia on it). You might just leave smarter than you arrived.

Hours & Location:

38 East 19th Street

New York, NY 10003

(212) 475-5829

Dinner: Monday – Sunday 5pm – 11pm (last seating 9:45pm)

Lunch: Monday – Friday 12pm – 3pm

Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11am – 3pm

Le Botaniste


If there’s one trend among all the founders of the best vegan restaurants to know, it’s that they’re trendsetters. Take Alain Coumont, founder of Le Botaniste, for example. Years before the global rise in vegan establishments, the globetrotting restaurateur was frustrated by the lack of delicious plant-based options he had available to him during his travels. Thus, the inspiration for Le Botaniste was born. It’s a warm, apothecary-style space with an interior that pulls you in and food that keeps you coming back. The restaurant’s design and ethos are both inspired by Ghent, Belgium, a city that’s pushing the boundaries of sustainability in a big way. And we mean big– with a goal of becoming 100 percent carbon-neutral by 2050. Coumont took Ghent’s climate (political and literal) and channeled it into a restaurant — seven of them, actually. Spanning across Belgium and New York City, Le Botaniste is serving up simple but exciting plant-based comfort food. Here’s what you need to know about the spot.

The Food

Le Botaniste isn’t doing anything revolutionary with its menu per se, but the simplicity is where the cuisine really shines. The selection of “prescription bowls” is a subtle statement against diet culture, focusing on how the ingredients make you feel rather than how many calories they contain. The bowls are globally inspired, with a wide range of influence. From Tibetan coconut curry to a surprising spin on pasta bolognese, each dish is served in sustainable Japanese ceramic dishware or eco-friendly takeout packaging. The shareable starters are perfect for a chill date night, as is the ambiance that they’re served in. 

The Innovation: Proof In The Numbers

When Le Botaniste pledges its commitment to sustainability, the staff don’t expect you to take their word for it. They want to challenge your idea of what it means to eat “well”. On the menu under each item, you’ll notice two sets of numbers. One is the typical calorie count, and one is a little less traditional: a count of carbon emissions. Yes, Le Botaniste lets you know how many CO2 emissions your meal required. Spoiler alert: it’s not a lot. In fact, the Tibetan Mama bowl needed 43 percent less CO2 than the equivalent recipe with chicken, and the Chili Sin Carne bowl generated 87% less CO2 than beef chili. That’s a number you can be proud of, and Le Botaniste wants you to know it. 

Le Botaniste UES

833 Lexington Ave, NY 10065

(917) 262-0766

Monday – Sunday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Le Botaniste Soho

127 Grand Street, NY 10013

(646) 870-7770

Monday – Sunday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Le Botaniste UWS

156 Columbus Ave, NY 10023

(646) 998-4605

Monday – Sunday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Le Botaniste 43rd & 3rd

666 3rd Avenue, NY 10017

(917) 261-6728

Monday – Sunday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Jajaja Mexicana


When an establishment opens its first location on Cinco De Mayo, you know it’s going to be a party. And that’s exactly what Jajaja Mexicana is: a plant-based, energetic good time. The original location is in a decidedly hipster pocket of East Chinatown, home to the famous Dimes Square and other foodie joints. The crowd is largely millennial but doesn’t feel contrived, and the design follows suit with a light, beachy interior and mint metal seating. Mexican food seamlessly transitions into vegan territory on this menu, appropriately paired with an extensive selection of tequila and mezcal.

The Food

At lunch, dinner, and the all-day weekend brunch, Jajaja Mexicana’s menu consistently delivers. We recommend kicking it off with the ultimate party food: nachos. These ones are loaded with a habanero queso, chorizo, and refried beans (all plant-based, of course). The Mexican-fusion-to-plant-based pipeline is not a new one, and it’s a transition that makes sense. Rice, beans, avocados, spices: all act as pillars of both cuisines. Still, Jajaja doesn’t just play into the expected plant-based Mexicana fare. Yes, there’s the popular buffalo cauliflower tacos. But there’s also chayote squash cosplaying as fish, and a massive chorizo burrito painted in the colors of the Mexican flag. Like we said, everything’s a party here. 

The Innovation: Threading Community

It’s not hard to get people to eat Mexican food. Especially when you throw a bomb tequila selection in to the mix. But the team behind Jajaja Mexicana is aiming for more than just an introduction. They want you to stick around for a while, and get a taste of community while you’re at it. In their words, it’s an effort to “thread plant-based eaters to the Mexican plate”. Jajaja’s innovation shines brightest in its collaborative efforts. During the peak of the pandemic, the restaurant partnered with specialty pharmacy Stanley RX to provide accessible immunity boosters in the form of delicious plant-based food. And they didn’t stop there. The team saw 2020’s World Burrito Day (yes, that’s a thing) as an opportunity to give back, launching an initiative that provided meals for the folks at Mount Sinai Health in NYC. When it comes to vegan restaurants to know, innovative menus are great. But innovative missions are even better. 

Hours & Locations:

Lower East Side

162 E Broadway, New York, NY, 10002

(646) 883-5453

Monday – Friday 11:30am–11:00pm

Saturday and Sunday 11:00am–12:00am

West Village

63 Carmine Street, New York, NY, 10014

(917) 262-0184

Mon-Fri 11:30am–11:00pm

Sat-Sun 11:00am–12:00pm


119 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11249

(860) 479-2872

Monday – Friday 11:30am–11:00pm

Saturday and Sunday 11:00am–11:00pm

Hudson Yards @ Whole Foods

450 W 33rd Street

(917) 722-8419

Sunday – Saturday 11:00am–9:00pm

The Butcher’s Daughter


We’ve seen a lot of descriptions of plant-based restaurants, and “vegetable slaughterhouse” might be the most original. That’s because the team behind The Butcher’s Daughter were some of the first to dive into the veggie venture, back in 2012. And they’ve been chopping, fileting, and carving fresh produce ever since. Their five locations across New York and Southern California serve breakfast, dinner, lunch, and weekend brunch, focusing on vegetarian and vegan fare. The menu changes daily, highlighting fresh produce to let you eat with each season.

The Food

Though the restaurant and juice bar started in New York, the menu screams hippie beach town (in the best way possible). Harvest bowls, acai bowls, butcher bowls: all the bowls. But there are also some more hearty and unexpected options, like mushroom and squash carbonara, or jumbo “crab” cakes topped with fennel cucumber slaw. Drinks are also not to be skipped here. The famed pressed juices are an obvious choice, but the cocktails aren’t missing any of the Butcher’s Daughter flair either. Matcha gimlets, pumpkin-spice espresso martinis, pressed juice mimosa fusions. We would say pick your poison, but even the libations are at least a little good for you. 

The Innovation: Plant-Based Pioneers

When founder Heather Tierney developed the concept for the plant-based eatery, there were several vegan restaurants already established in NYC. The problem, according to her, was that “none of them were cool, and none of them had cool design”. Plant-based meant boring, bland, and worst of all, sober. Actually, plant-based didn’t really mean anything at all: it was all vegetarian and vegan labels back then. Terms that Tierney now finds “so 90’s.” The founder wanted a place where you could spike your cold-pressed juice with champagne, and get a burger that actually feels substantial. And that’s exactly what she did — five times over. A designer first, Tierney also wanted to focus on a space that invites you to stick around, with the focus on building community rather than turning tables. The innovation here is the establishment itself. It’s a bold statement, but without Tierney’s fierce pioneering, we might not have half the vegan restaurants we all know and love. Butcher’s Daughter didn’t just make plant-based eating cool, it put it on the map in a big way. 

Locations & Hours:


 19 Kenmare Street,

New York, NY 10012

(212) 219-3434

Sunday – Thursday 8:00am – 9:00pm

Friday and Saturday 8:00am – 10:00pm


271 Metropolitan Ave,

Brooklyn, NY 11211

(347) 763-1421

Sunday – Thursday 8:00am – 9:00pm

Friday and Saturday 8:00am – 10:00pm

West Village

581 Hudson Street,

New York, NY 10014

(917) 388-2132

Sunday – Thursday 8:00am – 9:00pm

Friday and Saturday 8:00am – 10:00pm

Neat Burger


Neat Burger might be the first to take over NYC’s market for plant-based fast food, but they’ve been doing it in the UK for a while. At least long enough to acquire a committed fan base, including the vocally vegan Leonardo DiCaprio. The team is on a mission to fundamentally change the way the world consumes protein. They’ve already got the ball rolling with 10 locations worldwide, and are aiming for 1,000 corporate-owned franchise and delivery-only kitchens by 2030. The current New York location is a bright, charming space with green checkered tile and tiffany blue booths. It’s a mix between a fast casual joint and retro ice cream parlor, with a trendy tropical flair. 

The Food

There’s vegan food, and then there’s really good food that happens to be vegan. Neat Burger is definitely the latter. Serving up classic American comfort food like hotdogs, burgers and chicken sandwiches, it’s sort of like Shake Shack. If Shake Shack was saving the planet. The concept here is built on the idea that even plant-based foods should respond to your cravings. And this menu certainly responds to ours. The classic Neat Burger is saucy and traditional, while the Smoke Stack will speak to all your BBQ dreams. And right now, for a limited time, you can get the Festive Stack: a chick’n burger piled high with gravy mayo, cranberry sauce, stuffing, parsnip crisp and plant-based bacon.

The Innovation

When Neat Burger developed its concept in 2019, products like Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat were well on the market and already being sold at fast-food establishments. The problem wasn’t access to vegan meat products, but rather what those products contained. Impossible products are made up of ingredients like soy protein concentrate and genetically engineered heme. We’re no scientists, but we prefer our ingredient lists to not look like chemistry equations. And so do the folks behind Neat Burger. The burger patties are made of real, wholesome ingredients — ones you know how to pronounce. The protein comes from pea, corn, and rice, while the patty is textured with natural sources like seaweed, vegetable root, and sunflower kernel. It’s pretty much plant-based food at its most literal. 

Hours & Location:

230 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10169

Monday – Thursday: 11:00am – 7:00pm

Friday 11:00am – 6:00pm

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