In case you were unaware, we live in the most vegan-friendly city in America. Oh, that was hard for you to tell, what with bacon being liberally sprinkled in just about every salad on every menu in every restaurant in this city? Well, if you’re looking for good vegan-friendly options and just don’t know where to find them, never fear: We’ve got you covered.
Bunna Cafe: This Bushwick Ethiopian spot serves some of the most flavorful food in the whole borough. We love the kedija salata, a kale-flecked avocado salad; the misir wot, a pungent, berbere-spiced lentil stew; and the shiro, a spicy, ground chickpea dish. Soak up all that goodness with spongy, addictive injera (also available in a gluten-free version) and wonder to yourself why anyone would think that vegan food isn’t as filling as meat-based cuisine.
1084 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick
Vinnie’s Pizzeria: No vegan-friendly restaurant list would be complete without a pizza place, and our favorite is definitely Vinnie’s—for so, so many reasons. Not only do these guys make delicious, unique pizza (vegan and non-vegan!) that is cheap and convenient, they also have maybe the best sense of humor of any restaurant in Brooklyn. There is seriously nothing like Vinnie’s daily specials. Some recent ones have been: Backstreet Soys, The Egg Files, Hotline Wing, Mac to The Future, My Soy Called Life. Like, who knew food could be so delicious and so culturally relevant?
148 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg
Falansai: While it is true that this Vietnamese restaurant is perhaps best known (and deservedly so) for its decidedly non-vegan clay pot catfish, owner Henry Trieu has made a point of dedicating a good 25% or more of his menu to vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options. We recommend the spicy green bean stir fry, which comes with mushrooms and chiles and will leave your mouth singing—in the best possible way—for hours.
112 Harrison Place, Bushwick
Champs Family Bakery: One of the hardest thing about eating a vegan diet is that it often feels like you’re sacrificing that most vital of the food groups: comfort food. (What? That’s a food group, right?) Because basically, once you choose to live the vegan life, you can say goodbye to nachos and cheese steaks and chili fries… or at least the good versions of those things. Except, wait! That’s not true! Turns out you can have good—and even great!—versions of all those things, as long as you eat them at Champs. This diner-esque vegan spot serves up some of the best versions of nachos, Philly cheese steaks, and chili fries that we’ve ever had—vegan or not. Plus, the smoothie and juice selection is out of control. And those red velvet pancakes! What else can we say? We love this place.
176 Ainslie Street, Williamsburg
Toad Style: This all-vegan, kung-fu themed comfort food spot is a total gem in an area of Bed-Stuy that doesn’t really have a ton of great food options. For people who live nearby it’s a godsend and for those who don’t live nearby, it’s worth the trip. Trust us, we winced when we heard the name “Toad Style” for the first time too, but once you connect it to the kung-fu theme it all makes sense. The menu is small, but perfectly on-point—The coconut-crusted fried oyster mushroom bánh mí is our favorite, but we’ve tried basically the whole menu and everything is great— and nothing is more than $11!
93 Ralph Avenue, Bed-Stuy
Maimonide of Brooklyn: We’d have an easier time listing the menu options at MoB that we don’t love, because, well, it would be a lot shorter (as in non-existent) than just telling you what we do love. But here’s a list of things you definitely shouldn’t miss: farro salad, Iron Man MOB, MOB Dog Deluxe, and the brunch-only silver dollar stack of wild blueberry pancakes. So, so good.
525 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill
Tiny Empire: We never really understood the appeal of cults, and always thought ourselves as being somewhat immune to religious fervor in general—and then we did a Tiny Empire juice cleanse. Reader, it was life-changing. We can’t recommend Tiny Empire juices highly enough. They’re all beautifully balanced in a way that few juice places manage to really get right. And, as an added bonus, the food items that Tiny Empire sells are also just as well made and thoughtfully composed. Our favorite snacks right now are the jalapeño kale chips, which have a spicy kick that we find hopelessly addictive, and the banana walnut granola, which is hands down the best granola we’ve ever tried. See for yourself. You won’t regret it.
142 N. 6th Street, Williamsburg
The V Spot: This Latin-American Park Slope spot serves some of our favorite empanadas in the borough (try the Colombian and Jamaican jerk), that just so happen to be vegan. Beyond the empanadas, the V-Spot serves up an excellent guacamole, delicious kale tostadas, and an excellent version of Colombian rice and beans.
156 5th Avenue, Park Slope
Tanoreen: While we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend many of the lamb dishes at this exemplary Middle Eastern restaurant in Bay Ridge, we also can assure even the most devoted meat-eaters that they could happily put together a meal comprised of only vegan options at Tanoreen. The cauliflower and Brussels sprouts dishes alone are among the best renditions of either of those vegetables that we have ever had, each drizzled with an addictive lemony tahini and pomegranate molasses sauce, with the sprouts also being hit with a shower of panko crumbs. But even beyond the amazing veggie side dishes is an abundance of bright, clean flavors in the form of the fatoush salad (just hold the cheese), the vegetarian grape leaves, and the vegetable sambosek. Save room for the baklava. (Or, you know, don’t. It turns out it’s made with butter here!)
7523 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge
Dosa Royale: This southern Indian spot makes maybe the best dosas we’ve ever had. These savory crepes (made from lentil and rice flours) are delicate in flavor, but substantial to hold up to the many delicious and flavorful veggie side dishes also on offer, including bracingly pungent pickled vegetables and smoky, unctuous eggplant. You can also just get a dosa stuffed with gently spiced, curried sweet potatoes, making for a warm and ultra-satisfying meal. Plus, Dosa Royale also offers a fabulous vegetable biryani for brunch, the vegans will have to ask for it egg-free, but vegetarians can relish mixing a runny yolk or two into the aromatic rice and vegetables.
316 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
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