A couple of years ago, I moved to a new neighborhood in NYC - the Upper West Side! Just northwest of Midtown and Times Square, it's not only a great place to live,
but also to visit if you are a tourist. It's more peaceful than midtown, it's right next to Central Park, and has some wonderful old historic buildings, like the Museum of Natural History, The Dakota (John Lennon's former home).
One of my favorite things about my new neighborhood - LOTS of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants!
Here are some of my favorite vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants on the Upper West Side:
1.) Peacefood , 460 Amsterdam Avenue (at 82nd street)
This lively, casual vegan cafe has a pretty, light and airy atmosphere.
Lots of delicious sandwiches, soups, salads and sides on the menu, and the most
AMAZING bakery. I have not found better vegan baked goods in NYC.
My favorite dishes: Asian Greens, Caesar Salad, Baked Soy Nuggets, their amazing soups (any)
Favorite baked goods: ANY!! Currently I love their Lemon-Vanilla cake, and their cookie sandwiches (with icing in the middle!)
2.) Cafe Blossom, 466 Columbus Avenue
Ahh...what can I say? This place is DELICIOUS. Seriously, this is the place to take your non-vegan friends because everything is just so yummy. It's a bit more "fancy" than other places, but I still feel very comfortable there for a casual night out.
I have so many favorite dishes at this place, but my current favorites are:
*Soy Bacon Cheeseburger (amazing), Southern Seitan Sandwich, Caesar Salad (the best vegan one I've had), Black-Eyed Pea Cakes (amazing), Lemon Peppercorn Seitan, Seitan Marsala.
For dessert, you must have their chocolate cake, and also the amazing ice cream (from Lula's Sweet Apothecary)
Drinks: They have a great wine menu
3.) Mana (vegan-friendly/macrobiotic) 646 Amsterdam Ave. (btw 91st/92nd)
Mana is a small, casual, organic, macrobiotic restaurant, which is basically grain-based "vegan" with some fish options. It is a very health-oriented, "clean" type of eating.
What I love abut Mana is how everything tastes pure, homemade and really fresh. A lot less rich than the other places, their food makes you feel really good!
My favorite dishes: Sweet Potato Croquettes, Stuffed Shitake Mushrooms, Vegetable Gomae, Seitan Parmigiana, Simple Palate (very basic, but delicious and pure)
For dessert: any of their cakes (great), and their "parfait" of the day.
4.) Cafe Viva Pizza (vegetarian & vegan) 2578 Broadway (At 97th St) (212) 663-8482
Cafe Viva not a cafe - is a hole-in-the-wall pizza place. More of a take-out place with a few tables, they have dozens of types of vegan pizza!!! It really is vegan heaven. They also have a few types of wheat-free crusts.
My favorite pizza: the Zen pizza (spelt crust with pesto sauce, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, garlic, and a tofu ricotta cheese).
They also have (delicious) vegan desserts!
Please note: they DO also serve regular (dairy) cheese pizza, so make sure you're getting a vegan pizza.
They do NOT serve any meat on their pizzas, though.
5.) Hummus Place (vegan-friendly) 2 locations on the UWS
Hummus Place is not vegetarian or vegan, but it is very vegan/veg friendly.
Basically a casual, middle-eastern cuisine place, specializing in many types of hummus,
there are lots of vegan possibilities here. (I do recommend checking with your waiter first to make sure everything you order is vegan)
My favorites: Hummus Masabacha (topped with whole chickpeas), Health Salad, Chunky Vegetable Soup, Taboule Quinoa.
Drinks: They have the most amazing frozen Mint Mojitos (only $5.50)!
Dessert: Vegan brownies!