Where To Eat

Vegetarian Dining In Morningside Heights and New York City

Uptown, Harlem, and "Morningside Heights"

Strictly Roots 2058 Seventh Ave (Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.) @ 123rd St. Cool Rastafarian restaurant not too far from school. Menu changes daily and includes dishes like broccoli & tofu, chick pea stew, tofu tempura, veggie duck, etc. Not the best vegan food in the city, but worth checking out, even if just for the décor (at least three free Mumia posters, and tons of flyers about local events.)

Zen Palate - three locations 2170 Broadway @ 77th St., 663 9th Ave. @ 46th St., or 34 Union Sq E. @ 16th St. Unquestionably some of the best vegan fare in Manhattan (but be careful because there are some duds on the menu.) Best dishes are Orange Sensation, General Sesame Medallions, and Sweet and Sour Sensational. The Zen Ravioli (appetizer) and the vegan banana pie are also great. Some of the desserts have dairy, so ask before you order.

Quintessence 566 Amsterdam Ave. @ 87th St. The menu at this restaurant is 100% raw, organic and vegan. It's bit pricey and not the heartiest food around, but definitely something different if that interests you. The food's very healthy and is well prepared with nice presentation and unique, subtle flavors. For your beverage, you can order a coconut with a straw coming out of the top. Perfect for the neurotic new-ager in you

Candle Cafe 1307 3rd Ave. @ 75th St. Make your parents take you here, because it's an amazing vegan joint with yummy deserts and a large price tag. Plus, you can watch them kick out the rich people wearing fur.

Ayurveda Café 706 Amsterdam Ave. @ 94th St. This upper-west side Indian restaurant has great food and a cool atmosphere. You can pick up a "message from the universe" on your way out (I guess this is there way of competing with the fortune cookie.) The menu is fixed each night and includes a variety of dishes which are always all pretty good. Just let them know you're a vegan and they'll hold the dishes with dairy - also make sure to ask them not to put butter on your naan. Lastly, but certainly not least, this restaurant is all-you-can-eat!

Awash 947 Amsterdam @ 106th St. Best Ethiopian restaurant in the Columbia area. Combination #3 is totally vegan and gets you enough dinner for two people for $12.95. Also, the blackberry honey wine is delicious and there's enough meat on the menu to satisfy your carcass-eating friends.

Josie's 300 Amsterdam @ 74th St. This restaurant is a great compromise place to bring non-veg friends and family. While it has a pretty extensive list of vegan dishes (the spinach infused tortilla tempeh wrap is fantastic) under the heading "Earth Friendly" on the menu, there are also lots of dishes featuring organic meats. The free (vegan) bread you get before your meal is great and the organic wine is delicious if you feel like splurging ($28 per bottle.)

Ozu 566 Amsterdam @ 87th St. Japanese Macrobiotic food, no dairy, some fish. The desserts are over-rated, but there are some nice, cheapish noodle dishes and soups.

Cafe Viva 2578 Broadway @ 97th St. Vegetarian pizza, and they deliver to Columbia (212.663.VIVA). Great vegan options, and cheese if you want prostate cancer and bad karma.

P&W (Address???) This sandwich shop has vegan sandwiches made with Yves veggie meats in addition to the usual animal-filled variety. The "Turkey" and honey mustard sandwich is great. There's also vegan cookies and soy milk!

The Tamarind Seed (2935 Broadway @ 115th St.) is the closest health food store to Columbia and has a pretty good selection of frozen foods, an ok salad bar and miscellaneous health foods. The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful, so just ask if you're not sure whether something in the salad bar is vegan. Beware the pre-made sandwiches and the spinach/broccoli/veggie pies- they keep them on the shelf much longer than they should and there's no way of knowing whether they're still good. If you're looking for more selection, better prices and fresher food, you have no choice but to head a bit further downtown- Lifethyme (2275 Broadway @ 82nd St.) has a fantastic vegan bakery and Healthy Pleasures (2493 Broadway @ 93rd St.) has a great organic salad bar.

Also, many Columbia students are never made aware of the Farmers' Market which comes to 116th Street between Broadway and Riverside, right across from the main gates, every Thursday from May through December. It's a great way to get fresh, locally-grown produce. Check out the web (www.cenyc.org) for locations on other days, and, if you're downtown, hop over to the 4th Street Food Coop (58 4th St. between Bowery & 2nd Ave).

Midtown

Hangawi 12 E 32nd St. between Madison & 5th Aves. Time Out New York described this restaurant as being "for vegetarians who feel left out of the Korean BBQ scene." Even if you don't feel left out- or didn't know that the Korean BBQ scene even existed- the fabulous food and cool, zen atmosphere make this restaurant worth the trip to K-town. It's pretty expensive, though, and the portions aren't that big. The soy ice cream cake is delicious.

Vatan 409 3rd Ave. @ 30th St. Awesome Indian food, overdone decor. For $20, an all-you-can eat feast with several appetizers and entrees, and a ton of bread (and mango puree!). Great for a date, or if you want to gain 12 pounds. Tell them if you don't eat dairy.

Zenith 888 Eighth Ave. @ 53rd St. Asian fusion. Quiet and subtly-decorated, a great place for a date if you can't afford Hangawi. The entrees are alright, but stay for the richest vegan deserts in the city, fancy-restaurant style.

Lower East Side

Kate's Corner 60 Ave. B @ 4th St. This small, kind of dingy vegetarain restaurant is worth the LONG trip to the east village. The atmosphere is cozy if a little dirty and there will probably be some crud on your fork, but the food is really incredible. The restaurant's mostly vegan, but has some vegetarian items as well.

Angelica Kitchen 300 E 12th St. between 1st & 2nd Aves. Upscale hippie food. The deserts are yummy, the entrees are creative, and the waitstaff is hot. Skip the sandwiches.

Lower West Side

Veg City Diner 55 W 14th St. between 5th & 6th Aves. This diner-style restaurant remakes classic American diner food vegetarian. The menu is mostly vegetarian but there are also lots of vegan options. Any vegan who's tried (and been disappointed by) the usual sawdust-flavored vegan baked goods will be amazed by the incredible vegan cakes; even your dairy-eating friends will have to admit that the carrot cake is some of the best they've ever had. Cute gay waiters to boot.

Vegetarian Paradise - two locations 33 Mott St. or 144 W 4th St. @ 6th Ave. Vegan Chinese, heavy on the pseudo-meat. Try the lemon-flavored "pork chops," the Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf, and the Turnip Cakes. The mango "chicken" convinced me, and the dairy-free banana splits are the only reason I brave the Washinton Sq. police presence.

Suzie's 162 Bleecker Street Cheap, fast Chinese.

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