Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting New York City for a few days. While I was there, I got to see three Broadway Shows (Frozen, Dear Evan Hansen, and Mean Girls!), visit two museums (The Frick Collection and The Guggenheim), and being the foodie I am, try lots of the gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian food that New York has to offer. In this post I will tell you all about the food I tried!
The Hummus Kitchen
Locations: Hell's Kitchen and Upper East Side
We visited The Hummus Kitchen in Hell's Kitchen on 9th Ave, a very convenient location for pre-theater eating. I actually went to this restaurant for the first time two years ago, the last time I was in Manhattan. We made a reservation, but they were taking walk-ins. Mediterranean food is one of my favorite types of food and The Hummus Kitchen offers many gluten free and vegan options. The small space offers intimate dining and a more personal experience. The restaurant has also updated since my last time visiting, with the menus now on iPads-- very high tech. My parents and I split 4 items off of the Mezze menu (small plates) as well as an order of hummus. We ordered Cauliflower, Mediterranean Chopped Salad, Majadra Rice, The Falafel, and Grilled Vegetable Hummus, and shared family style. The food was all delicious, but for being called The Hummus Kitchen, their hummus was slightly underwhelming and the falafel was the real star of the show. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for pre-theatre dining!
Pictured: Mediterranean Chopped Salad (upper left), Cauliflower (far left), Falafel (center), Grilled Vegetable Hummus (right), and Majadra Rice (far left)
The cucumber green exterior of Hummus Kitchen definitely gives it a 10/10 for curb appeal
Locations: 79th St, West Side, Upper East Side
Candle Cafe is a 100% plant based restaurant that also offers many gluten free options. We went to the Upper East Side location for brunch but my parents and I ordered off the lunch menu. We went right when they opened at 11:00 am so it was not very crowded at all. I had a "Beyond Burger" which was quite decadent with fried onions, Sriracha Aioli, and vegan swiss cheese. It also came with a side of my favorite food, garlic fries. I had never had a realistic meat substitute so I don't have much to compare it to but this certainly almost perfectly replicated a real beef burger, which was almost a little weird because I have not had meat in so long. My parents split the soups of the day (one was cauliflower I think) and a grain salad (this was not gluten free but they said it was super yummy). This restaurant is a great for filling your comfort food cravings but with a plant based twist. The one critique we had was my dad said his coffee was not great but they waived the price for us, which was nice.
Pictured: Background left to right- Soup of the day, grain salad, soup of the day. Foreground- Beyond Burger
The eye catching exterior of the Upper East Side location
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Locations: East Village, Lower East Side, West Village, Several Brooklyn Locations, Trucks, and a few LA locations too
Van Leeuwen is an artisanal ice cream shop with an extensive vegan menu, as well as coffee and select baked goods. We went to the West Village location at about a 3:00 pm so we were joined by a line of local elementary schoolers in a line out the door. After about a 10 minute wait in line, I ordered vegan salted caramel with vegan chocolate fudge. Most of the flavors were gluten free, but the ones with gluten were clearly marked. The vegan ice cream was cashew based and very creamy. Though a single scoop was a little pricey about $6 (Chocolate sauce was extra) they were very generous with the scoop and the deliciousness of the ice cream made it worth it.
A close up of my scoop
The menu seems to rotates. This is what is was when I visited
The line was wrapped around the block by the time we left!
About to take my first bite!
Locations: Union Square, Chelsea Market, 56th Street, 37th Street, and Financial District
Beyond Sushi is a completely vegan sushi restaurant. I went to the Chelsea Market location where its home is along side some of the top eateries in NYC. Chelsea Market is a bustling 13,000 square foot market place with a focus on food and retail, so I had plenty of food options but I decided to try Beyond Sushi because it has been recommended to me many times. When you are Vegetarian or Vegan, sushi usually means you are limited to just a cucumber or avocado roll, but Beyond Sushi gives you the variety of a sushi restaurant just without the animal products. Most of the menu items are gluten free excluding the ramen noodle. I ordered the "Lunch Special 3" which offered one sushi roll and one noodle salad for 11.56, and for the amount of food I got it was a great deal. I got the Spicy Mango Roll and the Zany Carrot Salad. Both were delicious and filling. Chelsea Market also has a great atmosphere, but seating was a little challenging to find. My parents enjoyed a gluten-filled, dairy-filled, and meat-filled sandwich from an Italian deli.
Pictured: Top- Spicy Mango Roll, Bottom- Zany Carrot
Quick Counter Service
My Dad and I posing with a sign at Chelsea Market
Locations: West Village, Flatiron, SOHO, Rockefeller Center, and Williamsburg, as well as locations in Boston, Providence, LA, and London
I went to By CHLOE for the first time in Boston with my friend, Naomi, and it was so good I knew I needed to go back. By CHLOE is a 100% plant based casual restaurant with lots of gluten free options. On this trip, we went to the location at Rockefeller Center. By CHLOE is a very enjoyable place to visit because of their adorable decor and the delicious smell of their food. The menu features mostly comfort food, think the Veggie Grill Menu-- just trendier. I had the Kale Caesar and the Kale Artichoke dip. My dad got the Greek salad, and my mom had the Smashed Avocado Toast. We all also split some Air Baked Sweet Potato Fries. By CHLOE is the solution for any plant-based eater who is looking to fill a craving for vegan food alternatives that taste even better than the original.
Pictured: Top Left- Smashed Avocado Toast, Top Right- The Greek Salad, Bottom Right- Kale Caesar, Bottom Left- Air Baked Sweet Potato Fries, and Artichoke Dip
I was not lying when I said the decorating was cute! This is a Rockefeller themed Neon Sign above the condiments
Lots of seating!
Locations: East Village, Chelsea, Union Square, West Village, Grand Central Station, Urbanspace @ 570 Lex
Liquiteria is pretty similar to most juice places I have been to, but it does have great variety of juices, smoothies, and bowls. The location we went to was in Urbanspace @ 570 Lex. Urbanspace is a large food court/market place with 16 gourmet casual restaurant and tons of seating. We went at about 9:00 am so it was not very crowded but I imagine it has quite a lunch rush. I had the Mean Green smoothie which was really yummy, and tasted like fresh pineapple and kale. My mom had a cold pressed organic juice. Each were $8 which is pricey, but reflects the price point of most juice bars.
This captures a little less than half of the market
Me enjoying my Mean Green Smoothie
We went to Ix Cafe to pick up a picnic to have at Prospect Park, which is conveniently 2 minutes down the street. We went with my second cousin, her husband and their baby. The menu offers a variety of options, but not a ton of vegetarian options. I ordered the Zingy Salad, one of the few items that accommodates all my dietary restrictions. This salad ended up being a great choice. It featured spiraled zucchini and a spicy dressing, which was absolutely delicious and was very fresh tasting. For the people who do eat gluten, dairy, and meat, there are lots of options from omelettes to sandwiches, all with a South American influence. My mom got a veggie sandwich and my dad got a Cuban sandwich. The food was great, and it was especially great to enjoy in the sun at Prospect Park.
The vibrant exterior of Ix
Writing all of this up makes me want to go back! Hope you enjoyed reading :)