I'm wondering what the best vegetarian restaurants are in Manhattan. Any type or ethnicity, even raw. Looking forward to your responses.
Even though Angelica Kitchen gets a lot of praise, I would have to say my favorite is COUNTER, on First Avenue (between 6th and 7th streets). The food is much more inventive, and I've been able to bring non-vegetarians there who end up liking it as much as I do. They have a great selection of organic wines and beers, and the decor and overall ambiance of the place is really quite cool.d
The hummus is amazing. I ran out of pita and considered just eating it off my fork.
Counter's pretty good but favourite was always Gobo. The foos there always manages to surprise me, especially the appetisers.
I love Pongal indian on Lexington at 26th. The food is great. Chennai garden in the same area is also very fresh.
Heirloom is quite good, even if it in no way lived up to its hype.
Hangawi (korean vegetarian) in ktown is great and has really lovely atmosphere. I love taking off my shoes and having the feet underneath the tables like that.
and all the veg/kosher Indian restaurants (haven't found a standout yet)
i'm not a big fan of super 'healthy' vegetarian...i just like GOOD food. so my standby's are:
-gobo (w. village & UES)
-good health cafe (great vegetarian brunch) (75th & 1st)
-kate's (ave C)
-vegetarian dim sum (pell off mott st.)
all I can really do is second other suggestions here...
for high end, Hangawi is great-- very simple, but beautiful food. My only comment though is that if you/your friends are used to eating Korean in non-veg places, it's kind of a letdown because there isn't really a vegetarian counterpart to bbq. I made the error of making this my birthday spot and while I loved it, my very not vegetarian grandmother did not.
I am still a fan of Angelica Kitchen-- I always get the 3 out of 4 (or whatever) small dishes though because it doesn need some variety. Great cornbread and desserts.
Gobo is a good choice, though I find they use too much seitan, my personal least favorite fake meat. I stick to the vegetable dishes. Candle Cafe is always a solid choice if I'm in the area, but it's not like I go out of my way. I don't even know if Zen Palate still exists, but it was never that exciting to me.
I hear mixed reviews for both Counter and Pure Food and Wine, and since both are on the higher end, I am still not sure if I want to risk it.
OH, almost forgot. I had the very lucky chance to go to Per Se recently and they have a vegetarian tasting menu (all food there is tasting). It was amazing-- though I would certainly have been disappointed if it were less than amazing for $200 a pop.
Not being a vegetarian, the only veg restaurants I go to are Hangawi and a bunch of Indian: Sukhadia's, Vatan, Saravanaas, Dosa Hut, Madras Cafe among my favorites.
The other vegetarian category I'll consider (though fish is included) is kosher dairy. Most of the classics are long gone (Garden Cafeteria, Steinberg's, Ratner's, Hammer's). I'm planning to try the Diamond Dairy shortly.