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Help me! I need a vegan and meat eater friendly restaurant!

  • j

I have a vegan in law and meat eating parents coming to visit for Thanksgiving. I am having a hard time finding anything suitable to all because of how picky they all are. The meat eaters don't do indian, fusion, or anything too much off the beaten track. In the world of chains, they are Chili's/Applebee's kind of people. Suggestions? I was thinking of straight forward Greek or Italian, both of which are vegan friendly... but is there a kind of straight forward, steak and potato kind of place that also has vegan friendly food? Thanks.

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  1. would they do any sort of middle eastern? i'm guessing not...
    hmm...maybe chinese?

    1. What about something like Union Square Cafe? It is a very NY restaurant, but the menu is relatively non-threatening and has plenty to offer everyone.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Treece

        The o.p. doesn't specifically say, but if it's for Thanksgiving Day dinner, USC is out because Danny Meyer traditionally closes all his restaurants that day.

      2. I don't need it for Thanksgiving Day.

        1. Do you mean vegan or vegetarian? That's a crucial difference. Many places can offer wonderful vegetarian, but when you eliminate all the animal products, including eggs and dairy, it's a bit trickier.

          It also occurs to me that you might ask the vegan in-law outright what kinds of places they like to eat at.

          And hey, we have Chili's and Applebee's here in the Big Apple. If they're picky and they like chains, let them eat chains!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cara

            I mean vegan.... and yes, I think that Wilfrid is probably right: the answer is "NO".

          2. I thought about this, and to be honest I think the answer is probably no. Very briefly, in the East Village, there was an organic restaurant which served vegan dishes and also things like short ribs. It closed.

            You already know that you can do Italian, Greek, and so on. Are there really steak-type restaurants which are friendly to vegans? No, because the vegetable sides tend to have butter and cream.

            If you went upscale, you could make special requests: but given the Applebees reference, I doubt if that's what you want.

            1. What about Friend of a Farmer, on Irving Place? For your Applebee's-oriented parents, there are things on the dinner menu like steak, meatloaf, and roast chicken. As for the vegan, there are dishes that sound as though they would work, like pasta and salads, but to be sure, you could call the restaurant and check.

              1. i think spring street natural could fit the bill. no steak, but chicken and fish dishes that aren't too exotic. and, specifically vegan dishes that will excite more than steamed veggie and salad-type options at other places.


                2 Replies
                1. re: thievery

                  I think the food at Spring Street Natural is the worst I've ever had. And the service is below par, as well. Why don't you try the Candle Cafe restaurant on Lex & 70's. 3 meat-eaters and 1 vegan ate a delicious dinner there. Or, go the cafe which is much more casual. I had a mock BLT that was out of this world.

                  1. I think your best bet would be an authentic (not Tex Mex) restaurant.
                    Tortillas, sopes, salsas stuffed chilies, etc.. please any vegan as long as the cheese is left off.
                    And Puerco Pibil or Steak would please any meat eater.

                    1. Italian is difficult if they're vegan - almost everything seem to have a touch of parmesan/butter, etc. You have to be extremely specific when placing orders.
                      I think if the meat eaters can do Chinese, almost all the vegetarian dishes there are vegan, as cheese isn't really an issue. And many of the Chinese places will gladly offer the americanized chinese to the unadventurous. However, you may have to dig a bit to find one that's good and has nice atmosphere too.
                      Greek or Turkish can be a good idea, if they're mainstream enough for the meat aaters....

                      1. Vegans dont eat at chilis or applebees if avoidable. Your probably referring to vegetarian? If they enjoy chains, bring them to carmines or tonys. Its a NYC chain that they can bring home to brag about.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: csw

                          You've misunderstood the situation. It's not the vegan who eats at chains; it's the o.p.'s parents, and they are carnivores. The vegan is an in-law.

                        2. Whoops! I guess I need my 4PM pickmeupper. Tough situation. How about 'Josies'. I see meats. I see vegan. Most importantly I see a scored notch on inlaws star list. Inlaw can even enjoy the dairy free mashed potatoes with your parents.