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Jul 18, 2007 12:00 PM

Any good, clean veggie restaurants near Union Square?

Do you know of any good, CLEAN veggie/vegan restaurants near Union Square? Like 14th street and 6th Avenue? Dairy restaurants are good too!

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  1. Zen Palate on Union Sq East at 16th Street.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DeisCane

      Is it kosher though? I know i didn't write kosher in the subject line, but i am on a kosher board, so I thought it was ok to leave out the word.

    2. Sacred Chow on Sullivan, between 3rd and MacDougal. Little bit of a walk, but its good. Has some sort of hecksher.

      There is a falafel joint on 12th right off University. It is a meat place and mostly just hole in the wall. It only fits your criteria because it has some pareve food. Has a hashgacha and is shomer shabbat. Shwarma is good, but not really of interest today.

      6 Replies
      1. re: craigcep

        You're talking about Olympic Pita Express. Olympic is a long-time favourite of Chowhounders, both kosher-keeping and not, but what's it got that's pareve, besides salads? The falafel is *not* pareve, it's fried in the same oil as the shnitzels. That's what makes it taste so good :-)

        I had not heard of Sacred Chow until now. But I looked it up, and just spoke to the Rav Hamachshir, Rabbi Zev Schwartz, and was very impressed with his attitude to his job. He did warn me that the wines at Sacred Chow are *not* kosher, though there are plans to change that at some time in the future. But he says the food is 100%, and had satisfactory answers for every question I asked him. The restaurant's web site is, and I will definitely check it out and report back here.

        1. re: zsero

          Point of clarification - Rabbi Zev Schwarcz

            1. re: chossidshlomo

              Generally not acceptable discussion here. Obviously zsero mentioned above his/her take; others disagree. If you have a Rav, I'd suggest you ask him. Otherwise, ask those you trust, or get in touch with Schwarcz himself.

              1. re: chossidshlomo

                I suggest you call him and have a conversation, and form your own impression. That's really the only way to do it. You can't reduce reliability to a number, because a lot of things go into it. You can email him at

            2. re: zsero

              Since this thread got bumped, I just thought I should correct that the place on 12th is no longer Olympic Pita but is now called University Pita. It's still a very good option for falafel/shawarma.

          1. There's Maoz. It's a falafel house with salads and smoothies and such. A bit pricey but lots of people love it. I wasn't totally wowed (too much of the salad bar is too oily for my taste), but the place definitely has a cult following so worth checking it out. It's on Union Square East and 17th or right around there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Foodluvva

              I don't think Maoz even claims to be kosher.

            2. There is a vegetarian place on 6th Street between First Ave and Ave A. I can't remember the name and I haven't been there in years, so I can't vouch for it. There is a bagel place on First Ave and 16th street, right next to Beth Israel Hospital. I think it is called Le Bagel. Murray's Grill which is next door, is obviously a meat place, but they do have nice salads.

              5 Replies
              1. re: sharonlebewohl

                Caravan of Dreams. I've never been there, so I can't vouch for the food. Madras Cafe is also in that area, on 2nd Ave between 4th and 5th, and I *can* recommend that. But neither place is that close to Union Square.

                1. re: zsero

                  Zsero, could you give some details @ Sacred Chow? I am interested in any info on the supervision (frequency, standards, etc.) as well as the offerings, if you have been.

                  1. re: Kosher Critic

                    Sacred Chow is under the supervision of Rabbi Zev Schwarcz, who just moved here from CA, where he was the rabbi of Young Israel of Santa Barbara. His phone number is google-able.

                    The certificate makes it clear in huge bold letters that there are non-kosher wines on the menu, but that they are not used in cooking.

                    The menu is mostly appetizer-sized portions, which one can combine several of to make a meal. Besides the regular items, there's a "protein of the day", "vegetable of the day", "grain of the day" and "hummus of the day". I recommend the "sliced ginger soba noodles" and "roasted Indonesian tempeh"; I wasn't so impressed with the "orange blackstrap BBQ seitan". There are also lots of desserts, smoothies, etc.

                    1. re: zsero

                      Maoz is under hashgachah. Sacred Chow no longer serves non-kosher wines period. i found all of this info at kosher-ny...

                      1. re: LoveKosherEats

                        So I see. I'd advise extreme caution wrt the hashgacha at Maoz. But it's good that Sacred Chow has dropped the treife wines; it will make some people more comfortable eating there. Speaking of which, it's been about 2 months since my last visit (which is why I didn't know about the change in the wine list), and probably time for another.

                        By the way, I have been warned away from Sacred Chow's soy dogs. So far I've heeded that warning so I can't speak from personal experience, but I pass it on for whatever it's worth, which may not be much.

                        Also, there's a weak Wifi signal from a nearby bar, but it needs free registration; if you want to use it, email and ask for an account.

              2. I always thought that Zen Palate was kosher. What about Angelica Kitchen? It's completely vegan and I used to eat there all the time with my roommate who was Orthodox and kept kosher.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bullygirl

                  As far as I know, neither one has ever been kosher.