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Nov 9, 2007 06:32 AM

Special Occasion Vegetarian, maybe near Theater District

Hello! I am from Philadelphia and will be in Manhattan in early Dec. to do dinner and a show. This is part of my Hanukkah gift to my boyfriend and he is a vegetarian. The show we are seeing is on 42nd between 9th and 10th. I'd love to take him to an all vegetarian restaurant with or without fake meat products. Sometimes he's not so into the fake meat but if it's good I think we would do it. It doesn't have to be anything super fancy and ethic is always great. I just want him to have a fabulous meal where he can order anything off the menu, not just a plate of pasta and veggies :(

We could even take a cab if there aren't any restaurants near the theater. The main thing is that it is completely veg. and fabulous. Thanks!

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  1. There is Angelica Kitchen but it's not close to thearter dist. I can't think of any place that is strictly vegetarian, most places we go will be veggie and something else, i.e. Indian, Korean.

    1. There are two vegetarian restaurants in or near the theater district that I know of - Zenith (W48th near 8th avenue) and Zen Palate (W46th street on 9th avenue).

      Zenith used to be at another location in the same neighborhood, and I feel like it used to be better. Most of the fake seafood dishes are pretty bad, but the fragrant roast (fake) chicken has been pretty good most times.

      Zen Palate is more consistent. Some people love it, others hate it. I quite enjoy it for what it is - lots of fake meat options and some vegetable only options as well. I have heard that there is a different, more upscale menu upstairs, but I have only ever eaten at the cafe.

      You can cab to/from the block of Indian restaurants, including entirely vegetarian options, on Lexington Avenue in the 20s. Pongal (110 Lexington) and Chennai Garden (129 E27th) are two good options.

      If you don't mind going a bit farther south, Gobo ( on 6th avenue and Red Bamboo ( on W4th are entirely vegetarian as well. Gobo is a nicer space, but I sometimes just crave Red Bamboo, especially the (fake) bourbon chicken. Both have fake meat and vegetable dishes.

      If you want something higher end, you can get a pricier and more foody-pleasing vegetarian meal at places like Daniel ( and Gramercy Tavern (, also not right by the theater district. Note that at Gramercy, the vegetable tasting menu is not entirely vegetarian (some garnishes would need to be omitted) but if you let them know that you are a vegetarian, they will accommodate you. I am trying Gramercy this weekend, and have not been to Daniel yet, but both get positive reviews generally.

      Some other places you can check out are Blossom, Counter, Candle 79 and Candle Cafe, Hangawi and Vegetarian Dim Sum House. Menus for all should be available at www., which also includes reviews.

      Good luck!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Olive123

        My girlfriend, a vegetarian, has had the veg tasting menu at Daniel and it was unbelievable. Price are extremely high but this, as I've said many times before, is IMO the best restaurant in NYC. I thought the OP wanted to place that was exclusively vegetarian though.

        And I can't believe I forgot Zen Palate

        1. re: Spiritchaser

          You're right, but I thought a dedicated vegetarian menu at a restaurant that isn't exclusively vegetarian might still be acceptable, especially with options like Daniel and Gramercy. They expand the options for vegetarians in a delicious way, but also fill a void. There really aren't any higher end vegetarian restaurants anywhere in NYC, at least not that I can think of.

          1. re: Spiritchaser

            Only one word needed to describe the food at the Zen Palate on 9th Av.: Horrible!!

            1. re: RGR

              Completely agree. And I'm a vegetarian.

        2. Not *exclusively* vegetarian but both have very large vegetarian sections on their menus -- Ethiopian food. Queen of Sheba usually gets the most recs on this board (10th Ave at 46th) and I also like Meskerem (47th St. at 10th Ave).

          5 Replies
          1. re: LNG212

            daniel, gobo, red bamboo - yes. and i think your best bet may be blossom. on ninth av and 20th......then you can get a taxi up tenth av. it's not so pricey, very good, soft lighting etc.....all vege.

            1. re: LNG212

              Blossom looks wonderful. I really want him to be able to choose anything he wants. I'm on their website right now and it's so slow!

              1. re: Alissavlad

                There's also Hangawi - vegetarian Korean, great atmosphere, delicious food - a quick cab ride away.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  I just sent him the menus for Blossom, Hangawi, Counter, and Candle 79 and told him to choose! I'll let you know. Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions. They all look wonderful!

                  1. re: Alissavlad

                    Oops - I missed that someone else had mentioned Hangawi. I've also been to Candle 79, and thought the food was very good, but the portions very small, if that is a consideration for you. I'm not vegetarian and have enjoyed my meals at both places.

            2. Near your theatre is Turkish Cusine (west side of 9th Ave. between 44th and 45th) with many delicious vegetarian appetizers and main course dishes.

              Utsvav Indian (6th Ave. and 44th) also has many vegetarian dishes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: alc

                Agreed on Zen Palate near the theater district not being very good.

                Our fave veggie restaurant is Gobo (I think there are two). Really delicious.

                For veggie tasting menus in places that are not normally vegetarian (so one can do veggie and the others don't have to): Per Se, Aquavit, Grammercy Tavern.

                Have a good visit!

                1. re: BW212

                  Gramercy Tavern's tasting menu is listed as "Vegetable," not vegetarian. So, if a vegetarian is going there, it's best to check to be sure that menu is suitable.


                  Daniel and Cafe Boulud both have dedicated vegetarian menus.


              2. Try taking a cab to Franchia on Park Ave. Very beautiful and peaceful interior, and 100 vegetarian.

                12 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016