Vegetarian - HELP
Traveling to the city in November with a strict vegetarian. Staying in midtown on 32nd near 5th Ave. Will be roaming all over. Need lunch and dinner options. Lunch - under $20, Dinner - under $30 a plate. Really want to show her a great first time in the city. Thanks!
I'm not a vegetarian, but my wife is, so I tend to eat at veg-friendly places. I second the idea of Curry Hill for Indian, also the veg platter at an Ethiopian restaurant or at a good Mid-Eastern such as Beyoglu is a good choice. For an all-veg American place, my pick would be Caravan of Dreams in the East Village - it's maybe a bit pricey for the casual atmosphere and food, but the portions are generous, it's fresh and healthy, and I like the laidback EV atmosphere. If you're lucky, there might even be live music to accompany the meal. Gobo, on the UES, is pretty good too. For a more upscale dining experience, Candle 79 isn't bad.
In addition to all of these fine suggestions, I would add:
Soy & Sake
Also, I am a sucker for the $4 soy burger dinner at Dojo's. Could be the nostalgia, the price, or the carrot ginger dressing, but I go back there every now and then just for that.
And, feel free to let her loose on supervegan.com, which is a great search engine/guide to veg dining in NYC.
Try Hangawi (vegetarian Korean) on 32nd and 5th. I think it's great, although there are a few dissenters on this board.
Also Buddha Bodhai in Chinatown for veg dimsum and fake but delicious roast pork.
Don't laugh, but at Blockhead's Burritos (branches all over Manhattan) you can make your own vegetarian quesadilla. I usually have mine with black beans, spinach and of course cheese - inexpensive and utterly delicious.
Red Bamboo: good but popular, so be prepared to wait.
Kate's Joint: Really good, although it can get a little greasy. I liked their bread basket.
Rhong Tiam: Thai, run by a guy from the north of Thailand, and it's a level above anything else Thai in Manhattan.
Don't discount pizza as an option. One choice is Artichoke Pizza: only the square slice is good, the signature artichoke slice is fine but very heavy and creamy. Also there's always a line, it's hot inside, and there's nowhere to sit. So not really a good place for a sit down dinner. But the square slice is excellent.
Indian: East Village on 6th street is Curry Row and pales in comparison to Curry Hill in the 20s by Lexington. Skip 6th Street Indian, go uptown for your Indian fix. I like Chennai Garden (but only dosa), or Tiffin Wallah. Here;s a recent thread:
Westville. They have two branches. Cute, homey food. But: caveat, make sure you're OK with the menu. Some vegetarians are unhappy about "making a meal out of sides" which is what the market vegetable plate is.
Rice (mini chain of restaurants). very hit or miss. Curry and noodles, mediocre. A friend swears by the vegetarian meatballs, though.
Crif Dogs: deep fried hot dogs, NJ style. They have vegetarian dogs.
Stay away from Dojo.