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Nov 24, 2009 02:39 PM

Vegetarian visiting New York for the first time! (on a budget!)

I am indescribably excited to be visiting New York City for the first time ever. I'm going to be there in early December. I want to eat out, but can't really afford the trendy veggie restaurants like Pure Food & Wine. Any suggestions for a traveling vegetarian foodie on a budget?

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  1. Yes! Angelica Kitchen is good, as is Caravan of Dreams (get the Santa Maria stir fry - and they have good sangria)
    Tiengarden is pretty good, but they have zero atmosphere.
    You can also pop into any thai or chinese place and find a great range of options

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jel212

      "You can also pop into any thai or chinese place and find a great range of options"

      Really? I don't think this is true at all especially not in Chinatown where many of the authentic places will add oyster sauce or bits of meat in lots of the "veggie" options. You would really have to be careful if you are a vegetarian in Chinatown.

      1. re: KTinNYC

        You have a point - probably not specifically in Chinatown, but I dine out with veggie friends all the time at chinese, vietnamese, thai places all over the city and they seem to do just fine. Maybe the more American of those places, not the really authentic Chinese ones in Chinatown...

        1. re: KTinNYC

          What KT says is very true. So many seemingly veg dishes in Chinese, Thai, Korean, etc. cuisine have meat stock, fish stock... even a dash of fish sauce makes it non-veg.

          I have a veggie friend who likes Galaxy Diner (I think?) located next to Irving Plaza. She also does takeout from Woorijip on 32nd St. a lot -- they have a sticker for all veg dishes and there are lots of them. IMO neither are destination-worthy (but then again I'm not a veg) but they work in a pinch if you are traveling, low budget, and hungry!

          1. re: uwsister

            Oh! Speaking as a vegetarian, I think Woorijip is totally destination worthy for a veggie on a budget! Hangawi near by offers strictly vegan food in a serene setting for mucho dinero. But getting to pick a mix of treats from the Woorijip buffet surrounded by students from FIT, NYU, CUNY, Columbia and The New School is an "only in NYC" experience. The FIT students are particularly decorative. I know many people don't care for the rice sticks, but I think they are divine! The only rice sticks that were better were the ones that the cute chef at Momofuku Noodle Bar who looked a whole lot like David Chang made the time I was there.

        2. re: Jel212

          Warning: Angelica Kitchen is VERY hit or miss. Their specials can be good but are often wretched.

          Tiengarden is just plain awful by any stretch, unless oily meat-substitute-textured-proteins appeals to you. Simply horrible.

          Best bet: South Indian and Thai. Try Queens places (specifically southern spice and sripraphai). You won't be disappointed.

        3. Caravan of Dreams on east 6th street

          1. Caravan & Blossom are good - I wouldnt call them cheap.

            I'd suggest checking out Buddha Bodai in Chinatown - vegetarian chinese!

            Good Health Burger on E 53rd is good too!

            1. While not the cheapest, in my opinion Candle Cafe is the BEST vegetarian/vegan restaurant in NYC -- Its on 3rd btw 74th and 75th. Entrees are between $15-$18 and worth every bite...

              1. Try Pukk on 1st Ave between 4th and 5th streets. It's kind of a modernistic hole-in-the-wall, but it's cheap Thai vegetarian and it's good. The lunch special is a great deal. Have fun in NYC!