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Nov 13, 2012 08:25 PM

Dairy or vegetarian restaurants in NY?

I'll be going t NY around Xmas time to see my boyfriend and since he's
new to kosher (couple of years) he's leaving most of our dining decisions to me. Only problem is, I'm not too familiar with anything outside of Boro Park. We're both vegetarian so we'd rather veg or dairy places, though any restaurants will do as long as they have vegetarian/vegan or fish options. He has a car so if the restaurant is that good, he's willing to drive, within reason. Thanks for any help or suggestions you can offer!

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  1. Have you checked or

    1. Va Bene, a classic, elegant Italian dining experience with chow worthy food UES

      Noi Dui, excellent Italian, chow worthy, more casual Lincoln Cntr area

      The larger quesiton is the level of supervision required. Many vegetarian places in the city have supervision, but people vary on which ones they will accept. The most exciting options in this category are several Indian vegetarian restaurants.

      Some places, Sacred Chow in the Village and Ozu on the UWS (both casual) are widely accepted, but, as I said, this is not a Chow quesiton.

      Most of the city's nicer kosher places have vegan options.

      5 Replies
      1. re: AdinaA

        We love Sacred Chow. Parking is difficult, but it's worth it. Sunflower lentil spread, orange molasses seitan, meatballs are some favorites.

        Noi Due i s delicious. They don't take reservations so expect to wait. I loved the quinoa salad.

        Recently went to Bhojan, one of the vegetarian Indian restaurants. Honestly, we had no idea what we were ordering or eating but everything was delicious. Husband loved the mulligatawny soup. We got samosas, mattar paneer, and a bunch of other stuff that I don't remember. Everything was very spicy, even when I requested not spicy.

        Tried V-note for the first time a few weeks ago. Is vegan, on the UES and relatively easy to park. Same owners as Blossom. It's a really nice place, dark wood and white leather, professional service. We shared up pumpkin gnocchi. Husband had a stuffed poblano pepper, which was amazing. I had basil nut crusted seitan, which was good, but heavy on the sauce.

        Cafe Savor was good, but like marissaj said, go for lunch. We went for dinner after Shabbat, and while they were open and serving, the food took forever to come out. Salads were ok, everyone we were with loved the pasta.

        Don't bother with Va Bene. The food is not good, it's so expensive, and the service is rude.

        1. re: cheesecake17

          Yes! I forgot abt the incredibly rude service at Va Bene. It is as if they are doing you a favor by gracing you with their restaurant presence.

          1. re: marissaj

            I have only had lovely wonderful food and excellent service at Va Bene. I am usually there at midday, not evening. perhaps that makes a difference. But it is among my top go-to choices for where to meet.

            Is it possible that it is one of those Manhattan places where the staff is rude to people who they judge to be - gasp - from the suburbs. I have seen this happen. Shop clerks and waiters who are downright rude to people who arrive on the LIRR, instead of in a town car.

            1. re: AdinaA

              I am not sure- when I have been, it hasn't been on a date night with hubby- it tends to be with my parents and possibly a friend or two of theirs. We all have pretty strong accents too, so it is fairly clear that if we are from the suburbs we are from suburbs that are across the pond.
              Perhaps that is our downfall- the reputation of being lousy tippers ;)

              1. re: AdinaA

                On a Thursday night it's a very different scene. The few times we went, we were shoved in a corner, thrown our food, never offered a dessert menu.

        2. Blossom, if you are ok with their hashgaha, is really nice. If you need something stricter, maybe Basil in Crown Heights.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PotatoPuff

            The absolute best food for vegetarians (as a lifelong vegetarian myself) is in Boro Park. You MUST go to Orchidea. IMVHO the dairy dining scene is much better in Brooklyn than Manhattan; As AdinaA mentioned the dairy dining scene is Va Bene (good but extremely exp and not *that* worth it) and Noi Due (Noi Due= very good food but so loud and noisy, plus the wait for a table is outside and is usually long unless something has changed).
            Other restaurants I love in Brooklyn include Siena- awesome, awesome food and Cafe Savor- a lunchtime place that has really fantastic food. All three of these places- Orchidea, Sienna and Cafe Savor are places my chef husband loves and we trek from NJ just to eat there. In terms of 'fanciness' I would say Orchidea (white glove service, gorgeous interior), then Sienna, then Cafe Savor.
            Basil is also ok, but I find it very crowded and the tables very close together.

          2. Buhda Bodai in China Town is a must on that list... Check out the Veg bbq Meat, Eel and Broccoli, Sizzling Lamb Casserole and Lettuce veggy wife's favorites...and as a hopeless carnivore, I must say, damn good eats.

            5 Replies
            1. re: gotcholent

              Veg EEL? Oh my. Sounds...interesting. :)

              1. re: Miri1

                The do this spiral cut on fresh shitake and then marinate for what must be forever...a very teriyaki/mirin, after which it battered and fried. The texture is and taste is so close, I was really taken back to a past life. If you are down with spice, Kent, the store's owner has a personal stash of homemade kimchi which is 1st rate - 5 Alarm - goodness. I love the place....a real gem!

                1. re: gotcholent

                  Sounds like the jade mushrooms at vegetarian ginger and wild ginger

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    I told my bf about the veg eel. Hes game! S we put it in the list of places to go :)

                    1. re: Miri1

                      I love Buddha Bodai! With so many great veg options in NYC, don't bother with kosher "meat" restaurants. I've yet to go to any that have a good vegetarian option and there's a lot of confusion in the kosher world that fish (while pareve) is vegetarian. If hashgacha is less of an issue, get yourself to Dirt Candy! Also, there are two vegetarian Korean places in the city (Franchia and Hangawi) that are good and the only opportunity vegetarians get to have Korean food without worrying about what is really in the broths etc.