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Looking for good restaurants in lower manhattan kid and veggie friendly

Coming to nyc in October and looking for good options for 7 year old vegetarian city kid who eats anything but meat. Doesn't need kid menu. Would love a place that has a great portabello sandwich or similar for lunch and something nicer but not neccesarily fancy for dinner - family of 3 for about $100 excluding drinks and dessert. Tapas, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Italian - all good. Husband is also vegetarian. Spending some time downtown - Bowery, soho, etc but also going to met, moma, maybe Empire State - staying in union square and will be taking subway and walking everywhere, so as long as relatively close to subway will be ok. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Near the Bowery you can easily walk to one of many vegetarian friendly options in the East Village or LES (Tiny's, Grand Sichuan, Motorino, Northern Spy). For Soho, you can probably find a place nearby in Nolita (Taim?). Pizza will always be fairly vegetarian friendly. And Italian, so, for example, you could hit up Eataly after the ESB and go to La Verdure. Or Hangawi in Koreatown.

    There are also a few vegetarian friendly food trucks, like the Biryani Truck.

    See also:

    Some common tourist inquiries:

    Where to Eat Near Times Square:

    Where to Eat Near MoMA (the museum cafe is actually pretty good, as is the Modern next door):

    Where to Eat Near Museum Mile (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney, Guggenheim, etc) on the UES:



    Where to Eat Near the Museum of Natural History on the UES:

    Where to Eat Near Macy's/Herald Square/Penn Station/Empire State Building:

    Where to Eat Near Grand Central/Midtown East:

    Where to Eat in Soho:

    Where to Eat near 5th Avenue shopping / Bloomingdale's / Rockefeller Center:

    Pre-theatre Dining (many of the same Times Square recs also apply):

    Where to Eat Near the 9/11 Memorial:

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks, esp. For the link to the serious eats best restaurants for vegetarians and meat eaters!

      1. re: kathryn

        Wow, someone should sticky your post to the top of the boards.

      2. Check out Dirt Candy for dinner - the food is very playful, would be fun for a kid, all vegetarian, and delicious even for us omnivores / carnivores. Keep in mind they only have 18 seats and they book up VERY fast, so you'd want to call and maybe check opentable simultaneously the morning rezzies come open for that date. Very reasonable prices, too, given that it's all veggie - I don't think any entrees are over $20. Probably the most creative, fun vegetarian restaurant in the city. Also, they're easy walking distance from Union Square.

        1. +1 for taim, nolita has more space to actually sit

          Also westville has several locations with lots of veg options and omni choices (even a tofu scramble for breakfast/brunch)

          1. Le Pain Quotidien comes to mind.

            1. For around the Empire State building, Mandoo Bar for noodles and dumplings is a lot more kid-friendly than Hangawi when it comes to Korean eats, and you get to see the dumplings being made in the window


              You might find this list for veggie burgers useful for lunch options


              As was already mentioned, Le Pain Quotidien is near MOMA, and it is also usually quite easy to find vegetarian options at the cafes inside MOMA. Here is one of their summer menus, but I would be fairly certain that mushroom dishes will carry over into autumn


              Since you are staying near Union Square, take a look at the menu of Pure Food & Wine and see if it appeals for dinner. Look up reviews


              and Angelica


              1 Reply
              1. re: barberinibee

                Ugh, not a fan of Pure Food & Wine. Very overpriced for what they serve, and what they do serve I've found kind of dull, at least compared to other veggie places...

                I mean, I know some people like them, but the couple times I've been there my experience was decidedly negative. OP should also keep in mind they're not just vegetarian, but Raw Vegan.


                Also remembered, good lunch spot could be Souen - they have a few locations around town. They're macrobiotic, probably half the menu is vegetarian. Good, simple, flavorful stuff.

              2. Peacefood cafe opened near union square, all vegetarian - casual, moderate prices. The mushroom panini and chickpea fries are what i have liked

                1. Caravan of Dreams at 405 East 6th Street (St. Mark's Place area) is great. Organic vegan, nice atmosphere, delicious food. I'm not a vegetarian and loved this place.


                  Also, quite a few vegetarian options at Black Tree at 131 Orchard St. Food and drink locally sourced.


                  1. As far as unique vegetarian sandwiches go, you may want to check out No. 7 Subs (Flatiron and Plaza Hotel locations--not to far from Central Park and MoMa) and Num Pang (a few of them now). Taim (Nolita and West Village) and Nish Nush (Tribeca) are the winners for vegetarian middle eastern sandwiches.

                    My favorite mushroom dishes at the city are actually at Momofuku Noodle Bar, which despite it's reputation, is not cruel to vegetarians and will make the mushroom buns without pork fat if you ask. They also usually have a couple vegetarian friendly sides. With a 7 year old, I'd aim to go right when it opens.

                    If you want sit down brunch/lunch, check out Westville Hudson Square--the West Village is too tiny/crowded for me.

                    For dinner, Dirt Candy is totally do-able in that budget and is not formal. ABC Kitchen is also great for vegetarians.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: downtownchica

                      Love that Westville on Hudson Street! And it is great at dinnertime--rather quiet, actually.

                    2. finally ate at Dirt Candy this past wk (don't live in NY.) it was insanely great. still haunted by tomatoes, sigh. I do think you might find it a tight, wee, "grown-up" room. Excluding drinks/wine and dessert would keep you on budget, but you'd be nuts not to order desserts because they alone are worth the trip.

                      don't forget to report back : )

                      1. Wow. Thank you all so much! I wish we were going to be there longer than a 3-day weekend to check all these places out. Wish Chicago (where we live) was as veg-friendly as NYC :-). I will definitely report back after our trip!

                        1. We just got back from our trip and here's my report:

                          Our hotel had a decent continental breakfast but we went next door to Sarabeth's one day - ok, nothing special.

                          Had lunch at a Le Pain Quotidien - perfect; John's Pizza on Bleeker and Patsy's on E. 60th. Both were good and perfect for what we needed.

                          We tried to go to Eataly for an early dinner on Saturday and the wait was over an hour so instead we ended up meeting some friends for dinner at Zen Palate somewhere near Madison Square Park. ZP was vegan/Asian and a mixed bag. My zentastic eggplant was ok, hubby had tofu delight - just ok and son had portabello mushroom sandwich was weird - it was smothered in some horseradish sauce. Definitely wouldn't go back and not a great place to convince your omnivore friends to go veggie either. ;-)

                          Best meal: Telepan on the UWS. A bit on the fancy side for a 7 y.o. But he did great. And while not vegetarian, the veggie dishes stole the show! The smoked brussel sprouts with egg pasta, the cauliflower "flan", the autumnal caprese with fresh mozzarella, pears, arugula and fried artichokes - yum! It was not within the budget I had set but since we went cheap for everything else it was easy to justify!

                          We also had gelato from Eataly and sweet treats from Bouchon at Rockefeller.

                          Thanks again for all the recos - can't wait for our next trip to try some of the others!

                          1. Also, we decided to stay at the Hotel Giraffe, not W Union Square as originally planned, so I was sad to miss the market. This forum was super helpful!