Treat this Earth Day like a veritable celebration of the planet by enjoying vegan dishes. Making even a few of your meals plant-based not only taxes animals less, it also puts less stress on the environment. All that serious stuff aside… the vegan cuisine at these seven restaurants is so delicious that you might find yourself eating here the other 364 days of the year.
This hotspot has been serving vegan delights in Greenwich Village since 2002. While the restaurant bills itself as “vegan comfort food,” the diverse menu at Red Bamboo offers a variety of styles, from dragonfly dumplings to fried zucchini and tofu. But it’s probably best known for their barbecue Buffalo wings—made with soy and spiced citrus barbecue sauce and served alongside vegan sesame ranch dressing and celery sticks. 140 W. Fourth St., 212-260-1212
From chef Anthony Mongeluzzi, who previously cooked in both Le Cirque and Aureole, comes Avant Garden, a haute-cuisine approach to vegan food. Diners can enjoy their food in an intimate setting while they watch the cooking happen in the kitchen. The spiralized celery root boasts a complex, savory taste and is one of the most requested dishes on the menu. 130 E. Seventh St., 646-922-7948
With a soothing, simple setting and a grandiose mural ceiling that draws the eyes up, sitting in Franchia is an uplifting experience. Their food is equally elevating, providing a vegan twist on Asian fusion with plant-based takes on dumplings, noodles, and sushis. 12 Park Ave., 212-213-1001
At just over a year old, Ladybird has quickly made its mark in Greenwich Village. Cheese lovers, rejoice: Ladybird treats its guests with a butternut squash Raclette that is 100% plant-based. The restaurant is not just a feast for the palate, but also for the eyes—the delicately presented quinoa croquettes and daintily layered carrots and saganaki are just as pretty as they are scrumptious, and all the food shines under the incandescent light of green crystal chandeliers and golden molding. 127 MacDougal St., 212-475-2246
For those looking for an upscale vegan restaurant, look no further than the Upper East Side’s renowned eatery, Candle 79. Under the direction of executive chef Angel Ramos, this restaurant has garnered much attention for its high-end vegan fare. Signature dishes include the Seitan piccata and the wild mushroom crêpe. 154 E. 79th St., 212-537-7179
Mother of Pearl will quickly convert anyone who still thinks vegan food is boring. This swanky locale with blooming chandeliers and sea foam green tiling serves delicious plant-based fare (the char siu bao buns are a must), and also offers fantastic cocktails and brunch dishes. 95 Ave. A, 212-614-6818
While Cuban cuisine generally errs on the carnivorous side, this vegan resto will satisfy even the most devout meat-lovers. Their take on the classic Cuban sandwich switches out the ham and cheese for roasted king trumpet mushrooms, sautéed kale, pickled sofrito, and vegan ‘mozzarella,’ lathered with chipotle-dijon aioli. 95 Ave. A, 2nd Fl., 212-614-6818