Here's the second half of my list of top ten favorite vegetarian and vegan eateries. It's more recycled than the first half; nothing on this list is new to my blog. I also fudged the line of vegetarian and vegan, including some places that are mostly for omnivores, but have good vegetarian dishes. It was hard coming up with 10 places I'd recommend; I've been to a few other vegan places in the last month that, while not terrible, fit into the "meh, underwhelming" category.
Now you should feel free to give me recommendations.
I first started going to Life Thyme in 2003 when I was on a raw food diet. They had some interesting raw food "pizza"-type things and other prepared foods that weren't bad, but not things I'd want to eat when not on a raw food diet. However, I continue to love their salads long after the reign of raw food terror has ended. A small container of colorful chopped salads from their salad bar along with a cup of vegan tofu (chocolate and banana being my favorite, or pumpkin when it's in season) makes for a satisfying lunch. I also loved their vegan tollbooth cookie and their banana chocolate chip cookie. Their vegan cakes are also very good. They have seating on the second floor; I usually sat by the windows overlooking 6th Avenue. 410 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10011 (b/n W 8th Street and W 9th Street; map); 212-420-9099
Temple in the Village
When I worked at the NYU Law School (nothing impressive; I was the lowest member of the web development team) two years ago, I frequently went down the block to Temple in the Village, a small buffet-style Asian eatery catering to vegan, vegetarian, and macrobiotic diets. Even though I was none of the above, the food was tasty, mostly healthy, you could buy just as much as you wanted (no risk of overeating), and be back in the office in NO TIME! ...If that's a plus. I'm not sure. The place has little atmosphere—I recall about half of the people taking their food to go—but it's comfortable enough and the people who work there are nice. If you're in the NYU area and want a quick, healthy, inexpensive place to eat (don't bring a date here), I'd recommend it. 74 W 3rd Street, New York NY 10012 (b/n Thompson Street and Laguardia Place; map); 212-475-5670
No refined sugar, no gluten, no soy, and vegan friendly—Babycakes is almost everything my favorite cupcake-rie Sugar Sweet Sunshine is not. Although I'd only go to Babycakes if I had a sugar/gluten/soy/vegan friend in tow, it's worth checking out at least once if you're an overall dessert addict. Turns out cupcakes don't have to be diabetes-inducing to be delicious (but they are more expensive than most cupcakes, understandably since they're using more expensive). They have frosting shots and cupcake tops for those specific cupcake-related cravings. I remember intensely disliking the corn bread, but I'd recommend the cupcakes, biscuit with jam, and chocolate cake. 248 Broome Street, New York NY 10002 (b/n Orchard Street and Ludlow Street; map); 212-677-5047
Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop
Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop was magic from the first time I ate there. Fresh, delicious sandwiches...for cheap. While not exclusively vegetarian/vegan, many meat-filled sandwiches can be made vegan with soy replacements (make sure you get vegan bread though) and they offer some naturally vegetarian or vegan sandwiches. You can construct your own sandwich, but as my sandwich-making skills are just slightly overshadowed by those of a one-armed squirrel, I always go for a pre-formulated sandwich. My favorite vegetarian sandwich is the Pesto-riffic with portobello mushroom, pesto, mozzarella, and awesomeness, and my favorite vegan sandwich is the Veggies of Them All, like a salad shoved into a bread roll but way tastier than that actually sounds. There are also salads in case you're anti-wheat. But it's a SANDWICH shop—get a freakin' sandwich. 129 Rivington Street, New York NY 10002 (at Norfolk Street; map); 212-982-1690)
Related: Tiny's Giant Sandwich and a cake chunk, I was a weird kid + a bunch of random things I ate + a gift, pork, sandwiches, ice cream, and more, Last Weekend, Part 1: Tiny's, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, and Some Form of Exercise, Gelato and Spicy Rizzak, In That Order
No one would look at Otto as a vegetarian restaurant, but they have a good selection of vegetarian dishes (vegan, not so much) on their menu. The vegetable antipasti tend to be excellent (corn, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc!), and many pizzas are meatless. Pasta alla normal, penne with tomato, roasted eggplant, basil, and bufala ricotta, is possibly my favorite pasta dish ever, especially for $9. I wasn't a big fan of the linguine siciliani—lack of ricotta plays a part in that. And don't you dare leave without trying their gelato, my favorite in the city. Vegans can just go for the sorbets, which taste better than the fruit they're made of. If you don't get gelato, I'll know. And I'll weep. 1 5th Avenue, New York NY 10003 (at 8th Street; map); 212-995-9559
Related: Otto, Tavalon, Sandwich Shoppe, Once Upon a Tart, Bo Ky, and ice cream, Eating a Lot at Otto is Awesome, Otto, Ginger and Spice, El Castillo de Jagua and Fancy Food Show aftermath, Not Eating Pizza at Otto (But Plenty of Pasta and Gelato)
BONUS #11: Soy
I'm adding Lower East Side home-style Japanese restaurant Soy to this list because I've only been there once and, while I liked it that one time, completely forgot it existed until now. Has anyone else been there lately and care to share any thoughts? Home-style Japanese food is my favorite category of Japanese food. Maybe I can safely bring my vegetarian/vegan friends there. 102 Suffolk Street, New York, NY 10002 (b/n Delancey Street and Rivington Street; map); 212-253-1158