The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

NYC Vegetarian Eatery Recommendations, Part II (6-10)

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.

Life Thyme

salad pudding life thyme
Foods from Life Thyme

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

Related: I'm squishy and full of various meats, Saigon Grill and Cafe Lalo, Kitchen Secrets, salad, and pudding

Temple in the Village

IMG_2033 Temple in the Village some stuff
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

Related: Japanese things, reading material, asthmatic's diet, and Temple in the Village, back to Temple, some chocolate, Chinese take-out craving, scared of Paris


cupcakes! behind the counter cupcake top

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

Related: Katz's Deli, broomedoggs, and Babycakes, Luzzo's, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, and Babycakes, bakeries, K-Town and Mesa Grill

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop

Veggiest of Them All Tiny's Pesto-rific

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


PASTA ALLA NORMA eggplant ricotta mint another view of my gelato...just because
Pasta, pizza, and gelato: best three food groups?

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

vegetable curry sesame pudding hijiki salad

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


Olivia / September 22, 2008 10:35 PM

Once, I brought back Baby Cakes cornbread for my friends, and after trying it, they smacked their lips and said "Mmm...needs more gluten."

Jennifer / September 22, 2008 10:45 PM

I've heard good things about Vegetarian's Paradise II, Zen Palate, and Angelica Kitchen from my friends in NY/NJ. Course, being in Kansas, I've never been to any of them. If you're ever around Kansas City, I could recommend places though. ;)

roboppy / September 23, 2008 3:20 AM

Chubbypanda: HAHA, that sounds like a new diet...the no meat, no savory food diet.

Olivia: Yeah, it also needed SALT. Or something..with flavor.

Jennifer: Ah, I went to Zen Palate once and thought it was..alright. Not awesome, but satisfying enough. I heard good things about Vegetarian Paradise II also. I've only been to Angelica Kitchen once and it wasn't bad, not great either. I'd consider trying it again though since my last visit was more than 5 years ago!

Liz / September 23, 2008 10:39 AM

This list is great, Robin - thank you. I used to be a vegetarian, and I still don't eat much meat. While I was familiar with many on your list, some were new for me. I also love homestyle Japanese food, and I look forward to trying Soy. I also look forward to trying Taim from Part I.

Julie / September 23, 2008 12:08 PM

Life Thyme ... you had me at "tollbooth cookies." I've found that vegan treats are either very horrible or amazingly excellent, and your praise for this place makes me really want to go there.

The Sugar Sweet Sunshine site has a picture of a wagonload of cupcakes. That makes me really want to go there, too.

Danny / September 23, 2008 2:17 PM

sesame pudding huh? That sounds quite interesting but the portion looks teeny tiny. What's up with that?!

and great pictures as always!

Margaret / September 23, 2008 2:55 PM

I've been reading, and completely enjoying, your blog for a spell, but not long enough to know that you used to be a Raw Foodite! WHAT?!? The way you write about pork . . . You fell *hard* baby! And we totally love you for it.

Emily / September 23, 2008 5:33 PM

Whee, awesome list Robyn, thanks! I've been sending these to my vegetarian friend Caroline and I definitely wanna check out Soy now, especially after seeing the black sesame pudding...

roboppy / September 23, 2008 10:33 PM

Liz: I hope you like Taim! Let me know what you think.

Julie: Life Thyme's desserts hit the spot sometimes. They're not a replacement for my favorite non-vegan cookies or anything, but they're hearty and...tasty. Far from horrible. :)


Danny: Ah, I think the angle makes it seem smaller than it really is..but it prolly wasn't much. That cup is too big, haha.

Margaret: I was on the raw food diet for about 1.5 years..scary, eh? Half of 12th grade, all of freshman year of college. I wonder how my freshman year would've been had I eaten everything. I'LL NEVER KNOOOW!

Pork is so tasty. Even if pigs are smart creatures...sigh.. :(

Jason: Yes! We can has.

Kate / September 23, 2008 11:04 PM

Sooo...even though the food looks like all sorts of deliciousness...

And heck, who doesn't enjoy a good healthy meal now and then...

I still need meat...that's the problem here...the food is meh, cause it doesn't have the juicy goodness that is meat...

Bangsil / September 24, 2008 10:39 AM

Some day, one day,or maybe in my dream, I shall visit Tiny's Giant Sandwcih.
Gosh, that portobello mushroom looks deathly terrific! You just gave me the hugest craving for it. Btw, what does pumkin tofu taste like? Is it like pumpkin mousse? I don't know, I've been always dubious about flavoured tofu, such as mango tofu:D But I'd love to try pumpkin tofu!
Gracias por otro articulo delicioso!

naomi / September 24, 2008 9:38 PM

Life Thyme is like a healthy trap. Vegetarians and vegans deserve food that good. I feel like shnack in Brooklyn should get some cred for having really great alternatives too.

roboppy / September 25, 2008 9:11 AM

Kate: I don't need that much meet, but eventually...yeah, it's tasty. :)

Bangsil: Well it was mashed pumpkiny tofu, so it tasted like pudding. :) With some tofu flavor. Not like mousse..a little too heavy for that.

Naomi: Oo, Schnack?..I haven't been...or is that the burger place that closed? :O

lutkie / September 25, 2008 10:14 AM

ROBYN. Your pictures are better than food. I wish I was there hanging out. I'm here till april, then maybe new york? Tiny's brings back excellent memories.

Ulla / September 25, 2008 10:16 AM

I love otto, and that temple place looks yummy. I love anything deep fried.
My friend is Indian and has issues with cholesterol, I guess he grew up vegetarian and now eats chicken and cheese. Well I I have been trying to get him into tofu. And was thinking of making a tofu curry. That looks so good! I feel like tofu is a bit like paneer and healthier. This is an awesome series, you really grab the city!:)

wonders / September 25, 2008 12:02 PM

Mmm..vegetarian/vegan food -=D I been to Red Bamboo a couple of times and it's pretty darn good. Well anything fried is good, even when it's not really chicken. Tastes just like it though -=D mm...vegan chicken...

roboppy / September 26, 2008 12:52 AM

Sarah: Tiny's is better with a LUTKIE. Yes yes yes, you should come here.

Ulla: Tofu curry would be great! Although I like paneer more...mmm..cheeese. ;)

wonders: Ahh, haven't been to Red Bamboo yet. But as long as it's fried, then thumbs up.

Jeff: The colors mean it has NUTRIENTS!!!

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