Gu Shine in Flushing sells Chinese dishes alongside its Taiwanese items, but it's worth sifting through for a taste of a cuisine with few ambassadors in New York.
'Vegetarian Option' on Serious Eats
Hangawi isn't the place for an everyday meal, to be sure, but as an occasional destination, it's a transporting treat, and one of the best places to eat in K-Town. Totally vegan to boot.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Moldova in Midwood—before eating there I couldn't have pointed out Moldova on a map. But after eating there I want to know everything I can about the country, which I now know is sandwiched between Romania and the Ukraine. Sometimes we food obsessed people talk about beginning to understand a culture through its cuisine; that's exactly how I feel about my meal at Moldova.
Woodside Cafe's Nepali and Newari food is unique even by Queens standards, and the menu is more than accommodating to vegetarians.
Indian Road Cafe may just be the most north-westerly restaurant in all of Manhattan. It is literally across the street from Spuyten Duyvil Creek, separating Manhattan from the Bronx, and looking out from the restaurant provides a commanding view of the Henry Hudson Bridge.
Lunch is the best time to eat at Spring Street Natural in Soho. You can grab a seat near one of the large windows that line the dining room and watch the busy intersection of Spring and Lafayette Streets. You can also enjoy some of their lunch-only specials, which include several vegetarian and even vegan options.
New York is home to hundreds of casual Italian "trattorias," and Lavagna, a restaurant in the East Village, identifies as one. It's more formal than most, fitting for a nicer dinner, but it keeps the uncomplicated, satisfying food at reasonable prices that trattorias are known for.
This self-described "English Country Kitchen" is a new addition to Bushwick's ever-growing restaurant scene, and it comes with some pleasant vegetarian (and even vegan) surprises.
Table Verte opened a few months ago, and though its offerings are inconsistent, it's a fully vegetarian effort at a decidedly un-vegetarian concept: the French bistro.
Levant specializes in Jordanian cuisine, putting a less-seen take on Middle Eastern classics like falafel, eggplant, and yogurt.
'inoteca on the Lower East Side recently introduced an expanded menu, with a wide variety of pastas and other Italian-inspired entrées. Lunch may be your best time to visit, with a $15 soup and sandwich special worth ordering.
There's nothing on the outside of Max that immediately distinguishes it from any other Italian restaurant in this city. Even upon entering, I wasn't expecting anything particularly special from this Tribeca trattoria. And yet the food was surprisingly well-prepared, red sauce classics done right.
The dark, intimate space at La Esquina is a place to ease up and forget the anxieties of the week—and it's vegetarian-friendly, too.
This Moroccan restaurant in Murray Hill is dominated by a large wooden bar, decorated with palm fronds. The air is redolent with spices, and the regulars greeting the staff lend the space the air of bonhomie I would expect from an ex-pat bar halfway across the world.
What does "Nuevo Latino" cuisine man at Cabana in Midtown? Some standout arepas, vegetable fritters, and coconut-enriched stews for a start.
A restaurant that features house-made pickles, pours craft beer, and specializes in home-style Southern food seems tailor-made for Brooklyn, but it sticks out like a sore thumb on the Upper West Side. Yet that's exactly where you'll find Jacob's Pickles, and if the crowds were any indication on the night of my visit, the West Siders are clamoring for exactly this kind of thing.
The Himalayan food at Mustang Thakali Kitchen is very vegetarian-friendly; don't skimp on their flavorful sauces.
Great Middle Eastern food can be a challenge to find, even in this city of immigrants. Bedouin Tent on Atlantic Avenue may not transport you to the streets of Tel Aviv or Cairo, but it's pretty darn good.
New Orleans is well known as a food-centric town, but not so friendly towards vegetarians. Sugarfreak in Astoria has vegetarian versions of many New Orleans classics, and they stand up well to their meaty counterparts.
Bellwether lies on a sleepy stretch of Union Avenue, where it serves great late summer vegetables with elevated service. This isn't just another Brooklyn restaurant.