Being a vegetarian in New York isn't the challenge it used to be, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. Sure, most restaurants these days offer one or two decent vegetarian options, but sometimes you don't want the pasta or a meal made cobbled together from side dishes. With that in mind, here are 60 recommendations for restaurants that accommodate vegetarians without disappointing carnivores.
'thelewala' on Serious Eats
It's been a great year for sandwiches in this city. We found new loves in pastrami and patty melts. We celebrated grilled cheese in all its oozy forms. We even hacked a few sandwiches of our own. Here are 30 standout sandwiches we had this year.
Vegetables can be incredibly tasty when done right, and yet when most people go out to eat, they tend not to order a vegetarian dish unless they're, well, a vegetarian. Here are 30 examples to make you reconsider.
The okra retains its bright green color and firm texture, and the filling is plenty flavorful thanks to purple onions and a tangy spice mix that adds a little bit of heat. The tender, flaky paratha wrapped around the veggies makes the whole thing work—why would anyone eat sad lunch 'wraps' when there's another option this delicious?
Thelewala on MacDougal Street specializes in Indian street food, and we're huge fans of their kati rolls and other offerings. They makes several dishes that are hard to find in other Indian restaurants in New York, like lesser known chaats and uncommon variations on kati rolls, which they call nizami rolls.
In Kolkata (which you may know better as Calcutta) there are street vendors with pushcarts selling snacks and meals on the streets, known as thelewala. In the West Village, the restaurant Thelewala aims to reproduce that same experience here in New York, only "with better hygiene" (as the manager joked to me during my visit). That means casual, unpretentious, and cheap food. Yes, there are kati rolls, as Carey wrote about earlier, but there's a lot more on the menu.