226 W 150th st.
45 W 139th St
40 Pinehurst Ave.
Photo By: Mathew Henry
Whenever I talk to another vegetarian from the East Village, Williamsburg, or any other neighborhood with a variety of Instagram-famous vegetarian options, I almost always get a version of the same question – “You live in Upper Manhattan? And you’re vegetarian? So...you just commute downtown anytime you want to dine out?”
I love this question. I do – because I love my neighborhood, and I’ll take any excuse to brag about my home. So, whether you’re a vegetarian looking to move Uptown, a vegetarian already living here who wants to fall even more their neighborhood, or an omnivore who wants to surprise someone with a great vegetarian option near their home, here is my “best-of” list for thriving as a vegetarian north of 96th street.
Best of Harlem: "Seasoned Vegan" http://www.seasonedvegan.com/
Whether you’re looking for dinner or brunch, this “gourmet vegan soul food” restaurant tops most lists of the best vegetarian options in Upper Manhattan, and for good reason. The 100% vegan restaurant takes familiar foods and veganizes them, creating new and exciting options that vegans and omnivores alike can fall in love with.
Best of Hamilton Heights: "The Handpulled Noodle" http://thehandpullednoodle.com/
One of the Instagram darlings of Hamilton Heights, The Handpulled Noodle is Western Chinese food at its best. Pro-tip: try the ding ding noodles with seitan and a side of drunken cabbage for an addictive flavor explosion.
Best of Sugar Hill: "Tsion Café" http://tsioncafe.com/
Looking for the perfect date night? Tsion Café is an adorable little Ethiopian/Israeli restaurant in Sugar Hill with several vegetarian options and walls covered with eclectic art. Make sure to check it out when the weather warms up to take advantage of the romantic backyard seating area.
Best of Washington Heights: “Poción” http://www.pocionlounge.com/
Located just south of the George Washington Bridge, this Cocktail Bar is known for its creative mixology and 100% vegan menu, including several great Dominican vegan options! Plus, its vibe gets bonus points for a great schedule of live music.
Best of Inwood: “Inwood Greenmarket” https://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan/inwood
I know, I know, this isn’t a restaurant. But, if you prefer to buy your produce local, you need to check this out and thank me later. And, of course, it’s WAY less crowded than any well-known market downtown.
*BONUS* Best of Groceries:
Whole Foods and Super Foodtown
Worried about finding a grocery store that carries your favorite vegan staples? Whole Foods opened a new popular location last summer on 125th and Lenox with plenty of great vegetarian necessities, and Super Foodtown has sprawling two-story locations near the 145th and 168th stops. If you haven’t yet experienced Super Foodtown, they have a wide variety of organic, gluten free, and vegan/vegetarian options and are constantly looking for more. If you need something they don’t have, put in a word (like I have), and you may see it on their shelves on your next visit!
If any of these amazing options are new to you, I encourage you to check them out! Save this page for your next night out, cut out the downtown commute, and enjoy supporting a local vegetarian-friendly business!
Who knows, maybe I’ll see you there.
Originally from Texas, Joel moved to this amazing city to pursue acting and is now proud to call Washington Heights home! Joel's goal is to make finding an apartment fun while helping you find a neighborhood that you can fall in love with.