It seems like everywhere you turn, celebrities are talking about adopting a vegan diet. Alicia Silverstone, Natalie Portman, and even boxer Mike Tyson are doing it.
A vegan diet–one that includes no animal products–can be a healthy decision. But it can also seem like a daunting challenge, especially for those who are on a budget and can’t afford to spend a huge chunk of their paychecks at stores like Whole Foods. (Tip: opt for your local farmer’s market instead.) And where does a vegan go out to eat in NYC without dropping a fortune at high-end vegan restaurants like Candle 79, Blossom, or Pure Food and Wine? Fortunately, there are many NYC spots offering extremely affordable, tasty food. Here are just a few!
Candle Café (1307 3rd Ave., Manhattan, 212.472-0970) Not only does this eatery serve only vegan food, it’s also organic. No menu item exceeds $20, and there are a variety of salads, soups, and entrées for less. Allergies are also considered.
Kate’s Joint (58 Avenue B at W. 4th St., Manhattan, 212.777.7059) Since 1996, the comfort food at Kate’s Joint has been unparalleled. Options include veggie burgers, pizza, and “meat” loaf, and they offer vegan or regular cheese. Brunch is only $10.95. Their highest price item is $16.95, and that’s a dinner for two. Fun rock music played by the staff makes for a lively atmosphere.
Wild Ginger (212 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, 718.218.8828) A pan-Asian café offering soy and seitan versions of “meat”, this Williamsburg spot is never more than $15 per dish. (Note: Wild Ginger has multiple locations, and prices and menu items may vary.)
Foodswings (295 Grand St., Brooklyn, 718.388.1919) Your wish for vegan fast-food has been granted! While most offerings here are typical fast-food fare (like french fries), there are salads for the calorie-conscious. No item costs more than $10.75.
Some honorable mentions include Terri (sandwiches), B.A.D. Burger (diner) in Brooklyn, The Loving Hut (variety) in Manhattan, V-Spot (empanadas), and Asian Bowl in Forest Hills. Of course, many meat-serving restaurants include plant-based dishes.
Even if a vegan diet isn’t something you want to stick to long-term, you can enjoy trying one of these affordable restaurants for a healthy change of pace!