If you’re looking for a phenomenal but unique vegan meal on the Upper East Side of NYC, you’re in luck! There are plenty of excellent vegan restaurants in this neighborhood.
My favorites include By The Way Bakery, Tamam, and Mughlai Indian Cuisine. These restaurants offer delicious vegan food to satisfy even the most hardcore meat-eaters. So if you’re looking for a delicious vegan meal, be sure to check out one of these Upper East Side restaurants.
We all know the upper east side does not have as many vegan options as Brooklyn, East village, or even Chelsea, for that matter. Since the closing of the Candle Cafe, the upper east side has not been the same.
Therefore we are here to show you that there are some new and old vegan options. You won’t be disappointed!
10 of the Best Vegan Restaurants, Upper East Side (in No Particular Order)
Beyond Sushi – One of the Best Vegan Restaurants Upper East Side
1429 3rd Ave New York, NY 10028
I’ve been to the Beyond Sushi location on 14th street many times. However, this full-service upper east side gem is where it’s at.
Beyond Sushi is the perfect spot if you’re looking for an inventive and tasty vegan meal in a sophisticated setting. The restaurant is on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and it offers a full menu of vegan dishes.
Moreover, I was impressed with the creativity of the dishes – there were lots of flavors and textures to enjoy. I go to Beyond Sushi for the unique vegan sushi rolls. You will find many unique combinations like the Mighty Mushroom Roll with black rice and shiitake mushrooms.
Every time I visit a Beyond Sushi location, I always get the Mighty Mushroom Roll and then pick a few other rolls that I did not try on my last visit. If you are visiting NY and only have a limited time to try new restaurants, definitely put Beyond Sushi on your itinerary list for vegan restaurants upper east side!
Zazzy’s Pizza – Upper East Side Vegan Pizza
1477 2nd Ave New York, NY 10075
Zazzy’s has vegan pizza options, gluten-free pizza options, vegan mozzarella sticks, and meatless meatballs! I think they make their vegan cheese in the house because it’s not Daiya or one of the other big vegan cheese brands. Keep in mind they have a few different locations downtown, and this one opened in 2021.
Their vegan meatball parm hero is one of my favorite sandwiches in the city; it’s so hearty and filling. The meatballs are enormous, and they put a nice amount of sauce and cheese on them. To note, it’s one of those places where I could eat every week and not get tired of it.
If you are vegan and don’t have time to run to Screamers in Brooklyn, Zazzy’s will fulfill your pizza cravings.
Le Botaniste – Upper East Side – Vegan Restaurants Upper East Side
833 Lexington Ave New York, NY 10065
Are you looking for a delicious and nutritious meal that’s easy on the environment? Look no further than Le Botaniste! The plant-based, organic food and wine bar are perfect for anyone looking to enjoy healthy and sustainable cuisine.
The beauty of our menu is that it’s customizable – you can choose your base (quinoa pasta, rice, mixed beans, or mashed cauliflower) and then add on whatever toppings you like. Whether you’re in the mood for mushrooms with the hearty Joe Smashed Potato Bourguignon or a lighter Veggie Ball side dish, they have something for everyone.
And the best part? You can order and pay inside and then take your tray whenever you’re ready to eat.
Little Beet – An Upper East Side Vegan-Friendly Lunch Spot
1291 First Ave New York, NY 10021
Excellent lunch spot with plenty of vegan options. If you find yourself near the hospital and want a healthy snack, this place will help!
If you are looking for quinoa, greens, beets, unique build your own plates, check out this mini NYC chain. They have plenty of plant-based options, and their falafel made with beets is better than most other standard falafels. You get lots of salad options with room to add whatever you like.
Tamam – Falafel Upper East Side – Vegan Restaurants Upper East Side
1108 Lexington Ave New York, NY 10075
Looking for a fantastic falafel spot in New York City (especially one of the best Vegan Restaurants Upper East Side)? Look no further than Tamam! This falafel shop is headed by Georgian-born Israeli chef Eli Buliskeria, Chef “Buli.” Before making his way to NYC, Buli has years of experience in high-end kitchens throughout Tel Aviv and Kyiv. Here, he worked in Michelin-rated restaurants and farm-to-table eateries, so you know the food at Tamam will be top-notch.
For instance, there are plenty of great menu items to choose from, but some standouts include red cabbage, crispy eggplant, and quinoa. Yes, that’s right – quinoa! They have a fantastic selection of vegan versions of all the classic types of dishes you find at many other Israeli establishments.
If you’re looking to taste some Israeli, Georgian vegan food with some NYC flare, check out Tamam the next time you’re in New York City!
Quantum Leap – Vegan Restaurants Upper East Side
1103 1st Ave New York, NY 10065
Quantum Leap has so many different types of veggie burgers that it’s hard to know where to start. While they specialize in vegetarian food, burgers are plenty of vegan options on the menu. I highly recommend the beet burger, which is hands-down one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had.
More importantly, if you’re looking for something a little lighter, they also have an excellent selection of salads. The menu is so extensive and covers a comprehensive range of cuisines.
You can get a pineapple/beet veggie burger, vegan pad Thai, vegan buffalo wings, or pancakes. Their list of pancakes is almost as long as their various veggie burgers.
Keep in mind that they don’t have a lot of seating. Therefore, many people prefer to order take-out. However, if you are in the mood for an excellent vegan brunch spot, Quantum Leap will not disappoint.
Check out our full list of vegan brunch NYC spots!
Mughlai Indian Cuisine – Best Indian Food NYC – Great Vegan Options Upper East Side
1724 2nd Ave New York, NY 10128
New York has so many good Indian restaurants that you can’t go wrong, just try one. We like Mughlai Indian Cuisine because they tend to hold the quality of the food above all else.
Above all, just let them know that you are vegan, and they will carefully guide you through the menu, showing you all of the best vegan highlights! We love when the staff is accomodating to vegans and knows how to make the proper recommendations.
Mughlai Indian restaurant has standard Indian dishes, with a few unique takes on the classics. My go-to dish is the bhindi masala with a side of garlic naan. I love okra but don’t usually get to enjoy it any other time.
Above all, if you’re looking for a little or a lot of spice in your life, Mughlai Indian restaurant is the perfect place to get it! Honestly, the food here is some of the spiciest I’ve ever had.
If you’re not used to eating spicy foods, be prepared for a real challenge! But if you’re brave enough to take on the heat, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most delicious food you’ve ever tasted. More importantly, just be sure to bring a fire extinguisher, just in case!
So if you are in the mood for some south Indian curry, bhindi masala, or fresh garlic naan, visit Mughlai Indian Cuisine.
By The Way Bakery – Gluten-Free Bakery Upper East Side (NOT VEGAN JUST DAIRY FREE)
1236 Lexington Ave New York, NY 10028
Even though this is a bakery and not a restaurant, we had to include it on our list because it’s one of those must-try places on the upper east side. The one over Broadway on the UWS is the leading bakery, but now folks on the upper east side can enjoy a dairy-free, gluten-free bakery.
By The Way, Bakery is an excellent option for those with celiac or who are dairy-free, and gluten-free.
However, not everything here is vegan, although it is 100% gluten-free. Few bakeries cater to the gluten-free crowd and even less to a gluten-free/vegan crowd. They only have 1 or 2 items that are considered vegan. So beware.
The blueberry loaf cake and coffee cake are my favorites! They have a wide variety, but it’s also one of the only places you can get gluten-free challah in NYC.
By The Way, Bakery makes delicious gluten-free and dairy-free treats for everyone to enjoy! Their all-inclusive selection includes everything from brownies and cookies to birthday cakes and cupcakes.
The By The Way Bakery products are made with love, care, and a whole lot of creativity, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible taste experience.
Bua Thai Ramen & Robata Grill – Vegan Restaurants Upper East Side
1611 2nd Ave New York, NY 10028
Bua Thai is ramen, grill, and Thai restaurant serving some of the most amazing Thai and ramen food in town. With vegan options that are customizable and delicious, you can’t go wrong with this spot.
Highlights include the vegan tofu Thai ramen and the pad khing ginger. Additionally, both have such a deep layer of flavor that you’ll be thinking about the dish long after leaving the restaurant.
The service is excellent, and they are always able to accommodate vegans. The wait staff is attentive and helpful, and they will make sure that your experience is nothing short of perfect.
The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, and the talented chefs and waitstaff will work with you to customize your order. You can enjoy a dish that’s perfect for your vegan lifestyle.
Keep in mind that this is on our list for vegan restaurants upper east side but it’s not 100% plant based. They do serve meat.
Vegan Deli – Great Vegan Bodega on the UES
1650 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10128
Do you want a late-night vegan snack? Here, you’ll find vegan bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, breakfast bowls, and more! While this is not a restaurant per se, you can get your vegan fix here.
Check out the Vegan Deli, which is helpful for anyone who needs some excellent healthy food when many other places are closed. Remember that even though it’s our list for vegan restaurants upper east side it’s not strictly vegan but they do have a substantial vegan-only menu. More importantly, they open at 6 am and close at midnight.
Final Thoughts For The Best Vegan Restaurants Upper East Side
The Upper East Side of Manhattan may not be as vegan-friendly as other neighborhoods in New York City, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great options. I’ve found some delicious vegan restaurants in this neighborhood to satisfy even the most hardcore meat-eaters.
So if you’re looking for an incredible vegan meal, be sure to check out one of these Upper East Side restaurants. And if you want to explore even more vegan dining options in NYC, be sure to check out our list of 10 of the best vegan restaurants in the city. Thanks for reading!
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