After two months interning in the Big Apple, I’m back in England! New York City is famous for being a foodie paradise, so I was hoping to find lots of new eating destinations, try new foods and gain some inspiration. It certainly lived up to expectations. With such a diverse culture, every type of cuisine has been covered and you can expect to find some interesting (if not, wacky) creations. Away from home, I relied on the NYC food scene for the majority of meals, and in amongst it all I did manage to find some healthy hotspots! These are my recommendations…
The Butcher’s Daughter – NoLita
I had heard a lot about this place before coming to New York, so it was on my to-do list from the very beginning. A buzzing brunch spot right in the heart of NoLita, its indoor-meets-outdoor vibes give it such a charming and relaxed atmosphere that transports you from the hustle of the City. It’s no surprise then that the other Butcher’s Daughter is located in LA. It’s also all meat-free, with their focus turning to fruit and veg. Our Brunch here consisted of: avocado on toast with poached eggs, accompanied by curried potato hash and healthy hollandaise. If I could have a Brunch like this every Saturday, I definitely would!
By Chloe – Flatiron / Greenwich Village
This is the most amazing place! It’s fast-food, set up like any other fast-food restaurant, but EVERYTHING is plant-based. Essentially, I ordered a burger and fries, but this was so much better. A black bean and quinoa patty topped with guac and salsa, on a bed of lettuce. Accompanied with the best beet ketchup and sweet potato fries! But honestly, everything on their menu sounded incredible and I would have loved to have gone back more often.
Bluestone Lane – Various Locations
I became a little bit obsessed with Bluestone Lane whilst I was in New York, despite it being an Australian-inspired cafe. This is mostly because I just love their whole approach to food and the role it should play within a healthy lifestyle. They also served, not only my favourite Matcha Latte, but also Golden Lattes (yes, that’s turmeric!) which I couldn’t recommend more. My local Bluestone, on the Upper Eastside, was along 5th Avenue overlooking Central Park. If this wasn’t idyllic enough, the cafe is also a converted church and the food itself looks stunning. I had one of the best brunches here, and Bluestone Lane even reposted my photo of it! To top it all off, right before I left, another opened near where I worked in DUMBO too (read my article about it here!)
Candle 79 – Upper East Side
Most vegan restaurants are casual cafes or delis, though I’ve always wanted to try one which was more formal. That was the reason for my visit to Candle 79; it’s vegan dining at its best. The ambience is refined, yet relaxed and the service is great too. It feels like a totally normal restaurant, and I would say anyone, vegan or not, can enjoy the amazing food here. Trust me, you will completely forget it’s all plant-based. I had a raw courgette ‘lasagne’ which was made with cashew cheese and guacamole. Even though I was quite full, I could not pass on the desserts on offer. Passionfruit pie made with a raw granola nut crust and pineapple ice-cream was my choice – delicious.
Cha Cha Matcha – Little Italy
There really is a place dedicated to all things Matcha, and it’s no surprise that I love it! Iced Matcha Lattes were a staple of mine when I was in New York, and here you can expect to find them and a whole lot more. Matcha Lemonade… Matcha Frozen Yoghurt… Matcha Cupcakes… yep, they’ve got it all here. Everything about this place is really cool, from the decor inside, to their cute little slogan: ‘I Love You So Matcha’. With New Yorkers being pretty clued-up about their Matcha, I would say that Cha Cha Matcha has to be the best.
Chickpea & Olive – Various Locations
Not a cafe or restaurant, but a pop-up food tent, moving all across NYC throughout the week. It’s most famously at the Smorgasborg Market in Williamsburg on Saturday however, working in DUMBO, we were lucky enough to have in Under the Manhattan Archway Wednesday through Friday. They label themselves as ‘vegan comfort food’, as everything on offer is oh-so-satisfying but yet, still makes you feel good. For me, it was a great spot to grab lunch and I never tired of their Avocado Toast. It was at Chickpea & Olive where I also tried Jackfriut, which was delicious and so unbelievably meat-like.
Oatmeals – Greenwich Village
We may have the beautiful 26 Grains as our porridge cafe in London, but Oatmeals is the place to go in NYC. The two have many similarities, including the porridge being freshly made in front of you with all the ingredients on display, and a cute, shabby-chic interior. Both occupy a quaint location in a tucked away spot too. The porridge itself, I feel, is quite different though, as Oatmeals follows a more ‘build-your-own’ type of format. However, with so many signature bowls involving clever topping combinations to choose from, there really is no need. I played it reasonably safe and opted for the Physique 57 Bowl: Bananas, Flaked Coconut, Cashews, Dates, Honey and Cinnamon. Yet, the savoury menu is endless too. In fact, I’ve saved the menu on their website for when I’m in need of some porridge flavour inspiration.
Hummus Kitchen – Various Locations
I had one of my favourite meals in NYC at Hummus Kitchen. It’s great for sociable eating as you can order lots of different small dishes to share alongside a big bowl of hummus. What could be better? It goes without saying that there are plenty of flavours of hummus to choose from – we opted for Moroccan which comes drizzled with olive oil and whole chickpeas on top. Sides included falafel, turmeric roasted cauliflower and tahini aubergines (or eggplant as they say in the US!) Middle-Eastern food at its best, and a must for hummus lovers.
If you’ve ever visited one of these places, or are heading to New York soon, then leave a comment!