THE TOP 5: Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafes in Brooklyn

Though I eat eggs, some dairy and occasionally shellfish, I’ve been a semi-vegetarian for about 10 years now. Nevertheless, no matter where I’ve lived and/or traveled (44 states and two countries), I’ve always been able to find quality veg eats in the city. Now that I live in the best borough, I’m finding spots all over the place! This is by no means a definitive list, these are simply spots that I’m currently digging.

1. Zen Vegetarian House (Prospect Lefferts Garden)

I essentially eat here once a week; that said, the veggie spring rolls filled with cabbage, carrots and celery with a spicy dipping sauce are a must-have. However, the soy chicken nuggets (breaded with rosemary, basil and oregano) and soy chicken with broccoli and garlic sauce are fast-becoming favorites. For a drink, try the carrot, apple, beet and ginger juice.

Website: yelp.com/biz/zen-vegetarian-house-brooklyn

2. Bliss (Williamsburg)

I’ve been here several times, and the breakfast burrito and black-bean burrito are equally hearty and appetizing; however, I’ve got to say that the three-bean chili with corn bread is a must-try. Their vegan desserts are tasty yet not overly sweet. The Bliss Bowl of brown rice, beans, seaweed, mixed veggies, kale, and sweet potatoes served with a choice of steamed tofu, grilled tempeh, or soba noodles, I’ve yet to try. (I think I may need someone to share that with!).

Website: nymag.com/listings/restaurant/bliss/menus/main.html

3. Pita Hut (Park Slope)

Personally I think this small Middle Eastern café is a perfect date stop, mainly because the menu is equally proportioned with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Though I’ve had the falafel and hummus, Middle Eastern fare aside, the vegetarian lasagna served with a green salad is quite delicious. Also, try the Gingerberry Fizz juice, which is made with blueberries, grapes, ginger roots and sparkling water.

Website: sunset-park.com/mall/PITAHUT/index.html

4. The V-Spot (Park Slope)

I’d wanted to try this Latin American-Italian vegan spot for well over a year, so one Saturday night, I finally did. For an appetizer I had the empanadas that are packed with potatoes, carrots, onions, cilantro, corn and seitan (meat substitute) that are served with a side of guacamole and spicy salsa. Truth be told, I was wonderfully fulfilled. But I actually forced myself (not really) to eat the Hawaiian Burger, which is a veggie patty topped with grilled pineapple, tempeh bacon, onions, green peppers and teriyaki sauce and a spinach salad on the side. Nonetheless, for the brunch crowd, they have “All-You-Can-Drink-Mimosas.”

Website: myspace.com/thevspotcafe

5. Dao Palate (North Flatbush Ave., Park Slope)

A funny thing happened on my way to another veg spot, I noticed the Dao instead. And glad I did. Though it’s a Pan-Asian menu, for an appetizer I had the Indian pancakes served with curry sauce; and as a main course, relished in the pineapple fried rice topped with sliced avocados, sunflower seeds, broccoli and tofu. In the words of Rachael Ray: Yum-O! (And yes, I have a bit of a thing for pineapples).

Website: daopalate.com

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About ND McCray

ND McCray is a former Brooklynite, now Beijing-based writer, penning pieces on arts, culture and other stuff.
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