A less than complete guide to my favorite restaurants, coffee shops, shops, spas and fitness studios in the city among a bunch of places that I have ear marked for future travels.
It’s been a while since I’ve been back to New York, so when we decided to make a long weekend out of a work trip for Chris I decided to do a little deep dive on the restaurant and shopping scene. A few things to note about the below:
A lot of what is listed below is in lower Manhattan mostly because that’s where I’ve always been when I’ve visited the city. I also excluded Brooklyn from this list even though there are ton’s of gems there. Brooklyn definitely needs its own guide and it’s own trip.
When it comes to restaurants, there are a few things that I look for before making a reservation or adding it to my list. 1) a vegetable heavy menu, 2) local, sustainable and/or organic sourcing (free-range, grass-fed etc.) – quality is queen! 3) dishes that look like they can be easily modified to avoid gluten, dairy and egg (both Chris and I are egg and dairy-free and avoid gluten), and 4) a good vibe! I love a place where I can stay a while. For coffee shops, I’m always looking for places that make their own non-dairy milks – it’s a huge win!
I’m hoping to add more to this is I travel, but in the meantime, if you have any favorites by all means drop them in the comments!
abcCocina, abcKitchen & abcV – I have yet to taste a dish at any of their restaurants that I didn’t like. abcV is the only restaurant that is exclusively plant-based, however abcCocina and abcKitchen have tons of options that plant-based eaters can enjoy. Both abcKitchen and abcV offer lunch, dinner and brunch. abcCocina only does dinner and brunch on the weekends.
Jack’s Wife Frida
King Restaurant – kept popping up for farm-to-table restaurants in the city. Dinner only during the week and brunch on the weekend.
Buvette – we tried the Buvette in Paris and loved it. Great for lunch, brunch or dinner.
Eleven Madison – definitely a splurge, but if you like vegetables and always feel like you miss out on delicious tasting menus, then this could be a cool experience. Their entire tasting menu is plant-based.
Blue Hill (dinner only) – Chris and I came here years ago after a conference that I had. It was so good. Make sure to book ahead!
Malibu Farm Kitchen – I’m not sure if this concept translated well from California, but I have high hopes. The restaurant I situation on the east side with a great view of the Brooklyn bridge
Maman (breakfast & lunch only) – delicious for breakfast, lunch, baked treats and caffeine fixes. One note, it’s always pretty crowded.
12 Chairs (Manhattan & Brooklyn) – my girlfriend had one of her bachelorette dinners at the Brooklyn location and it was delish! Was excited to see a location in West Village.
Joseph Leonard (lunch, dinner & brunch) – easily one of my top favorite spots for a drink or dinner. I also had this earmarked for lunch or brunch. It reminds of something you might find in Paris.
Le Mercerie (inside Roman and Williams Guild store)
Osteria57 (dinner only) – another favorite from this past trip! Technically Italian, but very heavy on the fish and vegetables. I got the octopus and sea bass and Chris got the Congolese and everything was delish!
The Musket Room (dinner only) – have to give credit where credit is due, this was a Chris find that we tried on this last trip and thoroughly enjoyed! A great option for groups with various eaters. We opted for the tasting menu and loved it me the vegan, Chris with a modified omnivore)
Plant-Based Specific Eat
Love Bakery – they don’t have a storefront, but you can order pick up in the city. They also ship nationwide.
abcV – definitely one of my favorite more “refined” vegan restaurants in the city
Dr. Smood – one of my go-to’s for a quick lunch, juice, smoothie or latte
Double Zero – best vegan pizza I’ve had to date. There’s a location in Venice that we always go to
Ladybird – we’ve been here twice and on both occasions loved it. A fun, fully vegan experience.
Beyond Sushi – I’m skeptical of vegan sushi, but this looks anything but ordinary
Jajaja Plantas Mexicana
Butcher’s Daughter – an oldie, but a goodie. I love their salads and vegetable dishes, but wouldn’t recommend their gluten-free bread
Body & Soul Bakeshop
Soda Club – vegan Italian and natural wine, sounds like a win win to me
Honeybrains – not technically plant-based, but definitely more of a health minded spot for a casual bite
Spring Cafe Aspen
Fragile Flour – they had me at natural wine and plant-based dessert
Van Leeuwen – always a great selection of vegan and non-vegan flavors
Levain Bakery – meant to stop in for a gf, vegan cookie!
Body & Soul Bakeshop – I think they’re only available at farmers markets
Juice & Smoothie
Coffee & Matcha
Cafe Integral – one of my favorite favorite spots for coffee, matcha, and house-made nut milks
Maman – last time I was here they had their own pistachio milk that was incredible with matcha!
Most of the places below are known for their natural wine selection. I always try to seek out wines, restaurants and/or bars that feature biodynamic, organic and or natural wine.
Gem Wine – they also have a great looking restaurant
Skin Contact – stopped in for a drink before dinner and easily could have stayed for another glass
There is literally every brand and store you can think of in New York. Whenever I’m in the city, I always like to pop into some of my favorite brands like Toteme, Anine Bing, Khaite, Nanushka, The Frankie Shop, The Row, Celine, and Saint Laurent etc. as well as scope out some vintage shop. I’ll also do a quick google search to see if there are any sample sales happening when I am there.
New York Pilates SLT – be prepared to not be able to walk the next day Tracy Anderson – I’ve been doing TA at home since April of 2019 and cannot say enough good things about this workout. It literally changed and rebalanced my body. More so than years of sports and various fitness classes. Soul Cycle – one of my fave places for a good spin class Barry’s Bootcamp – such a good full body workout
Non-Toxic Nail Salons & Clean Beauty
Tenoverten – I used to go to their SoHo location every time I was in the city
pH7 – loved their chrome gel manicure!
Credo – my go to (also Sephora) if I forget any toiletry item or want to try a clean beauty favorite in person