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short trip to London - with vegan options

Thanks for the suggestions. I've been to Bistrot Bruno Loubet and it is a disaster for vegans - it was very awkward and I wound up having to send my meal back (which I've never had to do anywhere else!). Lovely for a vegetarian though! Nopi also seems much better for the vegetarian than vegan crowd.

Oct 18, 2012
alexis in U.K./Ireland

short trip to London - with vegan options

Gauthier looks perfect and confirmed that they provide vegan options with advance notice. Fingers crossed that I can get a reservation! Thanks for the recommendation!

Oct 18, 2012
alexis in U.K./Ireland

short trip to London - with vegan options

Thanks all! These are really helpful suggestions as I've only heard of a handful of the places mentioned - looking forward to checking them out.

I've been to Saf on previous trips and enjoyed it, maybe we'll just take a gamble on Vanilla Black and will report back.

Oct 18, 2012
alexis in U.K./Ireland

short trip to London - with vegan options

I have a short trip to London coming up and would love some input on places to eat.

The catch is that I'm a vegan and my husband is not. He's happy to eat veg most of the time, but does like to have a meal with meat every now and then. We've been on a few trips to London recently and we have some favorites, but we're staying in Canary Wharf this time around (it's a business trip we're stretching into a vacation) and haven't spent much time in that area. I'd like some input on veg restaurants as well as ideas for places that serve meat and also have proper vegan options. We like pretty much all cuisines but aren't big on the Chinese/Thai buffets that seem like the most common veg option. Price is not really an issue, but we're not looking for fine dining experiences, just everyday restaurants (up to 40 pounds per person at dinner is fine and we're not big drinkers). We're very willing to travel around the city, but would also appreciate some suggestions in and around Canary Wharf.

For veg restaurants, does anyone have particular recommendations for all-veg South Indian? I've been to one of the Rasa outposts (which I thought was pretty good) and Sagar (underwhelming), but I'm sure there are better options that I'm not aware of.

How is Vanilla Black? It looks like it might be interesting, but also very cheese focused. How does it compare to Saf? Would Itadaki Zen be a better choice for a nice veg restaurant?

Has anyone been to the all veg Coach and Horses? It seems to be new and I haven't found much about it on the internet.

As for restaurants/markets that serve meat but also have vegan options, we've enjoyed Tas, Otto Pizza (actually we love it!), and Borough and Whitecross Street Markets.

It would be great to get recommendations for good Turkish or Lebanese restaurants since Tas can't possibly be the best option. Are there any interesting Ethiopian or other African restaurants we should check out? Modern British options would also be appreciated - we went to The Larder in Clerkenwell on our last trip and thought it was pretty mediocre, but a lot of the better-rated places don't provide a vegan option. Would the Corner Room be a good choice (assuming they cater for vegans with advance notice)?

My husband will also be eating quite a few meals without me in the Canary Wharf area - any good non-vegetarian splurges he should be sure to try?

Oct 17, 2012
alexis in U.K./Ireland

Lunch near Federal Reserve Bank

Ise on Pine street is also nice if sushi is an option (with the caveat that I'm a vegetarian and can't tell you anything about the quality of the fish, though I know lots of people who think it's good). It's not quite as fancy as the places you listed, but they have an efficient lunch service and nice atmosphere. It's very close to the Fed - a block and a half away.

Aug 16, 2012
alexis in Manhattan

The Vegan Bachelor

you could try Otto, it's pretty decent for vegans (most of the vegetable starters and several pizzas are vegan by default, some of the pastas could be ordered without cheese), not thrilling, but good for a big group.

Jun 30, 2010
alexis in Manhattan

seeking upscale dinner spot near soho, for both vegans & omnivores

Five Points is generally pretty good for vegans. Nothing thrilling, but they generally make an effort to make something nice, don't need advance notice (though I'm sure it's appreciated) and the only time I've gotten a boring vegetable sides plate as my entree was on a busy Friday night (in their defense, the sides were delicious, but they had done so well with vegan entrees in the past, I expected something more ambitious).
Broadway East might be another option, although the service was abysmal last time I was there.

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Broadway East
171 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002

Apr 19, 2010
alexis in Manhattan

What to order at Dirt Candy?

if they're still on the menu, the kimchi doughnuts are awesome. the parsnip main dish is also a million times better than it sounds on the menu. the potato soup was a disappointment (though the tomato pearls were fun)--just too bland and a little pasty.

Mar 03, 2010
alexis in Manhattan

Restaurant Sugg for Small Informal Wedding

We did dinner for 17 for our wedding at the private room at Broadway East and it turned out really well and was in your price range. It might be more expensive to close the main dining room for a party of 40-50, but it's probably worth a call to check. Everything turned out really well and the food was very good, but we got almost no attention from the staff until about a week before the wedding, so be prepared for that. I read a while ago that their chef left, so it may be worth a trip to check out the food to make sure it's still good.

Jul 08, 2009
alexis in Manhattan

Powdered rice milk

I've had good luck finding weird ingredients at jubilee on john street. I have no idea if they have powered rice milk, but it was the only place I could find powdered soymilk before whole foods started carrying it.

Dec 01, 2008
alexis in Manhattan

Hoagies??

there's a place on 9th ave that's now called shorty's that used to be a tony luke's. they're not affiliated anymore (i haven't been there since they were) but maybe they've kept the menu?

sorry, missed that captain already posted this one.

Jun 27, 2008
alexis in Manhattan

Pls help, 8 guys, 1 vegetarian

Apizz doesn't really accommodate vegetarians (when I called to ask this winter, they laughed at me and hung up...yeah, nice service guys), though I believe they sometimes have something pizza-like that's probably vegetarian on the menu.

little giant doesn't have veg stuff on their menu, but will happily do something special, five points is also good to vegetarians while being meat-centric.

if you want to go more veg-centric with just a couple meat options, you could try broadway east, the service is still weird (opened recently), but we enjoyed the food. kampuchea's a little more casual, but also has good veg options.

Jun 27, 2008
alexis in Manhattan

Has anyone been to an event catered by Upper Crust?

I haven't been, but I'm thinking of using them as well so I'd love to hear from anyone who's eaten their food!

Apr 26, 2008
alexis in Manhattan

Best veg/vegan awards

ooh, life thyme has excellent chocolate-chip peanut butter cookies too, they're huge, find someone to share with.

blossom is my favorite fancy place. I love the lumpia, the green bean and tomato sides and their desserts. hangawi and pure are also very nice though I've only been to each once. counter's ok, there was a period when I loved it, but I do think it's declined some in the last two years. the lentil-walnut pannini there is awesome though. the candles are also good, though I do think they're a bit overpriced for what they are.

for more casaul, bahn mi on grand street has excellent sandwiches, I love s'nice for all things but especially their tofu club, and teany's "turkey" club is also excellent (or maybe I just love club sandwiches, take your chances).

I also love the duck salad, spinach toast and soft green rice crepe at pukk, I don't really care for the entrees on average, but the appetizers and desserts are great. And I agree on vegetarian dim sum house as well.

I'm also a fan of madras cafe for indian. pongal's also alright, but the service there sucks so much that it's hard to justify going when there are so many other places around to try.

gobo's ok, surprisingly, my meat-eating boyfriend likes it more than I do. I'm not a fan of angelica's at all, and franchia (casual offshoot of hangawi) was really disappointing--stunningly mediocre dumplings and noodles.

for good veg-non-veg mingling (an important category if you're the only veg among your friends), I like l'asso, dok suni, col legno, kampuchea, bread and quartino (in the fancy enough to be a nice dinner out but not all that expensive category).

Jun 06, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

Never been to NYC...would love recs (inc. places w/no reservations needed, favorite casual dining that locals frequent, cheap eats, a few places to splurge)

I had to wait 45 minutes with a reservation for crappy service (I asked for soy milk with my coffee and was just shot down really rudely even though the hotel itself offers it and for a $70 brunch, someone could have popped over (20 feet) to the parker meridien coffee bar to borrow some), another 45 minute wait for food, for overly sweet and cloying food at that, (this coming from someone who can and does eat brown sugar straight from the box). Norma's is just totally not worth it, I would never go back even if someone else were paying.

Also, Taksim in midtown (there are two, one in midtown and one in the east village) is a great place for lunch before/after moma, it's about a 10-15 minute walk away. And is close to bloomingdales if that's a consideration as well.

Jun 06, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

Dinner In Philly this Saturday, Meeting daughters boyfriend.

fyi--il cantuccio is great but they don't sub out or do special off-menu stuff to cater to vegetarians if there's nothing on the regular menu. I've gone a number of times and am a vegan but I got around the rule cause my dad was close with some of the staff.

azure on 2nd and poplar is festive and has good veg and non-veg options. not super fancy but i've always enjoyed the food there...it's loose interpretations of tropical island dishes. tangerine is good too, and if you are ever in the mood to go vegetarian in philly, horizons is great. i'm a big fan of the sahara grill on 13th and walnut--more for the appetizers than entrees, it might be a good choice for lunch when you're in town.

Jun 06, 2007
alexis in Pennsylvania

Colors Restaurant-- has no one at all been there?

I've been twice, both a while ago (a year ago and probably a few months more than that), and I agree with the general sentiment here. It's pretty good, but the food doesn't always live up to the expectations the menu sets up. If you're curious, it's probably not a waste of money to check it out, but I wouldn't expect it to be exceptional either. I did like the bento box dinner if that's still on the menu, I rememeber someone I was with saying the pork they ordered was really dry. I think desserts were good (the doughnuts and the sorbet especially)!

Jun 02, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

thanks for the vacation help!

Just a quick thanks for all the great advice I got from all of you a few weeks ago on my trip to sf! We had lots of great food, and really only one not-so-good experience that we didn't see coming.

We went to thai house express (twice, actually, we liked it so much!) and had one of the homestyle pork stews, a spicy tofu and veg saute, cucumber salad, duck noodle soup and green curry tofu, and it was all just great. Also had the fried bananas, which were delicious, but how can you go wrong with those?

We also tried greens (super disappointing) and millenium (pretty awesome). The service at greens was just so bad (totally ignored for almost 20 minutes when we were seated--no menus or drinks, and drinks were only refilled once over a couple of hours, and our server was kind of obnoxious), and the vegetarian cooking there is straight out of 1986, like, oh, you're vegan, want some quiche, oh wait, you can't eat that, here, have some plain couscous (I'm exaggerating, there was tofu and a sauce, but still, it's not at all interesting and the execution is just ok). My boyfriend literally had quiche, which was fine, just not at all worth the price. And there were flies everywhere which was just gross.

Millenium, on the other hand, had much more interesting food (the little gems salad--lettuce, limes, smoky tofu bits--is delicious and unusual, the lentil and mushroom roullades were good, and the stuffed artichoke with seitan sausage was really great, and the chocolate almond midnight is perfect), and the service was very pleasant. We've actually made their seitan sausage at home to use in cornbread stuffing at thanksgiving and it's nice to see that theirs, while somewhat better than ours, is clearly a close relative of what's published in their cookbook.

Zuni was good, best hamburger ever (as reported by my boyfriend), and I had a really refreshing salad with farro and kumquats. They were actually very nice about me being a vegan, and I even had a couple of choices on what to eat, which I wasn't expecting.

We flaked out on many of the other places we planned to try, largely out of laziness, but we did find a place by accident that was great. We went to saha on our last night, and it was lovely. The mint and mushroom ravioli in mango sauce were interesting (though the pasta was a bit thick), and the main courses (a layered veg and tofu dish with a chimichurri-type sauce and beef rib couscous) and dessets (knaffe and a fruit and chocolate phyllo pastry) were just great. They also have a rose soda that I really enjoyed, it's not too sweet and not at all perfume-y.

Jun 02, 2007
alexis in San Francisco Bay Area

vegan softserve???

I don't think that one has the softserve (if they do, they're hiding it well). They do have good vegan baked goods and smoothies though.

May 17, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

Cafe Fuego or Yuca Bar

I've been to yuca bar and it was pretty underwhelming. It's clear that a lot of the components of food aren't made in house and just aren't anything special. The atmosphere is festive though. Haven't been to cafe fuego, so I can't compare.

May 17, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

cheap eats in Manhattan - $10 and under

I have to say that I've had the worst meal I've ever had in new york at lovely day. It's greasy, bland and the serice is just flat out obnoxious (which isn't uncommon in nolita, sadly). If you want cheap food in nolita, you'd be better off at rice (pan asian and assorted other cusines) which has entress on fancy rice for 5 dollars and up. Bite and Sparky's up on lafayette and bleecker have sandwiches and bugers/hot dogs that are inexpensive and tasty too.

May 17, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

Best place for pizza in Manhattan/ Little Italy?

I second L'asso, their pizza is really tasty. I've heard good things about their nutella dessert pizza too. Also a good back up if you can't stand the wait at Lombardi's as they're on the same block.

May 17, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

vegan softserve???

atlas has it, but it's disappointing. I went to check it out last summer and there was plastic (not just one piece, but kind of a lot) mixed through the ice cream! It wasn't all that great even without the unwanted mix-ins. I like the atlas on west 4th by nyu, but the one in the east village is just dirty and gross (I found bits of non-food in my lunch there too on the same trip).

I'd love to hear it if someone finds some elsewhere! It's a real shame we don't have dole whip here.

For soy gelato, try Blackwell's, it's made in nj and i just bought the chocolate gelato from whole foods. it's delicious, much better than the other soy ice creams i've had. whole soy frozen yogurt in creme caramel is on the soft side, though still a frozen pint, and is also a front-runner for my favorite vegan ice cream.

May 14, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

Vegetarian takes Manhattan

You're welcome! I've never been to red bamboo--and I've lived walking distance from it for 4 years now. I've heard good things though. I like vegetarian dim sum house in chinatown (again, go for the dim sum, the entrees haven't been great in my experience), and i think it's similar fake-meat-wise (though more traditional chinese rather than pan-asian) to red bamboo?

May 14, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

Good lunch spots by NYU

if you're feeling unhealthy, sparky's at lafayette and bleecker is good for hot dogs, fries and such, and bite, next door, has nice sandwiches (the hummus sandwich is way more delicious than anything that basic has a right to be).

May 12, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

Vegetarian takes Manhattan

I second blossom, it's one of my favorite vegan restaurants in the city, it's way, way better than angelica's kitchen (more interesting food, better presentation and service and close in price), and comes out just a bit ahead of candle 79 and counter for me (though I like both of those too, counter for brunch especially). Candle Cafe is good too, but it always strikes me as just a little bit expensive for what you get. Hangawi is also beautiful and delicious, but franchia, their casual sister restaurant, is overpriced and bland.

For more casual eating, I'm a fan of pukk, a vegetarian thai place in the east village. The appetizers are better than the entrees (try the spinach toast, soft green rice crepe, corn noodles, and "duck" salad), and it's so cheap, especially for lunch ($6 usually).

As for non-vegetarian places that have good veggie options: col legno, Italian in the east village--delicious fried artichokes and some nice pastas; cafe himalaya on 1st street is very inexpensive and has some interesting salads (avocado, chickpea and potato, for instance) and lots of veg entrees; bread on spring street is nice for a salad or sandwich (also a little pricey for what you get, but I like it anyway. Bread Tribeca tends to be underwhelming); L'asso is good for pizza but not inexpensive unless you restrain yourselves and just order 1 pizza to share; quartino is also nice organic italian; rice is good for a quick lunch (my parents adore it and always want to eat there when they visit, I don't really think it's worth going to on vacation, but it is a reliable option); the bahn mi place on grand street between mott & elizabeth has 4 kinds of veg bahn mi (vegetabe, tofu, fake chicken, and curry fake chicken) but no seating; I like two boots for quick pizza slices; and the indian places mentioned are also nice. I'd add madras cafe to that list too. My experience has been that most low to mid range (and some of the fancy) places downtown have veggie options, uptown can be harder sometimes. Taksim, as mentioned above for turkish, is also really yummy and there's a branch walking distance from MOMA if you'll be going there.

May 12, 2007
alexis in Manhattan

suggestions for vacation dining?

Thanks everyone! You guys are so quick and helpful! As for a car, we have a friend who will take us places occasionally, but we obviously can't impose on her everyday. So I think we'll switch out to 900 Grayson.

Cafe Gratitude is an interesting idea--does anyone know how it compares to Pure in nyc? I've been to Pure and have liked it, but I don't know if I would go out of my way unless Gratitude is way better.

and rworange--why millenium and not greens? I have both cookbooks and I've been way more impressed with millenium's (it's just so much more creative, though i have encountered the occasional failure), and I'm a vegan and greens really is a vegetarian and not a vegan place so I'd rather try the place where I'm going to be the type of diner they're really trying to serve. Plus I've been wanting to try millenium since high school (I'm in grad school now....so it's been a while!).

May 11, 2007
alexis in San Francisco Bay Area

suggestions for vacation dining?

Thanks so much!

I know sea salt's not great for me...maybe we'll do that and Vik's and just eat our main courses at different places. Or maybe with all of the other eating, I'll just want salad. I can only deal with so much fancy food at a time.

Susan--I checked out the menu online and it does look like Thai House Express has a lot of veg stuff (and marked as such), so I don't think vegan should be a problem there even if their most super-fantastic stuff has meat. I'd love to hear your recommendations even if they are meaty!

Morton--I think we'll do the Cha-Ya in SF, especially given what you've said. And I hadn't heard of 900 Grayson, so thanks for the suggestion!

May 11, 2007
alexis in San Francisco Bay Area

suggestions for vacation dining?

I'll be in SF for almost a week with my boyfriend, we have a plan, mostly of places culled from chowhound recs! I'm looking for just a few suggestions to fill in some gaps, and a warning if a place we've picked is actually terrible! We're not going to have a car most of the time, so places that are accessible by public transportation are best. thanks so much!

We're from nyc, and I'm a vegan, he's not. So, places that have good vegan options and serve normal people food are most definitely welcome!

We plan to try:
Thai House Express
Lotus Garden
Zuni Cafe (I know I'll starve there...any recs on a quick vegan bite near zuni?)
Burma Superstar (we've had Burmese we like in nyc, so it'll be interesting to see the difference)
Millenium (I've read the reviews, I know it can be questionable, but I've got to try it once!)
Cha-Ya
and then we're deciding between Sea Salt and Vik's in Berkeley.

I'd love a recommendation for quick places to pick up breakfast near Union Square, any burrito places that do both vegan and non (papalote is my working idea, but I'd love to know if there's somewhere better), and if there are good places for picking up snacks (like Molly Mudd...).

thanks so much!

May 11, 2007
alexis in San Francisco Bay Area

places to take a vegan

Blossom is the best place for an all vegan dinner in manhattan, but candle 79 is also quite good. Counter's become less vegan-centered lately, though it's probably still a pretty good choice (especially for brunch, I've always liked their waffles and fake-omlettes much better than their dinner foods).

For the non-veg places that are nice for vegans: Quartino is an organic italian place that's quite nice and will accomodate vegans. Dok Suni is also easy. L'asso and Una Pizza Napoletana both offer vegan pizzas on the menu. Mo-bay, (both in fort green and in harlem) also has tons of options--even fake chicken roti. If you want to go high end, Craft, Tabla and Colors will all do nice vegan dishes with little or no warning.

On the more casual end, pukk, madras cafe, rice, village mingala, li hua, and even the bahn mi place on grand street are all inexpensive, fairly tasty, and all very vegan friendly. Foodswings in williamsburg is wonderful for milkshakes, and take your guest to the lower east side for a huge does of vegan-ness all in one place with babycakes, teany, mooshoes and tiengarten (though i've not been impressed with tiengarten).

Jul 12, 2006
alexis in Manhattan