Our 10 Best Vegetarian (Many Vegan) Dishes in NYC
In case you haven't noticed, vegetable matter is the new meat -- easy to cook and digest, jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, environmentally friendly, and, most important, good-tasting. We've ransacked the menus of eateries in all five boroughs and even in nearby New Jersey to come up with our list of vegetarian faves. A large percentage are also vegan, and those have been so marked. Eat and enjoy -- and tell us the things we've missed.
10. Eggplant Parmesan at Torrisi Italian Specialties -- Served with a generous cup of extra tomato sauce, the eggplant parmesan at Torrisi is a multilayered wonder, bravely wearing a fresh basil leaf on its breast, made with great mozzarella, and, miraculously, not cooked into total oblivion. Call for availability, and expect to wait awhile for it. 250 Mulberry Street, 212-965-0955
9. Broccoli Rabe Hero at Casa Calamari [vegan] -- Slicked with plenty of olive oil, the bright green vegetable, crunchy and yielding all at the same time, comes dotted with whole cloves of caramelized garlic. Deposited on a well-crusted hero roll, it makes one of the tastiest and most filling sandwiches in the world. 8602 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-921-1900
8. Kanchipuram Idly at Sapthagiri [vegan] -- Idly is normally one of our favorite dishes, spongy rice-and-lentil pillows that come with at least a couple of earthy and pungent sauces. This version at the strictly vegetarian Sapthagiri (weekends only) incorporates cashews, fresh turmeric, shredded ginger, and cilantro -- a flavor combination that launches the saucer-shaped treats into orbit. 804 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, 201-533-8400
7. Pickled Mushrooms at Kabeer [vegan] -- An assortment of woodsy specimens, pickled to piquancy, then heaped with shaved onions and fresh dill -- it's a simple dish, but one that might convince you mushrooms are much better than meat. And the list of brews on tap at this indoor Russian beer garden -- steps away from a summer stroll on the boardwalk -- will be an added incentive. 1003 Brighton Beach Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-934-9005
6. Toasted Cheese Sandwich at Bark Hot Dogs -- Yes, it's totally counterintuitive that one of the best vegetarian dishes in the city would be at an unreconstructed palace of pure meat -- but there you have it. The bread comes from a firm white Pullman loaf, the cheese is sharp cheddar, and the grill is smeared with real butter. Simple, yet perfect. 474 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, 718-789-1939