Here's Where to Find Truly Vegetarian Thai Food in NYC

Categories: Veggielante

Pad see-eiw at V{IV} | Tara Mahadevan
The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.

Destination: V{IV} (717 Ninth Avenue, 212-581-5999)

Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen

Cuisine: Thai

Overview: The first location of V{IV} (pronounced Vee-Eye-Vee) opened three years ago in Hell's Kitchen; after much success, a second location opened in Murray Hill less than a year later. V{IV}'s menu features fare from all regions of Thailand -- northern, northeastern, central, and southern -- but, unlike many Thai restaurants, it specializes in northern cuisine, including the noodle dish khao soi. V{IV}'s Hell's Kitchen location is sleek and nightclub-like, with a low lit dining area and blue accent lighting. The menu offers a pleasant surprise for vegetarians: Unlike a lot of Thai restaurants, which often use fish sauce in dishes made without animal protein, the restaurant's food specifically caters to those on meat-free diets. Portions are large and prices are affordable.

Highlights: V{IV}'s pad see-eiw ($11.95) is a standard northern Chinese-influenced Thai dish that is often eaten in Thailand and neighboring Laos. Traditionally, pad see-eiw is served with broad rice noodles, Chinese broccoli, egg, soy sauce, and garlic, and it's typically cooked in fish sauce. V{IV}'s hews to that line, but if you consult your waiter, you can get the fish sauce here swapped for garlic sauce, making your dish entirely vegetarian.

You'll also have a choice between tofu and the restaurant's special imitation duck, which is tofu fried with seitan -- and the end result looks quite different from tofu. Pictured above is the imitation duck, which has a slightly chewy texture. V{IV}'s version of pad see-eiw strikes a delicious balance between sweet, savory, sour, and spicy; exchanging the fish sauce for garlic sauce gives the dish an extra pungent kick.

Another crowd favorite from among the dozens of vegetarian options is the cashew king ($11.95 to $13.95), which features roasted cashew nuts, onions, scallions, pineapple, bell peppers, and carrots, with your choice of tofu or imitation duck.

Location Info


Viv Bar and Restaurant

717 9th Ave., New York, NY

Category: General

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