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Eat and Drink

Where to eat vegetables in New York City right now

In winter, comfort food reigns supreme. But lately, New York City has been all about the vegetable.

From entirely vegetarian kitchens to menus that give veggies some serious attention, restaurants all across the city are proving that the days of bland tofu and tempeh are in the past.

"Too often, chefs get a pass on making boring vegetables and they're only expected to exercise their creativity with meat," said chef Amanda Cohen, whose vegetable restaurant Dirt Candy was so popular, she recently relocated from an 18 seater in the East Village to a Lower East Side spot that's triple the size. "We want to show that cucumbers can be roasted, that onions and chocolate are an amazing combination and that vegetables can be just as fun, exciting and decadent as anything else."

Forget meat -- here's where to eat vegetarian in NYC right now.

Cafe Clover

This new health-conscious eatery is not vegetarian, but
Photo Credit: Cafe Clover

This new health-conscious eatery is not vegetarian, but it is veggie (and nutritionist) friendly. Find dishes like chips made from flax, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (and served with butternut squash hummus), appetizers like baby beets and apples and market crudité with green goddess, smoked vinegar and sesame ranch dressings. There are also main courses like quinoa tagliatelle and cauliflower “steak” (pictured). 10 Downing St., 212-675-4350, cafeclovernyc.com

Dirt Candy

In its new, larger location, this innovative vegetarian
Photo Credit: Evan Sung

In its new, larger location, this innovative vegetarian has a full bar, a larger wine list and expanded menu, which includes new dishes like a cabbage hot pot with smoked cabbage broth; pulled, pickled, and jerked carrots on a carrot waffle; and mapo eggplant, which comes with eggplant flan. Pictured: carrot meringue pie. 86 Allen St., 212-228-7732, dirtcandynyc.com

El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette

This small Lower East Side spot has a
Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/ El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette

This small Lower East Side spot has a vegetable focus, including an entirely vegetarian lunch menu. There are healthy items like the jicama salad, kale salad and a chia seed breakfast pudding. Pictured: Poached eggs, Parmesan broth, lemony kale and rosemary croutons. 100 Stanton St., 212-260-3950, elreynyc.com

Chalk Point Kitchen

Locally-sourced food is the name of the game
Photo Credit: Chalk Point Kitchen

Locally-sourced food is the name of the game at this SoHo spot that looks like a rustic farmhouse retreat. There’s an emphasis on sustainable seafood and oysters, but there’s also a whole section of the menu dedicated to “vegetables to share,” including roasted butternut squash (pictured). 527 Broome St., 212-390-0327, chalkpointkitchen.com

Le Verdure

One major plus of this vegetable-focused venue at
Photo Credit: Virginia Rollison

One major plus of this vegetable-focused venue at the ever-crowded Eataly market is that it tends to be a little less packed than others during peak times. Based on the seasonal produce for sale at the market, the dishes spotlight whatever’s freshest. 200 Fifth Ave., 212-229-2560, eataly.com/nyc-le-verdure

Dovetail

Monday nights at Dovetail are particularly popular with
Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/ Dovetail

Monday nights at Dovetail are particularly popular with vegetarians — that’s when the upscale Michelin-starred restaurant offers a special vegetarian- and vegetable-focused three-course prix fixe for $58. Can’t get there on a Monday? Vegetarians can be accommodated all week long. Pictured: Roasted chayote squash served with barley and yuzu buttermilk. 103 W. 77th St., 212-362-3800, dovetailnyc.com

Kajitsu

This Japanese Michelin-starred spot has a vegetarian menu
Photo Credit: FACEBOOK/ Kajitsu

This Japanese Michelin-starred spot has a vegetarian menu that changes monthly, and items like tempura vegetables and house-made noodles promise that you’ll never miss the meat. At dinner, an eight-course tasting menu runs $95, with an optional $59 sake pairing, while the four-course menu is $55 and $45 for the sake pairing. Pictured: Shojin ramen with miso, sesame and mushroom broth.125 E. 39th St., 212-228-4873, kajitsunyc.com

ABC Kitchen

At Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Michelin-starred farm-to-table restaurant inside ABC
Photo Credit: ABC Kitchen at ABC Carpet & Home

At Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Michelin-starred farm-to-table restaurant inside ABC Carpet & Home, the menu is far from vegetarian, but the veggie-packed starters, salads and sides made with organic, local ingredients take center stage. 35 E. 18th St., 212-475-5829, abchome.com/eat/abc-kitchen

ON OUR RADAR… by CHLOE

A fast-casual vegan spot from vegan chef Chloe
Photo Credit: bychloe.com

A fast-casual vegan spot from vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli is slated to open in the West Village this spring or summer. It will specialize in vegan, plant-based and kosher-certified items, including house-made burger patties, cold-pressed juices, vegan ice cream and grab-and-go offerings. 185 Bleecker St., 212-290-8000, bychefchloe.com

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