It’s a good time to be vegan — and 2016 will be even better.
Diners looking for dishes free of meat, dairy and eggs don’t have to compose a meal strictly of vegetable sides or keep track of meatless Monday menus, as vegan-only restaurants are on the rise in New York City.
This year alone saw the debut of the fast-casual restaurants V Burger and by CHLOE and the upscale Avant Garden, as well as a new, ninth location from Blossom Du Jour, the city’s largest vegan fast food chain.
Next year, vegan fans can find more from both by CHLOE, which is opening two locations in Manhattan, and Blossom Du Jour, which is among the 10 grab-and-go restaurants at the Columbus Circle subway station food hall TurnStyle opening in March.
Chef Chloe Coscarelli has followed a vegan diet for 10 years and felt the city was lacking an accessible, affordable, everyday vegan restaurant when she opened by CHLOE in Greenwich Village in July with partner Samantha Wasser of Esquared Hospitality.
“I think now more than ever more people are focused on healthy eating, they want to know what they’re putting in their bodies, and vegan food is perfect for that,” said Coscarelli, whose restaurant does about 1,000 tickets a day and has already gained a following for its guac burger. “I do believe 100% that vegan food is the way of the future.”
Coscarelli and Wasser’s two new locations are slated to open in Flatiron in February and SoHo in the summer. More in the city or beyond wouldn’t be out of the question, either.
“It’s something that would be great, I think only time will tell,” Coscarelli said. “We definitely have to keep our feet on the ground here. We’re taking it one store at a time.”
Also on our radar…
Bakeries on the rise
Gluten free be damned. New Yorkers enjoying the recent addition of bakeries like Sadelle’s and Arcade Bakery will have even more places to pick up baked goods next year, with San Francisco’s Tartine and chef Adam Leonti’s Brooklyn Bread Lab debuting in Brooklyn and new locations of Breads Bakery and Orwasher’s both opening on the Upper West Side early next year.
Dubbed the new coffee, matcha is becoming as common as its powdered cousin, green tea. Matcha cafes have been popping up in the city, from Chalait to MatchaBar, and the green stuff can be found in donut form at Doughnut Plant, on the tasting menu at Momofuku Ko and via tap iced at the new Bustler Coffee in midtown. Expect it to be on even more menus in 2016.