10 NYC Restaurants Where Vegetarians And Non-Vegetarians Can Share A Delicious Meal

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Are you a long suffering carnivore whose love for a vegetarian is tested every time you go out to dinner?  Perhaps you’re the poor vegetarian who is forced to choose between pasta and pasta every time you go to your meat eater’s favorite restaurant?  Can these couples happily co-exist?  Absolutely!

As a vegetarian going on 13 years of service, I often feel guilty for taking dates to exclusively vegetarian restaurants. Let’s get real here.  The food typically evokes thoughts of sawdust and cardboard.  There are exceptions, of course, but I’ve found that if I want to eat superior veggie-friendly food AND keep my carnivorous date happy, I need to venture to restaurants where the chefs know their way around a hunk of meat, too.

New York City dwellers are in luck! The place is overrun with creative chefs who adore their pork belly while embracing the dynamic flavors of vegetable-based dishes with equal aplomb. Here are a few highlights for every budget:

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Mission Chinese Food: 154 Orchard Street; $-$$

This outpost of a beloved San Francisco hole-in-the-wall exceeds the hype with its creative Sichuan inspired dishes

Recommended Veg Dish:  Thrice Cooked Bacon, sans bacon


Parm: 248 Mulberry Street; $-$$

Torrisi Italian Specialties’ little brother serves up high quality Italian American classics

Recommended Veg Dish:  Eggplant Parmasean on a roll


ABC Kitchen:  35 East 18th Street; $$-$$$

Farm-to-table with flair, this Broadway stunner crafts spectacular veggie dishes

Recommended Veg Dish:  Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad; Roasted Beets with Yogurt

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Gramercy Tavern: 42 East 20th Street; $$$$

Danny Meyer’s Union Square gem continues to produce some of the best American food in the city

Recommended Veg Dish: Vegetable Tasting Menu


Caracas Arepa Bar: 93 ½ E. 7th Street; $

The wait is always out the door at this tiny East Village staple that specializes in Venezuelan corn flour buns stuffed with savory ingredients

Recommended Veg Dish:  La Mulata

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Spring Street Natural: 62 Spring Street; $$

For those inclined to go healthy or go home

Recommended Veg Dish:  Stir-Fried Organic Vegetables


Scarpetta: 355 West 14th Street; $$$

Haute Italian in the Meatpacking District that is renowned for its brilliant spaghetti

Recommended Dish:  Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil – my exception to the pasta rule for vegetarians and carnivores alike.  It’s that special.


Back Forty West: 70 Prince Street; $$-$$$

The new SoHo outpost of the popular East Village farm-to-table joint serves up plenty of veggies alongside its meatier offerings

Recommended Veg Dish:  Spring Market Vegetables


Blue Ribbon Sushi:  119 Sullivan Street; $$$

Blue Ribbon offers a large selection of vegetable maki that go beyond the standard avocado and cucumber combo

Recommended Veg Dish:  Try a few vegetable rolls from the Yasai menu

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Daniel:  60 East 65th Street; $$$$

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, Daniel Boulud’s eponymous 4-Star French restaurant serves beautifully prepared dishes in elegant surroundings

Recommended Veg Dish: Vegetarian Tasting Menu