1. If you head over to Restaurant Row on west 46th street, you'll find Pure Ktchn, a real pre-theatre gem for vegans. Frequented by performers and theater goers alike seeking a `health food eatery’, the menu offers a robust selection of bowls and smoothies, sides, mains and sweets. Among the Superfood Bowl options are the Blue Mermaid Bowl, a blend of banana, pineapple, coconut cream and E3Live Blue Majik powder. This might be just what you need to get your mind into that complex drama you are about to see! For a main, The Rainbow Burger is a paddy made of sweet potato, black beans and quinoa served on a sesame seed bun with kale pesto, beetroot hummus, cashew cream and carrot `bacon.' The Tartine selection includes Pesto with Portobello `bacon’ and almond parmesan on gluten-free seed bread with a side salad of arugula and tomatoes. Their signature Pink Dragon Cheesecake is heavenly, layered with a base of walnuts and dates, almond cheese, and a topping of raw pink dragon fruit. With only a few non-veg options on the menu, this a great place to invite your non-vegan friends into your world.
2. The midtown west Blossom du Jour location is just off Restaurant Row and a good stop for a fast vegan meal before the theatre. In the Big Apple, good things come in small spaces! There is limited counter seating at this location, but lots of 100% vegan choices on the menu to grab and go. You can build your own bowl with 4 items like greens, spicy beans and corn, lemon un-chicken and rice, and choose a tahini, chipotle or lemon rosemary dressing. Blossom Bowls include the Southern Bowl with marinated kale, mac and cheese, barbequed jackfruit and roasted veggies. You are in midtown, so why not choose their Midtown Melt burger with cajun seitan, avocado and mixed greens, topped with a vegan cheese sauce, chipotle aioli on rosemary focaccia bread. If you want to keep it light yet spicy and flavorful with a side dish, the Cauliflowers Bites do the trick.
3. If you're coming up from the lower regions of the east side for a show, Franchia is your best stop. Franchia offers 100% vegan Korean fare. The menu offers Bibimbap, a rice bowl served with a variety of choices for toppings and sauces like their Mediterranean Bibimbap with crispy eggplant, tomato, avocado and basil with vegan 'chicken' sticks. Entrees include the Crispy Korean Chili Tofu, a plate of pan-fried tofu with chili sauce topped with oats and served with sliced cucumbers and tomato. If you were not alert already, you will be theatre ready upon consuming - it’s spicy hot...very hot! Their dumplings are the ultimate comfort food and come steamed or fried with their signature tomato-ginger sauce. Treat yourself to one of their many tea options too. The regional, Schisandra Chinesis Tea, is an exotic herbal, fruit tea with chopped almonds.
4. Blue Dog Kitchen Bar is just a 15-minute walk from the Great White Way. It’s an ideal choice if you are dining with non-vegans. There are only a few vegan items on the menu, but what they do have it well worth it. Their signature vegan burger, the Goddess Aphrodite, is a paddy made of blended beets, mixed vegetables and flour, topped with shiitake bacon, Brussels sprouts, pepper mustarda and served on a toasted bagel with a salad or French Fries. Additional vegan sides are Charred Cauliflower and Fried Pickles. After 4 pm, the Vegan Meatballs, made from the same burger blend and served with a coconut tomato sauce, are available too. Reservations are a MUST at this midtown hotspot. Sit at the communal table and you might get talking all things vegan!
5. Mamasita Bar and Grill in Hell’s Kitchen is a lard free Mexican restaurant. Vegans can enjoy the beans, rice and chips worry free. Committed to accommodating health conscious eating and using the finest, freshest ingredients, the signage in the window assures that no animal fat or MSG is used in the food preparation. A 20-minute walk from the theatre district, this is also a good choice for a melange of vegans and flexitarians. Entrees from their extensive vegetarian menu are easily veganized including the Vegetables Chilaquiles, a plate of steamed veggies topped with fresh tomatoes and garlic, served on a bed of tortilla chips, served with beans and rice. The Vegetable Suizas are garden fresh vegetables rolled in soft corn tortillas with tomatillo sauce. The servers happily accommodate vegans by holding the cheese and sour cream. Mushroom lovers can enjoy the Mushroom Chili, a blend of mushrooms sautéed with peppers, cilantro, onions and pinto beans in chili sauce. Don’t forget that Margaritas are plant-based too and they use REAL tequila!