The East Village, an east Manhattan neighborhood, has long been synonymous with art and culture. It has also become known as one of the most veg-friendly neighborhoods in New York. With over 27 vegetarian restaurants in a ten block radius, this unique neighborhood is a must-visit for diners searching for a true vegetarian experience.
East Village has a Unique Culture
The East Village began its legacy as an artists’ mecca in the 1950s. Located on the east side of Greenwich Village, students and artists were drawn to the area by the cheap rent and an existing bohemian population. By 1960, the neighborhood had become a hot spot for artists and musicians alike. Andy Warhol, Nan Goldin and Jeff Koons are just a few of the many artists who have frequented the area for both recreation and exhibition of their work.
Musicians also found favor. Musical performances over the past 50 years have included shows by The Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, The Who, Blondie and even Madonna. Rent, the 1996 Broadway musical set in the East Village, won four Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The characteristic art-and-music culture of the neighborhood continues to this day.
Over the years, the neighborhood has become a veritable melting pot of cultures, lending an exceptional diversity to vegetarian restaurant menus. Nearby New York University and Cooper Union School of Art each attract an influx of both business and art students to the area. German, Polish, and Ukrainian immigrants draw on eastern European influences; Hispanic and Japanese residents have also left their mark on the local scene. With so many choices, East Village diners can often find a delicious vegetarian version of their family favorites.
Vegetarian Dining in the East Village
Thanks to heavily vegetarian student and artist populations, the East Village has spawned a wealth of vegetarian dining options. With a steady flow of customers, a vegetarian restaurant is a good investment, leading many owners to tailor their menu specifically to their vegetarian and vegan clientele. Additionally, many of the restaurant owners are vegetarian themselves, making them uniquely aware of the dietary needs and tastes of their diners.
Menus at a typical East Village vegetarian restaurant wanders far from the standard baked-tofu-and-vegetable fare offered outside of the neighborhood. Seitan sandwiches, grilled veggie pizzas, and handmade veggie burgers satisfy many a hungry appetite. For many vegetarians, the choices are endless, drawing diners from throughout NYC and beyond.
The East Village boasts its own unique culture dating back over 50 years. The influence of artists, musicians, immigrants and students have given to rise to some of best vegetarian restaurants in the world. A vegetarian restaurant in this one-of-kind neighborhood is well worth the visit.