By Alizah Salario
Where to find delicious meals and beverages at any hour of the day
38 East 19th St.
This much-anticipated vegetarian addition to the Jean-Georges ABC empire opened earlier this year, and its cuisine of “high vibration foods” taps into “plant-based intelligence.” We're not sure exactly what that means, but if the whole roasted cauliflower with turmeric-tahini sauce drizzled with pistachios has any thoughts, we'd like to hear them. ABCV transforms the humble vegetable into a flashy affair with prices to match. The smoky eggplant with 19 aromatic spices and the sea buckthorn and persimmon bowl would probably agree.
125 East 39th St.
Foodies, put Kajitsu on your bucket list. The restaurant is dedicated to Shojin cuisine, a type of vegetarian cooking with roots in Zen Buddhism that emphasizes beautiful food preparation as a way to enhance flavor. Chef Hiroki Odo's eight- and ten-course menus highlight the season's finest; in winter that means dishes incorporating fresh bamboo shoots from Kyoto and “sea vegetables” such as kumquat, daikon and vinegar jelly. A meal at Kajitsu, meaning “day of celebration” in Japanese, is most certainly a festive affair.
Candle Cafe West
Vegetarian nachos might sound like an oxymoron, but not at Candle Cafe. Made with tapioca cheese and tofu sour cream, they're the stuff of vegetarian legend, as are the wildly popular live crystal rolls. Candle Cafe West is known for its creative plant-based dishes that don't compromise satisfaction or taste. Even non-vegetarians might be smitten by the seitan chimichurri and spaghetti and wheatballs. If not, there's a full bar with organic spirits, wines and specialty cocktails.