Advice: Going Green with Chef Angela Lowe

Chef Angela Lowe breaks down the best vegan spots in NYC for everything from a quick bite to a romantic night out.

Surprising but true: Until recently, finding good vegan places to eat in New York City was kind of challenging. Of course you had your mainstays and old-school hippie spots, but finding a classy place to dine that had great food to which you could bring a date? Not happening. (At least not how I like dates to go.) Sexy ambiance, and a little good wine never hurt, either, but seeking those places out used to be daunting and depressing.
Now, there are literally dozens of new places opening this year alone that are infusing the vegan scene with a little spice—something it needed desperately. Recently, major player Ravi DeRossi announced he was changing all of his 15 popular eateries to vegan-only—big news in the veg world. Here are a few more vegan spots where you can impress a date.
Keeping it casual
By Chloe (185 Bleecker St, 212-290-8000) offers casual burgers, salads and desserts. Blossom Du Jour (259 W 23 St, 15 E 13 St) has casual wraps, sammies and smoothies. Superiority Burger (430 E 9 St, 212-256-1192) is home to sloppy joe’s, burgers and sundaes. Peacefood (41 E 11 St, 212-979-2288) has amazing desserts and all kinds of interesting vegan bites. Beyond Sushi (75 Ninth Ave, 212-929-2889) offers creative sushi in Chelsea Market. Get a beer from the the crepe place. Taim (222 Waverly Pl, 212-691-1287) is your spot for falafel and amazing sides, plus good lemonade. Terri (60 W 23 St, 212-647-8810) has smoothies, burgers, bowls and soups, all yum. Vspot (156 Fifth Ave, Park Slope, 718-928-8778) is a delectable Latin-themed joint with great empanadas and wine.
If you think you like her
Dirt Candy (86 Allen St, 212-228-7732) is not vegan but it’s wildly interesting. If you can get past the odd desserts (onion cake!), go for the savory stuff. 00 & Co (65 Second Ave, 212-777-1608) has great wine and pizza. Casual but sexy. Mother of Pearl (95 Ave A, 212-614-6818) is home to interesting food with a tiki theme. Loved the steamed buns. Candle Cafe (1307 Third Ave, 212-472-0970) is new American done well. Casual and delish! Hangawi (12 E 32 St, 212-213-0077) is delicious Korean food: all vegan, very Zen. Kajitsu (125 E 39 St, 212-228-4873, kajitsunyc.com) features long courses, good for taking someone you love talking to. Candle 79 (154 E 79 St, 212-537-7179) is always original, never disappointing. The nachos give me life. Paulie Gee’s (60 Greenpoint Ave, 347-987-3747) offers vegan pizza and good wine with an old-school Italian vibe. Avant Garden (130 E 7 St, 646-922-7948) is an intimate space for a sexy dinner.
U-Hauling (Not vegan-only places but amazing tasting menus.) 
Per Se (10 Columbus Cir, 212-823-9335) will cost you one month’s rent to eat there, but it’s perfection. At Narcisa (25 Cooper Sq, 212-228-3344), a miss on the vegan tasting menu is better than hits at most places you will ever eat. Blue Hill (75 Washington Pl, 212-539-1776) is also perfection and a good place to propose. Semilla (160 Havemeyer St, Williamsburg, 212-782-3474) offers innovative food done very well. Expensive but doable.
Angela Lowe is a Brooklyn-based vegan chef and cheese-maker. She is working on a new series about sustainable vegan living launching soon. She lives with her many rescue animals. Visit her website at chefangelalowe.com.
This column is not a consultation with a medical professional or a licensed nutritionist and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with questions or concerns should seek the advice of a certified professional.