Wearing Reformation + Eating All The Vegan Food in NYC
2 Days of Vegan Eating in NYC.
Ah, Manhattan. Who hasn’t fallen in love with New York City at one time or another? Infamous for both its influence and power across the design, food and fashion industries. New York is also a go-to destination for vegan foodies. If you ever visit, be sure to sample some of the world’s best vegan restaurants!
Conveniently, New York is also a quick 1.5-hour flight from Toronto; making it ideal for a weekend getaway or mini-vacation. Dusan and I spent a short 2 days and 2 nights here—though we would have loved to stay longer! Our hotel was in Soho, a trendy area sandwiched between the Financial District and Greenwich Village. There were many locals’ destinations within walking distance, which is perfect for those seeking a non-touristy trip.
I came armed with a long list of recommended vegan restaurants to check out (a HUGE Thank You to everyone on Instagram who left suggestions!) Although I could easily spend a week in this magical city, we managed to cram our days (and bellies) full from start to finish.
Below are the highlights of our mini-rendezvous. YouTube video coming soon!
Day 1 in New York
Brunch at By Chole, Rooftop drinks at Arlo SoHo, Greenwich Village, and The Butcher’s Daughter.
This airy blouse plus skirt combo was the perfect travel outfit. It took me from airplane to restaurant to rooftop bar. And I could have easily worn it again in the evening because it is both dressy and casual. It was definitely a winner that I’ll reach for again!
The long sleeved, printed blouse is from Reformation. Made from biodegradable, earth-friendly viscose, it features a whimsical cat print. *Just take my money, please.* The tassel skirt is an old favourite that never goes out of style. Because both of these are made from paper-thin fabrics, they feel light and cool to wear—Perfect for when the summer humidity lingers on every surface of your skin. I definitely twirled and sashayed a bit more than usual due to all the tassels on my outfit. 💃🏼
After dropping our bags at the Arlo Soho, we beelined right to By Chole. All of you raved about it, so we had to check it out. Because we arrived on a Sunday, we were able to taste-test their brunch menu. Double-thumbs up for variety and price! Next, we went back to the Arlo and had a few drinks on their massive rooftop patio. Unfortunately, the weather was a little overcast and rainy, so we had to duck back inside after an hour.
That evening we met up with another couple and made our way through Greenwich Village to visit The Butcher’s Daughter. Despite the other couple not being vegan, all four of us left feeling satisfied and impressed. The quality of their food is spectacular. The chef clearly knows how to put together a savory vegan meal that sure to impress even the most skeptical of omnivores.
WHAT WE ATE AT
- The Sunrise vegan breakfast burrito
- Air Baked Fries (1/2 regular, 1/2 sweet potato)
+ Beet Ketchup and Chipotle Aioli
- Avocado Pesta Pasta
WHAT WE ATE AT
The Butcher’s Daughter
- Watermelon Sashimi
- Spinach Artichoke Crock
- Smashes Avocado Toast Bites
- Angel Hair Carbonara
- Raw Pesto Linguine
- Plantain Party Bowl
Day II in New York
Photoshoot at the Hudson River, Vegan Dim Sum in Chinatown, MoMA, Central Park, and Blossom in Chelsea.
Knowing that I would be eating like crazy (again), I threw on my comfortable (ie: loose fitting) wrap dress, also by Reformation. The bold red colour and large-scale floral print of this dress make it a total knockout, while also giving off a laid-back vibe. We grabbed an almond milk latte and took a stroll along the Hudson River. This was my first time seeing the Hudson up close. It’s so surreal seeing that famous skyline in person!
After a quick photo shoot, we decided to seek out a vegan dim sum restaurant hidden in the bowels of Chinatown. Walking through New York’s Chinatown can be pretty overwhelming; there are so many people and smells and sounds! We finally tracked down Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant at 5 Mott Street. (Don’t be thrown off by a shop with a similar name and description in the area. They are a copy-cat restaurant with a lower reputation.)
The dim sum at Buddha Bodai was crazy, crazy good. I over-ordered but we managed to devour nearly everything on the table. Do yourself a favour and visit this place! Dusan and I keep referring back to how tasty everything here was. Plus, the prices can’t be beaten for New York dining.
We waddled to the nearest subway station and took the Q train uptown to visit the MoMA and Central Park. Inside the Museum of Modern Art, we were stunned to stumble upon Van Gough’s Starry Night. It’s one of our favourite paintings! Van Gough’s work has always resonated with me because when I’m not wearing my glasses or contacts, the world looks exactly as he paints it: blurry, chaotic, and colourful. Picasso, Basquiat, and Matisse were also on display. What a treat!
For dinner, we made a reservation at the much-hyped Blossom restaurant in Chelsea. I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating vegan fine dining quite like this before. The menu was somewhat French influenced with American staples too. (And a bit on the pricey side, which was to be expected.) Our friend ordered a decadent bottle of red wine, which I half spilled all over the table because I’m accident-prone like that.
Dusan and I thoroughly enjoyed everything we ordered. His Seitan Scallopini was unlike anything I’ve ever tried! Ditto the Bourekas that we had as appetizers. Being vegetarian my whole life, meat impersonations are the only way I’ve experienced many “mainstream” foods. So it’s always exciting to me when I get to try “fried chicken” or “roast beef” for the first time! Unfortunately, our friend’s risotto was a bit on the bland side, but despite that, I would deifnitely visit again. All in all, we were stuffed, satisfied, and a bit drowsy from all the eating we managed to do.
We had planned to hit a jazz club, but sadly our return flight was at 6 am and I’m not built to party like I used to be.
WHAT WE ATE AT
- Sesame Vegatable “Chicken”
- Steamed Watercress Dumpling (3 pcs) x 2
- Steamed Taro Dumpling (3 pcs) x 2
- Pan Fried Dumpling (6 pcs)
WHAT WE ATE AT
Blossom on Ninth
- Bourekas with cashew cheese
- Seitan Scallopini with white wine-lemon-caper sauce and truffle mashed potatoes
- Rigatoni with porcini-chashew cream and truffle oil
- Risotto with shiitake, cremini and kind trumpet mushrooms
Wake up call was 4:00 am for us, so there was no chance to catch any more sights. I layered my Dolce & Gabbana black lace dress over my Reformation blouse and met our Uber outside. We soaked up all the twinkling lights of Manhattan on the long drive to the airport. There were no coffee shops open anywhere, so I was cranky as all hell. Dusan was a good sport and let me sleep against his shoulder while we waited for our Porter flight back home.
NYC Packing List
I hope you enjoyed seeing what I wore and where we ate in New York City! I’ve also put together a packing list + outfit guide if you’d like to replicate my travel ensemble. (Just a note: This was made back when I thought we would have a full third day.)
Be sure to save or pin these so you can easily find them later:
Until next time!
– XO Natalie