Although the Big Apple boasts more fast food, food carts and overall fat-friendly restaurants than I care to count, did you know that New York City is also chock full of delicious places to dine out if you are a health-conscious eater? Manhattan has a lot of amazing restaurant choices these days and your options go way beyond typical vegan and vegetarian staples like tofu and sprouts. If you look hard enough, you will find a bounty of locales that offer gourmet raw food, vegan delicacies and overall healthy options on their menus. From dinner to dessert and, oh yes, all the way to a nightcap, we got you covered with three outstanding organic destinations.
Quartino Bottega Organica: Located in the neighborhood of NoHo (North of Houston Street), Quartino’s chefs take great pride in offering healthy cuisine that’s also exciting and delicious. Some of my favorite dishes to order when I visit are whole wheat pizza covered in fresh mozzarella and organic tomatoes, fettuccine del quartino (fresh homemade fettuccine with avocado & tomatoes) and the potato gnocchi with pesto sauce. Wash all of this goodness down with a bottle of organic wine. During the warmer New York months, opt to sit in their backyard dining area. 11 Bleecker Street. Stay nearby at The Bowery Hotel.
Stogo: When I dine out, dessert is never an option – it’s mandatory. If you have a sweet tooth but still like to watch what you eat, then this healthy ice cream shop is your place to let loose and indulge. With over 20 soy-based “scoopable” flavors to choose from, Stogo is the place to go for good vegan ice cream. On my many visits to this East Village shop (and I am not a vegan), I’ve partaken in such exotic offerings as honey lavender and cardamom pistachio. There are plenty of toppings to choose from as well, so be prepared to pour on some extra goodies like cookie pieces and fresh fruit. Cookies and brownies are also available for purchase. 159 Second Avenue. Stay nearby at the Cooper Square Hotel.
Counter: With a belly full of healthy goods, it is time to finish things off with a few cocktails. While this East Village eatery offers a great menu of Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian dishes, it’s also well known as a place to down a few cold ones. Counter has an impressive collection of over 300 organic and biodynamic wines, many organic beers and even some tasty organic martinis. Never has being so healthy been so much fun. 105 First Avenue. Stay nearby at GEM Hotel SoHo.
- Andrew Hickey of The Brooklyn Nomad