The point of this blog is to identify vegetarian options at some of the best restaurants in New York City.  I’ve been looking for high end vegetarian food over the years, and I’ve found that even highly-regarded restaurants had mediocre to terrible vegetarian options.  If you’re looking for great vegetarian food in New York, made by some of the best chefs around, this is blog is for you.  I’ll be cataloging my experiences eating at top restaurants in New York (and elsewhere), and reviewing the vegetarian options at those restaurants.  (Generally, the places I review have received Michelin stars, favorable reviews from New York Magazine, or stars from the New York Times restaurant reviews.)

This isn’t your typical restaurant review.  I’m obviously interested in things like service, ambiance, etc., but I’m primarily interested in the availability and quality of vegetarian options.  That’s why the blog is called “without bacon”.  So many times, I find myself order this or that, “without bacon” (or crab, or chicken, or whatever). If Bouley can spend lots of time and energy coming up with dozens of soups, salads, appetizers and entrees, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that they come up with a couple of vegetarian options as well.  And the focus is on options.  I understand that Le Bernadin is great for seafood, but I’m not going to pay $70 for a prix fixe lunch where my only choice for an entree is pasta with mushrooms.

I’m also mainly interested in reviewing nice restaurants.  Some reviews will be of the leading restaurants in New York, like Eleven Madison Park or Jean-Georges.  Others will be a bit more casual, but still very nice, places. Yeah, Maoz Vegetarian is great for a quick bite, but that’s not my target with this website.

I’m also not generally interested in reviewing restaurants that are exclusively vegetarian (though I will make exceptions for particularly interesting/noteworthy restaurants).  I often find myself going out in connection with work, and it’s hard to convince a group to go to Zen Palate.  More to the point, just as I think a place shouldn’t have zero vegetarian options, I also don’t think a place should have zero non-vegetarian options.  To each his own.

So I hope you’ll follow this blog, as I go around the city (and occasionally elsewhere) and try out herbivore-friendly food.  Feel free to contact me, make suggestions, or leave tips about places and dishes to try.  And maybe we can make the pinnacle of the dining pyramid just a bit more hospitable to the vegetarians in the world.

11 Responses to About

  1. Hey, I tried to email you back from the comments over at Herbivoracious but the email bounced. Here’s what I said there: Very cool. I like what you are doing, as I often have the issue that when I travel I want to know (a) what are the great local restaurants (which I can usually figure out without enough research) and (b) which ones of them have serious vegetarian options (which can be much harder to discern). I especially like the pictures, as that makes it pretty easy for me to decide for myself if a place should be on my radar. Nice work!

    • withoutbacon says:

      Thanks Michael. I agree — figuring out which places have “serious vegetarian options” — as opposed to some bland pasta with vegetables — is difficult. Hope you like the blog, and feel free to recommend other places to check out!

  2. Travel Bug says:

    Just found your blog via your FlyerTalk signature. I’m super excited about following you. I’m a New York vegetarian, and it’ll be great seeing someone else’s picks. I really like your mix of fancy and basic restaurants. I’m glad your reviewed the Manhattan Chili Company – I’ll remember to check it out next time I’m hungry at Grand Central.

    • withoutbacon says:

      Thanks! Manhattan Chili Company was actually a bit of a surprise; I had assumed for a long time they had no vegetarian options but was pleasantly surprised.

      As I start to travel more (largely because of FlyerTalk), you’ll see a bunch more reviews from outside of NYC too (and from airlines, like AA and UA). Enjoy!

      • Travel Bug says:

        I just read your airline food reviews. Really useful. I’m trading flight quantity for quality (ie, I only redeem in coach), and your reviews were just another confirmation of my choice. I just love the concept, I have so much trouble finding vegetarian fine dining choices. I’ll happily splurge on a fancy meal that’s good. But I have spending $100 for basic pasta. I’m working my way through your archives and noting places I want to try.

      • withoutbacon says:

        Yeah, I have to say, I haven’t been truly impressed with any airline’s vegetarian options (AF business CDG-BLR was good (Indian food), and BA business JFK-LHR was good, but nothing that truly makes business class worth it).

        What are you favorite restaurants in NYC?

      • Travel Bug says:

        It used to be Zen Palate, but they changed owners, and the food has just not been the same. I still eat their food though. For nicer restaurants, I love the Michelin starred Indian places (Tulsi, Tamarind, and Junoon.)

      • withoutbacon says:

        I haven’t been to Tamarind. Junoon was good food-wise, but I had bad service the lats time I was there (bringing us stuff we didn’t order and then charging for it!). I went to Tulsi a week or two ago but I was disappointed (review coming soon).

  3. Hi!
    I just came across your blog from another blog (Brooklyn Vegetarian) and realized how many vegetarian dishes I have missed while still living in NYC. My blog is about vegetarian friendly restaurants in NYC (mostly Manhattan) and now London (where I now live) and includes reviews of mostly vegetarian (and some vegan) dishes at restaurants. Am so glad I came across your blog! Love your photos too!

    Not Just Vegetarian

    • withoutbacon says:

      Thanks! I went to Hibiscus in London and had a great lunch. Unfortunately I lost my iPhone which had all the pictures. But they had a pretty good lunch deal — 3 courses and wine for something like £35, if I remember right. Have you been there?

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