by Kylina Matteoli
What would New York City be without its tall skyscrapers surrounding you, making you feel like a small child discovering a new world? This week’s post takes us to New York City where every traveler knows the buildings themselves are a must-see. So, while you make your way around the city to see these architectural wonders, I’ll show you the best vegan restaurants nearby so you can experience the best view and the best food in the city.
When I think of New York, the first thing that pops into mind is that infamous skyline. And the best view of that is from The Top of the Rock located in Rockefeller Center. Most people flock over to the Empire State Building for this bird view of the city, but I prefer going to the Rockefeller Center because then you get a great view of the Empire as well as a couple other wonderful buildings like the 1920’s Art Deco Chrysler Building and a beautiful view of Central Park. It is a bit pricey, costing $37 for a ride to the top. But you’ll easily find that you can spend hours here enjoying the view. There’s so much to see, with four observation decks on three levels, that I find this spot to be perfect for a little picnic.
An all-vegan sushi restaurant called Beyond Sushi is only a few blocks away from Top of the Rock. Tucked away on the corner of 6th Ave and 56th St, Beyond Sushi offers veggie rolls, soups, hand rolls, and salads that make you forget about fish and long for veggies. I ordered the Spicy Mang, which is a black rice roll filled with avocado, mango, cucumber, topped with spicy vegetables and a toasted cayenne sauce. This roll really should be named the Vegan Spicy Salmon since that’s what it reminds me of most. And if that doesn’t sound amazing enough, you’ll love that it’s only $6.95 per roll. I also ordered the Nutty Buddy rice paper wrap, which was filled with baby greens, soba noodles, jalapeno peanut butter, carrots, cashews, avocado, baked tofu, cilantro, and topped with a ponzu sauce. This is another $6 deal that is tasty. With these affordable prices, I came back twice! I recommend take-out/pick-up and eating it elsewhere because the restaurant is very, very small. So, after you pick up your order, walk over to the Rockefeller Center, take a quick elevator ride, and enjoy your meal on top of the world.
Nearby Sights in Midtown:
- 5th Avenue – Lots of department stores and high-end stores for shopping/window-shopping (Metro Stop: 5 Ave/53rd St, Metro Lines: E and M)
- Times Square (7th Ave & 47th St) – Great place to wander around and see the tall jumbotrons as well as live entertainers (Metro Stop: 47-50 St, Metro Lines: B, D, F, and M)
- Modern Museum of Art, Moma – Modern art gallery featuring artists like Picasso (Metro Stop: 5 Ave/ 53 St, Metro Lines: E and M)
- Rockefeller Center – Where shops and Top of the Rock are located (Metro Stop: 47-50th St. Metro Lines: B, D, F, and M)
- Beyond Sushi – Best vegan sushi you’ll find in the city (Metro Stop: 57th, Metro Line: F)
Another one of my favorite buildings in New York City is the iconic Flatiron building located in Chelsea. It truly is a beautiful masterpiece. And there are plenty of cafés nearby where you can enjoy a view of the building, but right around the corner is a chic yet quaint vegan restaurant called By Chloe. This restaurant is beloved by locals and has earned a spot in the heart of both vegan and non-vegan New Yorkers.
It’s delicious food ranges from salads, sandwiches, burgers, smoothies, fresh pressed juices, cookies, cupcakes, and push-pops. I ordered the Kale Caesar Salad with a side of Mac N Cheese and a chocolate push-pop for dessert. What I enjoyed most about my meal were the shiitake “bacon” bits scattered on top of the salad and mac n cheese. They were crunchy and smoky little bits which made them a tasty dupe for bacon. The salad was light and generously large, making it worth the $10.95 price tag. And the mac n cheese was deliciously creamy and perfectly seasoned, giving it a rich, smooth texture with the subtle saltiness flavor found in real cheese. But, my favorite thing here was the push-pop. I hadn’t had one since I was a young child. So, I couldn’t resist. My push-pop was similar to chocolate mousse in both taste and texture, but what made it special was the tiny brownie bite and chocolate frosting on top. Since it’s a push-pop and it fits perfectly in your hand, it was perfect to walk around with on a hot, sunny day.
- Chelsea Market – Unique market with a ton of stalls as well as restaurants (Metro Stop: 14th Ave/ 8th St, Metro Lines: A, C, and E)
- Flatiron Building – Iconic Building that is a three-sided building at an intersection (Metro Stop: 23rd St, Metro Lines: A, C, and E)
- By Chloe – Great vegan restaurant that is conveniently close to Flatiron (Metro Stop: 23rd St, Metro Lines: 1, 2, 5, N, Q, R, and W)
And if you still can’t get enough of the beautiful buildings and that amazing skyline, then the last thing I’ll recommend for this post is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. As you walk across the bridge you get to see the Statue of Liberty on your left, the World Trade Center directly in front of you, and the Empire State Building on your right side. It’s an amazing short walk that makes you appreciate the city’s buildings even more so. Just take the Metro (lines A or C) to the High St/ Brooklyn Bridge metro stop.
Stay tuned to read part two Vegan Eats New York City where I’ll show you how to eat your greens and find the best greenery in the city.