A merry vegan Christmas in New York: Celebrate the holidays

Christmas in the Big Apple, where joyous people fill the streets, bright twinkling lights adorn every corner, and snow blankets the city's tall trees; it's like a page torn from a storybook. 

While New York City may be famous for its iconic skyline and bustling streets, during the festive season it transforms into a winter wonderland. This city comes alive with the holiday spirit, and its vegan food scene is nothing short of magical. From uptown Manhattan all the way to downtown, we are spilling the cocoa beans on a vegan's dream come true.

Upper West Side to Times Square 

You didn't think we would come all this way and not try to find some vegan eggnog, did you? We made it our mission to find it, and low and behold, we did at Blossom on Columbus! We got the wild mushroom pizza and the grilled cheese and soup to keep us warm (although we think the three drinks each did the trick). 

After your meal, stroll over to Central Park. Some places to visit include Tavern on the Green, Bow Bridge, Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, and ice skating at the famous Wollman Rink

Then, mosey down to Rockefeller Center and make sure to check out Saks 5th Ave. light show! It starts at around 5 pm and does the full light show every 10-15 minutes. 

Keep making your way down the city until you reach Times Square because you don't go to New York without a visit to Times Square. Moxy Times Square has a secret pink-tinted wonderland on its backyard terrace. It's as if Barbie redecorated the North Pole!

Midtown Manhattan 

For a quick and delicious lunch, head over to Beyond Sushi. Their innovative vegan sushi rolls are a hit among younger generations, and their dumplings are flavourful pockets of joy. Don't forget to try their fried chick'n bao buns, which are out of this world good. Go during weekdays from 11:30 - 3 pm to catch their lunch specials. 

And after your lunch, head over to Bryant Park, just a stone's throw away. It turns into a whimsical market with ice skating, shopping, and holiday treats galore. Go and grab some "Bean-to-bar & transparently sourced" vegan chocolate from Raaka Chocolate, and be ready to indulge in some laughter as you watch people not so gracefully fall on the ice rink. 

NoMad NY

A one-minute walk from the iconic Christmas igloos at 230 Fifth Rooftop with a dazzling view of the Empire State Building, you can find the best Bang Bang Broccoli you've ever tasted! Planta Queen offers an elegant dinner experience in a beautiful, lounge-esque setting. We had the Unagi Eggplant Nigiri and the Torched & Pressed (avocado with miso truffle glaze), and we couldn't have been happier. 

Eataly is right next door, and upstairs, you can find their rooftop restaurant, SERRA by Birreria, both offering a much-appreciated festive atmosphere.

 Lit-up Christmas igloos at 230 Fifth Rooftop in New York City at night time with a lit-up New York cityscape in the background

Jessie Childs

Union Square 

Dive into Peacefood’s menu with a cup of mint hot chocolate and a freshly made cookie - it's a match made in holiday heaven. This cosy spot is perfect for unwinding and refuelling before setting off again on a holiday adventure. 

Right outside of Peacefood, you'll find the Union Square Holiday Market, with over 160 vendors, which is considered one of the best holiday markets in the United States!

Just another short walk away, you will find Rolfs where you can immerse yourself in a Christmas fairy tale as you sip on festive cocktails. It’s as if the Grinch's bag of stolen decorations exploded here, but in the best possible way! Be sure to make a reservation in advance. 

(If you are looking for more Christmas-themed bars and restaurants, you may also want to check out Lillie’s Victorian Establishment and Oscar Wilde).

Rolfs in New York City at Christmas

Jessie Childs

West Village 

In the heart of the West Village, you have one of our favourite restaurants in New York City: Spicy Moon. Their vegan wontons in chilli oil are legendary, and their classic dan dan noodles and kung pao style vegetables will surely make your taste buds sing some carols. 

The artsy IFC Center right next door hosts one of our favourite holiday traditions every year - a big screen showing of It's a Wonderful Life; because you can't help but wonder if George Bailey actually does end up having a wonderful life. We may or may not be crying just thinking about it.

East Village 

Craving Mexican? Jajaja Mexicana in the East Village is your go-to spot for vegan tacos, nachos, and spectacular margaritas. Don't let the name fool you, their food is anything but laughable. Not only is this place amazing, but it is also located right next to two places that are not to be missed. 

First up is Orchard Grocer, an all-vegan deli serving up delicious sandwiches along with loads of vegan treats to take with you back to your hotel. The next place is Riverdel - The Original Vegan Cheese Monger, which, as you probably guessed, has vegan cheeses! Another treat to take back with you. 

Brooklyn, NY 

Spend a day in Brooklyn, take our word for it. It has so much to offer this holiday season, such as the Brooklyn Flea Winter Market and The Brooklyn Borough Hall Holiday Market, brimming with unique, handmade gifts. Terms of Endearment is smack dab in the middle of the fun. Here, you can find an ample variety of breakfast sandwiches and pastries. 

And if you have spent any time living in New York, you know that a real New Yorker loves their B.E.C (bacon, egg and cheese), and Terms of Endearment lets you live out that fantasy, vegan style. Other noteworthy Brooklyn vegan delights close by would be Modern Love, Seitans Helper, and Screamers Pizzeria

If you're looking for more vegan-friendly places to travel to this winter, check out why Prague is the place to be, or if you’re having friends and family over, enjoy some Christmas dinner ideas everyone can enjoy.

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