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Herbivore's Dilemma: How to be a Vegetarian in a Meat-Eater's World

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Vegetarian options at five meat-centric restaurants in Manhattan.

We've all been there: after hours of walking around Manhattan, you and your family or friends suddenly become hangry. While deciding what restaurant to go to, everyone turns and looks at you: the vegetarian. "I guess we're all going to have to eat leaves for dinner because Rebecca doesn't eat meat." Fear not! I have scouted out some of the most meat-centric restaurants in Manhattan and tried their vegetarian cuisine. Even at a steakhouse, I found delicious vegetarian options.

Photo by Caroline Leta

Caroll Place has a wide array of options for everyone in your gang, including the vegetarian of the bunch. From burgers, pork sliders, meat boards, steak, bruschetta, eggplant ravioli, and wood oven pizza, there is something delicious for everyone. They even have gluten free options and a vegan menu that has pizza with vegan cheese!

The menu ensures that every person will be able to leave satisfied. Not to mention, their dessert menu is unreal. I mean, look at this tiramisu:

Photo by Caroline Leta

Caroll Place is a perfect spot to come with all of your carnivore, gluten-free, and vegan friends. There is literally something for everyone.

You may be thinking, "what am I possibly going to eat at a steakhouse?" Tuscany Steakhouse truly has some great vegetarian options. When I mentioned to the waiter that I don't eat meat, he offered to have the kitchen make eggplant parmesan for me, something that is not even on the menu. Their salads are delicious, filling, and sure to satisfy your meat-free cravings.

For all of you pescetarians, there are plenty of options including shrimp scampi, tuna tartare, and grilled salmon. Tuscany Steakhouse also has great vegetarian side dishes. The food is so flavorful and delicious, you will not even miss the taste of meat. The mac and cheese looks almost too good to eat... but I still ate it anyway.

Photo by Caroline Leta

This restaurant is a meat lover's dream come true. Waiters toting around skewered meats stop at each table and present the patrons with a different type of meat. While you may be thinking, "Uncle Steve would love this, but what am I supposed to eat?" Churrascaria Plataforma has an extensive salad bar with vegetarian options ranging from Caprese salad to fried cauliflower. The best part: they bring out a basket of cheese bread when you sit down. They even have a cheese wheel overflowing with parmesan:

Photo by Caroline Leta

Churrascaria Plataforma has more than enough options at the salad bar to make sure you leave feeling satisfied. Additionally, if you happen to be a pescetarian, they have fish cooked to order, and sushi at the salad bar.

Overall, Churrascaria Plataforma has some great options, sure to satisfy your entire party.

Photo by Caroline Leta

How many vegetarian options can a restaurant with the word "meatball" literally in the name have? A LOT! The Meatball Shop has been actively updating their menu to include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. From salads to veggie-ball subs, there are tons of great options. Take a look at these dishes: risotto balls, quinoa salad, and butternut squash:

Photo by Caroline Leta

The Meatball Shop gives vegetarians the chance to relive childhood memories with classic foods like spaghetti and meatballs and a meatball sub, except with amazing veggie balls. The veggie ball melt comes with cheese, veggie balls, roasted vegetables, and pesto—which is arguably better than any meat option.

The Meatball Shop has also been working on becoming more sustainable. In an effort to reduce plastic use, they now use compostable take out containers. You can dine at The Meatball Shop knowing that they are an environmentally conscious establishment with plenty of options to choose from.

Photo by Caroline Leta

Amity Hall is a sports bar and restaurant located right by Washington Square Park. They have great, vegetarian, classic American food like cheese curds and nachos.

Amity Hall is a great place to come watch the game with your friends. In addition to classic sports bar food, they also have some healthy options like the harvest bowl:

Photo by Caroline Leta

Amity Hall also features the famous dish that has become the average vegetarian's dream come true...The Impossible Burger.

Even ten years ago, finding vegetarian options anywhere was a challenge. Recently, there has been an increase in awareness about the detrimental effects of meat production on the planet and the horrible treatment of animals. Restaurants have been making their menus not only more vegetarian and vegan-friendly, but also more sustainable. It is now rare to go to a restaurant and not be able to find any plant-based options. Even at steakhouses, there are great vegetarian options. It is really incredible to be able to walk into almost any restaurant in Manhattan and feel confident that there will be vegetarian options. Herbivore's rejoice!

Originally Published on Spoon University


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