New York City, a dazzling concrete jungle where skyscrapers pierce the clouds and ambition fuels the air, offers endless possibilities for brunch. But for the plant-powered souls, finding the perfect combination of delicious vegan fare and breathtaking vistas can feel like searching for a unicorn in Times Square. Fear not, herbivores! This guide unlocks the secrets to a quintessential NYC brunch experience, minus the animal products, plus panoramic views that will leave you as smitten as a smitten kitten in a yarn factory.
- Mr. C Seaport: Soaring above the East River, this chic rooftop oasis boasts panoramic views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the glittering Manhattan skyline. Savor their Vegan Avocado Toast on sprouted wheat bread, piled high with smashed avocado, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and a zesty lime crema, all while the salty breeze whispers secrets of the harbor. Don’t miss their Blueberry Pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and dusted with powdered sugar – light, fluffy, and guaranteed to melt your cares away like butter on a hot day.
- The William Vale: Perch atop Williamsburg’s trendiest rooftop and witness the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan unfurl before you like a vibrant tapestry. Fuel your wanderlust with their Rainbow Veggie Wrap bursting with roasted sweet potato, kale, avocado, pickled onions, and tahini dressing, or indulge in their Smoked Tofu Scramble with turmeric, nutritional yeast, and cashew cream cheese. Wash it all down with a refreshing Lavender Latte, and prepare to be swept away by the city’s magic.
- Loopy Doopy Rooftop: Perched atop the LES (Lower East Side), this whimsical haven offers playful vibes and 360-degree views that stretch for miles. Start your day with their Acai Bowl, a vibrant blend of acai, granola, banana, berries, and coconut flakes, or dive into their Vegan Breakfast Burrito packed with tofu scramble, black beans, avocado, and salsa. As the sun climbs higher, sip on their Watermelon Margarita (minus the tequila, of course) and soak in the infectious energy of the city below.
- Grand Banks: Set sail for culinary adventure aboard this floating oyster bar docked in Hudson Yards. Savor the harbor views alongside their Vegan Caviar Toast piled high with cashew creme fraiche, pickled shallots, and capers, or indulge in their Crispy Tofu Benedict with hollandaise sauce made from… you guessed it, cashews! Don’t forget to try their signature Bloody Mary with a celery spear garnish that doubles as a mini sailboat – a playful nod to their nautical setting.
- Pier A Harbor House: Nestled at the tip of Battery Park, this historic landmark offers unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty and the Staten Island Ferry. Kickstart your day with their Avocado & Heirloom Tomato Toast on sourdough, or dive into their hearty Black Bean Burger on a gluten-free bun. As the sun dips below the horizon, paint the town red (or rather, beet) with their Beetroot Hummus Plate served with fresh crudités and pita bread.
- Industry City Distillery: Located in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, this industrial-chic distillery boasts sweeping views of the New York Harbor and the iconic skyline. Refuel after a morning stroll along the waterfront with their Spicy ‘Chorizo’ Hash made with tempeh and roasted potatoes, or go green with their Kale Caesar Salad tossed with cashew parmesan and a tangy tahini dressing. For a truly decadent treat, share their Warm Cinnamon Donuts drizzled with maple glaze – the perfect reward for conquering those Brooklyn Bridge stairs.
Hidden Gems with Heart:
- Peacefood Cafe: Tucked away in the East Village, this cozy haven offers a global vegan menu and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Dive into their Ethiopian Lentil Stew served with injera bread, or satisfy your wanderlust with their Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos slathered in a spicy gochujang sauce. Don’t forget to grab a slice of their legendary Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake – it’s vegan comfort food at its finest.
- Superiority Burger: This cult-favorite burger joint in Nolita boasts a hidden rooftop patio that’s pure magic. Bite into their Spicy BBQ ‘Chicken’ Sandwich made with seitan or their Shrooms Burger piled high with portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, and creamy vegan mayo. Wash it down with a frosty Chocolate Malt Shake made with oat milk, and soak in the sunshine and the secret garden vibes.
- The Modern Love Brooklyn: Tucked away in Greenpoint, this charming brunch spot is a haven for plant-based goodness. Start your day with their Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with fresh lavender, or try their savory Mushroom Toast loaded with cremini mushrooms, roasted garlic, and thyme. For a truly indulgent treat, share their Cinnamon-Caramel Sticky Buns – they’re guaranteed to steal the show (and your heart).
These stunning spots are just the tip of the vegan brunch iceberg in NYC. For late risers, Trafi: in Nolita dishes up vegan lunch and dinner fare with breathtaking rooftop views, while Clover Hill: in Brooklyn Bridge Park offers delectable vegan pizzas and pastas with side dishes of waterfront splendor.
Tips for a Magical Brunch:
Reservations: Most rooftop spots require reservations, especially on weekends. Book in advance to avoid disappointment and secure your seat with a view.
Weather Watch: Rooftop brunches are weather-dependent. Check the forecast and dress accordingly – layers are always a good idea!
Sharing is Caring: Portions at some places can be generous. Consider sharing dishes with friends to experience a wider variety of the menu.
Bring Your Camera: These views are camera-worthy, so don’t forget to capture your brunch memories with the city skyline as your backdrop.
Embrace the Journey:
From sky-high rooftops to intimate hidden gems, the possibilities for a stunning vegan brunch in NYC are endless. So, gather your plant-powered squad, lace up your walking shoes, and prepare to be wowed by the city’s culinary and visual delights. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination – savor the fresh air, the friendly chats, and the delectable dishes. And as you bite into that perfectly seasoned tofu scramble, take a moment to appreciate the incredible bounty that vegan brunch in NYC has to offer.