If you believe that all sentient beings should live and love in harmony with each other, the Chelsea outpost of Loving Hut – one of more than 120 locations worldwide – is the place to be, offering conscious eaters a guilt-free vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner. From tofu and avocado salads to sautéed udon and mushroom quesadillas, the restaurant – under the tutelage of Supreme Master Ching Hai – seeks to fulfill its mission of a healthier, more compassionate planet through dietary changes and tasty meat alternatives. Slimmed-down eaters that have gone completely veg will have no problem fitting into the surprisingly narrow dining area, which has a simple line of small white tables and stools along one wall, inscribed with inspirational vegan messages for hungry eaters.
The Organic Grill, located in the East Village, proves that believing in social and environmental consciousness can also be good for your taste buds. The restaurant has a steady stream of customers, who come for fully organic dishes prepared with clean, sustainably raised ingredients. The menu covers the entire day, with super seed waffles and tofu rancheros for breakfast, green veggie sandwiches and salmon burgers for lunch and paradise casserole and vegan pierogies for dinner. Tea lovers also revel in the almost 50 organic varieties available, which can be ordered with whole, almond, soy or rice milk. The lime-green frontage, mustard walls and turquoise counter space add a sense of fun, as does the friendly staff.
Striking contemporary design and a cornucopia of organic ingredients have earned Nanoosh's hummus bars and counters media recognition from publications including the NY Daily News and the New York Sun. Each location manifests the company's nationwide emphasis on nutritionally balanced food with carefully designed menus chock full of luxuriously nutritious items such as quinoa salad, hummus chicken wraps, and lavender tea. Since Nanoosh offers both table and counter service, patrons can stop by to enjoy a sit-down meal served by a waiter or quick bite to eat delivered by an easily persuaded friend.
Like the chimera of legend, The Juicy Naam stitches together an unlikely anatomy, though in this case it comprises multiple business models rather than the limbs of deadly creatures. The owners put part of their focus into a juice bar and catering business, feeding clients both on site and off smoothies and superfoods designed to elicit long-lasting feelings of health. They supplement this with liquid cleanses, in which health coaches guide participants through up to seven days of consuming nothing but fresh-squeezed, organic juices. The final aspect of their business focuses on the use of the body rather than its intake, by providing bodywork, yoga, and meditatively-focused services.
Longtime friends Craig Cochran and Michael Pease have a lot in common. Not only do their mothers both have the same name, Terri, but they both believe that healthy food should be just as accessible as fast food. So in honor of the mothers who taught them the importance of nourishing their bodies, they opened Terri, a quick-service eatery that serves up nothing but vegetarian meals, all certified kosher and centered on nutrient-rich "superfoods." Their vegetarian menu may read as meaty—it includes items such as meatball subs and chicken caesar wraps—but herbivores can rest assured. All their dishes are meat-free, and as a result possess very low levels of saturated fat. In the place of animal products, they cook smoked tofu, soy bacon, and other vegetable-based proteins to lend a meaty texture to quesadillas, salads, and sandwiches. Guests can pair their healthy meals—some of which are also gluten- and soy-free—with fresh smoothies and juices, and conclude them with decadent chocolate cupcakes or apple cider doughnuts. For those looking for a fresh start, Terri also offers several flavors of its signature juice cleanse, which is made using cold-pressed fruit and veggies.
Hummus Place has built its menu around its titular dish—so it’s no surprise that the staffers have hunted far and wide for the smallest, most circular chickpeas, which they claim make the best hummus blend. The New York Times agrees, calling the dish "eerily smooth" with sesame and garlic "in a state of equilibrium." Water, tahini, olive oil, and lemon round out the recipe—served with fresh pitas from the bakery.
"When we first opened, we had only hummus on the menu," Hummus Place owner Ori Apple told CBS's Tony Tantillo’s Dining Deal. "Three different kinds of topping: tahini, chickpeas, and fava beans." Today, the kosher menu showcases five blends alongside dishes such as veggie-loaded couscous, falafel, and shakshuka—a stew with tomatoes, peppers, onion, and eggplant, finished off with two over-easy eggs. Dessert selections bring out dulcet notes of dry kadaif buried beneath vanilla-infused ricotta and the faint notes of "Happy Birthday" hummed by a date tahini cake dished up with apple confit.