written by Christina Roylance
Think being a vegetarian means expensive specialty restaurants, and lots of drama when you go out to dinner with friends? Do you feel that you’ll have to be the most finicky customer of all time and waiters will hate you? This could not be further from the truth. Living in NYC is getting easier and more enjoyable every day to be a vegetarian or vegan. There’s tons of options, and you don’t need to drag everyone to your all-veg restaurants; there are simple ways to get cheap awesome vegetarian food by being knowledgeable about good places and keeping a few things in mind.
NYC is a mecca of different cultures and backgrounds. Ethnic foods abound in the city, and there’s often cheap, local places for whatever foreign flavor you want–Indian, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, whatever. Many of these cuisines are sensitive to vegetarians, and can easily be requested vegan, as long as you know what to ask for.
Middle Eastern food is a great resource for vegetarians. Falafels are cheap, vegetarian fast food sandwiches: deep fried tahini balls with hummus and veggies! It’s a great, simple, yet filling option. Aldiwan Lebanese restaurant is located on A if you want a sit-down Middle Eastern dinner. It also has a great selection of vegetarian appetizers, as well as a tasty vegetarian Mousaka entrée that’s big enough for two.
At lunchtime, there’s always Indian food all-you-can-eat buffets for cheap. Indian Taj on Bleeker has a $10 deal that’s even cheaper with a Campus Clipper Coupon. Indian food is hearty and flavorful, and you can just ask the servers which dishes do not have any meat or cheese. These buffets are usually huge, so there’s bound to be a selection of vegetarian things to eat.
Thai food is a personal favorite of mine. Entrées tend to be large so you can cut the cost by splitting dishes. There are always a great deal of vegetarian options, but just ask if there are any eggs in the dish and it’s easy enough for you to be accommodated. Boyd Thai on Thompson has great vegetarian options, and vegan treats and desserts available as well!
Mexican cuisine is great because if that’s what you’re craving, you can either get fast and cheap take-out style places or sit down to dinner. Vegetarian and vegan burritos are easy since you often custom order them. With rice, beans, veggies, and guacamole, (and cheese and sour cream if you’re not a vegan) a vegetarian burrito is filling and quick. Try grabbing one from Burritoville, and use your Campus Clipper Coupon to save $1.
Surprisingly, lots of sushi restaurants can accommodate vegetarians as well, with veggie filled sushi rolls. It is important to make sure the restaurant doesn’t use fish sauces or oils in the preparation though if you’re a strict vegetarian. Sushi Yawa on 8th street has tons of vegetable rolls (cucumber, avocado, sweet potato, spinach, and more!), and a bunch of vegetarian appetizers as well. Plus, everyone I know loves sushi, so non-veg friends will be happy to accompany you.
Italian food is everyone’s favorite–who doesn’t love pasta? It just takes a few easy questions when ordering your pasta dish to know if it’s vegetarian or vegan. Just ask if there’s meat in the sauce, request no parmesan, and ask for your food cooked with olive oil instead of butter. Most dishes are prepared that way already, but if you just check it should be easy to make any changes. Grotta Azzurra in Little Italy has an affordable $10 prix fixe for lunch, as well as a Thursday night ladies night, with free appetizers and half-off on drinks!
So just because you’re vegetarian or vegan doesn’t mean eating out has to be boring or expensive! You can still eat your favorite things; just be a little conscientious and ask the right questions. You don’t have to miss out on any great deals or fun nights out just because you have different dietary needs. So remember to use Campus Clipper coupons to get the best deals, and be sure to experiment and have fun.
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