Courtesy, Black Rican Vegan
Though meat-centric dishes may come to mind when you think of Latin American cuisine, many traditional plates from the region are inherently plant based. As well, vegans, vegetarians and those looking to limit meat intake don’t need to make sacrifices to enjoy vegan versions of favorite Latin American dishes that typically include meat. These Latino-owned and -operated vegan restaurants and delivery services in New York City serve up diverse, authentic delicacies that rely on plant-based ingredients.
Courtesy, Next Stop Vegan
Next Stop Vegan
1818 Archer St., Parkchester, Bronx, and 1636 St. Nicholas Ave., Washington Heights, Manhattan
One of the most beloved vegan Latin American spots in the City is Next Stop Vegan. Dominican sisters Blenlly Mena and Ana Baez opened their Bronx restaurant (later adding a Washington Heights location) to offer New Yorkers healthier plant-based versions of traditional Latino and Caribbean island fare. If you’re craving something hearty, order fried pastelito stuffed with plantains, vegan cheese, quinoa or cranberries. You’ll also find tostadas, milanesa and mofongo with quinoa carne on the menu. Don’t skip out on a side of delicious tostones and the homemade juice of the day.
Courtesy, Black Rican Vegan
Black Rican Vegan
Based in Morris Heights, Bronx, with weekend delivery to the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens
You can order plant-based renditions of Puerto Rican specialties thanks to female-owned Black Rican Vegan, a weekend delivery service. Be sure to place your order on Wednesday at 12:30pm for the upcoming weekend. Chef-owner and Afro-Latina Bronx native Lyana Blount focuses on comfort food from her beloved Puerto Rico, rotating dishes such as vegan corn beefless con arroz, vegan bacalao guisado, plátano relleno with mushroom meat, mushroom burgers and mouth-watering vegan flancocho.
156 5th Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn, and 12 St. Marks Pl., East Village, Manhattan
Colombian Danny Carabaño’s VSpot is a must-try vegan café with locations in Park Slope and the East Village. Carabaño opened up shop with his brother Alex to bring plant-based kosher versions of Colombian fan favorites to diners. The menu features an array of handmade arepas topped with vegan cheese, black beans, guacamole, ground seitan carne molida and salsa roja. You can also order a bandeja paisa (a plate with a variety of dishes) or nosh on finger foods like Philly mushroom empanadas. At the St. Marks location, grab prepped meals to go from VSpot’s mini-mart.
Courtesy, Savage Sicko
37-10 31st Ave., Astoria, Queens
This eclectic vegan spot is owned by a Paraguayan New Yorker whose passion for vegan food comes through on the plate. Located in Astoria, Queens, Savage Sicko is open till 10pm nightly, making it a good stop for a late dinner. Every dish shows flair: there’s guacamole dressed with mango and radish slices, the la cha cha arepa decked out with vegan cheese and delicious dipping sauce, and a variety of cold-pressed organic juices served in eco-friendly reusable glass containers. Don’t miss the drag brunch held on most Sundays.
Courtesy, Bearylicious Delights
Delivery to all five boroughs
If you’re craving a homemade sweet treat with Latin American flavors, place an order from Latina-owned vegan dessert delivery service Bearylicious Delights. Chilean American chef and baker Leslie Ossa makes a plant-based flan that is out of this world. If you prefer, you can order a four-pound vegan tres leches cake to enjoy with friends—or to devour yourself. She also offers banana bread with chocolate chips or walnuts and cheesecakes topped with Oreos, strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. You may find some of her desserts, such as the flan and tres leches cake (by the slice), at Next Stop Vegan (see above) and the Bronx’s Vegan Grill.
140 Plymouth St. #140B, Dumbo, Brooklyn
The Dumbo go-to for all your vegan Latin American food desires is Vodega. Their plant-based version of a Cuban sandwich— with savory braised yaca (jackfruit), vegan provolone cheese, vegan mayonnaise, vegan turkey and all the toppings, including mustard and pickles—is a must-try. Of course, it’s doused with vegan butter and grill pressed. Yaca is also served up as a delicious ceviche. You can even take a cooking class with Jeremy Dean, the Salvadoran–Mexican chef-owner, to learn how to veganize your favorite Latino dishes.
39 Clifton Pl., Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
This gorgeous rose-hued café isn’t just a vegan restaurant serving Latin American-inspired coffee, sandwiches and pastries; it’s also a plant and houseware shop. It doesn’t get much more Brooklyn than that. Located in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Alicia Guevara has turned her namesake spot into an homage to her Cuban heritage and passion for all things plant based. Many of the pastries are bathed in vegan dulce de leche, guava and vegan queso—you can also order a colorful concha (sweet bread). The breakfast empanadas are so good you’ll want at least three. For lunch, order the coconut ceviche tostadas or loaded-up vegan chilaquiles.
Courtesy, Cafe Moca
487 Seneca Ave., Ridgewood, Queens, and 108 Central Ave., Bushwick, Brooklyn
This beautiful coffee shop and eatery has two locations—one in Ridgewood, Queens, and another in Bushwick, Brooklyn—either of which makes a great breakfast destination. Grab a piping hot Cafe Integral roast coffee brewed to order and pair it with a vegan breakfast sandwich or the Moca wrap, filled with veg chorizo, pickled jalapeño and onion, black beans, corn and a zesty tomatillo sauce. Owned by wife-husband duo Jennypher Urena and Colby Rodriguez, Cafe Moca is named after Urena’s hometown in the Dominican Republic.