The tastiest vegan restaurants in NYC

Even meat-eaters will be in awe of the variety and taste

For those who have made the choice to eliminate all animal products from their diet, even milk and eggs, finding a vegan restaurant can be a challenge. Sure, plenty of "regular" restaurants offer a vegan dish or two, but the limited selection isn't all that exciting, especially when dining out is supposed to be a special experience.

But leave it to NYC to have a variety of all-vegan restaurants that are animal-free and full of wholesome and wonderful veggie-based menu items. Even meat-eaters will be in awe of the variety and taste. Here are five that have fans flocking.

Blossom

Via yelp.com

Something delicious is blooming at both of Blossom's NYC restaurants – one in Chelsea and the other on the Upper West Side. Only fresh, organic ingredients from local farms are used to create healthy and flavorful dishes that vegans and non-vegans alike have been enjoying since 2005. Diners can't get enough of Blossom's tasty dishes like their Buffalo risotto croquettes, cashew cream ravioli, tofu BLT, and Moroccan tagine. A side of truffle mashed potatoes or garlic kale with butternut squash topped with slivered almonds rounds out the plate. Vegan "cheesecake," apple cobbler, or tiramisu with coconut mascarpone ends the meal with a sweet touch. If you're in the mood for pizza, be sure you hit up the UWS location for a wild mushroom, pesto, potato rosemary, or Margherita pie.

187 Ninth Ave. New York, NY

507 Columbus Ave. New York, NY

Candle 79

Via yelp.com

What started as a health food store and juice bar has grown into one of Manhattan's Upper East Side's favorite vegan dining establishment, Candle 79. Plant-based, wholesome ingredients go into every dish, delighting diners with great taste that matches their Earth-friendly vegan lifestyle. Starters like pomegranate-BBQ seitan skewers, breadcrumb-crusted cauliflower, and hydrogen farm edamame set the stage for entrees including Candle 79's black bean pumpkinseed burger, spaghetti and "wheatballs," and pan-seared porcini seitan. Save room for their mouth-watering Mexican chocolate brownie, a vanilla-cinnamon crepe, or the chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich made with coconut ice cream. They even have a gluten-free menu available too!

154 E. 79th St. New York, NY

Avant Garden

Via avantgardennyc.com

Upscale and utterly delicious, Avant Garden makes the most of vegan fare and allows diners to experience vegan cuisine as they've never tried it before. Their unique preparations and dedication to freshness makes each plate beautiful and bountiful. House made rigatoni with vodka sauce, confit garlic, olives, tofu, and ricotta is divine, and scorched cauliflower with toasted garlic, fried capers, and cauliflower puree is simple and sophisticated at the same time. The exposed brick walls of the restaurant and clean layout match the vegan sensibilities of the talented chef. One trip to Avant Garden and you'll see why this garden's popularity is growing.

130 E. 7th St. New York, NY

Seasoned Vegan

Via yelp.com

Described as "vegan soul food," Seasoned Vegan is a counter-serve destination that is hitting the spot for vegans who love eating organic, flavorful, and culturally-diverse cuisine. Owned and run by a mother-son duo, the restaurant is friendly and fresh, with dishes that are satisfying and well-seasoned. Some of Seasoned Vegan's signature dishes include lemon-crusted soy "chicken" nuggets, their pizza quesadilla, homemade hummus, BBQ soy "riblets," and raw zucchini mac covered in cashew "cheese." Ice-cold smoothies are a hit with fruity flavors like berry lemonade and pineapple blitz (pineapple, apple, and banana). Cupcakes and ice cream for dessert make customers smile. And for the late-night crowd, Seasoned Vegan is open 'till 2AM!

55 St. Nicholas Ave. Harlem, NY

Sun in Bloom

Via yelp.com

Vegans in Brooklyn and Manhattan can get their fix of fine vegan foods served up at Sun in Bloom. Plant-based, high-quality meals are prepared with care and love, bringing health and heartiness to diners who maintain a vegan or gluten-free diet. With menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, vegans can fill their bellies any time of day, with the goodness and great service that Sun in Bloom brings. The brunch tart (butternut squash, tofu, shitake, onions, garlic, and sage) is a hit with the weekend crowd, as is the "Orgasmic Granola Delight" (homemade live granola and coconut kefir with fresh bananas and berries). Add goji berries or chocolate chips for an even tastier temptation. Apps like chickpea miso soup, avocado toast, and kale chips with sesame ginger please the palate, and entrees including Sun in Bloom's shiitake lentil burger with cashew cilantro lime crème, and lightly roasted vegetable lasagna with ricotta cashew basil pesto cheese and marinara sauce is filling and fabulous. Stop in to Sun in Bloom and you will see why it's hot with the vegan crowd!

460 Bergen St. Brooklyn, NY

165 Church St. New York, NY

Vegan eating has never been more accessible. NYC is the place to be for veggie-focused fare.

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Travel Tips

Three Things to Consider When Planning Your Vacation

There are plenty of things to consider when planning your vacation. Make sure you have all your bases covered by the time you buy your plane ticket!

Going on vacation is wonderful after months of stress and work. There's just one last hurdle before hopping on that plane: planning.

There can be an overwhelming number of things to consider when planning your vacation (COVID-19 not least), but putting them in an itemized list helps. Here's a quick cheat-sheet for you to get a jump-start on that.

Vacation VacationUniversity of Kentucky

Remember Your Budget

If you make a budget, which you definitely should, stick to it. Don't spend more than what you can afford when you start vacationing. Vacations are meant to be relaxing, so saddling yourself with debt will only dampen the fun of your trip. How much are you spending on living accommodations, food, activities, travel? How much are you setting aside in emergency funds in case something happens?

Plan for the Length of the Trip

Are you going out of town for a few months, or do you only have a week off? How much time you have can affect where you can go and how much you can enjoy it. If you only have a week and a half for a trip, then it's best not to go somewhere that's a 16-hour flight away. Half the trip is going to be spent on planes, and the other half will be spent being jet-lagged.

Trip length can also affect how you have to deal with your home while you're away. If you're away for long periods of time, do you need to hire people to cut your grass? Do you need to hire house sitters or babysitters? There are even things to know if you need to board your dog. Keep all these in mind for extended vacations.

Consider the Weather

You never want to ruin your vacation by heading somewhere beautiful in its offseason. Depending on the time of year, most activities could be canceled due to weather restrictions. Some places are ideal for winter trips, and other destinations are made to be enjoyed during the summer heat. Plan accordingly, and don't show up in a swimsuit when it's 50 degrees outside.

That rounds up the basics, but there are plenty more things to consider when planning your vacation. Give yourself wiggle room if any unique considerations pop up in your planning process.

There has never been a better time to learn a language than right now. While we can't really travel, we can still get ready to explore the world and other cultures through film, music, and food. But the key to all of this is language. It can be hard getting started on your own and so we found the perfect solution: Rosetta Stone.

We've been loving hunkering down and digging into Rosetta Stone, a language learning app with many different languages, the best lessons, and an affordable subscription. It's flexible and made to work for you, no matter what level you're starting at. Jump back into French without dusting off your highschool books or pick up Mandarin with a clean slate.

Thinking about Rosetta Stone for your language lessons? Here are the answers to your most pressing questions:

What languages do they offer?

With Rosetta Stone, you can choose from 25 different languages including Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese. When you get the Unlimited Languages subscription you gain access to all 25 and can switch between languages. While you may be intensely learning German, you can take a break and pick up some conversational Korean — all in one app.

What are the features?

What makes Rosetta Stone's lessons really work are the incredible learning features.

Phrasebook will teach you short, useful expressions that are sure to come in handy during your travels, letting you see the practical application of what you're learning. Seek & Speak brings the fun back into learning by having you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and taking photos of them to get the translated name. Even in an app, Rosetta Stone turns any environment into a classroom.

TruAccent is a speech engine within the program that provides instant feedback on your pronunciation so you know if you're on the right track. You'll grow more confident about speaking aloud and it's like having an accent coach in the room with you.

How long does it take every day?

Rosetta Stone's lessons are bite-sized, so all you need is 5 -10 minutes a day to sneak in some practice and work towards your language goals. Of course, you can do more if you want but there's no regimented schedule or pressure to speed ahead.

How does it compare to in-person classes?

With the Rosetta Stone app, your learning is within your control and designed to move at your pace. The app will tailor to your particular interests, strengths, and weaknesses! Plus, with the recent explosion of online classes, most people have fallen away from in-person instruction anyway.

Rosetta Stone brings you expert teaching, fun engaging lessons, and a multitude of language options all on-the-go. Take your classes whenever and wherever works best for you, conveniently on the app.

Is it suitable for all levels?

Absolutely. When you first start, the app allows you to choose a study plan based on your experience level. So, if you're a beginner you can start from scratch and those with some proficiency can advance to where they're comfortable.

How much does it cost?

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month and grants access to all 25 languages, cheaper than Netflix. You get an education at a great value and the best part is no ads while you learn!

We look forward to our Rosetta Stone lessons and highly recommend it to anyone eager to learn a new language or even brush up on an old one. This program makes learning fun, practical, convenient, and most importantly affordable.

Say bonjour, to the go-to language learning app and have the world right at your fingertips!

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!

Like so many out there I haven't been traveling. With everything going on these days I've been staying home, which I love, but it does have me itching to travel. The international section of Netflix just isn't satisfying my travel bug like it used to (trust me, if it's been recommended I've watched it).

I was looking for another way I could travel without leaving home so I did the rounds of take-out food: Chinese, German, Italian, and Mexican. This was fun and tasty but a pricey way to explore the world.

A friend of mine suggested taking a prepping approach to travel and try Rosetta Stone: a language learning program that offers an annual plan with access to 24+ languages.

I've always wanted to learn a new language but have had trouble committing. I was a bit wary about starting Rosetta Stone but ultimately decided to give it a shot.

The Unlimited Languages plan works out to be $7.99 a month for 12 months (what a deal). While I was determined to learn Spanish in anticipation of my dream trip to Spain, this plan allows me to switch to any of the other 24+ languages.

I was excited to get started and use the app. I figured with all of the extra time I had until I could actually go on my trip, I'd aspire to be near fluent by the time it happened.

Jumping right in, I took a ton of lessons through their app and really binged the language. I loved the focus on conversational language, phrases, and vocabulary but after about a week I had burned myself out a bit.

I ended up pulling back and doing 10-minute lessons a day. This was manageable and easy to incorporate into my schedule whether it was by doing a lesson over my morning coffee or winding down right before bed. Learning in bite-sized amounts helped me digest the information and really process what I was being taught.

After a couple of weeks, I was getting really comfortable with Rosetta Stone and was actually enjoying the learning process… even though I wasn't a big fan of language when I was in school. What really set this experience apart for me was the Phrasebook and Seek & SpeakⓇ features.

Phrasebook teaches short, useful expressions that I know will come in handy on my trip. Seek & SpeakⓇ definitely brought the fun back into learning for me, as it has you do a scavenger hunt for everyday household items and take photos of them. Once you do this it gives you a translation of each item (I've never enjoyed looking for cucumbers in my fridge before).

Watching so many telenovelas I knew how important the accent is (in any language) but difficult without an in-person instructor. Rosetta Stone realizes that too and uses TruAccentⓇ. The speech engine within the program gave me instant feedback so I knew that my pronunciation was on the right track and it made me more comfortable speaking aloud.

Rosetta Stone turned out to be a great choice for me. Now I'm daydreaming about traveling and feel like when the time comes I'll be ready to. I'm so confident in my learning that I've branched out and have done some lessons in Italian and French! I'm thinking, after Spain… maybe Rome and Paris? My destinations list is endless now!

Honestly, with Rosetta Stone, I feel more inspired than ever to travel and all this inspiration is happening right in my home. I can't wait to take what I've learned on the road but until then the preparation is still incredibly fun and useful.

Update: The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers: Up to 45% off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Language Access!