My Favorite Organic Restaurants in NYC

Written by Max Goldberg on February 4, 2011. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

(THIS LIST IS CONSTANTLY BEING REVISED AND WAS LAST UPDATED ON 12/20/13.)

While there are other very good organic restaurants in NYC, these are just my personal favorites.

PURE FOOD AND WINE

Why I like it?

- Pure Food and Wine is the top raw food restaurant in NYC and serves really inventive cuisine. The food is unquestionably fantastic, especially the desserts.

- The menu changes often, which keeps things interesting.

- On a beautiful summer night, the gorgeous garden in the back has to be one of the best in the city.

- Upscale environment and very polished/professional wait staff.

SACRED CHOW

Why I like it?

- Sacred Chow consistently delivers excellent vegan food in the heart of Greenwich Village. I had the quinoa with walnuts the other day and it was mind-blowing.

- I truly believe that chef/owner Cliff Preefer is one of NYC’s most unrecognized culinary stars. If there is someone in this country who can make tofu better than Cliff, I have yet to meet this individual.

- Low-key environment yet sophisticated dishes. Unique and new specials appear all of the time.

GUSTORGANICS

Why I like it?

- GustOrganics is the city’s only certified organic restaurant, certified by NOFA-NY. When I go there, I have a very, very high degree of confidence that the food I am eating is organic.

- Menu has a wide selection, ranging from vegetarian to grass-fed meats. I can get whatever I’m in the mood for.

- The atmosphere is very appealing. Owner Alberto Gonzalez is from Argentina (home of my favorite musician, Gustavo Cerati), and lots of great Latin music is always being played. Also, I love the wood tables and the plants that grow on the walls.

SUN IN BLOOM

Why I like it?

- A truly undiscovered gem in Brooklyn, Sun in Bloom serves very light and delicious vegan food.

- The gluten-free, dairy-free apple pancakes are outrageously good and the Bella Divine might be the best salad I have had in NYC.

- The tables are very comfortable, the space gets a lot of bright light and there is a great selection of health-related books to read while you are waiting for your food. Currently, it is my favorite place to go for brunch.

ELLARY’S GREENS

ellarys-greens-organic-restaurant-nyc-west-village

Why I like it?

- Their chickpea burger in a gluten-free wrap is reason enough for Ellary’s Greens to be on this list.

- A broad and diverse menu that appeals to my many dining moods.

- The entire dining experience is just so, so pleasurable. From the friendly wait staff to the soothing decor to the cleanliness of the restaurant, going to Ellary’s is extremely enjoyable and relaxing.

ROCKIN’ RAW

rockin-raw-nyc

Why I like it?

- Rockin’ Raw is incredibly unique. Where else do you find Peruvian-Creole raw food?

- Innovative dishes, very consistent, and fantastic seaweed salads.

- The atmosphere is probably my favorite of any organic restaurant in NYC. Very low key, relaxed, comfortable, soothing, welcoming. Not fancy or pretentious at all. I could hang out there for hours.

THE GREEN RADISH

green-radish-organic-vegan-food-truck-nyc

Why I like it?

The Green Radish isn’t an actual restaurant but a vegan food truck, primarily stationed in Midtown Manhattan. This is an area of NYC where there is a serious lack of organic restaurants.

- The crabless cakes are one of the absolute best dishes that you will find anywhere. It blew my mind. Overall, the food is incredibly hearty and fresh.

- Chef/owner James Rafferty spent time as the sous chef at Bouley, one of the most respected restaurants in NYC, and he knows what he is doing in a major, major way.

HU KITCHEN

Why I like it?

- The food at Hu Kitchen is incredibly fresh and great tasting, and the extensive menu caters to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

- The Mashbar concept within Hu Kitchen is something really spectacular. It takes the traditional frozen yogurt bar to a whole new level and is very, very innovative.

- Fantastic service, and an extremely pleasant environment to have a quick meal. No table service, which is something that I quite often prefer.

FEEL FOOD

feel-food-organic-restaurant-nyc

- Feel Food makes fantastic organic dosas that I have never seen anywhere else, and the quinoa bowls are excellent. Small lunch/dinner menu but the quality is superb.

- Incredibly innovative products, big selection of juices and smoothies, and excellent incorporation of unusual superfoods. The herbal waters and black sesame seed milks are spectacular.

- I love the fact that there is no table service. In the back, there is a very comfortable seating area that makes you want to stay for hours.

THE GREEN TABLE

Why I like it?

- There is something about the energy in Chelsea Market, the building where The Green Table is located, that is very intoxicating. It probably has a lot to do with the Food Network being upstairs and the building being the home of the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) in the early 20th century. This building has a serious history of food.

- Spectacular farm-to-table food with a diverse selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The one word that comes to mind when I eat at The Green Table is fresh. Everything tastes so, so fresh.

- Because I can take my father here. He feels like he’s at a restaurant that he would normally go to (he’s not too into the whole organic food scene) and he can also get his vodka (albeit organic, not Grey Goose) on the rocks.

ONE LUCKY DUCK

Why I like it?

- The question is: What don’t I like about this place? One Lucky Duck is the sister/take-out restaurant to Pure Food and Wine, and is also less formal and less expensive.

- The salads are AMAZING, the raw desserts rock and their selection of pressed juices is underrated.

- Very intimate, casual and relaxed environment. The three small tables, all close together, make it conducive to having conversations with other customers.

I have made some real friendships at One Lucky Duck, and it’s the best organic restaurant in NYC to go eat alone and meet other people.

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27 Comments

  1. Synchronicity..I stumbled upon you site yesterday via the NYT article. And this afternoon was pondering my “Fav 5″ lists for organic dining options. So perfect timing! I have yet to try Souen or Sun in Bloom. HAND DOWNS, love PureFoodWine. And was very happy to see that Green Table made your list. I feel it’s a hidden gem in the Chelsea Market.

    Have you heard of Just Food? http://www.justfood.org/.. I do cooking demo’s at markets with the goal to introduce/encourage local and organic.

    Enjoyed perusing your blog…

    -J

    Written by Judy on February 4, 2011 @ 5:41 pm
  2. I looooove Pure too!
    It’s my first stop whenever I visit from Paris.
    And I finally tried Angelika this time – GREAT.
    Hope you know how lucky you are to have such great places around!!

    http://lafleurdeparis.blogspot.com/2011/01/11-things-i-love-about-new-york-in-2011.html

    Written by Rebecca on February 5, 2011 @ 1:35 pm
  3. Great round-up — thanks! Pure is the only one I’ve been to so far; I definitely have some exploring to do. I’ve been meaning to get to Souen one of these days, my acupuncturist is always raving about it.

    Written by Nancy on February 7, 2011 @ 8:17 am
  4. Hi Judy,

    What great timing!!!! I was at Sun in Bloom again this weekend — the food is so light and delicious. It is filling but not heavy at all. And, I agree with you about The Green Table. It’s a gem.

    justfood.org: yes, I have heard of it. It appears they are doing some good work.

    Thanks for writing.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 7, 2011 @ 9:54 am
  5. Hi Rebecca,

    Agreed! Pure is phenomenal and Angelika’s never disappoints. It is so consistent.

    Believe me, I am very, very, very appreciative to live in NYC, where there are tons of great organic restaurants. I have lived in other big cities where we did not have this luxury and that is one of the reasons I live here, because I know I can eat well.

    Also, thanks for the link to your great blog! I am going to check out the raw bakery.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 7, 2011 @ 9:58 am
  6. Hi Nancy,

    Lucky you! You have plenty of new places to explore and check out.

    I like Souen a lot! I think you’ll enjoy it too! Let me know what you think once you go there.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 7, 2011 @ 10:10 am
  7. It was nice to read about a few places I never heard of. However, I was surprised to read that you did not include the organice village in Queens. It is also a gem, and very reasonably priced. I have only eaten here a few times, but liked it each time.

    Written by Melissa D on February 7, 2011 @ 9:19 pm
  8. The web site is organicvillagenyc . com

    Written by Melissa D on February 7, 2011 @ 9:20 pm
  9. Hi Melissa,

    I rarely, rarely get out to Queens and no one in the organic and/or raw food world has ever mentioned to Organic Village to me. I checked out the website and it looks fantastic. I am definitely going to give it a try.

    Thanks for letting me know!!

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 8, 2011 @ 10:41 am
  10. Hi Max,

    Interesting to discover your blog. (Facebook told me about you, as we have a bunch of FB friends in common.) I’ve been a journalist for decades and a raw vegan for two decades. My online magazine combines my love of the two. I wish I had more time to devote to blogging daily, as you seem to do. (I guess it helps to have once been an investment banker–much better for eventual creative freedom than being a starving artist like me. I lived in Manhattan for 27 years before moving to Florida.)

    Wondering why you didn’t mention my favorite NYC raw restaurant, Quintessence. I do love PFAW, but their ingredients aren’t as pure as that of Q, and Q has been mega-creative for many, many years, and is the longest-lived raw restaurant in the city. I miss it a lot. Wish they had a branch in south palm Beach County, where we desperately need some raw vegan restaurants.

    I’m also a raw recipe book author, among other things.

    Judy (in Boynton Beach)

    Written by Judy on November 7, 2011 @ 12:44 am
  11. Hi Judy,

    Thanks for writing. Here is why, something that I found out about recently.

    http://gothamist.com/2005/09/01/suspected_subway_pleasurer_arrested.php

    http://nymag.com/news/features/16576/

    There is a new raw food restaurant that just opened last week in the East Village that I will covering very, very soon. Stay tuned!

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on November 7, 2011 @ 10:13 am
  12. hi max, not sure if you are aware but pfaw does not claim to be an organic restaurant. they also use agave in their desserts which is not the healthiest choice of sweetener.

    Written by steve on August 5, 2012 @ 12:54 am
  13. Hi Steve,

    While they may not market themselves as organic, this is a very organic restaurant, in terms of the ingredients that they use.

    I do my best not to consume organic agave but that is not going to be a reason to exclude them from this list.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on August 5, 2012 @ 3:48 pm
  14. Dear Max-

    Thanks for posting such a great site for people to check out! I strictly eat organic only, so visiting NYC from California has been challenging. I did find a number of places, but when I asked, many ingredients were not organic which was a bummer. I was most impressed with Gustorganics because they are 100% organic & that is very important to me. In addition, their food was awesome & has a sort of “comfort” feel that really lends itself to the brisk wintery NY weather. Although locally sourced & raw is also important, organic comes first for obvious health reasons. I highly recommend them to many of my friends because of that reason.

    Another great bakery that I found was Blossom. I too am into organic baking & really appreciate healthier ingredient alternatives to the same great sweets we know & love. Until finding Blossom, I hadn’t really had many sweets on this trip since I last baked them myself. Their chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting are delicious!

    Anyway, I love reading sites like yours that emphasize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Blessings to you and thanks for sharing such useful information!

    All the best-
    Heather :)

    Written by Heather on January 15, 2013 @ 10:46 pm
  15. Hi Heather,

    Thanks so much for your kind words and I am glad that you found this list useful. I update it when something needs to be added or when a restaurant needs to come off. The most recent addition was Hu Kitchen. I love that place and they do an excellent job.

    I don’t go to Blossom much since I don’t eat baked goods too often but glad you enjoyed it there.

    Thanks again!

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on January 17, 2013 @ 11:12 pm
  16. Dear Max,

    I appreciate your suggestions. I I have been eating at Angelika’s kitchen since I was teenager and I still look forward to going there.

    I was wondering about the Green Table, as I pass by it often. I will try it.

    I am a great fan of Candle Cafe and Candle Cafe West ! I was wondering how you felt about their restaurants. I was surprised to them missing from your recommendations.

    Stay well and thanks for keeping us up-to-date,
    Elaine

    Written by Elaine Springer on February 7, 2013 @ 2:09 pm
  17. My pleasure Elaine!

    Candle Cafe – they do a nice job but there are just so many that I can put on my list.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 7, 2013 @ 5:44 pm
  18. This is a great this! I’ve been to most, but will need to check out Hu Kitchen soon.

    One of my favorites on this list is One Lucky Duck – I completely agree with your words about the intimacy and environment. I met you there when you were in the beginning phases of your site, and I remember your vision being crystal clear! Glad to see your dream has manifested into something quite incredible!

    Written by Michelle Ogunti on February 22, 2013 @ 11:20 am
  19. Hi Max,

    Can you recommend any organic restaurants in northern New Jersey? My parents live there and are interested. They live near Montclair.

    Thank you,
    Amy

    Written by Amy on February 22, 2013 @ 11:33 am
  20. Hi Michelle,

    Yes, I remember!! And thanks so much for your kind words. Lots more to come…

    Hope all is well with you!!!
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 24, 2013 @ 9:49 am
  21. Hi Amy,

    I am sorry but I don’t know any in Northern NJ.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 24, 2013 @ 9:50 am
  22. Max, I drooled when I read about these restaurants because there aren’t a lot of them around Worcester, MA…..but now my daughter lives in NYC and I have a reason to visit. This weekend was our first visit and I told her for at least one of our meals I wanted to visit one of the restaurants on this list. She picked Gustorganics, and we ALL loved it! Loved how they organized the menu by diet type – raw/vegan, macro, paleo. It was so hard to pick a meal with so many delicious-looking options – such a difference from the usual whatever-can-I-eat-on-this-menu? dilemma I’m faced when going out to dinner with my family/friends. Can’t wait to visit each and every one of these over time; thanks for the list!

    Written by Chris on November 10, 2013 @ 8:36 pm
  23. […] Without question, I will be going back to The Green Radish and have added it to my Favorite Organic Restaurants in NYC. […]

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  24. Wow, thanks so much for such a great list! I am heading into the city this weekend and I will be hitting up some of these places. Thanks so much!!

    Written by Jessica @ OrganicallYou on November 20, 2013 @ 12:54 pm
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  27. I was wondering about that organic village in Queens,
    looks like it’s closed?!? :(
    Anyone has any info?
    Thanks

    Written by Elibor on March 23, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

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