Last Updated September 2020! We’ve created this ever-growing guide to restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and ice cream shops in New York that are friendly to dairy-free diners. It’s a collection based on research and reader recommendations (send yours!), that’s divided into local restaurants (first) and chains (second).
Note: You can ignore the date on this post going forward. We’ll update the information below whenever we’re alerted to a new restaurant recommendation, change, or closure.
Local New York Restaurants Recommended for Dairy-Free Eats
We’ve listed these recommendations alphabetically by city, and then by the restaurant or shop name.
⭐️ = Restaurant is either dairy-free, has a dairy-free menu, has dairy-free labels on their menu(s), or lists top allergens with menu items. (At the time of our last review.)
- Blossom Ice Cream – This sweet shop makes Thai ice cream rolls, and they have a whole menu of soy-based, vegan, hand-rolled ice cream. It even includes an “Irish Cream” flavor. We’ve been told you can enjoy it in a cup or waffle cone, but verify in store. They also serve a range of hot and cold tea and coffee beverages, and have fun, flavorful Light Bulb Ice Drinks with dairy-free options.
- Bunna Cafe ⭐️ – This vegan Ethiopian restaurant serves a range of traditional dishes that are usually served as combos with Injera bread. They also offer gluten-free Injera, making the entire menu open to gluten-free patrons. They are open for lunch and dinner, and even offer a unique brunch experience.
- Clementine Bakery ⭐️ – Although they keep it quiet, this friendly bakery is completely vegan, and they sell their pastries to other shops and restaurants locally. Their freshly baked goods include sweets and savories, with pies, cheesecakes, danishes, and more. They also serve a full menu of sandwiches, salads, and wraps, and pour locally-roasted coffee. They do take custom orders and bake cakes for special occasions.
- Converso Kosher Mexican ⭐️ – This dairy-free Mexican kitchen is run by Hummus Kitchen, and offers pick-up and delivery only. They don’t have a physical dining restaurant. Their menu includes innovative tacos, burritos, and enchiladas with cashew crema. The options include chicken, fish, beef, bean, and vegan chorizo, and they do have gluten-free menu items available.
- Dr. Cow ⭐️ – This tiny little shop crafts their own tree nut cheeses. That’s right, a dairy-free and vegan “cheese” shop! They also make a range of dairy-free milk beverages, yogurt, pastries (cheesecakes of course!), and other specialties.
- Dun-Well Doughnuts ⭐️ – You’ll have a hard time choosing a flavor at this all-vegan doughnut shop. They have a rotating list of 200 varieties, with nearly every favor imaginable – including Butterfinger, French Toast, Green Tea & Ginger, Peach Cobbler, and more. To accompany the dizzying doughnut menu, they offer an array of dairy-free coffee beverages, ice cream, and even vegan egg creams.
- Eden Wok ⭐️ – This is a Glatt Kosher American-Asian eatery and sushi bar – which means milk and meat cannot be mixed. Consequently, they are a dairy-free establishment, right down to the non-dairy cream cheese in some of their sushi rolls! They serve a big array of Chinese dishes, Asian salad bowls, poke bowls, and teriyaki bowls. Their sushi can be made with white rice, brown rice, black rice, or quinoa.
- HanGawi Restaurant ⭐️ – Take your shoes off at the door, relax, and enjoy the upscale menu of creative vegan Korean dishes. They serve lunch, dinner, and dessert, which includes dairy-free cheesecake and ice creams. A gluten-free menu is available.
- Hummus Kitchen ⭐️ – This kosher restaurant is completely dairy-free, and has many vegan and gluten-free options clearly labeled on the menu. They serve dishes like kebabs, falafel, and shawarma, but hummus is at the center of their menu.
- Ice Cream House – This kosher shop serves both dairy and dairy-free ice cream in hard-packed scoops and soft serve swirls. But keep in mind that they have a dress code – even in summer there are no tank tops or open toe shoes allowed. They have a few shops around the city.
- Izzy Rose ⭐️ – Also known as Izzy Provisions, this vegan gathering spot is a cafe + flower shop by day, cocktail bar by night. They have a rotating menu of casual all-vegan cuisine, featuring fresh, local ingredients.
- Little Choc Apothecary ⭐️ – Crepes without dairy, eggs, and gluten? They don’t even use gums or binders at this little creperie. Their menu includes a savory selection and build-your-own sweet crepes. They also make acai bowls and some small plates. But their beverage menu is also a highlight. It includes smoothies, juices, coffee drinks, natural wines, beer, and one of the biggest tea menus we’ve seen.
- Modern Love ⭐️ – Oddly, this is their second location, the first one is in Omaha. Modern Love Brooklyn is a vegan partnership between cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz and the founders of MooShoes. Their purely vegan menu focuses on plant-based comfort food. Sample dishes include cheeseburgers, build your own mac and shews, and buckets of wings.
- Seitan Rising ⭐️ – This little vegan cafe houses a baker (Pisces Rising) and a vegan deli meat maker (Seitan’s Helper). They take custom cake and pastry orders and serve a variety of wraps and sandwiches for lunch and dinner.
- The Butcher’s Daughter ⭐️ – This plant-heavy restaurant and juice bar bills itself as a “vegetable slaughterhouse.” Their menus are completely vegetarian, filled with vegan and gluten-free options, and clearly labeled for dairy, nuts, and soy. Their food includes a nice little array of small plates and large plates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But it’s the beverages that take center stage. They serve a big selection of cold-pressed juices, elixir shots, dairy-free wellness lattes, dairy-free smoothies, cocktails, mocktails, craft brews, and more.
- VSPOT Restaurant ⭐️ – If you’re looking for Latin food with a vegan spin, this is your spot. It’s a casual plant-based restaurant serving a range of Caribbean and South American-inspired cuisine.
- The Little Beet – This is a local New York chain with one location on Long Island. They have a fast casual build-your-own bowl style for lunch and dinner. The menu is gluten-free, and they clearly label for vegan, vegetarian, and top allergens. Most of their menu items and components are dairy free, including all of their grains, proteins, and sauces, at last check.
Hastings on Hudson
- By the Way Bakery ⭐️ – Muffins, scones, tea cakes, cupcakes … it’s all gluten-free and dairy-free at this old-fashioned bakery. They have a daily array of sweets, and also take custom orders for cakes. They bake for weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions.
New York City
- Blossom Restaurant ⭐️ – They now have two Manhattan locations, one in Chelsea and one on the Upper West Side. Both serve modern vegan cuisine for lunch and dinner with an eclectic range of casual dishes. They also offer dessert, cocktails, and a full vegan wine list.
- By the Way Bakery ⭐️ – This is an old-fashioned bakery where everything is made by hand, from scratch, in small batches. And, by the way, all of their baked goods are gluten-free and dairy-free. They’re also certified kosher. They serve a daily array of pastries, and specialize in custom order cakes for weddings and other occasions. They have two locations in NYC.
- Candle Cafe ⭐️ – Since 1994, Candle Cafe has been serving an all-vegan menu with a healthy, plant-based focus. They serve an array of salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and other entrees, and have a selection of juices, smoothies, and cocktails to refresh. They have two locations, one on the east side and one on the west side. Their Candle 79 restaurant was permanently closed.
- Chloe’s NYC ⭐️ – Chloe’s soft serve fruit is dairy-free, vegan, certified gluten-free, certified kosher pareve, and made with just fruit, water, and cane sugar. They swirl several classic flavors and some seasonal varieties, which you can order in a cup, pretzel, or waffle cone (not gluten free), or as a sundae with toppings. They also offer pops, chocolate-dipped pops, dairy-free smoothies, bowls, and vegan waffles!
- John’s of 12th Street – This is a historic spot that’s been serving traditional “gravy and red-sauce Italian food” since 1908. But they also have a full vegan menu with stuffed mushrooms, caesar salad, garlic bread, pizza, parmigiana, alfredo, raviolis, and honestly, I could go on. They also serve several vegan desserts, including tiramisu and cannoli. For “just dairy-free” customers who would like meat or seafood, some of their traditional menu items can be made dairy-free.
- Katz’s Delicatessen – This small Lower East Side deli has been run by the Katz family for over 100 years. It’s a bustling shop with big portions that has become a part of New York’s culture and history. Although it isn’t strictly kosher, this deli has been recommended by several of our readers for an abundance of simple, dairy-free options. They slow cure their own deli meats (no lactic acid starter cultures or other dairy ingredients additives), and pile them on sandwiches sans cheese. Their large menu also includes salads, hot dogs, omelets, and soups. Many of their items are already dairy-free or can easily be made so.
- Luanne’s Wild Ginger ⭐️ – They have a few locations around the city, each serving a completely vegan menu of Asian cuisine. The cuisine spans many countries, but has a healthy, macrobiotic focus.
- Peacefood Cafe ⭐️ – You can find this vegan bakery and cafe uptown or downtown – they have two locations. Their lunch and dinner menu includes an array of raw and cooked dishes, they also blend juices and smoothies, and they have a wonderful array of pastries. Their sweets include cookies, cookie sandwiches, pies, cakes, quick breads, cheesecakes, and more. They also have gluten-free options.
- Quantum Leap – This vegetarian restaurant has two locations – one in Greenwich Village and one on the Upper East Side. They serve an array of American, Asian, and Mexican inspired dishes, with many vegan options. They also serve brunch with vegan pancakes (gluten-free option) and special treats like vegan shakes.
- Riverdel Vegan Cheese ⭐️ – They closed their Brooklyn shop, but this “vegan cheese monger” can still be found in the Essex Street Market in Manhattan. They sell a wide variety of dairy-free cheeses, including some house-made selections, along with dairy-free yogurts and nut milks. They also serve a range of lunch sandwiches, made with local vegan charcuterie, and a big selection of condiments.
- Roast Kitchen ⭐️ – You can build-your-own dairy-free bowl at this local fast casual lunch chain. They have a handful of locations dotted around the city, each with dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free items generously labeled on the menu. The bowls are plant-heavy, and are layered with grains, vegetables, your choice of protein, and one of their sauces (many dairy-free options available). They serve meat and fish, but also have a flavorful vegan menu of suggested bowls.
- Springbone Kitchen ⭐️ – This casual eatery focuses on nourishing meals made with organic fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed free range meats, Their whole menu is gluten-free, heavily paleo, and mostly dairy-free. The few items with dairy are clearly labeled. They serve lunch, dinner, and late breakfast all day, but the real feature is their expansive broth menu. It includes a variety of bone broths and vegan broths. All are available as drinking broths or can be beefed up with your choice of add ins for a comforting soup.
- The Butcher’s Daughter ⭐️ – The menus at this “vegetable slaughterhouse” are all-vegetarian, filled with vegan and gluten-free options, and clearly labeled for dairy, nuts, and soy. Their food includes a nice selection of small plates and large plates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And they also have dairy-free desserts. For sipping, they serve serve cold-pressed juices, dairy-free wellness lattes, dairy-free smoothies, cocktails, mocktails, craft brews, and more. They have two locations in NYC and one in Brooklyn.
- The Cinnamon Snail ⭐️ – Located in Pennsy Food Hall, this vegan kosher take-out restaurant surprises with a unique selection of hearty sandwiches, flavorful burgers, creative sides, cinnamon rolls, decadent donuts, and other pastries. The donuts come in some crazy flavors like Raspberry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Donuts, or Vanilla Bourbon Creme Brulee. They also have a food truck.
- The Commons Chelsea – This popular coffee shop offers almond milk and oat milk for their beverages. But they are most known (by the dairy-free community) for their vegan hot cocoa, which is made with organic, single origin, fair trade cocoa from Portland’s Holy Kakow. They have a petite food menu with just a couple of dairy-free options.
- The Little Beet ⭐️ – This counter-serve restaurant serves bowls for lunch and dinner. Their menu has a build-your-own option and is entirely gluten-free. But they also clearly label for vegan, vegetarian, and top allergens, and most of their menu items and components are dairy free. They have several locations around the city, and one on Long Island.
- The Organic Grill ⭐️ – This healthy Manhattan cafe serves vegan burgers, sandwiches, bowls, and breakfast all day. Their menu is heavy on vegetables, and includes some surprises, like house made spirulina “blue cheese.” Gluten-free and items containing soy are clearly labeled. They also serve a selection of raw dairy-free cakes and cheesecakes.
- Tompkins Square Bagels – They hand roll, kettle boil, and oven bake their bagels right on the premises of their two locations daily. The dairy-free selection is unsurpassed, and the staff quite helpful, as the owner is vegan. To top the bagels, they have several nut butters, fruit butters, and tofu cream cheese spread in an assortment of flavors! They also serve many breakfast, lunch, and specialty sandwiches that are either dairy-free or can be ordered without dairy. For dessert, they bake up a whole selection of vegan cookies!
- VSPOT Express ⭐️ – This is a fast casual outpost of their Brooklyn restaurant. The menu is completely vegan, and includes a range of empanadas, papas fritas, and other Latin-inspired dishes.
- Tiger Lily Cafe – This alternative eatery is a funky place for food, art, and music. They have vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus with several vegan and dairy-free options. They also have a full juice bar with fresh-squeezed juices, dairy-free soy smoothies and soy protein shakes. And you can get a coffee drink or frappe made with rice milk or soy milk.
- Get Caked Bakery ⭐️ – This little bakery showcases cupcakes, but they offer an array of sweet treats, with many options for special diets. They have pastries that are naturally vegan, bake vegan and vegan/gluten-free cookies, and can make any of their cupcakes and cookie sammies dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, and/or gluten-free.
- The Red Fern ⭐️ – Almost anyone can find something at this casual vegan eatery. They have a big menu of snacks, salads, sandwiches, and plates. For sips they offer juices, smoothies, coffee drinks, kombucha, and more. They also have a full bakery on site and dairy-free ice cream for dessert a la mode. And to make special diet lives easier, they offer menus for gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, oil-free, garlic-free, and onion-free! Their bakery accepts special orders, including cakes, pastry trays, and gluten-free breads.
- Strong Hearts ⭐️ – This casual little vegan cafe serves a relatively big and hearty menu and a HUGE selection of dairy-free milkshakes. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a good variety of comfort cuisine, like scrambles, burgers, and even “fried chicken.”
- The Ice Cream Stand – This simple ice cream shop offers several creamy vegan scoops in classic flavors, like chocolate, vanilla, mint chip, and cookies & cream. You can order them in a cup or a regular cone, which is vegan, with or without vegan toppings (like the sprinkles or crunch coating). They can also make a vegan ice cream cookie sandwich, float, milkshake (with oat milk), or flurry with your flavor of choice. They do sometimes offer vegan soft serve, too, depending on foot traffic to the store.
- ZuckerBakers Bake Shop ⭐️ – This is a dairy-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, sesame-free, kosher pareve bakery. They whip up challah breads, rye bread, onion rolls, cupcakes, cookies, pastries, and more daily. They are also well known for their chocolate meltaway cakes and custom birthday cakes, which are all hand drawn.
Most Popular Chains in New York for Dairy-Free Diners
There are many more chains in this state, but these are the ones we recommend most for dairy-free options.
This Guide is Continuously Updated with Recommendations
We welcome you to recommend other dairy-free friendly restaurants. Leave a comment or contact us and tell us why you like a certain restaurant. Restaurant owners and employees are also invited to reach out and let us know how you welcome dairy-free customers.
Please kindly let us know in the comments if any of these restaurants close. We want to keep this list current for you, but aren’t always notified when a restaurant closes. Let us know and we will quickly update!
This Guide is for Informational Purposes Only
Menus, ingredients, kitchen procedures, management, and restaurants are subject to change at any time. Always read the menu and discuss your dietary needs with the staff before ordering. Make sure that they can accommodate your situation.
There is always a risk for potential cross-contamination of allergens in any commercial kitchen. If cross-contamination is an issue for you, always speak with the manager to ensure that your meal can be safely prepared. Listings here do not guarantee that a restaurant is safe enough for your individual needs. Only you can make that decision.