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NYC Vegetarian Food That’s Not Boring: 5 to Try

We were thrilled to hear about the opening of Pickle Shack in Gowanus, from Seamus Jones of Brooklyn Brine — and not just because we love Brooklyn Brine’s pickles. Or because they’ve got a number of Dogfish Head beers on tap. No, we’re excited because the menu is entirely vegetarian … and sounds absolutely delicious, with avocado-lime-cucumber and cashew butter-banana sandwiches and beer-battered oyster mushrooms. So often, vegetarian restaurants are all mock-meats and lifeless salads. But, as we were reminded with the opening of Pickle Shack, vegetarian fare doesn’t have to be unexciting; here are five inexpensive spots in New York City that do veg food right.

 

Mimi's Hummus

Cauliflower from Mimi’s Hummus (Photo: Courtesy of Mimi’s Hummus)

Mimi’s Hummus
This charming Ditmas Park restaurant is famous for its hummus, of course: brightly flavored, ethereally creamy, and downright addictive. Get it topped with whole chickpeas or with cumin-stewed mushrooms–and for the non-vegetarians among you, there’s the unlikely-sounding “meat hummus” with ground beef and pine nuts. Don’t miss the vegetable sides, including a tahini-laden cauliflower and a fresh beet salad. 1209 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn,718-284-4444, mimishummus.com

Pickle Shack
The above-mentioned Pickle Shack, launching its full menu on Monday, will feature Brooklyn Brine pickles, of course. But its menu stretches far beyond that, with tantalizing-sounding vegan and vegetarian sandwiches (maple-smoked tofu with barrel-aged caraway sauerkraut) and sides (fried “hop pickles” with preserved lemon aioli). To drink, a wide selection of beers from Dogfish Head, who’ve long collaborated with Brooklyn Brine on those Hop Pickles. The full menu will launch on Monday. 256 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn, pickleshacknyc.com

Foodswings
Late-night junk food spots aren’t generally vegan-friendly. That’s why Foodswings (in Williamsburg, natch) is such a rare find, its menu laden with “cheese fries” and “milkshakes” — all 100 percent vegan. Sandwiches, nachos, a personal pizza — anything you could want after a night out. 295 Grand St., Brooklyn, 718-388-1919, foodswings.net

M.O.B.
Also known as “Maimonide of Brooklyn,” this offshoot of a Parisian restaurant bills itself as “avant-garde vegetarian food for all.” What that means: topped flatbreads (black bean puree, pimento sweet potatoes, grilled corn) and crimini mushroom burgers, or “Mac and Cheese” with cashew cream and truffle oil. 525 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-797-2555, mob-usa.com

Taïm
The best falafel in New York started out as a hole-in-the-wall West Village shop and has grown into a second location and a roving food truck. What makes Taïm the best? Three flavors of falafel, all fried to order; fresh salads; luscious, creamy hummus; fluffy, warm pita. Mamoun’s may be a few bucks cheaper, but trust us: It’s worth the upgrade. Multiple locations, taimfalafel.com

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