A Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC: Green Bean Cafe on the Upper East Side
As regular readers of our restaurant reviews are undoubtedly aware, we’re not vegans, or vegetarians, preferring an omnivoric approach to our eating. That said, we love any sort of food that tastes good, so when several of our Upper East Side friends recommended the NYC vegetarian restaurant Green Bean Cafe (they have lots of strictly vegan items on the menu, too), we decided to check it out this week, and had a terrific supper. It’s easy to see why the Green Bean Cafe (and, presumably, Beanocchio, its bustling sister-cafe up the block) has become the go-to local place for juices, quick-bites, and take-out.
The Green Bean Cafe has enough vegetarian and vegan varieties to keep even the pickiest eater happy, though judging by the number of “usuals” we heard being ordered by locals while we were there, it’s clearly the sort of place where everything’s good, so everything can become someone’s favorite. We sampled a couple of items from the Green Bean Cafe menu, and were pleased with both. Under the Green Bean Cafe’s “Big Plate” section, the Inner Balance platter was a winner, a simple yet satisfying dish of firm steamed tofu over nicely sticky brown rice, red beans, steamed kale and broccoli, served with a surprisingly robust warm mushroom sauce. You can almost feel your body getting healthier as you eat it.
Also good was the Green Bean Cafe’s vegan Special Grilled Cheese, made with Diaya brand soy-free, dairy-free cheddar, which tastes enough like the real thing to keep us happy, though the texture, once melted, was perhaps a bit more mucus-y than ideal. It’s the bread, though, a nutty, chewy, seven-grain delight, that makes this a sandwich well worth repeating. We would like to experiment a bit more with the Green Bean Cafe’s dessert menu, as lots of things looked really good, but we were disappointed in our almost amusingly dry Mexican Wedding Cake. The atmosphere at Green Bean Cafe is super-casual, and super-friendly, and though take-out seems to dominate the dinner business, we felt very comfortable dining at one of several small tables. Locals who haven’t yet tried Green Bean Cafe, for whatever reason, might want to put this vegetarian place on their list.
Green Bean Cafe details
The Green Bean Cafe is located on York Avenue between 76th and 75th Streets, and is open on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., and on weekends from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. For more information and a look at the complete Green Bean Cafe menu, please see the vegetarian restaurant’s website, here.