Vegan Chef Daphne Cheng Ranks the Best New York Restaurants Doing Vegetables Right

The wonderful world of vegetables, fruits, grains, roots, nuts and all things that grow from the earth has been newly rediscovered. Top chefs throughout the world are realizing what a loss it is to neglect the most abundantly diverse of the food groups, and are finally paying attention to this untouched frontier.

The resulting vibrant, elevated cuisine is something we all can savor. When names like April Bloomfield and David Chang, originally famous for their unabashed carnivorous attitudes, start redefining themselves with new vegetable­-forward cookbooks and finding inspiration in humble Korean Buddhist cuisine, you know there’s something brewing.

From the unique perspective of a vegetable-­focused chef comes this list of the top restaurants and chefs who have mastered the art and science of making vegetables taste incredible. All but two of these restaurants are omnivorous (only Avant Garden is fully plant­-based and Dirt Candy is vegetarian), and while a number of them may not appear to be vegan-­friendly, the chefs at the helm are eager to accommodate their vegetable-inclined patrons.

These pioneering restaurants, ranging from upscale casual to fine dining, in an order from best to great, understand the direction modern society is headed. Their versions of vegan cuisine, served either a la carte and in full tasting menu glory, are simply delectable.

Cafe Clover, Chef David Standridge—Cafe Clover has all the right ingredients: beautiful space, beautiful people and beautiful food. A few dishes stand out—the ivory lentil risotto and velvet sunchoke soup are delightful, but there’s a certain pizazz that’s missing to make this restaurant truly great.