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Posted: Dec 13, 2017
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By: Anna Louise Jiongco

I'm Sober, He's Vegetarian. This Is Where We Go In New York.

When I met Matt at a mutual friend’s wedding, I was thrilled to meet someone that I had so much in common with right off the bat. However, the more I grew to like him, the more nervous I was about having to explain that I’ve been quitting alcohol for the last 3 years — an avoided topic when going on new dates.

We uncovered more about each other through texts over the next week. Me, opening up about my sober lifestyle and Matt, in turn, sharing his vegetarian lifestyle. He was also nervous about sharing his dietary restrictions, as it often put a wedge in furthering prospective partners in the past. But not here! As he told me, I was actually making a vegan curry and texted him a photo of it, trying to flirt with him with through my veggie cooking skills. Needless to say, the romance was budding.

Once we began dating, we needed to figure out where we could go that put both of us at ease in terms of our restrictions.

We found the below hotspots to be just as romantic and date night-worthy as your favorite boozy lounge or steakhouse.

01

Dirt Candy

86 Allen Street, Lower East Side

01

Dirt Candy’s selection of plant-based dishes and sans-liquor imbibes will leave any sober and veg couple completely satisfied. Although I am the meat eater in this relationship, I’ve learned to appreciate when we go to plant-based restaurants like Dirt Candy because their attention to detail and obvious creativity with ingredients makes meat a faraway thought.

Sometimes eating vegetarian can leave you feeling less full, so I recommend going family style with your beau. You get to taste more on the menu and satisfy your tummies at the same time. For brunch, we love the zucchini pancakes, layered omelette, and canadian cracker. Keep in mind, the dinner menu is just as filled with veggie-perfection. They do have a liquor selection, but of course we went for their non-alcoholic cocktails, like the Kentucky Lemonade and Tijuana Sunrise.

02

El Kucho

141 Wilson Avenue, Bushwick

El Kucho

El Kucho is a Mexican restaurant in Bushwick that uses fresh ingredients and packs each dish with traditional flavors. Their menu has a range of food for veg and meat lovers alike. The mixed veggie torta and fruit pancakes are both out of this world good. A small win for me is that they’re currently BYOB and working on their liquor license, so it makes it easy not to think about drinks. A cup of joe or a tamarind Jarritos (a popular Mexican soft drink) rounds it out as the perfect date.


03

Bozu

296 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Bozu

296 Grand Street, Williamsburg

We are quite obsessed with this sushi spot in Williamsburg. Even though it's one of the oldest restaurants on the block, the quality of its sushi has remained as delicious as ever. Sushi is definitely one of those cuisines that can be tough for vegetarians, but Bozu does a great job of offering dishes sans-fish, like the Ramo sushi roll and Yakko roll. If you want to go all out, vegetarians can also experience their Veggie Sushi Bomb — for $24 you’ll get a delectable 12-piece platter with three curated sushi bomb flavors. They’re so delicious, you’ll forget the flavor of fish. Non-alcoholic beverages here include the classic green tea or my go-to ginger ale.


04

Peace Food Cafè

41 E 11th Street, Union Square

04

Peace Food is not your stereotypical vegetarian restaurant with its clean and modern decor. They offer a huge selection of delicious meals to choose from. As the meat eater in the relationship, I’m always impressed with how satisfied I feel after dining here with Matt. Some of my favorites are the chickpea fries, shepherd’s pie, and lasagna. In terms of drinks, they have an assortment of great milkshakes and juices. I love the raw passion smoothie and green lemonade juice. Most importantly: don’t skip dessert here! Their desserts and baked goods are simply amazing. We always go for the peanut butter cheesecake or the carrot cake.


05

The Chocolate Room

269 Court Street, Park Slope

The Chocolate Room

Did someone say dessert? The Chocolate Room is a wonderful date spot for when you are both feeling extra sweet. A cafe that only offers chocolate-based desserts (and an overflow of homemade fudge to boot) will have you both smiling from ear to ear. Here you’ll find everything from brownie sundaes to homemade ice cream flavors like sumatran coffee and salted caramel. My personal favorite is the flourless chocolate cake. They offer wine pairings but we (obviously) go for the incredible dark hot chocolate or mocha lattes. Sweetness overload in the best way possible.

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