Candle Cafe

Lonneke's favorite 10 vegan friendly NYC restaurants

I always loved to eat fruits and vegetables. I always loved vegan food. These are my favorite 10 vegan friendly NYC restaurants, which offer a nice selection of vegan food. Keeping a restaurant or take-out place open in New York City is very difficult, especially if it is a speciality restaurant like vegan friendly NYC restaurants. Another reason to support local restaurants so they have more chance of staying open for you and other vegan friendly people!


1. Candle Cafe

. Together with the sister restaurants Candle Cafe West and Candle 79, I am always amazed by the warm filling nurturing delicious dishes they come up with. Full of many veggies, they are a treat and I keep coming back. The restaurants are completely vegan restaurants and located uptown in the Upper East and Upper West side.  Favorites: anything really. I am drooling just thinking about it. And especially the dishes with seitan.

2. Juice Press

Juice Press has juices, salads and other vegan rawfood dishes and soups. They have many different locations throughout New York City. A lot of people like their foods to do a detox.

3. Dr. Smood

Has many vegan options for juices, salads and sandwiches for lunch or to take out for dinner. I like their pastries for dessert as they are chocolate based! They call themselves "probably the Healthiest Cafe in the City", and there are many locations in NYC.

4. Quartino

This cute & romantic Italian restaurant serves delicate homemade healthy pasta and offers many vegan and even gluten free dishes. They also serve a fish of the day. They have a delicious selection of wine, and their extra virgin olive oil is lovely. Located on Bleecker street in NOHO. Favorites: shaved artichoke salad, fresh-made gnocchi and spelt dishes.

5. Caravan of Dreams.

A hole in the wall, this eclectic restaurant is dark and cosy, and a perfect place to take your friends for a vegan meal. Everything is vegan, organic and even kosher. They also serve a lot of raw food dishes. They have live music almost every night of the week. Favorites: all salads are amazing! I like the house salad dressing a lot, and the mediterranean salad. Also the smoothies are great, and i like the ravioli of the day with sautéed greens, garlic tomato sauce and avocado. The raw brownie for desert is delicious.

6. Peace food Cafe

the menu needs a bit of help navigating, but this mostly raw and vegan cafe has delicious meals. I like to take the plate with 3 kinds of sautéed vegetables of your choice. Also delicious are the desserts.

Peacefood Cafe 2

7. Mamoun's Falafel

Falafel is made of chickpeas, so it is a good vegan choice. This place is known for great take-out falafel salads and wraps. Not expensive, which is great too! Also many locations in NYC, I like the one on St. Marks Place.

8.Bare Burger NYC

This restaurant has made 50% of their menu vegan! That means there are so many options for burgers, sandwiches and salads for you to choose from!

Bare Burger dinner
turkey burger with gluten free bun and sweet potato fries at Bare Burger

9. Spring Natural

I order from here a lot as well, as they have daily changing menus, with a lot of vegan and vegetarian options. On top of that they try to get organic and local ingredients where they can. Think of this place as an American healthy diner. The salads are huge and their stir fry with veggies and rice can never go wrong. Located at the corner of Lafayette and Spring street.

10. Chipotle

The restaurants of Chipotle are literally all over the city. It is cheap and delicious and!  Even though they don't advertise it, their motto is to have everything organic, and you can taste it. They have the best guacamole. I order a simple bowl with different beans,rice  lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole and you have delicious vegan meal on the go!


Love, Lonneke

All pictures by Organice Your Life®

First published in 2014, updated in 2019

New York City Winter Movies tour

Whether you are visiting New York City during the Winter or Christmas, or are just at home and want to see some nice family movies during the Holidays, here are my 5 favorite movies to watch in the Winter time. And maybe you can go visit the film locations in New York City! Check my New York City Winter Movies Tour, starting with no. 1 on top:

1. Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

This is the all-time favorite, not-to-miss movie starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin, who by accident gets on the wrong plane and flies to New York City by himself, instead of Florida with his family. While the Plaza hotel does exist (it is now half a residential building and half a hotel) The toy store in the movie does not really exist -the movie's toystore "Duncan's Chest" was filmed in Chicago - this is the movie's version of FAO Swarz, a toy store a few blocks to the East of Plaza Hotel, on 5th Avenue. You can go there and enjoy the toys. Go see the movie, and go see the Plaza hotel from Central Park. You can also book a room here and order room service just like Kevin did in the movie. I also love the Home Alone 2 trivia, as there are more interesting facts to this movie and film locations.

The Trailer of Home Alone

2. Serendipity

Probably one of my favorite romantic movies ever made. A lot is filmed around New York City in the Winter. It is a very nice movie for the Winter nights, with lots of love, Winter season activities and snowflakes. The story is about how Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet at a kiosk at Bloomingdale's to buy gloves. Sara decides it should be faith if they should meet again,and she writes her phone number and name in a book. Jonathan writes his number on a dollar bill. The whole movie you see them trying to find each other's phone number and hoping destiny will bring them together.There is actually a restaurant in New York City named Serendipity 3 (225 E 60th street, between 2nd & 3rd avenue), and that's where a few scenes in the movie are filmed. Jonathan and Sara share a Frozen Hot Chocolate here, a famous drink from Serendipity they even trademarked. It is not so healthy but so fun to go and have one yourself!

Serendipity frozen hot chocolate
This is the scene filmed at Serendipity 3 when Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and Jonathan (John Cusack) share a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, a specialty of Serendipity 3.

The trailer of Serendipity

Other places you should visit are Bloomingdale's (1000 3rd avenue & E 59th street) where Sara and Jonathan meet, The Waldorf Astoria hotel (301 Park Avenue between 49th & 50th) where Jonathan's wedding takes place, Wollman Rink in Central park where Jonathan and Sara are going ice skating and where they reunite. More locations of this movie you can find HERE>, as they also were filming in my neighborhood, as well as some unknown trivia questions HERE>

3. A night at the Museum

A fun movie with Ben Stiller, who plays Larry who becomes a guard in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (Central Park West & 79th street)  He is supposed to " not let anything in, and not let anything out". He later finds out what that means when he is by himself at night at the museum. (This movie was also directed by Chris Columbus, who also directed Home Alone 1 and 2.).

A night at the Museum


The Trailer of A Night at the Museum


4. Elf

A true Christmas movie. Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) is an adult human who was raised by elves. He is going to New York City to meet his real father Walter Hobbs (James Caan) who is on Santa's naughty list. If you watch this movie you want to go visit the Empire State Building (350 5th Avenue at 34th street) and you want to go see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (5th Avenue between 49th & 50th street). A joyful funny movie for the whole family!Elf movie

The trailer of Elf

5. Noel

They want us to believe it is all filmed in New York City, but most of it was in fact filmed in Canada. So it should not really be on this list. You do see Rockefeller center and other nice shots of New York City in Winter/Christmas time. But as Paul Walker has a lead roll in it next to Susan Sarandon and Penelope Cruz,  I thought it was a nice gesture to include this movie in my top 5 list in his memory.Noel movie

The trailer of Noel


p.s. I found a great website with more New York City film locations of all your favorite New York City movies in one place: On the set of New York


Christmas in New York City top 5 things to do

When you are in New York City in December, there is a lot to do for grownups and kids. And they are not all pricey. In fact, some are for free! Here is my top 5 activity for Christmas in New York City.

NYC snow

1. Go see the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes at Radio City Hall

I have been many times and I still get mesmerized by the wonderful performance and Christmas theme of this show. If you are in NYC in November or December, you must try to get tickets to see the show. It will definitely give you the Christmas spirit. In the busy Holiday season the Rockettes have up to 6 (!) shows a day! (price depends on date and time) They are performing until the end of December/beginning of January.



2. Watch Home Alone 2 and go see the Plaza hotel

When in Central Park, go ice skating at Wollman rink, and then walk over to the Plaza hotel. You can also go into the Plaza for a Breakfast buffet in the morning.


3. Take a trip to Rockefeller Plaza

You can see the biggest Christmas tree you will ever see! You can  go iceskating there too. And if you turn around, across the street of 5th Avenue, you can see the 3D show at Saks Fifth Avenue at night!

Home Alone Christmas Tree

During the Holiday season, Saks Fifth Avenue always had huge snow flakes ornaments on their building that would light up with a musical show,  but in 2013 they unveiled their 3D show on the building that they perform every night from 5pm to 11pm. You just have to wait and see when the show starts! (free)


4. Go drink frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3

The best Frrrozen Hot Chocolate in the World you find at Serendipity 3, a great place for kids and adults alike to go to after ice skating at Wollman Rink, just like Sara and Jonathan in the movie Serendipity did. Don't count the calories... it is a Holiday after all, right?

serendipity frozen hot chocolate

5. Go shopping for gifts at the Holiday Market at Columbus Circle at the South West corner of Central park, or  Union Square South.


These  above attractions are all uptown around Central Park South except Union Square Holiday market.

If you want more inspiration read my post on the NEW YORK CITY WINTER MOVIES TOUR where you can find more NYC places you can visit!

Happy Holidays!

Love, Lonneke

Bare Burger NYC review

In NYC we can find a lot of restaurants. A lot of fast-food restaurants, as well as high-end cuisine. Any kind of cuisine you can find here as well. And organic versions of these fast food & high end restaurants are here too. I really like Bare Burger NYC.

Bare Burger NYC started with I believe just one place downtown NYC close to the NYU area, and quickly expanded, maybe also because of their franchise system. Loved by students and locals who appreciate good, simple comfort food with a low price tag, this place becomes such a success fast that new Bare Burger NYC restaurants are opening all over town. There are over 15 restaurants also outside of NYC.

We go quite a lot as it is easy and very close to where we live. And the choices of salads and burgers give you plenty of different choices to choose from each time! Their menu includes big healthy salads, healthier versions of burgers with organic ingredients, organic fries, organic milkshakes & beer: Check their MENU.

I have been going here from the beginning. Their restaurant has a nice vibe and the terrace as well. Bare Burger NYC now has made 50% of the menu all vegan and even offer gluten-free options!

George & DavidBareburger La Guardia place Terrace ( usually the terrace is full of tables) with my best friends George & David

Lonneke eating Portabella mushroom burger

Love a burger? Bare Burger has a great system for you to choose your ideal burger! Pick your bun, patty, toppings, sauces and sides. Ever heard of an elk or bison burger? or a black bean burger? They got them here! And all organic of course.

Veggie quinoa burger

Love fries? I love the sweet potato fries! And they fry them in peanut oil (they say it is healthier) And they come with 4 Bare Burger original dips.. still deciding which one is my favorite....

Love a milkshake? They got a milkshake made for you from scratch! Fresh ice cream, organic fruits, a bit of organic cane sugar and shake it baby!

Oh, and if you really want to eat healthy: they have a few nice salads and you can add just a patty without the bun to it. Problem solved.

Mexican SaladThe Mexican Salad at Bare Burger

Bare Burger LogoEven the interior is from reclaimed materials, and the ambiance is relaxed, cosy and a great place to bring your friends, or go to with people who are difficult eaters. (hey, everyone likes fries and burgers right?)

Click the Button for all Bare Burger locations in NYC  and enjoy the food!

Love, Lonneke