2010 was not only tough on the U.S. economy but also on the NYC veg restaurant scene. Some new restaurants opened last year, but in this post we’ll review all the sad (and not-so-sad) losses of 2010. Of those that closed, these are three of the biggest losses:
Red Bamboo Brooklyn
Closed in January 2010, it came as a big shock since the place generally always had a crowd. It was the lone veg restaurant in Ft. Greene in its time, and one of the few 100% vegetarian restaurants anywhere that had a large space great for a crowd along with a full bar. It held many poignant veg memories-the Satya farewell party as well as the SuperVegan-sponsored presidential debate and election night parties in 2008, and the biggest reason why it’s such a great loss? Well, because the closing seemed rather
.senseless-the owners at the time cited the rising expense of soy (huh?) so the place is still a restaurant with the same owners but serves meat and retains a few of the Red Bamboo menu items.
Many of you may not have had the enjoyment of trying a burrito at Cosmic Cantina in the East Village. They specialized in fresh, mostly organic ingredients, served cocktails, and were open until 4am. The owner had a compassionate epiphany at the beginning of 2010 and converted the place from conventional to 100% vegetarian. With its closure in June went the only strictly veg, delicious, close to authentic Cal-Mexican place in town.
Last but not least, Madras Café–also in the East Village, a veg staple for 20 years. While there are many Kosher vegetarian Indian places in the city, Madras Café was a standout. They designated all the vegan items on the menu, welcomed large parties, and most importantly made a good vegan mango lassi (which can be surprisingly hard to find in this city of plentiful vegan dosa and curry offerings).
Other 2010 closures include:
24 Carrots Organic Juice Bar
Ghenet Ethiopian (Manhattan)
Karen’s On Astor
Little Buddy Biscuit Company
The Lucky Cat
Quantum Leap (Queens)
Closed but replaced by other veg establishments:
Blossom Bistro (replaced by V-Note )
Organic Heights replaced by Sun in Bloom
Tamilnadu Bhavan (replaced previous veg Indian restaurant Saravana Bhavan Dosa Hut and rest assured the location still has a veg Indian restaurant by the name of Bhojan
While not exactly gone, these restaurants went from 100% veg to serving meat but still retain some vegan options, alas they are added to the mourning list too:
Dang Lai Palace
Benny’s Pizzeria no longer has vegan pizza options-all crusts have butter in them and overall the place is no longer very vegan friendly.
Last call, Counter is preparing to shutter it’s doors in February 2011 so be sure to get in one last trip.
Be sure to visit The Graveyard and share your memories of your now closed favorite veg restaurants.
What places closed this year that you miss the most? Which will you miss the least? Did we miss any in our list? Tell us about it below!