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NYC Metro Area Vegan Restaurant Guide

Buddha Bodai (Manhattan)

Food: 3.583.58
Atmosphere: 3.363.36
Service: 3.643.64

(13 customer reviews. Leave your own!)

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5 Mott Street
New York   NY 10013
(212) 566-8388
Buddha Bodai (Manhattan) website
View this restaurant's page on other sites: MenuPages | Yelp

Veg level:

Vegetarian (mostly vegan)

Menu indicates vegan items

Price Range:

$$$$$ (Average entree cost: $10-$15)

Accepted Payments:

  • Visa
  • ·
  • Mastercard

Hours:

Mon-Fri 10:30am-10:30pm. Sat & Sun 10am- 10:30pm.

Directions:

Take the M, 6 train stop at City Hall. Take the F train stop at East Broadway.

Delivery notes:

Buddha Bodai (Manhattan) delivers.

Notes:

Vegetarian kosher chinese restaurant with afternoon dimsum options.

Other locations: Buddha Bodhi

Bookmark and Share The information on this page was last updated on September 9, 2010.

User Reviews of Buddha Bodai (Manhattan)

Averaged user ratings:

(1 star = lousy; 5 stars = great)
Food: 3.583.58
Atmosphere: 3.363.36
Service: 3.643.64
  • Review by vegyum on May 13, 2010:

  • Does anyone know if their fake meat baked dim sum rolls have honey on top? A lot of their dim sums seem to have a sweet glaze that appear to be that
  • Review by alf-redo on June 12, 2009:

  • I really don't like this place though I've been meaning to try the one in Queens. Seriously there was a dead bug in my water (not vegan!). The food is in no way fresh and I don't think they are nearly as good as other options in the neighborhood (i'm lookin at you veg dim sum!)
  • Food: 22
    Atmosphere: 22
    Service: 22
  • Review by JamesR on February 3, 2009:

  • When I first discovered Buddha Bodai a few years back, I was totally blown away.

    I'm kind of done with all the restaurants that just get the pre-made meats from may-wah (or similar), and make the same dishes. I mean, these things are great, but at some point it gets old and you realize that you can make most of these things at your house with a few trips to Chinatown. I get a little snobby about my fake meats. So, that may sound ridiculous, BUT...

    That is not the case at Buddha Bodai. It is my understanding that they are one of the only places of this style (possibly THE only place) that makes their meats in-house. That is saying a lot once you have their dishes. I've had a ton of items here, and I was never disappointed. I think the shrimp with walnuts are killer, the chicken dishes are great, the veg meat appetizer is delicious, all the noodle dishes I've had are great as well.

    The only thing that was a little bit of a bummer was that for dessert the ice cream was clearly Tofutti. In the end, whatever, they get a pass for that because of all the other delicious things they serve.

    I agree with the previous comments that the service can seem a little clipped at times, but I also agree that it has more to do with a language barrier than actually being bad service.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by Melissa Bastian on January 28, 2009:

  • I have been to Buddha Bodai many times, and I can say without reservation that it is my favorite Chinese restaurant - not only in New York City, but in any city in which I have ever eaten Chinese. (Please don't make me write the list; we don't have all day here.) I vastly prefer it to the other two vegetarian Chinatown spots, even if Buddha Bodai too serves the Soup that Shall Not be Named (namely, shark fin - veg, of course).

    This may not be the right spot for people who don't enjoy mock meats, though I have had dishes here that don't focus on "meat" at all and are delicious. But whoever it's not for, I know that it most definitely IS the place for me.

    And I've taken other people here too, lots of 'em! In fact, I dined at this fine establishment with a party of six just at the beginning of this month; our group was comprised of two vegans, two ovo-lacto vegetarians, and two omnis. We were there in time for dim sum, and everyone (and I mean everyone, even the stalwart meat-eater who was skeptical about the vegetarian fare) ate to their heart's content and loved the food. And - I just have to say it - we all stuffed ourselves and had leftovers, and the bill was under a hundred dollars! For SIX PEOPLE! Try doing that in any other sit down restaurant in NYC, I dare you.

    Then, just last weekend, I sent one of the cool (meat-eating) chicks from my office here. Her vegetarian, kosher-keeping sister tends to have trouble finding interesting places to eat, so she was very excited to hear about this spot. They went, they dim sum'd, they loved! They will go again.

    My favorite dishes here are the roasted veg meat, the sticky rice in lotus leaf, any of the steamed buns, the won ton soup, the tapioca dumplings... ok, it's actually too much to list here. I adore anything involving sticky rice, and their mock pork is to die for. It's everything good about real Chinese style roast pork, without any of the nasty gristly stuff and without having any animal parts in it. It's like a little porky miracle.

    It is an extremely rare occasion that I've gotten something here that I did not enjoy. I will say that I generally stay away from the mock seafood - with the "Jumbo Shrimp with Walnuts" dish being an exception. (I have to say though that I was raised on the very finest seafood from the gulf coast, both in Florida and in New Orleans, and I don't think the mock stuff will ever be up to par with me.)

    The service has always been excellent; even during very busy times the complimentary tea pot stays filled (the secret is to leave the lid off when it's empty), the food comes promptly, and there's cold water in the water glasses. Some of the servers may come off as a bit curt, but this strikes me more as a language barrier and cultural difference than any actual rudeness.

    The only "problem" we seem to run into most every time we go here is that we over-order and can't finish our meal! But one thing is for sure: having Buddha Bodai leftovers never hurt my feelings one bit.

    *sarahlis, I'm baffled by the terrible experience you had here. Perhaps you just don't like the type of food they serve, or dislike silken tofu, or perhaps it was just some kind of fluke. Perhaps you could brave it one more time and see if you feel differently.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by BankBank on June 9, 2008:

  • I came here twice for lunch one week when I was on jury duty. The presentation is that of a generic chinatown chinese restaurant, but the menu is full of all sorts of different types of fake meat. The general tso's "chicken" was pretty decent, but I would've preferred to just have general tso's tofu, which I don't think they offered.

    Another fake meat vegan place (with a chinese spin). Decent atmosphere, a good lunch place.
  • Food: 33
    Atmosphere: 33
    Service: 44
  • Review by jennlynskey on May 30, 2008:

  • My husband and I went for dinner on Tuesday. Had General Gao's, chow fun, and the fried shrimp like "prawns." All was v.good. My husband didn't believe me at first that it wasn't real meat. He enjoyed everything anyway, so I can safely recommend this for omnivores.

    I've also had delivery to financial district (yay!) If you order during lunchtime the dim sum is fantastic. Fried "oysters" is a mushroom wrapped in seaweed and deep-fried. Excellent hangover cure. The sticky rice in the leaf is great, too.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 44
  • Review by Andrew Phillip Tipton on January 16, 2008:

  • I went here the other night, with about 12 friends. We all ordered 2 or 3 things each.....and ate family style. (me trying everything....really.) I asked the waiter to bring out his favorite thing, which was a sizzling platter of vegan beef. Over all I really enjoyed the meal, including the very good dumplings, and broccoli. The servers were all really nice as well.
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 44
  • Review by sarahlis on December 29, 2007:

  • What a horrible place!! I did not want any fake meat so i asked for tofu and broccoli with vegan garlic sauce. OMG!!! What i got was so disgusting I could not eat much of it. The tofu had the consistancy of runny egg whites. It was vile, so I concentrated on the broccoli. They seemed to have smeared some sticky gelatinous crap all over the broccoli, making that inedible as well. It took forever to get a bowl of rice, soy sauce, and a glass of water. They did not even ask us if we wanted dessert. The food, service, and atmosphere were all terrible. My dinner companion appeared to enjoy her mushroom soup but became extremely ill the following day. Do yourself a favor and skip this place.
  • Food: 11
    Atmosphere: 11
    Service: 11
  • Review by crispyheart on March 28, 2007:

  • much to my delight, i discovered that buddha bodai is on seamless web and delivers to the financial dist. yay. this is a glorious thing for those of us who nosh on the job (literally - hunched over our keyboards, food eeriely lit with blu-ish tinge of screen...) it's probably the veg friendliest place on the site (at least for delivery to wall st. and environs). food is pretty good. i'm partial to the veggie dim sum place that we had jason's party at. but they aren't on seamless web.
  • Food: 33
  • Review by ariela on February 28, 2007:

  • I went back here for lunch a few weeks ago. It was quite crowded & they had people share tables with people they didn't know. My friend & I got our own table but no one who had to share a table seemed to mind. I had just never seen a restaurant do this before. Anyways I'm definitely sticking to the lunch specials! you get a huge portion for around $6 and either soup or a spring rolls with it. Definitely recommended for lunch time!
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 33
    Service: 44
  • Review by ariela on January 12, 2007:

  • Went here for the first time tonight. Since it was after 3:30 we couldn't get the dim sum. My friend & I split the General Tso's Chicken & Pineapple Fried Rice. I'm not really a fan of fried rice but the dish was ok. The General Tso's Chicken was quite good! I liked it a lot. They definitely give you a good sized portion considering the price of the meal. (General Tso's was about $12.95) The food was good but not amazing, not sure if I'd go back, especially since you can get pretty much the same dishes at other places for cheaper. Also, I'm pretty sure the chairs were leather, yet it's a vegetarian restaurant, ironic.
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 44
  • Review by Olivia Lane on December 16, 2006:

  • The SuperVegan team went here for a meeting last Sunday afternoon. I was very happy to finally make the trip here and aquaint myself with another part of the city. We had dim sum which wasn't too different or outstanding when compared to other veg dim sum experiences I've had--the menu was full of lots of tasty things I'll never remember to order again simply because there are so many options. Wait, I remember the tripe was surprisingly quite savory, as was the deep fried stuffed eggplant. Mmm...

    Everyone was very nice to us, but I suspect this special treatment was due to the fact that we were with Patrick Kwan, who in addition to being a SuperVegan, is also a publicist for Chinatown. Still, it seemed like they were generally attentive to all their patrons.
  • Food: 33
    Atmosphere: 33
    Service: 33
  • Review by frank language on July 28, 2006:

  • I have to say, I pine and lament for the Vegetarian's Paradise that was at this end of Mott Street (now replaced by an optician), and the first time I went to Buddha Bodai I felt there was something too "Flushing" about it - cloth napkins and all - but I often go here now for the lunch special, which is great - substantial portions, fresh, and affordable.

    Buddha Bodai's fake meat is made on premises and is kosher. Considering I've made the trip to May Wah (not far away) and read the labels (an alarming amount of their frozen fake meats contain whey), I feel much safter eating the food here.

    I like to go for the dim sum on weekends - or you can go around 11 AM - as well; their dishes are easily on a par with Vegetarian Dim Sum House. Damn, it's so cool being a vegetarian when you can still order shark fin dumpliings.
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 33
    Service: 44

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