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NYC Metro Area Vegan Restaurant Guide

Dirt Candy

Food: 4.894.89
Atmosphere: 4.14.1
Service: 4.784.78

(10 customer reviews. Leave your own!)

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430 East 9th Street
New York   NY 10009
(212) 228-7732
Dirt Candy website
View this restaurant's page on other sites: MenuPages

Veg level:

Vegetarian (mostly vegan)

Price Range:

$$$$$ (Average entree cost: $15-$20)

Hours:

Open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5:30pm to 11pm.

Directions:

Between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.

Delivery notes:

Dirt Candy does not deliver.

Notes:

This restaurant celebrates vegetables, nature's candy!

Despite being perceived as somewhat anti-vegan when they opened, they have since become accommodating and their menu now notes that all dishes can be made vegan.

Bookmark and Share The information on this page was last updated on October 20, 2010.

User Reviews of Dirt Candy

Averaged user ratings:

(1 star = lousy; 5 stars = great)
Food: 4.894.89
Atmosphere: 4.14.1
Service: 4.784.78
  • Review by Minion of Seitan on March 25, 2011:

  • I think Dirt Candy is probably the best vegetarian restaurant in the city - and of course that is not a compliment to make lightly. If you want yummy fried seitan or a hummus platter you can obviously get it cheaper somewhere else. But for that go-to place for a special night, there is no one else I know of that is doing the amazing, special, incredible things that Amanda Cohen is doing at Dirt Candy.

    The smoke cauliflower was to die for. The squash soup - aaaah yum. So many interesting touches in every dish; I eat more slowly at Dirt Candy then anywhere else because I want to savor and enjoy (and try to understand!) every bite, and because I never want any dish to end.

    Save up your pennies folks, it ain't cheap but can't be beat. Treat yourself to the popcorn pudding for dessert.

    They were also incredibly gracious and solicitous of it being my date's birthday - which only helped it be a truly special, and most romantic evening.

    Thanks Dirt Candy!
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by sleepdawg on October 19, 2010:

  • The description of this restaurant above is incorrect. It *is* 100% vegetarian - you will not find animal or fish flesh on the premises. It is not 100% *vegan* as they do use butter and cream, however all the dishes on the menu can be made vegan if desired, with only some minor alterations.

    With that cleared up, it should be noted that this is one of the top 10 vegetarian restaurants in Manhattan. I have dined there many, many times through all the seasons since opening and - comparatively - at other restaurants that place in the "top 10" on this site. Dirt Candy represents the new breed of vegetarian restaurant that concentrates on rich vegetable flavors and techniques without attempting to recreate "meat dishes" or bow to the rather strident food disorder crowd. Amanda Cohen, the chef, is extremely talented.

    There are a lot of now classic dishes here - the jalapeno hush puppies, the skillfully refined mushroom mousse, corn grits, and her amazing popcorn pudding. Seasonally, I like her spring and fall menus the most; lots of great ingredients to work with.

    The restaurant is small, so the menu and wine list are small. That can be a good thing - or not, if you are particularly claustrophobic. Service is always friendly and professional. I never hesitate to send mixed vegan/vegetarian/meat eater groups to this restaurant because I know *every* one will be satisfied, which I cannot say for many other veg-x restaurants. It's a pleasure to see them continue to do well.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 55
  • Review by EatinVeganNYC on June 16, 2010:

  • Tomato Entree
    Three fried green tomato slices sit on watercress, an asparagus onion sautee, and a sea of tomato spaetzle. As a native southerner, I did not anticipate the heavy breading on the tomatoes, which overwhelmed the tomato and made the slightly sour flavor difficult to taste and the firm texture difficult to appreciate. The asparagus component was a nice flavor and crunchy texture contrast to the salty, crisp fried tomatoes and the soft, spaetzle. The spaetzle was replete with indian spices (coriander, cumin, fenugreek) and reminded me very much of mini potato gnocchi texturally. It was quite good and my favorite component of the dish.
    Check out my full review of dinner with photos at EatinVeganNYC Dirt Candy
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 55
  • Review by Minion of Seitan on April 12, 2009:

  • I echo the other posters - regardless of what comments the chef may have made elsewhere, when I ate there this weekend they were extremely accommodating of vegans and the vegan food was awesome. I loved the oft-mentioned hush puppies and spinach soup. The crispy tofu entree was good but not great. The only downer was the carrot risotto which was pretty blah (nicely presented, not much flavor). Overall, fantastic service and a lovely dining experience. Maybe the chef learned her lesson!
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by kerstycakes on January 28, 2009:

  • I was hesitant to go after all the chef/owner's bad mouthing of other veg places and apparent obsession with all things dairy and egg...but I was happily surprised with my dinner.

    Everything (with the exception of some of the desserts) could be prepared vegan and happily this didn't mean that they would made with less attention or deliciousness.

    Everything was very good. I didn't love the hush puppies that everyone raves about. Not much flavor and very greasy. Other than that I tried the veganized grits, risotto, mushroom mousse, popcorn pudding and sweet potato sorbet and really enjoyed all of them.

    I will definitely go back. You absolutely need reservations because it's such a small space.
  • Food: 44
    Atmosphere: 33
    Service: 44
  • Review by Rgotter on January 27, 2009:

  • My one complaint about Dirt Candy is that it's too small! It was so hard to get a reservation for a time when I could go, but when I got there it was like a party. The place was packed, everyone was having a good time, and the kitchen even gave out free food at the end of the night.

    This food totally rocked. I had the vegan portobello mousse and the vegan grits and they really blew me away: rich, filling, and the perfect antidote to this insanely cold winter.

    I've heard about some of the haters on here, and I have to echo the other poster: the first thing they asked was if we were vegan, and they were completely cool about it. It's the best meal I've had in a long time.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by sdelin on January 17, 2009:

  • Yeah, yeah, I know people hate on this chef because she says she likes butter and cream in her interviews. But as soon as you walk in, they ask you if you are vegan or vegetarian and serve vegans with no problems. And the food is AMAZING. Real attention to details and flavors. I usually love the mock meat places, but at this restaurant you don't miss them at all, the food is just GOOD. So, politics aside, I have had two very delicious dinners there.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55
  • Review by alib on January 16, 2009:

  • Okay, so I haven't been here. But I guess that's the point. I was so offended by the obnoxious things she said about other veg restaurants and her complete lack of understanding about veg food. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here: http://supervegan.com/blog/entry.php?id=1220
  • Atmosphere: 11
  • Review by food! on November 10, 2008:

  • I like that Dirt Candy focuses on veggies and not on mock meat as seems to be the fashion nowadays. Believe me, I love me some faux meat, but this was a nice change of pace.

    My friend and I started off with the Jalapeno Hush Puppies which were awesome. I could eat these deep fried goodies all day. After that we went with Spinach soup with dumplings that hit the spot on a cool night. My entree was awesome... I had the Pinot Grigio Papardelle which featured roasted cauliflower and pine nuts. I have no idea what Paperdelle means, but I'm now officially down with it. I wish I was eating some now. In my opinion cauliflower is underutilized, so this was a treat.

    My only minor criticism would be that of the desserts, as only one was vegan. And it was really good, but did not blow me away...really moist, light chocolate cake with sweet potato sorbet that hit the spot but did not make me go nuts. And if I'm gonna use up calories on dessert, I want to go nuts over it. The other non vegan desserts around me looked tastier, like the popcorn, but maybe it was just a case of "the dessert is always greener on the other table." Let's hope for more vegan goodies in the future.

    The joint definitely isn't cheap, for cheap go to Punjabi, but it's not out of control expensive either. It's a nice intimate date spot with food that will make you feel classy.

    So if you're looking for really fresh, well thought out, high quality food prepared by veg-perts (did I just coin that?), Dirt Candy is a great choice. I'll be going back soon.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 44
    Service: 44
  • Review by Tomato on November 10, 2008:

  • Yummy! Loved the spinach soup, grapefruit-lollypops and the desserts were amazing. This is a great date place. Its small and intimate and you will not be disapointed with the food. They ask if you are vegan and most of the menu items can be made vegan.
  • Food: 55
    Atmosphere: 55
    Service: 55

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