Being the only vegetarian in a group of friends can be hard. You don’t want to force everyone to head to a vegetarian restaurant, but you also don’t want to end up at a steak house. Williamsburg holds a plethora of restaurants that cater to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Check out some of the best below.
The Meatball Shop
I know the name is deceiving, but this place that draws in meat lovers, also does some pretty epic veggie balls and has a lot of sides that are veggie too. Best of all, you basically build your own meal; choosing a “meatball” type and then a sauce (like parmesan cream or classic tomato). Fill out the meal with a few side dishes, which are served either under the balls or as a separate serving. Try the daily risotto.
170 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY; 718-551-0520; L subway to Bedford Ave.; Website: http://www.themeatballshop.com.
A Mexican extravaganza that attracts a lively local crowd, Mole sits on the corner of Kent Ave. and North 4th St., close to the East River Ferry stop and the waterfront parks. It gets full pretty quickly for dinner but I suggest heading over between 5 and 7 for happy hour drinks ($6 margaritas). The food is amazingly fresh and there are plenty of veggie options, like the vegetarian tacos (with spinach, cabbage, and mushrooms). And guacamole is made to order at your table and spiced to your taste. Try the corn soup and the nachos—both are brilliant.
178 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY; 347-384-2300; L to Bedford Ave. or East River Ferry to N. Williamsburg; Website: http://www.molenyc.com.
Egg is the perfect brunch spot and located on a hip shopping block of North 3rd Street. As you can probably tell by the name they only serve egg-based dishes (so it’s not a place for vegans). This airy, light cafe also has a quirky, kid-friendly twist—each table is given crayons to make drawings on the paper table cloths. Perhaps you’ll draw an egg or a chicken? Egg’s growing popularity means that there’s usually a wait, but it’s well worth it. Go early to avoid the crowds. Both the french toast and eggs any style are delicious.
109 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn NY; 718-302-5151; L subway to Bedford Ave.; Website: http://www.eggrestaurant.com.
One Or Eight
For a nice sushi meal in a swanky modernist space, head to this hidden gem near the Williamsburg bridge. They offer set plates, both fish and vegetarian, as well as separate a la carte items. Trust me, this is some of the best sushi in Brooklyn. Try the veggie roll selection and a guava cocktail. Stop by on a Friday and Saturday evening from 11pm–3am when the bar turns in to a late night ramen joint.
166 South 2nd Street, Brooklyn, NY; 718-384-2152; L subway to Bedford Ave. or East River Ferry to N. Williamsburg; Website: http://www.oneoreightbk.com
If you are looking to save your pennies in the ‘burg then Vanessa’s is the place to go. This place is basic (fast-food style), but has a great range of vegetarian dim sum options that similar restaurants lack. And it’s definitely one of the best quick eats around. Located on Bedford Avenue in the Southside, this cafe serves up steaming dumplings, bubble tea, a range of Chinese dishes, as well as the cheapest pint of beer for miles (under $2). Try the boiled vegetable dumplings and the spring onion pancakes.
310 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY; 718-218-8809; L subway to Bedford Ave.; Website: http://vanessas.com
Bio: Contributing author, Stephanie Hind is a writer and influencer/marketing enthusiast with a love of travel, indie markets and anything locally made. She grew up in Newcastle, England but recently moved to Brooklyn where she is enjoying becoming one of the locals.
Photography by Jennifer, use with Flickr Creative Commons license.