These eight restaurants still have the guts to shun meat entirely:
191 Bedford Ave. at North Sixth Street in Williamsburg (718) 599-2547
Bliss is a slice of heaven for vegetarians seeking more than soy-based meat substitutes, serving hearty vegan dishes like the seitan steak sandwich and “chili con pan” — grilled cornbread topped with chili, pico de gallo and sour cream. Both will make you forget you’re at a veggie haunt. Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 am–11 pm; Saturday–Sunday, 10 am-11 pm. Cash only.
349 Fifth Ave. between Fourth and Fifth streets in Park Slope, (718) 395-1516
One of the newest veggie restaurants, Earth Tonez features mostly vegan meals with an emphasis on freshness. Try the Philly cheese “steak” or “tuna” salad with curry vegan tuna, fresh greens, red onions, shredded carrots and cherry tomatoes. Hours: Every day, 11 am–9 pm.
295 Grand St. at Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, (718) 388-1919
For vegan food in a hurry, there is no better bet than this fast-food joint that serves up a hearty stock of mock meat. Philly cheesesteaks, burgers, “not” dogs and drumsticks — complete with bamboo “bones” — are sure to satisfy when you’re craving some down-home grub. Late-night revelers can cozy up with vegan milkshakes and cookies. And even if you regret that late night binge, at least it was cruelty free. Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5 pm–midnight; Friday, 5 pm–2 am; Saturday, 2 pm–2 am; Sunday, 2–11 pm; closed Monday.
271 Adelphi St. at DeKalb Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 643-4806
Jason Wong’s Red Bamboo specializes in Caribbean and Soul Food-style vegetarian dishes that taste like the real McCoy. Their “soul chicken” is a registered trademark: Cajun-flavored soy chicken cutlet breaded with panko and served with a hickory-smoked Vidalia dressing. There’s also jerk “chicken” and buffalo barbecue “wings.” You’re certainly in no danger of masticating tasteless alfalfa sprouts in this swanky veggie bar and lounge. Hours: Monday–Wednesday, noon–11 pm; Thursday, noon–midnight; Friday, noon–2 am; Saturday, 11 pm–2 am; Sunday, 11 am–11 pm.
185 Dekalb Ave. at Carlton Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 237-0797
This place has been around since 2006, but started as an idea in Afghanistan, of all places, where the co-owners were working for the UN. With an extensive and refined menu, try one of the homemade juices and smoothies, a specialty. Hours: 7:30 am–7:30 pm every day. Cash only.
128 Montague St., at Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 246-1288
A relative newcomer, Vegetarian Ginger serves up all your favorite classic Chinese dishes — except with meat substitutes like tofu and seitan taking center stage. Try the “Mango Soy Protein,” thin-sliced medallions sauteed in a plum sauce with mango sweet sage turnips, bell pepper and onion.
156 Fifth Ave. at Douglass Street in Park Slope, (718) 622-2275
It’s almost hard to believe that everything on the menu is vegan with such a wide selection of paninis, wraps, burgers and pastas at this two-year-old eatery. In addition to the fresh-squeezed juices and organic wine and beer, they also have raw and gluten-free options.Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 am–10 pm. Closed Monday.
Wild Ginger Cafe
212 Bedford Ave. at North Fifth Street in Williamsburg, (718) 218-8828
Williamsburg’s pan-Asian vegan cafe offers a slew of seitan preparations, including smoked teriyaki and orae, but the most popular dish is the black pepper seitan. If spicy food entices, try the General Tso’s soy protein (best with a mint-iced tea). The pineapple-fried rice is also a hit, and an especially good choice for those looking for a more traditional Asian side. Hours: Sunday–Thursday, noon
11 pm; Friday-Saturday, noon–11:30 pm.