MANHATTAN – Vegetarian and plant-based dining options are on the rise in New York City, and these are the best veggie-friendly sandwiches on the Upper East Side. From crispy falafel and smooth hummus to paper-thin fried eggplant, breakfast sandwiches and sausages ‘beyond’ your imagination – the Upper East Side is home to several must-try vegetarian sandwiches.
The Greek Goddess
Coddiwomple | Third Avenue between East 92nd and 93rd Streets
Coddiwomple offers a number of vegetarian and vegan sandwiches, but the Greek Goddess stands out with its smooth hummus and pickled vegetables. The pickled radishes and onions provide a crave-able tang and crunch on this hummus sandwich while tomatoes and cucumbers add a refreshing bite. It’s a messy one to eat though so be sure to grab extra napkins and a fork!
‘Bacon,’ ‘Egg’ & ‘Cheese’ Breakfast Sandwich
Innocent Yesterday | East 77th Street near Second Avenue, next to Zazzy’s Pizza
BECs are a sacred thing in New York City, but many meatless bacon substitutes leave you feeling let down by this Big Apple
Maman | Third Avenue just south of East 81st Street
A recent addition to the Upper East Side, this French bakery features baked goods and a savory menu that has Upper East Siders lining up out the door. The Roberta is a light, but hearty ciabatta sandwich perfect for brunch or lunch. This sandwich tempts your taste buds with roasted eggplant, tangy grilled halloumi, green goddess dressing, romesco, and fresh mint. Be sure to get a nutty chocolate chip cookie while there – you’ll thank me later.
Milano Market | Southwest corner of Third Avenue and East 89th Street
Milano Market never disappoints, and the Palermo is a vegetarian sandwich that more than holds its own amongst the meat-packed Italian sandwiches the deli is known for. Paper-thin, breaded and fried eggplant, fresh mozzarella, tomato, onion and basil pesto mayo come together on olive focaccia in a blend so beautiful, your Nonna – or mine – will shed a tear.
Schaller’s Stube Bar | Second Avenue between East 85th and 86th Streets
You can’t recommend food on the Upper East Side without including the neighborhood’s German roots. Owned by Jeremy Schaller, of the renowned German market and butcher Schaller & Weber, Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar is grilling up classic German street food at a curbside to-go window. The Beyond Classic is the veggie-friendly version of a traditional German bratwurst. This sandwich will satisfy your wurst cravings with a grilled Beyond Sausage Bratwurst nestled in a pillowy soft pretzel bun and topped with Schaller & Weber’s Dusseldorf mustard and sauerkraut.
Tamam | Northwest corner of Lexington Avenue and East 77th Street
Opened in 2020, this vegan and plant-based quick service restaurant offers pita sandwiches, hummus bowls, and salads. Their falafel pita is perfectly crispy and cool all at once with a spicy kick from amba, a mildly spicy Israeli condiment
. The pita is served warm and stuffed with chickpea falafel, Israeli salad, pickles, and fresh herbs; then drizzled with tahini and amba. You’ll want a fork and extra amba on the side for this one, trust me.
Signature Bánh Mì with Herb-Roasted Carrot
Two Wheels | Northeast corner of Second Avenue and East 71st Street
Bánh Mì sandwiches are hard to come by in vegetarian form, but thankfully, Two Wheels has the Upper East Side covered with their herb-roasted carrot. The roasted carrots have just the right crisp – a difficult feat when cooking carrots – while the herbs they’re roasted with add a gentle spice. When the carrots join pickled daikon, jalapeno, cilantro, cucumber, and mayo (an unusual condiment for a bánh mì, but it worked) come together on a freshly baked baguette, it’s a sandwich you won’t be able to put down.