Willow NYC is a vegan restaurant in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. If you’re looking for vegan comfort food in New York City, Willow NYC is a tasty option. It’s got veganized versions of favorites like sliders, crab cakes, calamari and more. Plus, their desserts are nothing short of sheer magic.
Brought to you by Chef Guy Vaknin, who is behind Beyond Sushi and Coletta as well, this is another winner.
With a whole vegan menu to choose from, it can get a bit overwhelming to figure out what to order. And, that’s why we’re here.
NYC Vegan Restaurant: Willow NYC
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Now, we’re suckers for the apps on the menu here. You can’t go wrong with any of them. There’s calamari made from King oyster mushrooms (which we’ve had at Coletta). They’ve also got Zalmon Tartare, a nod to Beyond Sushi’s menu. In addition, there are cauliflower wings and jackfruit crab cakes.
But, we love these two apps the most.
1. Cheeseburger Sliders
Set inside vegan brioche buns (seriously, where can you find these?!?), Willow’s sliders are Impossible meat with vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles. They come three a-pop, so if it’s two of you, good luck deciding who gets the third. Or, just slice it down the middle.
2. Truffle Mac and Cheese
We always get the mac and cheese at restaurants … in the name of research. The truffle mac and cheese at Willow is one of the best we’ve ever had. It’s topped with goodness that includes vegan bacon, chives, smoked paprika, toasted panko and shaved truffles. The result is a creamy, flavor-packed dish that everyone (even non-vegans) will love.
3. Philly Cheesesteak
It’s been a long while since we’ve had a Philly Cheesesteak and Willow reminds us of the goodness we’ve been missing. Vaknin fills a toasted sub with thinly sliced, savory seitan and then loads it up with grilled onions, oyster ‘shrooms, and a rich melted cheddar sauce. Get it with the thick steak fries. You’re welcome.
4. Buttermilk Fried Chick’n
Like the vegan mac and cheese, we always try fried chick’n when it’s on the menu. This time, it’s buttermilk fried chick’n at Willow. The chick’n has a nice crunch to it and comes with cabbage slaw, horseradish aioli (a nice touch with a kick), avocado, romaine and pickles. Like the sliders, it’s served on a brioche bun.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet
PHOTO: Dara Pollak
Finally, Vaknin’s show-stopper you can find at his other restaurants makes it on to the menu here, too. The chocolate chip cookie slider is a must. It comes piping hot in a skillet with the chocolate chips still bubbling. It’s topped with chocolate ice cream, sea salt and roasted peanuts. Finally, there’s a nice smattering of peanut butter sauce to tie it all together. The result? Dessert perfection. We dare you not to finish it … even if you’re full.
199 8th Ave., New York City, 10001; 212-929-2889; Sun. – Thurs.: 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., Fri. – Sat.: 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.