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Top 4 Best New York Restaurants for Vegetarian, Vegan, and Healthy Food

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Vegetarian, vegan, and health-conscious New Yorkers have a lot of great restaurant choices these days. The options go way beyond bland tofu and sprouts. You'll find gourmet raw food, vegan delicacies, healthy options that include fish and poultry, and organic wine and cocktails.

In fact, even meat-eaters will enjoy dining at these great New York restaurants and sampling just how delicious healthy eating can be.

1. Pure Food and Wine

Who knew raw food could taste like this? The chefs at Pure Food and Wine create delicious gourmet meals from raw, organic foods. It's hard to believe that the squash pasta, the empanadas, the pumpkin pie, and other delicacies were created without an oven (they're also completely meat and dairy free). Recipe staples include coconut, nut butters, and fresh produce. Try dining in the lovely garden during nice weather for romantic ambience.

2. Candle 79 and Candle Cafe

For delicious vegetarian and vegan food, it's hard to beat sister restaurants Candle 79 and Candle Cafe on the Upper East Side. Candle 79 is a bit more formal and expensive, while Candle Cafe has a casual atmosphere and lower prices. Both restaurants offer great good and excellent service. The vegan ice cream made with nut butters at Candle 79 must be tasted to be believed.

3. Josie's East and West

Josie's offers a wide range of tasty and healthy dining options at two different locations. There are plenty of vegan options at Josie's, but you can also find dishes with free-range or farm-raised meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood. How can you argue with the loyal customers who crowd both Josie's locations for dinner every night? The macadamia-crusted chicken salad with avocado and mango is one particular stand-out.

4. Zen Palate

Asian vegetarian restaurant Zen Palate has three popular locations in New York City. The busy Union Square location has three floors -- including a casual cafe-style restaurant on the first floor and fine dining on the upper levels. Zen Palate was rated as "Best Healthy Dining" and "Best Vegetarian Dining" restaurant in New York for 2005 by AOL CitySearch. Don't miss sampling the sweet yam fries.

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