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Vatan
Credit: Vatan

I have to admit this: vegetarian cuisine and me have never been the best of friends. Sure, I’ll say hello every once in a while but they aren’t exactly my most frequented text option when it comes to the kind of food that I eat. Vatan, located in Kips Bay (and or Midtown East), changed my mind on how delicious this type of food can be, as its Indian flare that is added to the mix only propelled the overall experience.

Vatan’s Indian vegetarian fare has been a staple in this area for quite some time. They opened their doors around the turn of the millennium, a major win for any sort of restaurant in NYC to have this sort of longevity, and have since been providing residents and tourists alike with scrumptious options that have no type of meat included.

Perhaps I’m a bit of a food snob when it comes to the whole vegan/vegetarian world, as I’ve never really dove into the types of dishes they can provide compared to the ones with meat and seafood. That ignorance was shut down when I went to Vatan with a friend last week and got to experience just how great this type of cuisine really is.

Credit: Vatan

Something that was instantly noticeable about Vatan is how well the location is decorated. You get transported out of New York City and into India for a short amount of time, as the walls are beautifully decorated to mimic the country itself. It’s always an extra bonus for me when places like this go outside the basic set up to really give you a more authentic experience.

Now onto the menu, which has options for gluten and nut free if need be. The food was so good… sooooooooo good! It may make sense to go with the prix fixe menu as that option is all you can eat and you want to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck in this sense.

Let me break down what you should try the most (although everything was great). The Bhaji (sauteed spinach and corn) had such a depth of flavor to it that I never thought spinach could actually have. Same goes for the Ful-Cobi (cauliflower and green peas sauteed in a savory sauce) and the Chana Masala (garbanzo beans with onions and coriander).

Notice… no meat. Nothing. And isn’t needed at all as so many of these dishes filled me up without a piece of chicken or beef to compliment. I’m so glad that I went to Vatan, as it changed my mind completely on how great vegetarian cuisine can be, and I will definitely be making a reservation there again very soon.

For more information on Vatan, please check out their official website.

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