Re-opened here in early-2015. Serves original and experimental dishes in a trendy, fine atmosphere. Price: Expensive more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Western, Beer/Wine
86 Allen St
New York City, New York 10002
Closed Time

Tue-Sat 5:30pm-11:00pm

  • Accepts credit cards


First Review by nitekrawler527
  • vegetarian

Don't Believe the Hype

Posted on 04 / 29 / 2015

My husband and I ate at the original Dirt Candy before they moved into their larger space on Allen Street. Reservations were hard to come by, and we had waited months to secure one. We had really high expectations once we arrived, with their dishes focused on a single food, and unfortunately Dirt Candy did not live up to the hype. My husband (who is vegan) did very much enjoy his Cucumber (coconut poached tofu, shiso galangal sauce, salsify & hearts of palm), and they were able to make the Popcorn Pudding dessert vegan. However, the apps and entrees were small and the taste was nothing extraordinary - I did not like the Cauliflower dish at all. Prices are expensive, and service was rushed to have quick turnover in the tables. Maybe things have changed at the new location, though we were unimpressed with the original Dirt Candy.

Pros: Desserts
Cons: Expensive, Mediocre Food
  • vegan

Inventive but not the restaurant highlight of the trip

Posted on 04 / 06 / 2015

I was really excited to go here given all the hype and how incredibly difficult it was to get a reservation! We ordered a lot of things: the Korean broccoli and jalapeño hush puppy appetizers/"snacks", the curry fries, the carrot entree and eggplant entree. Everything was really beautiful and inventive, but other than the two "snacks", I wasn't blown away by the tastes- maybe it's just a bit too fancy (eg the eggplant "mousse" did nothing for me) for my tastes :-). They also didn't seem super savvy to the whole vegan thing- maybe we just had a newer waiter, but there were a few times he brought something to the table and seems unsure whether it was vegan- once with the complimentary bread and butter, which was fine since we hadn't actually ordered that, but then again with the maple butter with the jalapeño hush puppies (which I had specifically ordered vegan). So, everyone was very nice and the idea is interesting, and I'm very happy for them that they're so busy- but I won't necessarily be rushing back myself.

Mr Jefferson
Mr Jefferson
  • mostly-vegetarian

A restaurant on the rise

Posted on 07 / 29 / 2013

For its size, this is a place full of surprises, not least because we mistook the owner for a waitress. All in all the the food was fantastic and we had a thoroughly enjoyable night. As a rule of thumb, I judge a restaurant on whether I walk away with a copy of the cookbook. On this occasion I bought 3!

Dirt Candy is destined for greater things if they can find a premises more suitable to meet the demand.

Lasting memories are the rosemary candy floss.

Pros: Friendly owner, Innovative food
Cons: Very tight fit, Mushroom pate perhaps too rich for me

  • vegan

Original and creative

Posted on 07 / 05 / 2013

Dirt Candy serves highly creative dishes. Each item is themed on a plant and is totally original. We had each of the four entrees: parsnip, beans, broccoli and corn, and two of the appetizers: mushroom and cabbage. The mushroom was exceptional, especially the mousse. Dessert for us were an incredible Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar (with sweet pea, mint and chocolate) and the Popcorn Pudding - very charmingly sweet. The food was intensely flavored, and uniquely done. The only drawback was that I found, to my taste, some items overly salted. All items (except the tiramisu) could be made vegan. There were a number of gluten free choices as well. Service was excellent. The space was comfortable.

Pros: creative and original, highly flavorful, excellent service
Cons: some items overly salted
  • vegan

A MUST visit for any foodie!!

Posted on 02 / 10 / 2013

I'm really surprised that this place is not more popular on here, because it was hands down the best vegetarian/vegan food I've had in NYC so far. And I'm making this statement based on my previous visits to the other renowned vegan restaurants, including Blossom, Candle 79, Pure Food and Wine, Kajitsu, etc. From what I've read, the chef (Amanda Cohen) is not vegetarian herself, but she has enough guts to creative such innovative vegetarian food using no meat ingredients whatsoever, and it works out beautifully! No fake meat, no seitan, no vegan cheese, just vegetables.

Every dish we had was an excellent interplay of flavors and textures, nothing like what we've ever experienced before. Every bite really made our taste buds sing. The menu was small; some items had dairy/eggs, but we were told first thing after being seated that all items could be made vegan. The two of us started with the highly raved about jalapeño hush puppies, then shared two appetizers, two entrees, and finished with two desserts. We were totally, completely blown away by the food - the flavors, the textures, the presentation everything!! If I have to nitpick, I did find the popcorn pudding too sweet. They could have toned it down a bit and it would still be delicious.

Much like the menu, the restaurant itself was also tiny. There were probably only six or seven tables with a capacity of 20, tops. It was quite cramped, so be prepared to sit elbow to elbow. But then again, it's all about the food and it was absolutely worth it. Openings are hard to come by - you most likely won't be able to get a table without making a reservation well in advance, much less walk-ins. I simply can't wait for my next visit to NYC so I can come back again!

Pros: innovative menu, excellent food, vegan options
Cons: cramped setting, hard to get a table
  • vegan

great vegan food

Posted on 08 / 30 / 2009

we recently visited New York and went to Dirt Candy for dinner.Amanda Cohen is an innovative and very tasty chef.I was with my family of meat eaters and they said that they would visit Dirt Candy again on another visit to New York.
The waitress came to our table and asked how many vegans there were at the table, because they can make everything vegan or vegetarian.
We all had something different .the onion soup was delicious my family had the vegetarian version with cheese, but my meal was totally vegan . I had the salad with the candied grapefruit pops-I had never eaten anything like it before.It was so different and tasty I was tempted to ask for more. My family shared the jalapeno hush puppies and they said the maple butter was amazing.
Golden Beet Papardelle yogurt, pistachios and honey 18.00
Crispy Tofu With Green Ragout kaffir lime beurre blanc 17.00
Asparagus Paella artichokes, morels, saffron tomato broth 16.00
Stone Ground Grits pickled shitakes and a tempura poached egg 18.00
Everything On The Menu Can Be Made Vegan On Req
everything was tasty and amazing .

Pros: tasty, different, cosy
  • vegan

So, so, so good.

Posted on 07 / 24 / 2009

I had put off checking out this restaurant b/c I didn't see anything I would want to eat on the menu and then one day I decided to try it and was amazed at how good and gourmet Amanda Cohen's food is. Without a doubt, the food at dc is the refined and innovative in the city, among the best in the country, surpassed by only Millenium. The restaurant itself is small, and each dish is carefully prepared for the diner. The service is incredible. The food is out of this world. A melody of flavors, each complimenting each other... the food was both complex and comforting. I had the greek salad which is basically chopped up tasty olives, ripe tomatos, and cucumbers with a delish creamy lemon dressing and topped with fried mushrooms; the parpadelle, which were tender and topped with the freshest, sweetest beets and creamy sauce, a nice glass of cava, and this incredible ice cream sandwich desert with choocolate cookie, sweat pea (a really refeshing green taste==not unlike sencha with agave), chocolate and mint ice cream. The mint was unlike anything I ever had. Tart, fresh, a true mint. As I was eating I spied other people's food: the onion soup (which is probably good if you like onion soup, the mousse, a complex dish of vegan pate, sauteed mushrooms, bread, and chopped peaches; the tofu, expertly grilled and perfectly firm on top of a collection of green vegatables, the paella, a wonderful collection of mediterrean vegetables shaped into a cake-like mold... Unfortunately, I didn't see the grits or the other salad. The beignet, corn fritters with a kick, looked awesome, though. Can't wait to go back for more. I've been a vegan in NY since 1995, and seriously, this is the most elegant and interesting (but not fussy) vegan fine dining option there is in the city. (And I have been to Blossom and Candle 79---Dirt Candy more hip, more interesting, a better experience, and much better value). Look forward to going back and hope Amanda keeps experimenting with different foods---we can use some new direction for vegan food in the city!

Pros: excellent service, innovative, tasty, and gourmet, good value
Cons: only open for dinner, 5 days a week, small, need a reservation


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Last updated: 2015/03/08


Added: 2008/11/02


Added by: Guest