Red Bamboo

Overall rating: 4.5 stars 57 Reviews
Small veggie food shop with an extensive menu featuring soul food, mockmeat dishes, sandwiches, Asian dishes, pasta, desserts, and more. Fixed menu is a good deal with large portions. Quiet atmosphere but gets busy. Does not take reservations. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Caribbean, International, Beer/Wine, Delivery, Catering, Take-out
140 West 4th St (Washington Square and 6th Ave, West Village, Manhattan)
New York City, New York 10014
212-260-7049

Open Mon-Sun 12:30pm-12am.

more-less
reviews

Reviews

First Review by Poundie
slo0go
slo0go
31

reviews

  • vegan

Great lunches

4 Posted on 02 / 01 / 2014

I love this place for lunch. I brought my boss here for lunch once. He is a total omnivore/meat eater and he was impressed. He ordered a salad with fake chicken strips and he said it tasted like real chicken. He also really liked the fresh fries. I enjoy their sandwiches, particularly the ones on coco bread. And they have Vegan Treats cakes for dessert. Their sister restaurant Vegetarian Paradise 2 is two doors down.


s144799
s144799
32

reviews

  • vegan

TASTES JUST LIKE REAL MEAT

5 Posted on 12 / 25 / 2013

I can't say it any more. It reminds me of the days before I stopped eating meat. Not kidding. Gives me good memories of meat.

Pros: Very good food
Cons: Not 100% vegan
xJasperx
xJasperx
5

reviews

  • vegan

Good, but heavy

4 Posted on 08 / 03 / 2013

The place itself is nice and the service is good. As a starter I had the Buffalo barbecue wings and those are EXCELLENT (the ranch sauce too). Most of the main dishes are deep-fried though, and that makes them very heavy on your stomach, so be sure not to order too much.

Pros: BBQ buffalo wings!
Cons: deep fried entrees
bwolmarans
bwolmarans
13

reviews

  • vegetarian

don't order the buffalo wings

2 Posted on 05 / 14 / 2013

This is an update to my review, because I must have been in a bit of at testy mood the first time I wrote it.

It's a nice place, you should check it out.

But please don't try the wings. They are made with zero imagination. They wings are not wings, they are hunks of vegan protein slathered in BBQ sauce straight out of the bottle. This is a dish that's not easy to get wrong, but unfortunately Red Bamboo could use some improvement in this area.

To top it off, short poured me on my Duval.
Despite having previously written that I would not visit again, I believe in second chances so I will, but not until I've reviewed all the other vegan/veg choices in NYC.

Good vibe, packed with twenty-somethings. Obviously not hurting for business.

Updated from previous review on Monday January 07, 2013

Pros: lighting, vibe full of twenty somethings, tables, staff
Cons: service, poor attempt at buffalo wings
Elicia
Elicia
5

reviews

  • vegan

Chicken Wings!

5 Posted on 12 / 28 / 2012

Listen Up... Did you ever have that "yen" for chicken wings. You know you have! But then you get disgusted, it is the wings of that poor tortured bird... not so at Red Bamboo... These are "meaty" wings that are as greasy as the real thing! Actually, they were delicious. Not something you would eat every day, this is not "healthy" vegan fare, they were deep fried, but you just got to go and check it out. The rice dumplings, also deep fried tasted just like I remember a pork egg roll. I even brought a meat eating friend to make sure I was not remembering wrong, It has been 15 years. Hopefully, he will not be meat eating for long.

Pros: Staff was amazing, kind, and smiling, Really wonderful meat substitute fare, Lovely experience!
Cons: Most of the items have gluten., Lot of deep friend items., Take a roll of quarters, parking is bad
veggie wedgie
veggie wedgie
11

reviews

  • vegan

great vegan junk food

3 Posted on 10 / 13 / 2012

This place is the kind of vegan restaurant were you will not go to eat fresh, clean or to see veggies on your plate. If you are in the mood for mock meat galore, then you will love it. So many options!

Pros: good value, nice vibe, large portions
Cons: no fresh veggies
MikeyMike
MikeyMike
6

reviews

  • vegan

Top pick

5 Posted on 08 / 15 / 2012

This is one of my favorite places in NYC. It is packed most times so you have to wait for a table, but it's worth it. The soy chicken nugget appetizer is great. The only thing I say to steer clear from is the seafood platter. UGH! Horrible. But every restaurant is entitled to have a miss. Try the "porkchop" too. Priced as most places are in Manhattan.... a little bit expensive but nothing too crazy. Oh, our waitress was in a tank top and had hairy armpits. Not sure if that might bother some people. LOL

Pros: FOOD!!!!!
Cons: Waitress with Hairy Armpits, Limited Seating, Wait for Table
Posi Britt
Posi Britt
55

reviews

  • vegan

Yes!

5 Posted on 06 / 24 / 2012

This place was amazing when we went here 8 years ago! Huge portions, very good prices, amazing selection, and desserts too! We had a phenomenal pistachio "milk"shake here.

Pros: Great food, Interesting creations, Great prices
Cons: Super busy, Kinda pretenious staff
natz
natz
31

reviews

  • vegetarian

Amazing!!!

5 Posted on 06 / 09 / 2012

Went here 3 times during our week in new York! Never booked so didnt have any reservation issues although 2 visits were lunchtimes. Having been to many veg restaurants around the world I would say this is the best place for mock meat anywhere, if you are missing textures and flavours of meat this is the place. The steak burger tastes just like a burger king flame grilled burger and was a big portion with fries, fabulous. The buffalo chicken wings were stunning, as a starter you get 5 massive pieces so either have just that or share between 2 or 3 people. The pork BBQ ribs again were as close as you can get to the real thing but cruelty free and a big portion. Best was the southern fried chicken (veggie not vegan) as you get so much meat on your plate! The sweet potato fries were really good to go with them. We managed a vegan choc brownie cheesecake to share and again was wonderful and big portion. What was disappointing was the voodoo ribs as after visits where you get so much meat you only get two ribs with a couple of pieces of meat on and most of the plate was taken up with plain brown rice. Nothing wrong with that usually but when the other person is enjoying a meat feast for the same price you feel completely short changed. This is not about combinations of flavours or a balanced meal (can do that at home) this is about eating food you never thought you would be able to have, getting a protein overload and enjoying chicken again without blood and gristle! Fantastic! Don't bother with the BBQ pulled pork sandwich either as there is too much BBQ sauce which soaks the bread and too overpowering. Keep it simple and enjoy!
Updated from previous review on Saturday June 09, 2012

Pros: Range of choices and cuisine types, Big chicken portions, How authentic the fake meat tastes
Cons: Some dishes not in proportion to others, Can be noisy and tables close together
elles_belles
elles_belles
45

reviews

  • vegan

The only downside is the line

5 Posted on 03 / 18 / 2012

My friend and I came here on her trip to the city. The restaurant wouldn't take our reservation. This is a bit confusing to me. I would think that this would help alleviate the wait times. Our wait was about 25 mins. I didn't mind this because the food was well worth it. I just wish they would consider booking reservations.

I had the tempura "seafood" appetizer and it was amazing. Not very similar to real seafoods but it didn't have to be because it was delicious. I also had the codfish cakes with mango salsa. The salsa was deliciously tart and fresh. I love it and the salad that came with it. My friend had the "pork" chops and enjoyed them very much.

I can be a big eater but even I didn't even close to finish the meal.

Pros: Large portions
Cons: Long waits
madjoy
madjoy
3

reviews

  • vegetarian

My favorite veggie restaurant in the city

5 Posted on 10 / 29 / 2011

Red Bamboo may not be the perfect vegetarian / vegan-friendly restaurant, but it's damn close to it. My only possible complaint is that sometime's there is a wait and it's a bit crowded. But the food is out-of-this-world amazing, the prices are completely reasonable, the menu selection is wide, and the portions are very generous. This is the type of place I bring all my tentative meat-eating friends to show them how great vegetarianism can be, and none of them have been disappointed yet.

My one piece of advice: in choosing an entree, while everything is pretty good, what makes Red Bamboo amazing is its mock chicken dishes. So make sure at least someone at the table tries that, whether it's the Southern Fried Chicken (mmm, those drumsticks), the Chicken Parm (the fake cheese tastes so real!), the curry chicken, or a sandwich... do it. A few other recommended dishes: the crab rangoons for an appetizer, and the peanut butter chocolate cake for dessert.

They've also always been very accommodating to me with special requests (ex. asking for a different sauce to put over my vegetables). While the waitstaff is usually busy, they're also very nice! Don't be afraid to ask them if you need anything :)

Pros: amazing food, mock chicken, reasonable prices
Cons: crowded, wait time
Marte P
Marte P
8

reviews

  • vegetarian

Seitan to die for

4 Posted on 06 / 25 / 2011

We came here on a weekday without reservations, which was a mistake. We were told it would be a 45 minute wait. As we were getting quite hungry by this time, we decided to get a take-away instead. I had the BBQ ribs, and it was simply amazing. They screwed up our order a bit and the trimmings were just decent, but the BBQ ribs itself it worth a trip across the Atlantic. I was hoping to come back to try something else from their extensive menu, but alas this did not happen. Will definitely come back for my next trip to NYC. The restaurant looked nice, but crowded. I give 4 cows overall because the trimmings were not excellent and we didn't get to try a full dining experience, but the BBQ ribs itself are worth at list 6..

Pros: Amazing seitan, Good value
Cons: Packed, Trimmings just ok
vegified
vegified
14

reviews

  • vegan

YUM!

5 Posted on 06 / 06 / 2011

this place is a must. i haven't met anyone who's been there and didn't love it (veg and non-veg). go!


veganmanc
veganmanc
19

reviews

  • vegan

Great food but poor customer service

3 Posted on 04 / 11 / 2011

We had to wait a long time to get served as it was so busy but this was a good sign of its popularity and it was worth the wait.

Heavy on the fake meat but amazing selection with choices you hadn't even thought could be made vegan (such as oxtail soup).

Great portions and flavours, took a long time to choose what to have so use your time waiting for a table by reading the menu!

Can't fault the food but customer service was very poor. They were trying to get people to hurry up by bringing out main courses before we'd even finished eating our starters (which meant food was going cold). Staff wouldn't even smile then complained that we hadn't left a big enough tip - with that level of service they were lucky to get anything!

We would have eaten there again during our trip but the rudeness of the staff meant we didn't want to return.

Pros: Good choice, Tasty food
Cons: Staff attitude
eye of judgement
eye of judgement
26

reviews

  • vegan

THE place to be

5 Posted on 09 / 03 / 2010

I don't think there's a restaurant in the world where I ate more often than this one. Which might say more about my dining out habits than about the restaurant, but this place you really can't afford to miss.
Even if you are almost broke or have a small stomach, just order the Buffalo Wings and a custom made soy-milkshake. Brace yourself for this sensation, I never found anything like it anywhere.

Pros: starters, milkshakes
Cons: very busy, entrees get a bit boring
Hello
Hello
2

reviews

  • vegan

Wonderful!

5 Posted on 08 / 25 / 2010

Went there with my non-vegan family, they had an awesome time, and my youngest sibling had no idea the food wasn't real meat at all. But downside is that it's very fried/ and/or preprocessed, so therefore tastes wonderful but isn't super healthy I suppose. And the atmosphere was good!


rach
rach
23

reviews

  • vegetarian

Tasty food but not for a fancy night out

4 Posted on 05 / 20 / 2010

The food is good and the portions enormous. Had the chicken creole and the buffalo wings. They were tasty, a lot of fake meat (which Im normally not a huge fan of) but I enjoyed it. I wouldnt go here for a romantic dinner as the ambiance is lacking a little. Its nice enough for a lunch time venue though. Close to the subway station and easy to find. Good lunchtime specials.

Pros: Good food, Location
Cons: Ambiance, Heavy on fake meat
Sprout
Sprout
37

reviews

  • vegan

slightly let down, but great dessert

3 Posted on 05 / 19 / 2010

This place was highly recommended to me, but I was a bit let down. I really wanted to like it, but my entree just didn't do it for me. We had edamame and the Caribbean Jerk Spiced Seitan for starters. The seitan's sauce wasn't really as described; it tasted more like a bbq sauce, and not a spiced molasses and lime-papaya dressing. My brother enjoyed the Ginger Beef, but I was disappointed with the southern fried chicken. It was really dense and a bit dry, and the collards and ham were basically inedible. The collards were really overcooked and I just didn't like the faux ham. The sweet potato fries were great, though. The portions were huge, but it didn't help that I didn't like my meal. It was ok, but I've had better vegan chicken. Maybe it was just an off night? Out server was ok, but the host was more attentive to us. The dessert was amazing and saved the night! We had the chocolate-covered strawberry shortcake, and, oh my, was it divine! While the entree was disappointing, I would still go back and give this place another try.

Pros: dessert, wide variety
Cons: faux chicken not great
onlyahuman
onlyahuman
30

reviews

  • vegan

fake meats, but good juice!

3 Posted on 05 / 03 / 2010

I'm not one to rave about their fake chicken because it's too much like real chicken and made me gag. Their juice is great though!


veggiegoth
veggiegoth
52

reviews

  • vegetarian

prett good

3 Posted on 03 / 23 / 2010

i have gone to red bamboo for several years now starting with the one in the city. i was so excited when another one opened up in my hood in brooklyn. i have tried many different dishes at RB and some were good and some were just ok. i really like the chicken creole and the cubano sandwich. the philly seitan cheese steak is good but the hoagie it comes on is just too much bread and very filling. they need to put more seitan in it. unfortuantly the red bamboo here in brooklyn closed so i guess it's back to the village for RB.


fondducoeur
fondducoeur
62

reviews

  • vegan

Very Impressive

5 Posted on 02 / 15 / 2010

The food here is great and the menu is absolutely huge. My bf and I ordered 2 sides and 2 entrees so that we could try more and have leftovers, and we easily had enough for 2 meals a piece.
I had the asian dumplings over mixed greens as a starter, and the creole chicken as an entree. He had the buffalo wings and the mango chicken. Wow. The meat is very realistic (so much so that you can actually get creeped out, so be prepared) and delicious. The creole chicken was so good and the sauce that came with it was tangy and wonderful. I also enjoyed the dumplings very much (served with a yummy soy/ginger sauce) and the buffalo wings (with vegan blue cheese). The mango chicken was not as flavorful as we thought it was be, but was still pretty good.
We will definitely go back the next time we're in the city!


christopher byron
christopher byron
21

reviews

  • vegan

great place

5 Posted on 11 / 13 / 2009

everyone everywhere seems to know about red bamboo. It's one of those places that people just know about. It's very delicious and you can order great things like fried chicken (which is soooo good). I would definitely recommend going to red bamboo if you are thinking about going veg or have never eaten at a veg restaurant. A meal at red bamboo is a great place for the first time veg meal! RB reminds me a lot of the japanese/chinese vegetarian restaurants that are very common in Los Angeles

Pros: food/recipes, cost (lunch specials), texture of faux meats
Cons: unhealthy dishes
bigfootone.com
bigfootone.com
3

reviews

  • vegan

the most awesomest food...but get it to go........

3 Posted on 10 / 18 / 2009

I really really love the food here,,its like a dream come true,,,
any vegan place that has the best of all my asian favorites...and the best of all the american sandwiches and fries and does it good is all good by me,,,its not overpriced and the lunch specials are like 6.95....
BUT ..I cant stand to eat there,,,why,,? the overpowering smell of bugspray,,roach spray raid,,whatever you want to call it,,,I'm surprised no ones commented on this on other reviews,,,I saw one person on here complaining that it always smells like new paint,,,that is roach spray,,,,
I cant really enjoy the food without breathing it in,,and feeling like I'm gonna get cancer by getting roach spray residue on my clothes.....I understand this is NYC and its in below ground level in an ancient building...but if you go as far as to have vegan ,non cruelty food,,,try to find a more natural non cancerous to your patrons approach to controlling the pests..
please!

Pros: best of all asian foods, american sandwiches, peanut butter bomb
Cons: smells like roach spray, always crowded for dinner, waiting list to be seated
Spike
Spike
4

reviews

  • vegan

Love, love, love Red Bamboo

5 Posted on 10 / 12 / 2009

Manhattan is one of our family's favorite places, and when we visit, the first place we go is Red Bamboo.

The food is magnificent, and the restaurant stylish, fun and full of energy. Their mock meats are sublime, and their gift of flavor combinations is pure alchemy.

Sometimes when in NYC, Red Bamboo is the only restaurant we visit.

I'm a great cook, they're better!

Go. You'll love it.

Pros: exciting variety, flavors, mock meats
Cons: not fully vegan
DC Vegan
DC Vegan
26

reviews

  • vegan

Screw healthy eating!

4 Posted on 10 / 04 / 2009

This is probably my vegetarian boyfriend's favorite place in NYC, and it's one I enjoy as well. I don't know of anywhere in DC where I could get a float short of making one at home, and what fun is that?

The portions are quite generous--one BBQ hero was plenty for my boyfriend and me (I found that out on a prior visit). Unless you're really hungry, two people may want to consider sharing an entree.

Red Bamboo has desserts from Vegan Treats, so if you're in the mood for something sweet besides a float or some ice cream, you're in luck, as their desserts are fabulous.

One of my few complaints is that the place is very small and crowded, so in the evening, you may wait for a seat. When we went for lunch, however, we got seated right away.

If you're looking for a fun, funky dining experience in the Village, this is a great place to go.

Pros: Good location near subway, Good food, Generous portions
Cons: Place is small, Long waits in the evening
SynthVegan
SynthVegan
552

reviews

  • vegan

Get the Chicken Creole!

5 Posted on 09 / 26 / 2009

Holy...wow...Red Bamboo is amazing! I say that even taking into consideration the wait I had to endure - I was told 30 minutes, but it turned out to be more like 90 minutes...grrr. Anyway, while I was patiently waiting to be seated I read all the reviews on Reb Bamboo and everyone raved about the Chicken Creole. Being the skeptic I am about Vegan chicken (I generally never like it) I asked the waitress what the most popular thing was there...and low and behold...Chicken Creole. So I took the chance and to sum it all up in on word, WOW!

The first thing to note is that you get HUGE portions. My meal came with Vegan mashed potatoes (awesome!), zucchini and squash (yum), and the fake chicken with sauce (holy..um..yeah!). I've only had this kind of fake chicken twice now, and it's unreal! It actually looks like chicken when you pull it apart. I even saved some for the morning and the crispy outside was a little soggy the next day, but they tasted like chicken nuggets that way, yaaay! My bf got the BBQ chicken legs; they came on a stick and were sooo good! Red Bamboo is amazing! One of my favorites in NYC!!!


silic0nsilence
silic0nsilence
5

reviews

  • vegetarian

Worth the wait

4 Posted on 09 / 06 / 2009

Red Bamboo seems to be in a great part of NYC. The neighborhood seemed lively, and safe. I went with my fiancee, also a vegetarian, and my future mother-in-law, a herbivore. Everyone left happy. The food was very good, and tasted very close to the real thing. I had the faux chicken parm hero while my fiancee had the faux phile-cheesesteak. We enjoyed our food, although we were expecting it to be a bit better. My mother-in-law also enjoyed her food, but it wasn't spectacular.

I am upset that the food wasn't spectacular. I was expecting the best after reading these reviews but really, it was just slightly "above average" for a vegetarian restaurant.

The food was priced pretty well, but the wait is what really brought down the excitement. The restaurant takes no reservations, so we waited about 20 minutes before we could sit down, and the three of us had to squeeze into a two-person table.

I would probably go back, but only if I happened to be near the place. It isn't worth traveling to the city and area for if it is the only thing you are going to do.

Pros: Food was ok, Staff was friendly, Portions were filling
Cons: Long wait for table, Very noisy
TRaeCH
TRaeCH
87

reviews

  • vegetarian

An excellent option in New York

3 Posted on 08 / 30 / 2009

Two friends of mine - one non-vegetarian - and I went to Red Bamboo recently and I must say, enjoyed our meal quite a bit.

Like most vegetarian restaurants, I found it to have a nice, friendly atmosphere; slightly more upscale, less hippy, than I'm used to but a good vibe none the less. The service was alright, not very quick but our waitress made up for it with her charm.

The food was rather good. In retrospect, we should have ordered more variety - three soy-based beef substitutes, though flavoured differently, don't offer a complete appreciation of the restaurant's potential. Serving sizes are huge. Impressively, Red Bamboo provides re-usable (and/or recyclable) Tupperware, free of charge, if you're taking home enough food. Ask for it by name! For desert, since I love it so much, we shared a big slice of carrot cake which was vegan but didn't seem to be made by them - maybe I'm wrong. It was good, far from the best though.

I might go back to Red Bamboo on a return visit to New York. I am curious to see how their mock fish and chicken compares to the beef.

Pros: Vast menu, Quick on water refills
Cons: Raw veggies lacking quantity and taste
Bow
Bow
17

reviews

  • vegan

Thumbs up

5 Posted on 07 / 27 / 2009

I am vegan, my partner is omni, and this restaurant was our favourite compromise option. I am generally not much into fake meat stuff - I like my vegetables - so I sympathise with those who aren't keen for that reason (I have never seen the appeal in making food look or sound like a dead animal). It's also true that the food is not for health freaks. But that's where the criticism ends. The food always tasted fresh and flavoursome, with interesting textures and sauces. The first time we went, we shared a starter and had an entree each, and this proved to be too much, because the portions are really very generous. Afterwards, we just had main courses, and even then we had to take home leftovers! (I would have preferred less of the fake meat and more vegetables - there are enough vegetables per serving for one meal, but enough fake meat for two people, so if you end up taking some of the fake meat home, you will need some more vegetables to wash it down). We also came here once just for dessert (we cannot understand how anyone can get through one of these main courses AND a dessert - no kidding, the portion sizes are massive - am I just too British?!). The oreo cheesecake was yummy and innovative if a little heavy, while the peanut butter cake was light and fluffy and really delicious. If room in my tummy permitted, I would have loved to try the others. Everything around us looked and smelled delicious.
The service was always prompt and friendly, and as an added bonus, this is a very gay-friendly place with a warm ambiance.
For me, the real appeal of this place was getting to try food I had heard of but never been able to sample, as I have been vegan since childhood. I was always curious about 'soul food' and happy to get to have a cruelty-free taste. After eating here a few times in short succession (we were on holiday), my partner and I felt nostalgic for healthier food, but for an occasional treat, especially if you need a compromise for a veg*n and an omni, this is a great little place. If you are not dining alone and want to try a range of things, one starter, one main and one dessert is an ample meal for two people.

Pros: Yummy food, Friendly service, Huge portions
Cons: Not very healthy, Too much like meat for some palates
serenacarey
serenacarey
16

reviews

  • vegan

Vegan Soul Food - Yum!

5 Posted on 07 / 23 / 2009

My favorite restaurant in NYC - I go here every year! The BEST buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce and fish sticks with tartar sauce - ALL vegan, of course. The service here sucks and the people are NOT friendly at all - could it be that I wore my Republican shirt and they're liberal hippies? Maybe. But I looked beyond that and the food is AMAZING!!!!

Pros: Faux Fish Sticks, Vegan Buffalo Wings, Vegan options
Cons: Service, Unfriendly, Too far from home
crdavis714
crdavis714
3

reviews

  • vegetarian

Great Spot!

5 Posted on 04 / 24 / 2009

I love Red Bamboo! The food is really good. If you want to veg out this is the prefect place to go!

Pros: Really , Good food, Food
MO_vegan
MO_vegan
7

reviews

  • vegan

WOW

5 Posted on 04 / 22 / 2009

Loved this place! We ate there multiple times while visiting NYC. Friendly staff keep the water glasses filled.

Pros: non vegan items marked, Fantastic fries, Good value
Yeliz
Yeliz
5

reviews

  • vegan

Seriously disappointing

2 Posted on 12 / 12 / 2008

I have been to Red Bamboo many times since I go to NYU and live in the area. Every time I went back with a feeling that if there are so many good reviews I must be missing something. Well, I don't think so. Junk food is just not my thing.
I don't like junk food. Even if it's vegan junk food. If you are used to eating a lot of meat and miss it but don't want to have any animals on your dinner plate, Red Bamboo is a good place to go, but you won't find much other than fake meat. It is a fake meat paradise and a true vegetarian's hell. Yes, the soy chicken feels like chicken. Yes, their sauces are rich and greasy. No, these are not healthy foods. Like another reviewer said, the side veggies are missing. So when you order soy chicken skeweres, that's what you get. A couple skewers with deep fried processed soy smothered in a rich sauce and nothing else.
What disappoints me the most about Red Bamboo is the after-feeling of being unsatisfied and "down". I love vegan food and I am a good cook, so I know how truly amazing vegan food can be, all the while being healthy and nutritious and uplifting. Red Bamboo is none of these for me. It's not "oh my god" tasty, it's not healthy, it's not nutritious and it's not satisfying. Even when I was craving greasy comfort food Red Bamboo didn't do it for me. An alternative? Try Curly's Vegetarian Lunch. Or cross the street and get a dosa from Thiru the Dosa Guy. That's a better lunch special than what you will get at Red Bamboo.
That being said, the desserts should be evaluated in a separate category. They are good. But so are desserts at Life Thyme, plus they are bigger and less expensive. If you want an afternoon tea and desserts with friends, this may be a place to go... if you don't mind the freshly painted smell in Red Bamboo. I don't know if they purposely make the place smell that way but to me it's suffocating. An alternative? Go to Gizzy's or to The Bean, both just a couple blocks away.

That being said, if you are in the mood for an uninspiring vegan burger and fries and beer, it may be an OK place...if you can survive the smell (I guess if I did, you would be able to, too). That's how I can justify the two cow faces, otherwise it would be only one, which I am not allowed to give.

Pros: desserts, location
Cons: junk food, uninspiring, bad smell
ronin1
ronin1
2

reviews

  • raw

seriously awesome!

5 Posted on 11 / 26 / 2008

i love red bamboo and before i found out i was pregnant, i would drag my husband out to brooklyn just to eat their. i am more into raw foods now but for my wedding this past august we had red bamboo catered and our guests loved it!! its a very trendy type of place and the wait staff is soo nice and helpful. we love literally everything on the menu esp. the peanut better bomb!! prepare to gain 5 lbs when eating that cake! its great! their have been a few times when i ordered take out and the food was off, but i would just tell them i was unhappy and they would make me another one! really an awesome vegan place!

Pros: food, service
Cons: location
jtct203
jtct203
11

reviews

  • vegetarian

My 2nd favorite restaurant in NYC!

5 Posted on 11 / 20 / 2008

Been going here since they opened and I love it. The chicken Parm grinder is insane!!!

Pros: great selection, good prices, great hospitality
Cons: small and cramped sometimes
hcatloved
hcatloved
8

reviews

  • vegan

there's only love here..

5 Posted on 09 / 30 / 2008

i love red bamboo. i love the people who work there. i love the food. i WISH they would bring it to la, because it would for sure do well there. i love the bbq buffalo wings, salmon rolls, chicken parm and creole soul chicken!!! i love red bamboo. that must be the thing i miss most about NY.

Pros: food, price, sweet employees
Cons: possible wait
kindlizard
kindlizard
183

reviews

  • vegan

we dig it

4 Posted on 09 / 19 / 2008

It was all good. We liked everything we had, though some of it tasted the same as the rest. WE'd come back for it and would tell you to go. Creole Vegan, need ya say mo'?
Go on!

Pros: Creole, Vegan
XspeedyX
XspeedyX
17

reviews

  • vegan

Hmmmmmm

5 Posted on 08 / 24 / 2008

We don't get fake meat like this in Belgium!
The veggies are bland, but that's ok, because you're clearly here for the 'meat'.
Try the BBQ chicken!


nikkivic
nikkivic
4

reviews

  • vegan

Great Soul Food

5 Posted on 08 / 21 / 2008

I fell inlove with this vegetarian restaurant the first time I ate there. I suggest trying their bamboo nuggets (taste comes close to chicken as mock meats can) and make sure to request their honey mustard sauce for dipping. My favorite dishes are their chicken parm entrees and bamboo ribs. Most of the dishes I highly recommend, but make sure and order their side dishes of mash potates with corn and the likes. And if you're lucky, they have awesome chocolate vegan cakes with caramel sauces which are "must try" desserts. Soy ice creams are always available, but for those with sweet tooths it doesn't hurt to try their cakes. However, only problem is waiting to be seated during the evening when this tiny restaurant is jam packed. Waiting time can run anywhere between 30-45 mins. They have friendly staff who can assist you with questions / suggestions you might have. Tiny restaurant is dimly lit for a pleasant dining experience. And food is well priced for the value and quality you're getting. I do not suggest a place for large groups and parties as the restaurant space is quite tight.


coloradomojo
coloradomojo
1

reviews

  • vegetarian

Great mock meats

5 Posted on 08 / 16 / 2008

Our meal was well worth the 45 minute wait. The mock meats tasted exactly like the real thing. My 7-year old daughter and I loved the Crispy Sole Filet - best vegetarian meal I have ever had (How do they make soy flaky?)! My husband and 9-year old son loved the Classic BLT with mock bacon that was like the real thing. We also had the Grilled Chicken Salad which was also great. The Red Bamboo is a must for any vegetarian visiting or living in NYC.


Guest
Guest

Shockingly bad

2 Posted on 08 / 10 / 2008

I went here while visiting New York on advice from friends. I had heard how good the food was and been told that it was not to be missed.

I was there with four other people and each of us ordered something different. I tried bits of every plate as well as an appetizer. Everything was really unappealing. And, I have eaten meat in my earlier years and nothing tasted like what it was supposed to taste like. So, it would not even be a good place to take non-vegetarians as an introduction to vegetarian eating. For example, one of my dining companions had a faux-salmon dish. It tasted nothing like salmon yet had a fishy smell and taste. For those who don't know, fish should not taste or smell fishy, but this did in spades It is as if the chef decided to caricature meat dishes rather than make something that genuinely tastes good.

The service was so-so. Nothing horrible, but nothing spectacular, either.

Maybe it was an off-night or something but I was amazed that someplace with such good reviews on this site would serve such amazingly bad food. I might go again to see if it was just a bad night, but I'm in no hurry to do so.

Pros: Service is friendly
Cons: Imitation meat does not taste like meat, Imitation meat does not taste good, Very little other than fake meat
marcelina
marcelina
5

reviews

  • vegetarian

Favorite!

5 Posted on 07 / 01 / 2008

BBQ Buffalo Wings... Need I say more!
Go there, try this... it'll change your life. Haha.

Pros: Delicious!, Variety, They serve beer!
Cons: Too busy
NIBsmf
NIBsmf
64

reviews

  • vegan

My Favorite All-Vegetarian Restaurant

5 Posted on 06 / 10 / 2008

This is the one thing I miss about living in NYC! My favorite all-time restaurant (along with the location in Brooklyn), I have never known any other place to have so many soy-meat options. Even all of my meat-eating friends/family cannot believe how realistic so much of it is. Even though I can understand some of the reviews saying that it is not the healthiest vegetarian food due to it being very processed much of the time, there are also plenty of healthier options on the menu (salads, stir fries, etc). My only complaints about the Manhattan location are that you cannot make reservations and it can get very crowded, and it is a small space. I much prefer the atmosphere and seating at the Brooklyn one, and I don't think I have ever had to wait there. Oh, and both locations are a bit pricey (expect to pay at least $10), but it's worth it since they are so specialized.

Pros: Excellent food, Large portions, Unique food
Cons: Small space, Long wait, Bit pricey
GoatxThrower
GoatxThrower
7

reviews

  • vegetarian

This place is awesome

5 Posted on 06 / 02 / 2008

Unfortunately, I do not live in NYC, otherwise, I'd visit this place more often. I've only been twice, but it's by far one of the best veg-friendly places I've visited. It can get very packed and I'm not sure how I feel about the tight/cramped seating where you're basically rubbing elbows with other people. I assure you though, it is just a very minor qualm, because I can't complain at all about the food. Excellent place, I hope it's here to stay.


maliciouskami
maliciouskami
29

reviews

  • vegan

A Must-See!

5 Posted on 01 / 09 / 2008

I went on a multi-city trip over the holidays and it was my goal to eat at as many veg restaurants as possible (don't have them at home). This place hands-down wins. Amazing value for the money and amazing food. While this place is mostly vegan, I was annoyed that they still carried a few items with dairy/egg in them. With so many menu items that are so tasty, where's the point in continuing to sell cruelty? Also, expect a long wait. We came on a regular weeknight and had a 30 minute wait in the cramped waiting section before being seated at a cramped table! My main issue, however, was just looking around me and seeing all the amazing food everyone was eating, it made it very difficult to choose. We tried the bbq chicken legs, calamari, and collard green "rolls" (which turned out to be spring rolls) for appetizers. The BBQ legs were my favorite. For entrees, we got the half BBQ chicken meal and a beef meal. The beef wasn't all that great, but the chicken was. We also split a vegan Coke float and a slice of brownie-bottom cheesecake. The cheesecake tasted so real, we didn't trust it. We tested it on our non-veg friend and he agreed. We had to verify with the waitress!

Also, keep in mind that their portions are really, really, really huge. Don't fill up on appetizers like we did!

Pros: Mostly vegan, Large portions, Great tasting and unique
Cons: Long wait, Not all-vegan, Cramped
mr.pancakes
mr.pancakes
7

reviews

  • vegan

nice nice nice

5 Posted on 12 / 14 / 2007

i actualy went there 2 times but i forgot about what i had the second time!i had the Buffalo Barbecue Wings as an starter once and the Creole Soul Chicken as an entree.it was really really good they are pretty fast and the waiters are always nice.also you should get a dessert in there they have the original vegan treats cakes...yummie


nycdogswimmer
nycdogswimmer
3

reviews

  • vegan

Simply wonderful

5 Posted on 10 / 06 / 2007

This is my all-time favorite veggie/vegan restaurant in NYC. Even my non-veggie friends love it and come here without me! Everything I have ever had here has been spectacular, including the desserts. I love it!

Pros: Everything
iwiley
iwiley
3

reviews

  • vegetarian

Wow

5 Posted on 09 / 27 / 2007

This teeny, busy hole-in-the wall is faux-meat heaven! It had a casual, neighborhood feel, friendly (but not intrusive) staff, killer entrees and stellar desserts. Awesome find!

Pros: great food, neighborhood restaurant
Cons: small and busy
ozport
ozport
4

reviews

  • vegan

Good Vegan Food That's Easy on the Wallet

5 Posted on 09 / 19 / 2007

We ate at Red Bamboo on a recent visit to the city and we were very pleased with our meals. We ordered the Buffalo "Wings" which had us drooling from the first bite. I also ordered the Soul Chicken appetizer which I couldn't finish. The Seitan Sandwich had a little too much sauce for me. Next time I'll order it light on the sauce. My husband had a Creole Chicken burger and raved about it too. Wish we had arrived with emptier stomachs because we couldn't finish everything. The best part was that prices were very reasonable for NYC. Service was quick and the atmosphere pleasant. Try it if you're in the Village!

Pros: Good Soul Food, Buffalo Wings!, Affordable
Cons: Only in NYC!
michal
michal
19

reviews

  • vegan

try the bourbon chicken!

4 Posted on 07 / 31 / 2007

the bourbon chicken is my favorite thing on the menu & anyone else i know who has tried it says the same thing! it's amazing. there's usually a wait and it's a tight squeeze but they know what they're doing down there, that's for sure.


condekedar
condekedar
93

reviews

  • vegan

Great place

5 Posted on 05 / 29 / 2007

Red Bamboo has a huge, diverse menu with great, inspired and unusual dishes. I had their mango-pepper "chicken" which was spicy and sweet. Excellent mixing of tastes and the portion was huge, enough for two meals. The service was fast, friendly and attentive. I didn't like their lemon cheesecake, though, which was too hard, too sweet, and also dried-out. Prices are excellent, especially compared to other veg. places in NYC.

Pros: Taste, Prices, Service
A.Z.P.
A.Z.P.
51

reviews

  • vegetarian

Tough choice next to VP3

4 Posted on 04 / 30 / 2007

Both of these restaurants are so good it makes for quite a quagamire to decide which to go to, considering their proximity. I came here for the first time a few months ago on a trip to NYC. The restaurant is smallish and has an okay atmosphere. The staff was nice but we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. I liked most of the things we ordered, but not everything. The Vege buffalo wings appetizer was amazing. I also had a ginger beef stirfry which was fresh crispy and delicious. My gf had the whole chicken, which she really enjoyed. The chicken comes shaped like a real chicken with a neck and everything, the presentation here is clever and creative. Lastly, the ice cream here is some of the best vegan ice cream youll eat. Altogether, we were 2 vegetarians and 2 carnivores. Between us, we vegetarians liked the place, but I think our meat eating girlfriends enjoyed it more. But considering the selection and tastes, its hard to not like Red Bamboo.

Pros: Varied menu, Creative presentation, Meat-eaters like it
Cons: Smallish, Not enough tables, Noisy
Nickysr
Nickysr
18

reviews

  • vegan

Wonderful!

5 Posted on 04 / 21 / 2007

We dream about Red Bamboo when home in London - this is one of the best vegan places I have ever been to. The menu is mostly mock meats and thats fine by me! The Buffalo Wings are amazing, so is the Philly Steak sandwich and the Soul Chicken. I have even flown home to London with takeout for my husband, this is how good it is!! The staff are lovely, tattooed boys and girls with friendly dispositions and attentive service skills. The icecream shakes are to die for and are a meal in themselves. The menu is extensive and everytihng I have opted for has become the current favourite! Please go when you are in NYC!! - you really will not regret it!

Pros: mock meats, kind staff, variety
will-travel-for-food
will-travel-for-food
72

reviews

  • vegan

Good for mock meat dishes

4 Posted on 03 / 19 / 2007

Red Bamboo is good for tasty mock meat dishes. While the food is tasty and filling, it's definitely not nutritious vegan health food. While many mock meat restaurants have Asian-dominated recipes on their menus, I was pleased to discover that Red Bamboo has many non-Asian dishes as well. We shared "fish" sticks with tartar sauce (just okay), collard green rolls with "pork" (excellent), "chicken" parmesan (good), and creole sole "chicken" (good). It was definitely filling! We were lucky and found a lunch table for two right away, but I imagine that the place must get very crowded at dinnertime. It's pretty small. Reservations might not hurt.

Pros: very filling, nice flavors, good location
Cons: not very nutritious, not much seating
bullcityveg
bullcityveg
17

reviews

  • vegan

I don't know

3 Posted on 02 / 03 / 2007

I've been to Red Bamboo 3 times...and the third time I only went for dessert (which is, I've been told, imported from Gianna's Grille in Philly, and those same cakes are sold at Teany). I waited 2 hours at the no reservation restaurant on a Friday night...and the food, while not bad, was not worth a 2 hour wait, particularly when it all tastes like the stuff I get in the freezer section at whole foods...

If you're big on vegetarian meats, then this place is for you. If you want vegetables, don't bother.

Pros: vegetarian meats, really good cake
Cons: very few veggies, small space/long wait
  • bullcityveg bullcityveg

    BTW-- these cakes are from Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, not Gianna's Grille. You can get them at many other places (Atlas Cafe sells them).

    more-less
tartarugafechada
tartarugafechada
13

reviews

  • vegan

the best vegetarian food i have found

5 Posted on 01 / 03 / 2007

this is simply the best vegetarian restaurant i have found so far. the mock meats are incredible and the vegans cakes (made by the same vegan chef who used to make the Veg City Diner cakes) are absolutely incredible. suggested entree: butterfly chops with collard greens with a jerk seitan skewer for an appetizer. dinner prices are reasonable (at least for NYC) ($8-$13) and the lunch specials, featuring slightly smaller portions and/or sandwiches with an appetizer, are superb and cheaper. all non-vegan menu items are carefully marked. if you are feeling adventurous (or under the weather) try their hot ginger juice. it will cure whatever ails you.

Pros: vegan soul food, vegan cakes, lunch specials
Cons: can get crowded
Poundie
Poundie
92

reviews

  • vegetarian

Tasty

4 Posted on 08 / 27 / 2006

Great Carribean vegetarian food. The place does get crowded, so do make reservations for dinner, especially on weekends.

Pros: Good taste
Cons: crowded

 

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Last updated: 2013/12/12

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

Added by: Guest

 

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