Serves meat, veg options available. Old-world Italian restaurant established in 1908. Introduced an entirely vegan menu in 2010 that includes in-house-made seitan, vegan bruschetta, garlic bread, vegan cannolis, and more. Dedicates half of kitchen and utensils to vegan dishes. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Italian, Non-veg
302 E 12th St (2nd Ave, East Village, Manhattan)
New York City, New York 10003
212-475-9531

Mon-Sat 4:00pm-11:00pm, Sun 4:00pm-10:30pm

more-less
  • Cash only
reviews

Reviews

First Review by nailina
teafour2
teafour2
  • vegan
Contributions
+100

We loved it

4
Posted on 04 / 16 / 2015

This place has buckets of old-world charm and hospitality. We are vegan but were with our meat eating friend so were looking for somewhere with a mixed menu.

The waiters were excellent: very knowledgeable about all aspects of the menu, very helpful and very attentive. The vegan menu did have lots of choice. Everything we ordered tasted very, very good. Particularly good was the vegan desserts - they make their own vegan 'ice cream', meaning that they could offer excellent vegan cannolis (which my partner had) and I had a vegan panacotta (both of which were great). Half way through the meal the owner came over to introduce himself and chat to us for a moment, which was really nice and made us feel very welcome.

The restaurant is small and has slightly old fashioned decor, but that adds to it's charm. I would definitely return if I was in New York.

Pros: good choice of vegan food, good for mixed group, great vegan desserts
Cons: veal on the menu
robpaterson
robpaterson
  • vegan
Contributions
+63

All Vegan Italian Menu - Well Worth The Trip

4
Posted on 02 / 25 / 2015

I think this is the only Italian restaurant in NYC with an all vegan menu, or at least the only one that I know of that serves a variety of vegan Italian pasta dishes. It's located next door to Angelica's Kitchen, one of NYC's oldest vegan restaurants,

Out of curiosity, I asked the waiter why there's a vegan menu, wondering if perhaps the owner went vegan. Apparently, it's because the owner was irritated that Angelica's always had a line out the door, so he decided to add vegan menu to see if he could entice some of their vegan customers. The waiter said that when Angelica's is full, they often get the spillover, so perhaps that worked.

Anyway, on to the food. The vegan menu includes many of the same items as the regular menu, but veganized. They are all listed on their site: dishes like seitan Parmesan, veggie ravioli with Alfredo or tomato sauce, and so on. I had the ravioli with Alfredo sauce, and shared the stuffed mushroom appetizer with my colleague, as well as a basket of vegan garlic bread. The ravioli were excellent, and the sauce was very creamy and quite good. The stuffed mushrooms were good, but they needed a bit more time in the oven, but not too bad overall. The vegan garlic bread was excellent: crispy, lots of garlic flavor, and plenty to go around. Finally, I ordered a vegan cannoli, which they served as a split regular and chocolate, so half and half. It was delicious. Just a heads-up: the house red wine wasn't amazing, so if you order wine, consider upgrading a little.

A couple other points: they don't accept cards, so come prepared with cash. It seems like it's less full if you come early, we were there at ca. 5PM on a Tuesday, and it was almost empty. The service was excellent.

As mentioned elsewhere, it's surprising to see no women working there, and also that the main menu contains veal. This alone might make some potential vegetarian/vegan patrons run for the hills, but my philosophy is that the more people who order from the vegan menu, the more value they will see value in it, and one can always hope that some day they will revise their main menu, if fewer an fewer people order from it.

In short, if you're looking for old world-style vegan Italian cuisine in NYC, this is as good as it gets, and I will definitely be going back.

Pros: Separate All Vegan Italian Menu, Friendly Service
Cons: Regular Menu Contains Veal, and Meat, Cash Only
AshleyLorden
AshleyLorden
  • vegan
Contributions
+554

Lovely restaurant, unique vegan/traditional menu

4
Posted on 01 / 19 / 2015

John's is the kind of Italian restaurant with old-world hospitality. They have a full bar with a few seats to chat with the bartender, as well as two cave-like dining areas with loud, crowded tables. In the back a handful of candles burn with the wax of a thousand candles before them melted onto the fixture. At one point the manager asked us to scoot our table and chairs over a bit to accommodate a party seated by us, and sent out a table wine (served in a carafe like water) which more than compensated for our trouble!

Service was quick, friendly and accommodating, but I couldn't help but notice only men seemed to be employed there. I hope that was a coincidence and not a sexist culture.

Calling ahead for a reservation might be a good idea on busy Fri/Sat evenings, especially with a large group, but I think most times you'll be able to get a table without one.

The separate vegan menu was great, with plenty of choice for vegans. We liked our dinner and they even sent out a vegan parmesan shaker for our table! However, the highlight was definitely the dessert. I was told they only make the cannoli vegan, and no wonder, it was wonderful.

The odd part was that while I so enjoyed the vegan food, I also saw the standard menu which included loads of animal products, including veal. I wish I could support a great restaurant without the exploitation. That said, with a mixed group or for good Italian food, I would go back.

Pros: Delicious, Fun atmosphere, Awesome vegan desserts!!
Cons: Also serves a lot of meat

Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk
  • vegan
Contributions
+3849

excellent vegan Italian

4
Posted on 07 / 21 / 2013

We prefer to patronize all vegan establishments, but based on a recommendation, we came to John's after a long day of sightseeing. Their awning out front already says vegan on it and they bring the separate vegan menu without asking. As I was parched, they refilled my water as quickly as I drank it. I was very pleased. They are white tablecloth and cash only, so make sure you bring enough money. The service is attentive and friendly. We also had beer and wine. We ordered a side of garlic bread to go with our entrees of vegan ravioli with marinara (alfredo is an option too) and the seitan alla Rosa. It was lovely to have good Italian food. For dessert, we got the panna cotta and a cannoli. Delicious! I'm so glad we went as the recommendation was spot on.

Pros: excellent Italian food, nice atmosphere, attentive service
Cons: cash only, not all vegan
angelaxvx
angelaxvx
  • vegan
Contributions
+40

Worth trying

4
Posted on 09 / 05 / 2012

My husband and I visited the restaurant and were so impressed we went back 2 more times in a 1 week time span. All of the vegan food is delicious and the staff is very attentive. I must say, it is the only restaurant in NYC that refills your water in such an impressive manner.

Pros: Delicious food, Attentive staff
Cons: I wish it were all vegan
nailina
nailina
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

awesome vegan menu!!

4
Posted on 08 / 19 / 2012

I went here with my non-veg family because it has both traditional italian and vegan italian, each with their own separate menus.

We all loved the food (I loved my veg items, they loved their non-veg). I got the vegan bruchetta for an appetizer, which was awesome, and my non-veg family agreed- they loved it too! I also got the vegan eggplant parm, which was so good. They even have vegan cannolis, vegan icecream, and other desserts as well.

This is a great place to go to with non-vegans who aren't willing to try a vegan restaurant, because both options are available, and both menus are really good

Pros: separate vegan menu, bruchetta, nice atmosphere and staff

 

This business supports the service that HappyCow provides :o)

 

If you are the Owner of a listing on this site, we invite you to join our highly successful Priority Friend program today. click for details >>

 

Close

Dear Owner and Manager of John's of 12th Street:


While your business is currently a free listing on HappyCow, there is so much more we can do to further promote your business to the millions who visit this site every year.

Enjoy more...

Here's how you can take advantage of HappyCow's Internet popularity:

Your sponsorship will keep the HappyCow service strong on the Internet. Thank you.

Close

 

Last updated: 2013/02/20

 

Added: 2012/07/05

 

Added by: Guest

 

Close