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CLOSED: Kate's Joint

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 24 reviews )


Contact 212-777-7059

58 Ave B (at 4th & 5th St, East Village, Manhattan), New York City, New York, USA, 10009

New York veggie restaurant with vegan options. A glorified veggie diner (but funky) with an un-turkey club with fries and onion rings. A vegetarian junk food junkie's kind of place. Note that soy cheese is not vegan. Reported closed to HappyCow.

Category: Vegan-friendly, American, Organic, Delivery, Take-out

Reviews (24)

First Review by Poundie

A cute little vegetarian place in the Village - Edit

My boyfriend and get to New York every few months and had come up for an event over the weekend. A friend had a co-op a few blocks away so we decided to grab lunch at Kate's before running around. Funny enough, every time we've been there, they've had their brunch going on.

My boyfriend got the vegan tofu benedict while I got a Southern Fried Tofu Sandwich. The food was not spectacular--I could probably make the sandwich at home if I wanted--but the service was fairly friendly and efficient. I've been up and down with Kate's over the years, but if you're vegan and in East Village/Lower East Side, it's a great place to grab a bite to eat.

I still remember when they didn't have vegan cheese, and I'm glad to see they now offer it.

Pros: decent food, relatively inexpensive

Cons: not the nicest neighborhood--yet

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Once is enough for us - Edit

After reading descriptions of Kate's Joint being in the style of a 50's diner, we were keen to check it out. I'm not sure if the location is not the original location, as it is actually a kind of front bar/pub setting with tables and chairs and bar seating, no 50's references in sight. Very casual atmosphere, we were seated straight away. They had the brunch menu on offer when we were there and chose the Tofu Benedict and the Unturkey Club. The food was served quickly and was hot (temperature wise) but nothing overly special: the turkey club was slightly dry, the tofu benedict had an odd taste. The Bloody Mary that came as an option with the Tofu Benedict was odd also: too spicy to drink, seemed to be more than the basic tomato juice/vodka type bloody mary and had olives, lemon, lime, chilli and some green herbs in it. Was basically undrinkable. We probably wouldn't eat there again as the food was average and the setting is very front bar like (graffitied walls, ripped fabric on seats/stools etc).

Pros: relaxed, cheap, fast service

Cons: average food, grotty setting

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Vegi Burger Joint - Edit

Visited late June 2011. We enjoyed this place and the burgers we had were tasty. I had a chilli burger that wasn't very 'chilli' but still nice. My girlfriend had a different burger that she enjoyed, I can't remember what it was. The fries were burnt. The menu is big and pretty varied, they do pizza, pasta etc as well as burgers. The place has a young crowd and played pretty good music. We sat in the bar side which was fine.

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A Curates Egg - Edit

Id read about this place on Happy Cow so gave it a try. The place is quite atmospheric with a nice "lived-in" feel to it. I ordered the African Nut soup followed by the "Brokeback" burger. The waiter said the fries were good, so I ordered some of those as well. The soup was just amazing. I don't think Ive ever tasted anything as nice and it was plentiful. It was when I finished my soup that the problems started. I literally put the last drop of soup to my lips and the bowl was whipped away and my main course was instantly put down in front of me. The "Brokeback" came with BBQ sauce and onion rings. Or to be precise,two onion rings and a kind of burnt gravy with an odd taste. The fries were awful. The burger wasnt too clever either. I made a valiant attempt at it but didnt really enjoy any of it. The waiter then cleared my crockery and asked if I wanted anything else,I asked for a few moments to decide. I was then ignored for 30 minutes so I finally got the check and left. I cant believe that a place that served such good soup could fall flat on its face with a simple thing like burger and fries. I wont be back!

Pros: The fabulous soup, The ambiance

Cons: Poor service, Terrible Fries and BBQ sauce

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Great place - Edit

Very good menu. All of the non-vegan items on the menu can be made vegan by substituting with non-dairy cheese or using tofu instead of eggs.

Friendly staff, nice atmosphere. Good for breakfast as well as dinner.

Pros: Good choice, Friendly staff

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NO SEITAN EVER!!!!!!! - Edit

I have been a vegetarian for 17 years. The last few times at Kate's Joint they haven't had seitan. The owner/s must tell the employees the same thing to say to customers that order seitan dishes. The last straw was this weekend when I was told the same thing and I got up and walked out before ordering. I told them to change the menu because it's obvious that they do not offer seitan anymore. For vegetarians and vegans that understand the complexities of tofu and seitan this place is not for you. Most of their food is pre-packaged Boca, Morningstar and No-meat products which you could buy at the Keyfood supermarket around the corner for a quarter of the price.

Pros: Music

Cons: No Seitan, Bad Orange Juice

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Good Food, Open Late - Edit

We hit up Kate's Joint because we were getting into town late. My fiance and I split the sesame tofu sticks as an appetizer, and I had the buffalo chicken sandwich as an entree. I thought it was pretty wonderful. The buffalo sauce was delicious and the tofu was firm and nice. After eating we stuck around for drinks at the bar.

Not the nicest atmosphere, but the food was yummy and they serve until 2 AM...so it worked out perfectly.

Pros: Open Late, Big Menu, Good Food

Cons: Atmosphere

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Awful! - Edit

I went here on a recommendation and was beyond disappointed. I ordered a pizza with "vegan cheese" and was told that the non-dairy cheese had dairy in it. Then the vegan ricotta was recommended in its place. If they had told me they were just going to smash tofu all over my pizza, I would never have ordered it. I also got a nearly inedible vegan quesadilla (apparently that cheese was vegan), and some awful buffalo wings. I'll never eat here again. The place was dirty and gross and the waitress wasn't particularly pleasant. No clue how it stays in business.

Pros: no meat served

Cons: misleading "non-dairy cheese", awful food, mediocre service

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'Excellent!' - Edit

Hi. We found 'Kate's Joint', online, in Ireland, before we ever got to New York.
We stayed in Times Square, and, as this was our first time in the US, it was quite a hike to get to the Lower East Side, and even to find the street!
It was SO worth it!
The food was superb, cooked to perfection (all fresh). The 'southern fried' coating, on the tofu was perfect, and the sauce, over my mock beef was out of this world!
A really good dinner all round!
It was such a hot day, that we ordered 2 shandies
(A MASSIVE thankyou to FRANK, our server, this was the first time he had heard of 'shandy', and make 2 up for us, with freshly made lemonade, that he had made that morning - big tick!)
Anyhoo, the food was great (compliments to the chef/cook), the service was great (Thanks Frank - you really made our day!) and, we hope to see you there, again next year (finances permitting)
Yes, we would go back, all the way from Ireland, it was THAT GOOD

Pros: Excellent friendy server, Very good value, Yummy food

1 Response

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Nice place - Edit

A good place with a vast selection of options. The flavor could have been better but oh well. I had the chicken fried steak. It came with these fried bread things that were pretty good. The chicken fried steak itself sucked. It was tofu with fried breading. I mean tofu tofu. Not textured, not flavored. Run of the mill tofu.
It's a nice big place for a social gathering.
You must visit the bathroom, I've never seen a more graffitid place in my life. It was amazing.
I wouldn't really recommend this place, but its really not that bad either.

Pros: Selection

Cons: Just a little pricey

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very warm and cosy, as i remember it. - Edit

the 1st time i went there was about april 2000 and at this point i didn't know much about NY or the Happy Cow. So i wouldn't know, that i would be in veggie heaven and just found Kate's Joint by chance...nearly starving. It was much simplier interior in my memory back than, but i might be wrong. What i know fpr sure is, that the food never disappionted me. And when i've been there the last time in 2004 i again feeled very comfortable. I know for sure i had a potato dish and was happy to find the potatos not deep fried but cooked the german way...yeah. If you happen to be arround Kate's give it a try, even though you got a painful lot of choices nowadays.

Pros: warm, friendly, different

Cons: not cheap

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average at best - Edit

this place has its ups and downs. I was here once and loved it, twice again and was disappointed. The brunch was gross, avoid it. I got oj and I think it was a screwdriver (which they do serve on their brunch). I don't drink booze so I let others have it. It may have been from an unclean glass, however. Staff is not very cooperative. The food is very salty. Its like veggie bad diner food, which can be nice sometimes, it isn't often you see that. But recently they haven't pulled it off. I would not suggest it to others. Especially in that part of town there are plenty of options.

Pros: a dive, fun idea

Cons: unclean, snotty , salty

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Bland! - Edit

Bland food ... over priced and slow customer service ... in a grimy atsmosphere. I ordered stir fry and my boyfriend ordered the country fried steak. I took two bites of the stir fry and did not finish as it was nausiating ... so I tried some of my boyfriend's country fried steak which was bland. To top it off it was really over priced and the staff acted as if they were doing us a favor by serving us. Will not return. EW.

Cons: over priced, bland food, poor service

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It was blah - Edit

The food was greasy and bland everything could have been bought in the freezer section of the grocery store. I ordered the breakfast burrito (bland black beans and tofu), but I could have made one that was a million times better at home. The potatoes were dry and the bloody mary was awful. The orange juice was Tang, and nothing on the menu was fresh. My friend ordered the french toast, and it was okay, but we wouldn't ever go back for it. There are a lot of other vegan restaurants in the area that are much better. It was also way too expensive for the kind of food that it served.

Pros: it was hip

Cons: bad food, poor value

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awesome menu - Edit

although i was bummed to find out that their cheese was not vegan. :( the veggie burger was delicious as well as the mock buffalo chicken wings! deffinatly recommend it!

Pros: funky atmosphere, good value, friendly staff

Cons: no vegan cheese

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great joint - Edit

I would highly disagree with the bad reviews of this restaurant. I have been here several times and it has always surprised me with its food and prices. I am from out of town and was amazed to find better vegan diner food at far cheaper prices than at home. Especially nice about Kate's Joint is that they have an extensive menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service has never been top notch, but it was at least consistently above par.

Pros: great variety, good prices, awesome food

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always draws you back - Edit

everyone's been there, everyone always goes back. i won't say it's the greatest, but it definatley has this 'neighborhood restaurant' feel to it. let's not forget, the bathrooms are rad, too. not always that great food, but you should go see it. ooh, and full bar!

Pros: full bar, atmosphere

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If you are in the mood for junk food... - Edit

This is the place to go. Wonderful vegan comfort food. My favorite would be the club sandwich. Great place to go and hang out with your friends and have a bite that is a little more affordable in the city. However, if you are a vegan like me, it does make the menu more limited.

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Local Joint - Edit

I like the style of Kate's - down and dirty bar style but the food is not enough to make me a regular.
The food is diner style with burgers, soy dogs and fries. When I last went the menu had lots of non-dairy cheese options but they had casin in so were not suitable for vegans - what's the point of that? I had a burger and fries. It was good for fast food style. The major factor going for Kate's is the super friendly staff who were very attentive and helpful.

Pros: bar, good staff

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Disappointing - Edit

Many "scenester" types seemed to be working when we were there, and they all seemed to have attitude problems. We could have overlooked the rude and slow service if that food had been awesome -- but it was bland and unremarkable. There are a number of better veg-friendly places to eat when you are in the area.

Pros: good location

Cons: rude waitstaff, slow service, bland food

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eh. - Edit

the food is just ok. and there is casein in the cheese! the first time i went there i was told the cheese was vegan by my waiter after i asked, and the second time the waitress offered up the information to me that the cheese contained casein. be careful.

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so-so - Edit

We ate here several times in the last six months or so, mostly because we had no other choice. The food is passable and edible, nothing more. Not particularly tasty, and not particularly healthy. The wait staff, while friendly, is often oblivious and inattentive (where else can you wait ten minutes for a fork while your meal is quickly getting cold?) and don't seem to know much about the dishes they're serving (or about vegetarian diet generally). The music is frequently obnoxious and too loud, and a few times I've wondered about this place's sanitary practices. In a neighborhood with a bunch of other vegetarian restaurants you can do a lot better.

Pros: open later than others

Cons: food not very good, vegjunk food, quick food, lousy ambiance

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Funky place - Edit

Located in the lower east side, this place has a youngish atmsophere. Whenever I have come, my friends and seemed to be the only ones older than 30 years old and the only ones without tattoos, multiple piercings, and/or mohawks. The food is not particularly healthy or tasty compared to other vegetarian places in NYC--this is basically a diner. On the other hand, much like any vegetarian restaurant is much better than its non-vegetarian analog, so this place is 100 times better than the typical diner, and I would not mind going back here. If you are under 30 years old or have tattoos, add 3 starts to my rating--you would probably love this place.

Pros: Hip, nice price, loud rock music

Cons: not all that healthy, loud rock music

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