Red Bamboo

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 77 reviews )
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212-260-7049
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140 West 4th St (at Washington Square and 6th Ave, West Village, Manhattan), New York City, New York, USA, 10014

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. Open Mon-Thu 12:30pm-11:30pm, Fri-Sat 12:30pm-12:00am, Sun 12:30pm-11:30pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, International, Beer/Wine, Delivery, Take-out, Caribbean, Catering

Reviews (77)

First Review by Poundie

Great atmosphere and tasty food - Edit

We had a fantastic experience at this little cosy restaurant with super friendly personnel. The food was really good. They offer both vegan 'junk' food and some healty options. Both asian and amarican style dishes are available. Nice atmosphere!

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Memorable - Edit

I first came here years ago. I might not even have been veg yet. It stuck in my mind so much that when I was visiting NYC recently, I made a point to go there. The food there is so satisfying and versatile. I love the mock chicken there. I had the curry wings this most recent visit. Before, I had the southern fried chicken. Both were delightful. I had a hard time choosing what to order because there were so many options

Pros: Memorable, Delicious, Excellent variety

Cons: Gets crowded quickly

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I must have chosen poorly when order - Edit

I was really excited about trying Red Bamboo. A non-vegan friend of mine suggested it and then when we arrived, it felt so cozy. The night started off well, the vegan crab wontons were really good, I thought, but the entree I ordered came out looking like an elementary school cafeteria tray. I looked around me and everyone else had something that looked gourmet!

Unfortunately, my dinner mate also ordered the same thing (poor choice on both our parts, we could have at least split something). The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything spectacular—it wasn't even more than I could prepare at home with frozen ingredients.

I must say, I was disappointed. And the server kind of forgot about us halfway through the night. I would go again, but I'd definitely make sure I was ordering something good!

Pros: Cozy atmosphere, Mock meats

Cons: Menu options seem to be of varying qualities

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Top notch fake chicken - Edit

Had the old standby crispy soul chicken dinner, and drumsticks for the kids. Fake chicken is this place's strength, so you'll end up eating a lot that's fried, but nobody does it better!

Pros: Flawless fake chicken

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Vegan Dreamy Soul Food/Very Hearty Meals - Edit

The food here is always great! It's very tasty and hearty. Soul food inspired, but also includes American classic plates/sandwiches, and also Thai and Asian Stir fry dishes. The menu is extensive. The atmosphere is casual. Large sandwiches, entrees, and many appetizers and sides. Their specialities include many different vegan proteins which always for protein rich entrees which can't often be found vegan/vegetarian. I love everything I've had here. They also have decadent dessert and shakes. I only visit NYC 1-2 times a year, and I crave Red Bamboo all year long.

Pros: Amazing, filling, hearty food

Cons: Dining is casual and a bit petite, but the staff h

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Favorite restaurant in NYC - Edit

Even before I was vegan, I was coming here any chance I got. Their food is amazing.... Only ever tried 1 thing that I didn't like, which was the coconut entree (I think it was beef but it might have been chicken). Otherwise I recommend the buffalo wings, Creole soul chicken, portobello burger, bamboo nuggets and their milkshakes. They also have awesome cakes. Besides the amazing food the wait staff is always great! They are quick and efficient and always keep me coming back.

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If you like fake meat, this is your place. - Edit

The fake meat here is insanely too...too good, in fact. The buffalo wings, southern chicken, and popcorn chicken ALL tasted pretty much like meat. It was amazing!

If fake meat isn't your thing this place is likely not worth visiting. BUT if you dig fake meat then definitely stop by! Seating is limited so avoid peak hours.

Desserts are amazing too!

Pros: Great fake meat, Awesome cheesecakes

Cons: Limited/crowded seating

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Fantastic! - Edit

I used to eat here when I lived in NYC. Outstanding food: Flavor, texture, creativity, quality and all! I love this place! I used to bring my grandmother here (a meat eater) and she enjoyed it better than anything else she ate anywhere else. The menu offers many of the same dishes as their sister-restaurant (Vegetarian's Paradise 2), but with their own signature dishes in a slightly more trendy atmosphere. I remember eating fried ice cream with every meal - something they need to bring back! I surely tried at least half the menu and was never disappointed. Everything was reasonably priced and the service was always friendly. It seemed like it was always crowded or busy and I usually waited up to a half hour to get in - yet always worth the wait. Always a lot of meat eaters eating here too - I'd say it's a pretty fair trade off for them regarding the typical fatty, greasy and cholesterol-laden animal meat dishes they get in restaurants that serve dead animals. My mind is more animal rights focused than trying to obsess over fat or vanity, so I congratulate Red Bamboo for making it easier for people to spare animal lives. Salt is a personal taste and the staff there seem more than willing to accommodate on such simple requests. They even replaced a meal I ordered for my grandmother that she was having a hard time chewing due to recent dental work - free of charge. There's nothing like this where I live now, despite it being one of the top cities for vegan restaurants in the world. I miss Red Bamboo :(

Updated from previous review on 2016-11-10

Pros: Food is amazing, Service is very accomodating, Sizeable portions

Cons: Usually having to wait for a table

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OK food - Edit

Large menu. Food is OK, but not so healthy. Why is the food fried instead of grilled or baked?

Pros: Large menu

Cons: Food is not so healthy, Staff is not service minded

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Loved by non-veg people too! - Edit

I get take out from here a lot. The food is averagely priced, compared to New York standards. Most of the foods are a bit unhealthy, either really salty or oily, but nevertheless tasty. Although, I haven't tried their salads. I know someone who isn't vegetarian or vegan, but still loves the place!

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Really impressed - Edit

Red Bamboo is amazing. The prices are reasonable, the setting is great, and the food is incredible. Seriously, it actually freaked me out how realistic the fake meats were. It is also cool that most of the menu is vegan. The staff were great too. We got the pulled pork sandwich and the southern fried chicken. We also tasted the baklava cheesecake, which was incredible.

Pros: Tons of vegan options, Insanely good food, Great service

Cons: Not 100% vegan

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Vegan

  Contributions +48

Delicious food, good prices - Edit

Very nice, cozy place. Service was good, food delicious and so much to choose from :) Wanna go there again :)

Pros: Good price, Good food, Cozy place and nice staff

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great little vegan restaurant - Edit

cozy, and friendly staff, great food choices, creole chicken and fried and tofu were delicious carrot cake was yummy to top off

Pros: amazing food choices for vegans.

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Best Veg Restaurant in NYC - Edit

I have lived in New York City since grad school and this is hands down my FAVORITE vegetarian restaurant in NYC. My husband and I first visited Red Bamboo on the recommendation of a vegan colleague and were blown away by the delicious cuisine, extensive menu and beautiful ambiance. The restaurant is small and there is usually a wait, though both are a testament to its extraordinary food. Red Bamboo specializes in vegan soul food and has an extensive selection of mock meats and seafood. Standouts include the Cajun fried shrimp, crab rangoon,barbecue buffalo wings, seafood tempura, Southern fried chicken and Philly cheese steak. Once you eat here you will return again and again and spread the gospel of Red Bamboo to your family and friends.

Pros: Vegan Soul Food, Ambiance, Plethora of Mock Meat Offerings

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Die Happy and Fat.. - Edit

I can die in vegan heaven. Their chicken is so good I never know what to order theres so much to choose from its huge!! I hope your day isn't full because you will spend it perusing the menu and die happy...and fat.

Pros: Chicken, HUGE MENU

Cons: Vegan cheese is okay.

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My new favorite restaurant. - Edit

Just fabulous. Great food, friendly wait staff, large portions, super quick service and very reasonable prices. Two of us shared 2 appetizers and 2 entrees, then split a piece of awesome cheesecake -- total bill: $45. I'll be going back again!

Pros: Varied menu -- something for everyone, Very reasonable prices, Super nice staff

Cons: Limited seating and no reservations.

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1 of everything please! Twice!!! - Edit

OMG this place... I lost count of how many times I ate here when I was in New York. I actually think I tried everything on the menu. And with VP2 next door : O it was overwelming to order! I can't choose a favourite dish...but I loved the sandwiches (and it takes a lot for me to love a sandwich!). Crispy soul chicken was everyone's favourite, my non-Vegan friends would ask for it, continuously. I dream of Red Bamboo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pros: Too, Damn, Good

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Painfully Noisy - Edit

I found the food here good but not great. We had the Creole Soul Chicken appetizer - good, the Portabella Mushroom which was highly salty, and the Grilled Bourbon Chicken Jerk. The accompanying steamed vegetables were just that - plain and uninteresting. More could have been made of it. The restaurant was painfully noise, with loud music and patrons with their volume turned up to be heard. We couldn't bear to stay for dessert, even though they were tempting, it was too disturbing.

Pros: food is ok, large mock meat selection

Cons: noisy

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Good lunch-stop - Edit

Extensive menu, great meat substitutes. I had a chick'n salad and shared some wings which was a perfect meal for lunch.

It was fairly quiet when we went but the staff appeared miserable- maybe just having an off day. Hoping to check it out again next time we're in the city.

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vegan fish and meat at its best - Edit

this is the ultimate place if you want a credible vegan fish or vegan meat.
they do it with confidence and you get the full bang .
this is probably as realistic meat and fish you could go in vegan style.
almost scary so realistic. but congratulations on the attempt.
a must try for vegans who like to know how it feels to eat meat, without any animal have being killed or abused.
besides of that, this places has incredible vegan cakes.
they were all so incredibly good , i ordered all vegan 5 cakes of the dessert menu and eat myself sick with big pleasure. next to me i saw a couple and did the same thing.

Pros: realistic vegan fish and vegan meat, amazing cakes, centre location

Cons: very very small restaurant but nice

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Great lunches - Edit

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.

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TASTES JUST LIKE REAL MEAT - Edit

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

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Good, but heavy - Edit

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

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don't order the buffalo wings - Edit

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

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Chicken Wings! - Edit

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

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great vegan junk food - Edit

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

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Top pick - Edit

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

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