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Vegetarian Restaurants

Earth Day is this week, on April 22. And isn't it easier to save the planet when you've had a good meal first?

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1. Candle Cafe
A vegan restaurant that doesn't feel like one, and the perfect place for a date. Try the tempeh lasagna, or the club sandwich with grilled tofu, sprouts, and a very convincing tempeh bacon. (1307 Third Avenue, near 75th Street; 212-472-0970.)

2. Vatan
You leave your shoes at the door, and pad to your cushioned booth to sit cross-legged. Then you forget about menus, because you'll be presented with a thali -- a prix fixe ($21.95) tapaslike spread of small dishes. Even the surprises are delicious. (409 Third Avenue, near 29th Street; 212-689-5666.)

3. Uptown Juice Bar
Yes, vegetarian Caribbean food. Visit this Harlem mainstay for soul-food sides like okra, collards, and mac-and-cheese, as well as new-school treats like honey-barbecued tofu, veggie shepherd's pie, and curried "duck." (54 West 125th Street, 212-987-2660; 116 Chambers Street, 212-964-4316.)

4. Quintessence
Shockingly tasty simulacra like nut loaf, spaghetti squash, and burritos (at least the guacamole is familiar), not to mention the lack of any alcohol on the menu, are just the thing to make you feel pure. (263 East 10th Street, 646-654-1823; 566 Amsterdam Avenue, near 87th Street, 212-501-9700.)

5. HanGawi
Nicole Kidman and Barbara Walters have come to this Korean spot for royal treatment like the $34.95 prix fixe "Chef Special Emperor's Meal," complete with mountain roots and seaweed broth. (12 East 32nd Street; 212-213-0077.)


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