This week, vegan fast-casual chain Veggie Grill will open its second location in New York City in Manhattan’s midtown neighborhood. At its new location, the chain will be serving up a wide variety of plant-based fare from all four of its existing concepts, including Veggie Grill, Más Veggies, Stand-Up Burgers, and Vegan Bowls for All—the first time these concepts have been available under one roof.
The menu here will feature fan-favorites such as the BLT Avocado Croissant (crispy vegan bacon, romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, Dijonnaise, and mashed avocado served on a flaky croissant roll); Japanese Katsu Sliders (seasoned crispy fried Impossible mini burger patties topped with pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, and sesame aioli served on steamed bao buns); and the VG Burger (a Beyond burger patty topped with American cheese, special sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion on a brioche bun).
The dynamic menu will also feature Korean Kimchi Beef Bowls, Crispy Baja Fish Tacos, and freshly baked carrot cake for dessert.
“After having launched each of the brands, we realized that they all could stand underneath the Veggie Grill halo, given the trust that Veggie Grill has built around delivering the best of the plant-based world,” Veggie Grill Co-founder and Chairman T.K. Pillan tells VegNews.
The new midtown NYC outpost will hold a grand opening from today until December 18 with specials, gift cards, BOGO shakes, free starters, and other surprises.
On the menu at Veggie Grill’s newest location
The first Veggie Grill location opened in Irvine, CA in 2006, where its vegan burgers, fries, and shakes were a novelty in a world that had yet to embrace plant-based fast-food.
Fast-forward to today, and Veggie Grill has spent the last two years developing different concepts to make plant-based food exciting to new consumers, many of whom discovered plant-based eating during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2021, the chain launched its vegan taco shop concept Más Veggies. Here, the menu is loaded with tacos, burritos, bowls, and nachos that come topped with vegan protein options such as Crispy Poblano Chickin’, Shredded Jackfruit Chipotle Carnitas, Cauliflower Asada, Savory Tex-Mex Taco Meat, and Crispy Baja Fish.
In March 2021, its vegan burger shop Stand-Up Burgers opened its first location in Berkeley, CA where bold vegan messages such as “eat like you give a shake” are served up alongside options such as vegan versions of fast-food classics, such as The O.G. burger (Impossible patty with Miyoko’s Creamery cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and special sauce on a vegan brioche bun) and Save the Animal-style fries (a vegan take on In-n-Out’s famous fries) with special sauce and grilled onions.
In August of this year, Veggie Grill launched the delivery-only concept Vegan Bowls for All, which operates out of the kitchens at all of its locations. The menu here revolves around six nutrient-packed composed bowls: Cali-Grains Bowl, Korean Kimchi Bowl, Chickpea Curry Bowl, Thai Coconut Curry Bowl, Harvest Bowl, and Ranchero Bowl.
Bowls for All
Veggie Grill opened its other NYC outpost in the Flatiron neighborhood in 2019—closely following its Cambridge, MA location, its first East Coast expansion, that same year. With all of these concepts unified under one roof, the new midtown NYC location—its 35th outpost to date—is a veritable vegan food mecca for busy New Yorkers.
Veggie Grill’s vegan food empire
After 16 years of operating the fast-casual vegan food concept, Pillan has witnessed the growth of plant-based options in major metropolitan cities but says that some regions are just starting to hop on board.
“In large metropolitan cities such as New York City and Los Angeles, it’s night and day from when we first launched. Now, you can drive or walk a short distance and get a decent plant-based meal,” he says. “In some of the smaller cities, it’s just starting to permeate. These cities only have a few plant-based concepts available, similar to how the landscape looked when we first opened in Los Angeles.”
After its new midtown NYC location, Veggie Grill aims to open additional outposts to continue spreading its plant-based message across the country. “Based on where the market is, we’re now ready to expand in regions across the country where plant-based options aren’t as easily accessible,” Pillan says.
The chain is also launching a franchise program to further expand its reach with like-minded partners in cities such as New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Miami, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Albuquerque.