John’s of 12th Street, NYC: Traditional Italian…with an additional vegan menu!

by JL Fields on November 3, 2011

Last night my husband and I met my BFF Andrea for dinner and a date. Specifically dinner at John’s of 12th Street before going to People’s Kitchen & Lounge for Jasmin Singer’s birthday party — which happened to be a fundraiser for Our Hen House.

I was so happy to finally dine at the infamous John’s of 12th Street!  Why infamous? This traditional Italian restaurant opened in 1909. The current owner, Mike, has owned it for 38 years.  One year ago Mike introduced an entire vegan menu. You read that right!

Mike was gracious and welcoming.

He offers a comprehesnive vegan menu of soups, salads, garlic bread, appetizers, pizza, pasta and entrees (homemade setian!) as well as vegan desserts ranging from Lula’s ice cream to their own homemade cannolli.

Decisions, decisions.

Mike brought vegan garlic bread to the table and we dove in.  Finally, Andrea and I made our vegan dining choices (Dave opted for a decidedly un-vegan appetizer and meal so the pictures that follow chronicle our vegan meal).

We started with stuffed mushrooms and bruschetta.

The stuffed mushrooms were good (well, fine); the bruschetta  was wonderful! Loved the addition of avocado.

Andrea ordered the margherita pizza (with Daiya)

I enjoyed a piece (or two?) and Andrea still had some to take home. It was a good pizza.

I ordered the ravioli with the alfredo sauce

The alfredo sauce is very tasty (sweet, even) — made with cashews — but the ravioli was, well, fine.

We were too full for dessert so we passed (and, truth be told, we were holding out for a Sweet Cheeks vegan cupcake at Jasmin’s celebration). SIDE NOTE:  The party was fun!  I had a chance to give Jasmin a birthday hug (I have a total crush on her and my husband doesn’t mind one bit) and also ran into Joshua, Sharon and Marty.  Guess what? I forgot to have a cupake!  Doh!

As for John’s of 12th Street.  I had a wonderful time at the restaurant and I adore Mike for taking the time and effort to develop a vegan menu.  I wasn’t wowed by what I ate, but I’m definitely going back to try other dishes.  One experience at a restaurant doesn’t define a restaurant or its food.  I’ll be back to support the establishment for supporting vegans.  I want to try one of his seitan dishes (Scalloppini?  Parmigiana? I don’t know!)  Oh, and a cannoli.

John’s of 12th Street
302 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003

John's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

  • Hey, JL! Roseann, Tony and I (your WFAS table mates) ate there a few weeks ago. Both seitan dishes are some of the (if not THE) best seitan dishes I’ve ever had. The garlic bread was addictive. We weren’t wowed by the alfredo or the cannolis (Vegan Treats cannolis are much better and are conveniently sold at Atlas Cafe around the corner, depending on what day it is) but like you, I am so impressed with the menu and their efforts. I will definitely go back.

    • JL

      Hey! Great to see you! I’m definitely going back for the seitan dishes! 🙂

  • Wow. That looks and sounds incredible. My wife loves italian, but it’s hard for me to find vegan options when we go out for it. Wish we had a John’s of 12th down here in Nashville.

  • YUM! I hate not being able to ever really eat good Italian food in restaurants… other than maybe a boring pasta + tomato sauce or something. Yay for John’s for offering such a big vegan menu and I imagine that they’ll get only better with time 🙂

  • No parties photos or cupcakes, what the heck? I’m glad you had fun though and I for sure want to visit this Italian joint the next time I’m in NYC, I could use a big slice o’ vegan lasagna! 🙂

    • JL

      I know, terrible blogger, huh? I used my iPhone at John’s and I tried to take a picture of Jasmin and Mariann with it didn’t come out well. Blogger fail!

  • Oh my goodness, stuffed mushrooms look so good.  Still haven’t been to John’s.  Holy cannolli Batman!  They have vegan cannollis??  I suddenly have dinner plans tonight.  It was so great to see you and meet your hubby! 

  • Oh wow – this looks amazing. I need another trip to NYC to try all the fabulous vegan-friendly restaurants I’ve been reading reviews about recently!

  • veganpilotmarty

    Seitan A La Rosa.  
    Get that.
    ’nuff said.

    I didn’t get a cupcake either but I was only and hour and 15 minutes late.  Damn job.
    Then again, I don’t think I’m going to have a void of vegan baked goods in my life in the near future.
    Thanks for the giveaway.  Perhaps I really should get back into those $15million lotto drawings.

    Marty from Marty’s Flying Vegan Review

  • OOOOOoooo will def have to go here when I’m in NYC next!! Looks so yum!

  • I love to see non-vegan restaurants incorporating vegan menus. It gives me hope that compassion is spreading to the mainstream! And I, too, have a major crush on Jasmin 🙂

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