Point/Counterpoint: There’s Something For Everyone at the Vegan Loving Hut


Even though the meat lovers on Midtown Lunch outnumber the vegetarians, sometimes we like to shine a light on some of the less offensive meatless options being offered for under $10 (some of you may remember the days of Zen Burger!?) The latest spot is Vegan Hut, a just out of bounds chain that opened a few months ago on 7th btw. 29+30th… and we figured what better to assess it’s awesomeness (or suckiness) then by bringing in Lunch’er “Sarah”, our resident Vegetarian commenter, for a heads up point/counterpoint with me- a bonafied meat eater. In other words, we have something for everyone today. It’s a tale of he said she said. Meat eater vs. vegetarian. Both sides of the story. How will Vegan Hut hold up!


Note*: Sarah and I ate different burgers. She opted for the more vegetarian-like of the two burgers. Her’s was also a special written on a chalk board. I picked the ‘faux meat’ that is on the menu. Part of this is to show that a vegetarian and a meat eater would tackle a vegan place with different strategies. Also, I’ve uploaded a photo of Sarah’s burger.

Meat Lover: The Loving Hut burger was just $5 dollars and came with some tortilla chips. So far, so good! The rabbit food they stack on the burger was also bright and fresh. If McDonald’s would use lettuce and tomatoes like this, then I’m sure there would be a lot more happy people out there. For buns, they used these thick, bread-like buns that were a little stiff. It was a little difficult to eat the burger because the buns weren’t so squishy. As for the taste… I have to give them credit for making the “meat” resemble some meat-like characteristics. What the patty might have lacked in flavor, it made up for in texture. Being a meat eater, I found the texture to be slightly off from real meat. But if you put this patty in a big mac, I’d probably eat it happily.

Photo credit: Sarah

Vegetarian: I already decided when I saw the specials board outside that I wanted the “Crispy Vegan Burger Special” which claimed to come with “chips salsa and guacamole” for $6.50. Back at my desk I was disappointed at first to discover just a handful of tortilla chips thrown in with my veggie burger. The burger itself was on a huge bun though, and after dissecting it I found a fair amount of guacamole hiding beneath the bread. Despite lackluster appearances: It was DELICIOUS. I was a little wary of the bun because sometimes vegan bread can be dry and gross, but this bun was large, soft, super yummy.


Meat eater: Another thing the burger had going for it was the ‘sauces’ they added. On one of the buns, they smeared some guacamole and what tasted like thousand island dressing. These two key components really made the burger taste better. I’m not going to say this burger reminded me of real beef, or that I’m going to start going all vegan… but if you mix the right sauces then it’s definitely going to be better than you expect it. Just don’t go in expecting this to be a replica of a real beef burger.

Sarah the Vegetarian: The burger patty was not some store-bought veggie burger- you could see flecks of veg throughout and it was nice and crispy (fried???) on the outside. The generous scoop of guac and the not-in-season tomato kind of did blend with the consistency of the burger to be a whole lot of mushiness in a few bites, but the burger was topped with lettuce, cucumbers a red onion, so there was a nice contrast of crunchy texture as I chomped along. The burger was also flavored with some kind of sweet, slightly tangy sauce, that I think could have used a bit of heat (was that supposed to be salsa? I hope not) but overall was a solid, yummy lunch. I (almost) didn’t even miss the cheese.


Meat Eater Side Note: Loving Hut does have a secret weapon up their sleeves for us meat eaters… Dumplings. These probably are some of the best vegetarian dumplings you can get in Midtown. The wrappers are hand-made and as you can see from the pictures, they look like little white pillows. As far as vegetarian dumplings go, my main criticism has always been that I never feel full when there’s no meat in the filling. And with seven dumplings per order, you’re not going to fill up on these puppies. They’re $5 per order so if you’re relying on dumplings for lunch, you might have to push up against the Midtown Lunch limit of $10 just to feel full. I think they’re quite fantastic dumplings for having only mixed Asian vegetables for the filling.

Clearly, vegan food is never going to be a full time genre in the Midtown Lunch canon. Most of us are street meat people (and proud of it).  But that doesn’t mean all Vegetarian options should be painted with a broad stroke. Did my burger taste as good as a real burger? Of course not. But for a vegan burger, it was pretty good, and for those who’re interested and intrigued enough to try, I say go for it. I learned that just because a place is vegan, doesn’t mean the food necessarily has to taste like cardboard. I mean, usually it does (!) but it doesn’t have to… and the vegetable dumplings are the perfect example of that.  We all started out wanting to find that hole-in-the-wall with kick-ass food that beats out the generic Midtown spots, and I have to say that Loving Hut kind of fits the bill.  The dumplings are proof that sometimes you might find that kind of lunch in the most unlikely of places.


  • I’m Vegan and there is nothing for me to eat in Midtown!
  • I want to eat a fried “burger” thing, topped with guacamole and pretend it’s healthy


  • Where’s the beef?!
  • I don’t care how good it tastes, I’m ain’t eating anywhere that doesn’t at least kill a few animals to make its menu.
  • Seriously dude, where’s the beef?

Loving Hut, 348 7th Ave. (btw. 29+30th), 212-760-1900


  • I’d be down to try their burger sometime. No high expectations on the faux-beef.

    I’d probably pass on the veg. dumplings though. Why not eat 2 burgers? Haha.

  • The burger that meat eater got was definitely a different patty than the one I ordered! Apparently my photos aren’t up to ML snuff though. Mine was not a faux meat, like a Boca Veggie burger. It was more a combo of beans and veggies like a mushy Sunshine burger, or a less-rancid gardenburger. Also I’m annoyed all over again that I paid an extra &1.50 for the “special” with no extras like salsa or anything.

    • also I kind of take issue with the fact that you did a full +/- run down of the place based solely on two different veggie burgers, and the only minuses were that there was no meat? and the only plusses were essentially that the place is vegetarian? Here are my unsolicited plus minuses:

      the + (based on one quickly eaten sandwich): the food is fresh, comes out quickly, they’re not sparing with the most tasty item from nature: the avocado

      the – : specials seem to not always be the best value, I had some textural/flavoring issues that are not universal to all veggie burgers.

    • Hi Sarah,

      I wrote the post and just wanted you to know that the picture thing was an oversight. I remember seeing the special on the board outside, but opted for something that’s on their permanent menu. It does look like your burger would fare better against the faux meat. Also, from a meat eater’s perspective, there’s this curiosity about fake meat and whether it’s good or not.

      Also, I really don’t visit vegan places, so I really had no idea what was going to be good or what to order off of the menu.

  • I would love to be a fly on the wall as ML Carnivores descend on the unassuming vegan/vegetarian women that frequent this place!

  • Not just chicks

    VEGAN chicks

    • does that mean they have hairy pits and smell like patchouli?

      • I have a cold so I couldn’t smell (over my own hippy stank ;P ) but I can tell you they were very very skinny. I think that’s why the restaurant is so small. So they don’t get lost.

  • I don’t think that bread is vegan….my mom wraps everything in kale or collard greens.

  • That’s disgusting Cheeese! Some of us are trying to eat (meat) here! LOL

  • Woohoo! As the lone (maybe not?) vegan Midtown Lunch reader and with an office in Herald’s Square to boot, I’m excited! Thanks for spotlighting this, would have taken me months probably to find it otherwise.

    • I’m in Herald Square, too, Wwwhitney! I think Steve is near us also! We keep having brushes with lunchtime decency that are taken away from us (El Rey de Sabor cart moved, that extra Kwik Meal Cart moved….) alas… We must band together!

  • Well, great. Now that we have the 2010 obligatory ML vegan post out of the way, let’s get back to REAL food!

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    According to this that +/- I’m suspecting what you had was so good that the only reason one may not like it is because it’s simply not meat? I’m going to hold you and pretend that there’s no bias in that review. =/

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    *I’m going to hold you to that…

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    Does anyone else realize what an ignorant statement this is?: “I’m ain’t eating anywhere that doesn’t at least kill a few animals to make its menu.”
    Besides this statement, here’s a couple facts:
    There are lots of vegetarians and vegans who love good food and are willing to pay for it, and who work in midtown. Therefore, we need good places to satisfy this market.
    I work on 49th and 6th and there are lots of vegetarians in my office alone. Especially with the demographics of offices changing (more younger people, more creative types filling the office space left vacant by financial firms during the recession) there’s definitely a market that’s currently only marginally satisfied by veg-options at Pret, Chipotle, salad bars and a couple falafel joints.
    “Where’s the beef” is not a valid “con” either, IMHO, which you’d probably agree with if you had any idea where that beef is coming from and what went into making your burger.
    Otherwise, I see your point about reviewing this from a meat-eaters perspective, but at least pretend like you’d give it a fair review based on the taste of the food? Thanks for reviewing a veggie place anyway. They’re sorely needed in midtown!

  • vegan food offices………….jesus….imagine the farts.

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