Cafe Blossom

Manhattan, New York City


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rating star

I actually prefer Cafe Blossom over the original Blossom Restaurant. The food at Blossom Restaurant relies on expensive ingredients to make it seem "upscale" (the menu is very mushroom-heavy), but I've never felt that the dishes themselves are all that flavorful or innovative.

On the other hand, Cafe Blossom delivers down-to-earth items but does it well. The Butterfinger shake is outstanding. It's thick and creamy with candy chunks that taste just like Butterfinger candy.

The marinated seitan ravioli is one of my favorite appetizers at any of the vegetarian restaurants in New York. The texture and flavor of the ravioli is decent enough to satisfy my omnivorous Italian relatives. The dollop of tofu ricotta on top of the ravioli is one of the better ricotta imitations that I've tried. The best part about the dish, however, is the subtle pesto broth that envelopes the ravioli. It moistens without overpowering the other flavors in the dish.

Another menu item that I can't seem to get enough of is the lemon peppercorn seitan. The seitan is tender and the sauce is delicious. It rivals some of the best "meat and potato" dishes that I've had at upscale vegan restaurants, such as Millennium and Horizons.

In addition to providing delicious food at less-than-exorbitant prices, Cafe Blossom also wins points in my book for having a decent layout. Unlike Blossom Restaurant, the tables at Cafe Blossom aren't on top of one another. I appreciate the fact that I can eat at Cafe Blossom without feeling like I'm on a double date with the couple at the next table.

rating star

Not too impressive. After reading all the great reviews on Blossom, we decided to try the cafe on our last day in Manhattan. We did not like any of our appetizers or entrees - very bland. We did really like our drinks and desserts, so that's why the rating gets a three instead of a two, but this place doesn't hold a candle to any of the numerous other vegan places we went to on our trip. We likely won't be going back here on our next trip.

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I decided to grab a snack from Cafe Blossom this afternoon - I ordered the "Rainbow" smoothie and a raw/dehydrated oatmeal cookie.
The smoothie was.... TERRIBLE
Watery, flavorless and not enjoyable. Not to mention the shabby ingredients the barista used: vitasoy, pasteurized orange juice from a box, approximately 2 strawberries, one chunk of banana plus a "tinkerbell" sprinkle of blueberries.
It was $7.50. I might as well have ordered it from some deli.
The cookie was great, though half-dollar-coin-sized (and $2)!
Would not go back here now that I know the level of quality and portion generosity.

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rating star

I like that Cafe Blossom offers both higher-end items (like seitan with lemon-caper sauce, mashed potatoes, and chard) and more affordable items like vegan cheeseburgers and Philly steaks. The higher-end items are very involved and unique, but even the burgers are far from typical, being served on foccacia bread with chipotle aioli.

My favorite item is the seitan w/ caper sauce (mentioned above), as it's very interesting and unique, but I also really like the veggie burgers. The vegan bacon cheeseburger (sans mushrooms) is my favorite. I also really like the southern burger, which has avocado and caramelized onions. It also has the chipotle aioli, but I needed to ask for an extra side of it last time to fill up the sandwich. I like you can get sweet potato fries or cajun sweet potato fries instead of plain fries w/ your sandwich for no extra cost. I ordered the cajun sweet potato fries but think they gave me the regular sweet potato fries. Either way, they were very fresh and tasty.

I have to say that one of my favorite features of Cafe Blossom (and Blossom, for that matter), is that they make their own desserts and don't just cop out and sell Vegan Treats cakes like about 20 other veg spots in the city. I've had a few of their cakes and they've all been good, but not as rich or moist as I'd expect from an upscale restaurant.

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rating star

Cafe Blossom, like its sister restaurant in Chelsea, is a gem. The ambience is chic and modern, but the service is friendly, prompt, and exceedingly helpful. My pecan-crusted seitan had a complex array of tastes and textures, and my friend's chipotle aioli sandwich was spicy and fresh. Portion sizes are generous. I also greatly enjoyed my mimosa, which is an unusual drink option at a vegan joint. To make things even better, Cafe Blossom fills the great need for a quality vegan restaurant on the Upper West Side. Highly recommended.

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