3 Reasons to Rendezvous At Buddha Bodai In Chinatown

Buddha Bodai NYC, Rendezvous En New York

I’ve written about the first half of my day with my nephew on his birthday and how experienced an artistic dessert and decadent cup of liquid chocolate at MarieBelle. So in perfect Star Wars fashion, I’m moving backward to the prequel story before dessert, which is doublespeak for dinner, I guess. That leaves us walking through Chinatown to Buddha Bodai, I am having a hard time finding it because I have only ever seen it after nightfall. Does that ever happen to you?

What is the Speciality of Buddha Bodai?

Buddha Bodai is a mainstay in Chinatown and has been open since 2004. They serve Kosher Chinese Vegetarian and Vegan food. You would think that this is a really small niche but actually no. On the weekends, the family-friendly restaurant is usually full and their customers run the gamut. people seeking a break from meat, vegans or observing just religious holidays. It is a large clean space that can accommodate big parties of loud families. And they also have dim sum!!

This isn’t my first vegetarian rodeo, I’ve been to a couple of other places that I have posted about before. I visited Saravana Bhavan which served Indian cuisine and wrote about Red Bamboo which also had meat substitutes on their menu. And for my birthday last year, my nephew coincidentally enough took me out to Urban Vegan Kitchen. So I officially have tofu in my blood, right?

Why Did I Choose Buddha Bodai?

My nephew had heard me speaking about vegetarian Chinese food and mock meats before, he screwed his face at me more than once. But since he was trying out being vegetarian for a while, he wanted to eat something filling and keep him on track with his three months meat-free new lifestyle. I’m not sure if this is a permanent decision for him.Buddha Bodai in NYC Rendezvous En New York

What Did We Order at Buddha Bodai?

The restaurant had an extensive menu with pictures of the plates with meat substitutes pictured as the real thing. I ordered the Five Color appetizer which included BBQ meat, stuffed fried bread, smoked duck, braised chicken, and beef, of course, they were all vegetable protein. I think any die-hard meat-eater would find a dish that they liked here because it was so well seasoned and had a meaty texture. The appetizer was so huge that my nephew shared an entrée and I ordered the sautéed thin rice noodles Singapore style. The noodles were light and mixed with BBQ smoked “pork” and vegetables and we couldn’t finish it. Such a punk move! We left the restaurant sufficiently bloated from eating way too much and waddled out.

Buddha Bodai NYC, Rendezvous En New York
I picked at it before I took the picture, Vegetarian Singapore Mei Fun At Buddha Bodai in NYC

I think dinner was a success! My nephew liked it so much that he was still raving days later. I think we will be back, maybe with his sister next time. If you would like to visit Buddha Bodai, it is located at 5 Mott Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown,10013.

Have you ever been to a vegetarian restaurant that had you rethinking your diet? Have ever been urged to go to a vegetarian restaurant and eating there made into your regular haunts list? I’m waiting to read all about your experiences in the comments and don’t forget to catch up with me on Instagram and Twitter. Buddha Bodai in NYC Rendezvous En New York

Until our next rendezvous…



21 thoughts on “3 Reasons to Rendezvous At Buddha Bodai In Chinatown

  1. We’re actually working on a post featuring this place too! I guess great minds really DO think alike 😉

    I can’t believe your nephew enjoyed it, I was all about the junk food when I was younger! He’s lucky to have an aunt who’s teaching him the finer things in life 🙂

    1. Haha. Great minds for sure! I need to go back during the day when they are serving Dim Sum and try the other vegetarian place nearby. I guess he has grown out of early since I’ve thrown weird stuff at them since they were kids and he does his research. He’s very lucky indeed! ?

  2. I love places like this.

    I think often making a really good vegetarian dish is harder than cooking something meaty.

  3. Damn Trudy, that looks DELICIOUS! I’m marking this place down for when I visit New York again. I normally go to Chinatown to visit the grocery store Kam Mann (spelling??? I can’t remember the spelling, just how to get there).

    1. I totally get that. Exactly what I meant about getting to this rès in the daytime. Everything looks different so it jumbles my memory.

  4. I’d be more likely to go to a steakhouse than a vegetarian restaurant, but I enjoyed reading of your adventure with your nephew. My husband will be driving through Manhattan next week, so I’m going to tell him to look for you and wave. He’ll be bringing our older grandson back to spend Christmas with us.

    1. Hello Anne! How are you doing? Really… No vegetarian Chinese food for you? Ok. It’s been a while. I hope that all is well. I’ve been a little off my reading schedule so I have to catch up with your adventures. That’s sweet of your husband to drive him back. I’ll wave if I see them!?

      1. We had many house guests since June, so getting behind was familiar to me. There are not as many Chinese restaurants in the South as in NY. I just looked and found three vegetarian Chinese restaurants listed for Asheville. What a surprise! I like Chinese food, but John is not comfortable with it.

          1. We’ve ordered Chinese food numerous times. He says he does know what to order, yet every time he orders chicken and broccoli. He is really not interested in food, so he can’t remember what he had before. Believe me, it was painful until he remembered one dish to order. It took 15 years to accomplish this.

  5. Interesting – I am a meat & fish eater but I do so love vegetarian food too that I can forgo meat for days and often pick vegetarian dishes in restaurants. However I am not keen on meat substitutes ? perhaps a visit to this restaurant might change my mind! ?

  6. My wife leans vegetarian and I’m pretty “whatever” when it comes to food (I’ll eat anything, I mean). I could definitely get down at this place.

    Your reviews are perfect – the exact amount of information, photography, and flair to be enticing.

What do you think? I would like to know.

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