Newly Vegan? Your personal "Eating Out" Guide

Newly Vegan? Your personal “Eating Out” Guide

Starting the New Year with a new eating regime can be challenging at the best of times especially when starting out ‘Vegan’ can be somewhat daunting especially when you are new to what you can enjoy.

However, living in this new age of ours, we are very fortunate to be surrounded by cafés and restaurants that accommodate vegan cuisine and even go so far as providing a specific vegan menu.

This is great news as now we have the choice of visiting different locations and knowing that we will not die of hunger (not literally ☺)……….or simply having to make do with a quick bread and banana sandwich from the local supermarket!

Choice helps makes our decision-making process easier especially when we are dining out with family and friends whose diets are varied and we can all go somewhere to dine together without feeling left out or like a ‘freak’ for not having butter, or cheese, or cream, or eggs etc.

So from personal experience here are my top 5 ‘eating out’ restaurant/cafe guides to try when out and about:

Restaurants/Cafés

  • Wagamama –To start, I absolutely love their mushroom and aubergine steamed buns.  If you are not extremely hungry, 2 of these and a glass of their green power juice will get you through their day.  For mains, I enjoy their ‘kare burosu’ which is a warming noodle soup dish loaded with fresh vegetables & mushroom topped with tofu, great for the winter. Unfortunately, there isn’t really anything much to enjoy for dessert ☹ 
  • The Gate – The Gate is based in London and has 3 locations.  I have been to both their ‘Angel & Islington’ branch which is a 10-minute walk from Kings Cross Station or their Marylebone branch which is more central.  This is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant where they offer a wide variety of delicious dishes to enjoy and the hard part is choosing what to order.  My favourite to start is their ‘Miso Glazed Aubergine’ which is crunchy topped with roasted cashew nuts followed by their absolutely mouth-watering ‘Red Thai Curry’.  And for dessert, where to begin – they have lots to offer and making the right choice is the hard part.  My favourite is the ‘Mille-Feuille’ which I cannot begin to tell you how tasty it is.  This restaurant is a must try when in London.  Booking recommended.
  • Zizzi’s – When you fancy a pizza, this is the place to go.  A delicious freshly made pizza base topped with vegan cheese & mushrooms is heavenly. Again, there isn’t much to enjoy for dessert.
  • Pret-A-Manger – If you fancy something more casual, ‘Pret’ now offer a good variety of vegan foods from their delicious coconut & quinoa porridge, to sandwiches, and even cookies, not forgetting their freshly made juices.
  • Essential Vegan – This café is based in the heart of the popular area of Shoreditch, in Calvert Avenue and offers a fully vegan menu with a Brazilian twist.  Their burgers are to die for as are most of their menu options.  Well worth a try and of course a visit to local markets:  Hoxton, Old Spitafields or Brick Lane where you are sure to find some  great vegan foods.

So go out there and try different varieties, try new places and where possible, support independent establishments where a lot of time, effort & money has gone into creating delicious places for us to enjoy, eat and benefit from #plantbased #vegan

Search https://www.happycow.net to see if there are any vegan restaurants or cafes in your area. If there isn’t a vegan place near you, then the restaurants most likely to include vegan options are those from plant-strong traditions such as Indian (lentil dahl and rice), Italian (spaghetti and bruschetta), Thai (green curry with tofu), Mexican (vegetable Fajitas with salsa), Chinese (vegetable stir fry), Middle-Eastern (hummus, falafel, rice & vegetable dishes).

Guilda Atopkins

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