We now know that being a vegan doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to a life of kale and lettuce. Vegan street food, fast food and bakeries are now even more popular than before. I couldn’t even tell the vegan corndog I had the other day was plant based (although I don’t know if that is just because corndogs don’t tend to taste like meat anyway…) but either way it was good, it satisfied my carnivorous side and I didn’t break my Meat Free Monday. Whether you’re like myself and you dabble or you’re fully fledged here are five new vegan offerings you need to be checking out.
For over a hundred years, the Santoro family have been key players in the meat industry, but now Alex and Oliver Santoro are rebelling by opening restaurant Genesis which couldn’t be more different. Situated on Commercial Street, Genesis is plant-based, GMO-free and organic. Influenced by street food and their travels, the candy-pink restaurant serves up everything from kale Caesar salad, mac & cheese and the American Woman burger filled with creamy coleslaw, BBQ sauce, onion rings, jalapeños and gherkins. And as for puddings, it’s not all chia seeds and raw cacao, instead you’ll find their takes on brownie sundaes, bread and butter pudding and cheesecake. To drink will be cold pressed juices, Lo Bros Kombucha, organic drinks from Longflint Drinks Co. and will be the only UK restaurant use a brewing contraption from Dutch Lab for their cold brew coffee. Fancy.
Grab and Go
Flipside is so brand spanking new that it has even opened yet. Set to open at the start of October in Farringdon, it’ll sit (almost mockingly) in the shadow of the historic Smithfield Meat Market and will be a modern American fully plant-based grab and go restaurant. For breakfast you’ll find organic chickpea scramble boxes, mocha morning oats and sourdough donut with almond feta and honey. At lunch, drop in for a sandwich, they have more than 30 so you won’t get bored quickly or head to the ‘Mac Bar’ where you can customise your mac & cheese with caramelised onions, sticky rashers and chargrilled broccoli. Come the evening there’ll be burgers and sides including loaded nachos and skinny apple slaw.
Vegan Japanese Style
Whilst technically not a vegan restaurant, Jidori in Covent Garden has just launched an all new vegan menu. Following the standard menu, the new additions will include small plates, yakitori, snacks and puddings. You’ll find a Mizuna and tofu salad, avocado, radish and yuzu ceviche, tenderstem broccoli tempura, as well as shiitake and shimeji ‘Kinoko’ mushroom and smokey ‘Nasu’ aubergine and coconut water sorbet with figs and lime for pudding.
Fat Gay Vegan Takeover
Sean O’Callaghan aka the Fat Gay Vegan is now part of the Clapham Common’s Venn Street Market as he takes over a section to bring the finest vegan street food to SW4, each Saturday there’ll be ten stalls serving up the best a vegan can get. Traders joining him will be Big V, Jake’s Vegan Steaks, Let’s Do Temaki and Temple of Seitan, cookies and cupcakes from Ms Cupcake, homemade vegan cheeses from Kinda Co and vegan beer from Mondo brewing.
Vegan Pizzas, Games and Shots
Sinner is putting the fun back into going out according to founder, Seb Lyall. It’s a shot bar with a twist, you don’t just go and order around of tequila, you get given a token for the arcade machines. You need to earn it. Play the games and the better the scores, the better the shot, because of course points means prizes. The yin to their yang is Saint, the vegan pizzeria downstairs. On the menu you’ll find the likes of Allo Palak, with cheese, roast potatoes, spinach and cumin; Carne with tomato, cheese, vegan sausage and salami and Mr White with cheese, pesto and courgette. They say that the cheese is so good that you wouldn’t even know it’s vegan. Better give it a go then.