Vegan-friendly options have been sadly lacking on most high street menus in the past but things seem to be changing! Every week I’m noticing more animal free options being added to menus. Here’s a useful guide to vegan friendly options you can get in some of the main high street chains. Thank you to Peta for putting this together. It’s great to see more and more places offering not just a few veggie options but at least one or two vegan option too. Gone are the days of being limited to the mouth-watering joys of a side salad with no dressing and a baked potato with no filling!
Toby Carvery: “A vegan at a carvery?” you ask. You bet! Toby Carvery features two options on its vegetarian menu that are suitable for vegans, including a nut roast wellington and vegetable shepherd’s pie. Ask to have the butter held, and you’ll be good to go! Those around you who have opted for slabs of festering flesh will no doubt wish they had followed your lead.
JD Wetherspoon: You can find a Wetherspoon on almost every high street. Here, you can enjoy a sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry or a super-food Freedom Salad with giant couscous and balsamic vinaigrette.
PizzaExpress: We got quite excited when PizzaExpress announced its new vegan Pianta Pizza. In fact, all its pizza bases are dairy-free, so feel free to choose. If you take in your favourite vegan cheese and ask nicely, you can even have it added to your pizza.
Carluccio’s: This Italian café offers a separate vegan menu, including spaghetti, bruschetta, olives and fancy Italian breads. All you have to do is ask for it. The restaurant also offers soya milk for coffees.
Wagamamma: There are several vegan-friendly dishes on Wagamamma’s main menu including yasai gyoza (steamed vegetable dumplings), noodle-tastic yasai itame, and other options which can be veganised simply by switching up the noodles and leaving out the fish sauce.
Yo Sushi: Our top vegan choices from the Yo Sushi conveyor belt include vegetable yaki soba, firecracker rice and vegetable gyoza dumplings. There’s way more to sushi than just dead fish, you know!
Las Iguanas: If tapas and fajitas are your thing, Las Iguanas has got you covered. It has a dedicated vegetarian and vegan menu with all dishes clearly labelled, such as the yummy mushroom fajitas. Pass the patatas!
Giraffe: You don’t have to stick your neck out very far to find a Giraffe restaurant. Here, you can graze on tapenade and a selection of other meze as well as a vegan breakfast!
The Real Greek: Offering a wide selection of traditional hot and cold Greek meze, The Real Greek clearly labels which items on its main menu are suitable for vegans. Slow-cooked beans in an herby sauce and grilled aubergine are both highlights of this menu.
Leon: This expanding chain, found at stations and airports all over London, offers wholesome options, such as a gobi curry lunchbox, fresh salads, hummus and flatbread, and almond “milk”shake in three different flavours! Its website clearly marks vegan options.
Pret A Manger: From its avocado-stuffed Supergreens sandwich and hearty soups to its more-ish salted dark chocolate (we’re obsessed), Pret is a winner for vegans.
Starbucks: For caffeine addicts, Starbucks offers breakfast and lunch options to complement your soya latte, including a gluten-free hummus-and-veggie salad wrap and creamy soya porridge.
Subway: The Veggie Delite sandwich is a safe bet for vegans – and piled high with as many vegetables as you can fit on a sub, it’s a healthy option, too. (Just avoid the flatbread, as it contains dairy products.)
The West Cornwall Pasty Co.: An on-the-go grab for all commuting “veg heads”, it offers two animal-free pasties, a veggie and a wholemeal, and all the pasties are glazed with a recipe suitable for vegans – so it’s no surprise that it walked away with a PETA Vegan Food Award in 2013.
With more and more of us becoming aware of the health benefits of eating vegan as well as the horrific treatment and suffering of the animals bred for our plates, the demand for vegan options is only going to increase! And the more that are available, the more people will buy them and vice versa. Every time you ask for or order a vegan meal, you are casting a powerful vote with your wallet.
Let me know if you’ve spotted any other great vegan food picks at well-known restaurants.