I Can't Believe It's Vegan!
  • 02
  • Feb

I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan!

This page was updated in April 2014.

Being vegan when you’re eating out is easy. Take a quick stroll down almost any high street in the UK, and you will find a plethora of bars, restaurant chains and fast-food joints that already have vegan options on their menu or items that can be quickly adapted by asking the server to hold the mayo or cheese.

Whenever we buy food, we’re casting a powerful vote with our money. There’s even an argument for vegans to eat out at places that have predominantly been hangouts for meat eaters – such as Burger King or Nando’s – because by buying the vegan options in these restaurants, we are able to send a strong message to companies that there is a market for vegan food. It’s supply and demand – they will supply it if we demand it. And if there is more vegan food around, then more and more people will try it and start to buy it – and that means fewer and fewer animals will be killed and ground up into burgers and nuggets.

Here are our top meals for a tenner in places that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to cater to vegans:

12. Latin-themed restaurant Las Iguanas has a dedicated vegetarian menu, with vegan options clearly marked. Highlights include patatas bravas, mushroom fajitas and exotic Bahia Moqueca curry.

11. Wetherspoon is an affordable and “found everywhere” place to eat vegan. The sweet-potato, chickpea and spinach curry is vegan if you order it with poppadoms instead of naan bread – complement it with vegetable samosas, onion bhajis or a healthy green salad.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Goldengrove” by Ewan Munro / CC BY-SA 2.0

10. You don’t have to put your neck out to find a Giraffe restaurant. Choose from olives, tapenade and a spread of other meze if you’re in the mood for snacking, or go for the aromatic spicy Phod Malay Noodles as a main course. The restaurant even offers a vegan breakfast.
Giraffe
Giraffe, Trinity Leeds” by EG Focus / CC BY 2.0

9. Starbucks offers not only tasty drinks (my favourite is the Grande Classic Caramel Soya Hot Chocolate with vanilla) but also a vegan falafel panini. Other great coffee chains that offer vegan options include Caffè Nero and Costa Coffee. The last two won’t even charge you for having soya milk.

8. Even Burger King offers a vegan bean burger (the bun is free from animal products, too). It’s another hold-the-cheese-and-mayonnaise situation.  Team it with fries or even a fresh garden salad.
Burger King
Burger King in London” by Billy Hicks / CC BY-SA 3.0

7. ShakeAway has been popping up all over the country. It has a whole menu of shakes that can be made vegan. Being unadventurous, I love the strawberry, but I’ve been known to mix it up with Bourbons, coconut and Jelly Tots.
Shakeaway
Shakeaway” by The Local People Photo Archive / CC BY 2.0

6. PizzaExpress still offers excellent options for vegans and has recently added a vegan pizza to its main menu, the veggie-filled Pianta. All its bases are dairy-free as well, so you can also not have cheese on any other pizza you fancy – the same goes for several other pizza companies, including Pizza Hut and ASK as well.
Pizza Express
Pizza Express” by Ewan MunroCC BY-SA 2.0

5. Sushi is so much more than raw fish. YO! Sushi has a variety of bits and pieces floating around on its conveyor belts to tempt any vegan. Favourites include miso soup, Vegetable Firecracker Rice and vegetable gyoza. It’s also a great place to try tofu katsu curry.
YO!
Menu, YO!Sushi” by projectNADACC BY-SA 2.0

4. Le Pain Quotidien, which has more than 20 UK branches, makes a great spot for grabbing a healthy and slightly fancy vegan breakfast. Vegan items are clearly marked on the menu and include organic muffins, berry oatmeal, fruit salad and Avocado Tartine.

PAINQ

P1780378” by Franklin HeijnenCC BY-SA 2.0

3. The West Cornwall Pasty Company is an on-the-go grab for all commuting “veg heads”. It offers two 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.

2. Wagamama makes vegan really easy. Its website has a list of foods you can adapt to be vegan, but some of the options (like the noodles and Gyoza) already are.

1. Pret A Manger is a lifesaver when it comes to eating vegan on the move. The independently owned chain offers two regular vegan sandwiches, the Naked Avocado Bloomer and Super Greens; a zingy Superfood Salad; and tempting snacks such as popcorn, kale chips and salty chocolate (tastier than you might expect!) – and it almost always has a delicious vegan soup as well.

Veganism is easy everywhere, so if you haven’t taken that step yet and ditched meat and dairy products from your diet, there is no better time to do so than right now.

  • Share This


Comments

  1. avatar Gloria says:

    I would never encourage anyone to give money to huge corporations like Burger King, Nando’s, Starbucks etc. Regardless of whether you are buying the vegan option, you are still giving these companies money and therefore keeping them in business. They are everything that animal abuse stands for.

  2. avatar Holly says:

    There are very few of these places that I would even step foot in due to their horrendous practices in other areas such as coffee bean production and animal welfare.

    I understand what you are saying regarding getting vegan products on the menu, but personally I would rather see them go out of business completely than give a penny of my money to them.

  3. avatar Barry says:

    I am new to the vegan diet so pleased that there are lots of options to eat out but have to agree with Gloria and Holly, I am always very carefull of what companies i give my money to! I agree with the supply promoting veganism anyway we can but we must remember that many main stream companies are very unethical in the way they treat animals, farmers in developing countries and even their own staff!

  4. avatar KT says:

    The Little Chef used to do a lovely bean dish that was vegan, I’m not sure if they still do.

  5. avatar Nick Johnson says:

    I do agree that these places are not the best places for the vegan lifestlye – but it it good to know if I am on the motorway and need food there are places for us.

    To be fair all places that make money from meat will always have bad animal welfare as cost is such an issue – including supermarkets and resturants/take aways etc.

  6. avatar paul says:

    good honest useful and practical advice for those of us with kids in tow who need to eat !!!

  7. avatar Kelly says:

    The link you provide to the burger king information states that the veggie patties are not vegan, as does burger king’s own site. Also, pizza huts italian bases are now no longer vegan due to having milk listed as an ingredient.
    I’m all for having vegan options in non-veggie places, but as a major resource for some aspiring vegans, I think peta could at least get the information right. It only takes a little light reading to find vegan options in most places.

  8. avatar Jona says:

    To the comment above by kelly, if you read further down the burger king wiki link it states the the burger patty in uk is in fact vegan if ordered without mayonnaise and cheese. The wiki link overall mainly pertains to burger king usa which does not offer a vegan patty.

    And to all the people who would not support these companies, some might argue that the more support they get for their vegan friendly products, the more these products will be in demand, eventually making the companies realize that they should replace their meat items with vegan items. In a perfect world that is

  9. avatar Kelly says:

    To Jona above,

    Having read what you wrote, I contacted BK who confirmed what the wiki link said. (Am a bit skeptical about wiki articles) Thank you for clarifying.

    Pizza hut’s Italian base dough is definitely not suitable though as I have an email from them stating such.

  10. avatar Rachel says:

    Nandos burger buns now contain milk (their adverts for this everywhere show just how proud they are at this fact too!), and I was told the pittas do as well (making only the wraps vegan).

  11. avatar Ailidh says:

    With regards to the Starbucks point, I recently contacted them to ask them to confirm which of their syrups are vegan – no point in having soy milk in my coffee if the syrup contains milk powder etc etc. They came back to me saying that all flavours – Vanilla, peppermint, hazelnut etc are all okay APART FROM the caramel, which contains dairy, so watch out!

  12. avatar nandos is not veggie says:

    Nandos do a veggie burger and viggie pitta, as well as salads.
    The nandos veggie burger is cooked on the grill with the meat, it is covered in chicken bits and cannot be called veggie or vegan. the salad has grilled green beans also cooked with the meat and the other salad has parmesan cheese.
    so the answer is really NO, nandos do not do ANY veggie food.

    I challenged the nando manager who told me that its company policy and in line with training to cook the everything on the same grill… contrary to what the menu says… avoid nandos if your veggie!

  13. […] PizzaExpress certainly looks set to become a go-to destination for hungry vegans. But many other high-street chains also offer cruelty-free options, from Pret A Manger to Wetherspoons – check out our handy list for details. […]

  14. […] are making the same compassionate choice as Peter and opting for a plant-based diet. Thanks to the wide variety of vegan food available in restaurants and supermarkets these days, there’s really no excuse not to put your principles into […]

  15. avatar Law says:

    Is that really true about Nando’s
    cooking everything on the same grill? The website says they don’t. If individual branches aren’t doing this then surely it’s something that can be raised as a complaint?

  16. avatar Stefan Haucke says:

    Im a big fan of eating less meat but the vegan burger of the burger king menu is very expensive (http://www.fastfoodprice.co.uk/burger-king-prices/). Second, anyone who tried it will agree it tastes like plastic!

Leave a Reply

By signing up here and giving us your contact details, you're acknowledging that you've read and you agree to our privacy policy.