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22nd May 2019

Eating Vegan: The Ultimate Guide

rednandharIt’s an exciting time to be vegan. As the number of people switching to a plant-based diet continues to rise, more and more cafes, restaurants and bars are expanding their menus to include vegan food and drink options.

Gone are the days when it was a struggle to find a vegan meal when out shopping. With many of the eateries at Mailbox providing great tasting vegan food, it is the perfect place to discover your new favourite dish. 

Whether you are a committed vegan or interested in eating a more plant-based diet, the following guide will help you choose where to eat or drink on your next trip to Mailbox. 


As any pizza loving vegan knows, going dairy-free does not equate to giving up the much-loved Italian dish. At Pizza Express, the option to have a pizza made with a tasty mozzarella alternative means that vegans have a great range to choose from. A recent addition to the menu is the Vegan Mezze, a pizza topped with chargrilled aubergine, sundried tomato harissa, and spicy jalapeño and Roquito peppers. Finished with rocket and creamy humous, it’s perfect for those who like their food hot and spicy. Vegans needn’t miss out on the restaurant’s classic Dough Balls either, for they can be ordered with a harissa spiced tomato dip. For dessert, choose from palate-cleansing sorbet or vegan carrot cake.

Several vegan dishes, including a starter of Pea & Mint Tortelloni and a main of Pea & Asparagus Risotto, have recently been added to the Café Rouge menu. Their Summer Salad of heritage and sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sourdough croutons and greens is perfect for the warmer months. If burgers are more your style, you can choose between the Spicy Chickpea Burger or the Moving Mountains Vegan Burger, both of which are served with chips or salad.

The spring vegan menu at Chez Mal at Malmaison includes a range of starters, one of which is a delicious minestrone soup. Once you’ve finished your main of Squash & Red Onion Tagine or Grilled Provencal Vegetables, treat yourself to a dessert of chocolate fondue accompanied by a fruit skewer and mixed berries.

Over at Zizzi, vegan options include starters of garlic bread and bruschetta, dishes such as the Vegan Spaghetti Pomodoro – just replace the pasta with wholewheat penne or gluten-free fusilli – and a desert of Banana & Raspberry Calzone. How tempting does warm sugared dough filled with banana, raspberries, and berry coulis, served with ripple gelato sound? The vegan pizza of your dreams can be made with MozzaRisella, a delicious mozzarella alternative, and a variety of extra toppings.

The eclectic menu at Red Peppers includes a vegan Thai Green Curry – coconut curry with vegetables and Thai basil – vegan spaghetti dishes, and a spiced quinoa and vegetable burger. From 11am to 5pm, you can order the Vegan Burger Wrap at a discounted price. Filled with mushroom, beetroot and bean patty, hummus, spicy harissa, spinach and cucumber, this wrap is perfect for lunchtime.

Nando’s are the first to tell you that they’re not a vegan restaurant, but that doesn’t mean that vegan visitors are without options. Their Grains ‘n Greens salad is described as a hearty helping of mixed grains, beans and corn served on a bed of baby spinach. If you’re up for something on the spicier side, the Veggie Cataplana is a good option – this rice dish consists of chickpeas, chargrilled veg, beans, and a spicy tomato and coconut sauce. Any one of their vegan starters and sides would make a great accompaniment to your meal. Nando’s recommends letting the team know that you are vegan to ensure that they’re extra careful when preparing your food.

Every Tuesday, the Gas Street Social do two-for-one on all vegan and vegetarian dishes. The restaurant also has several vegan options on their lunchtime menu, including Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles. Vegan burger lovers can opt for the Sweet Potato & Chickpea Burger which comes with crunchy tortilla chips, three bean vegan chilli, and salad – just be sure to ask for a vegan bun. Dishes such as the Buffalo Cauli ‘Wings’ can also be made vegan on request.

A vegan lunch is also available at Harvey Nichols Brasserie. Their Superfood Salad is made up of grilled courgette, quinoa, and an array of fruit and vegetables. For pudding, choose the Tropical Mess – vegan meringue served with mango, passionfruit, and pineapple.

The menu at Aluna, a bar that specialises in creating dramatic cocktails, includes a starter of Chilli Spinach Gyoza – steamed spinach and chilli dumplings served with spring onion and a chilli soy dressing. The vegan main course is Soy & Garlic Aubergine – aubergine cooked in Shaoxing wine, soy, sesame, ginger and garlic, served with jasmine rice.

When it comes to tea and coffee, there are several places that provide vegan milk options such as soya, coconut, almond or oat. At Starbucks, many of the hot and iced drinks can be made suitable for vegans. When ordering, it’s best to let staff know that you are vegan and ask them to leave out whipped cream, Java chips, protein powder, and caramel drizzle. The coffeehouse also has a range of vegan snacks available. You might even be lucky enough to find one of their new vegan food options.

Vegan coffee lovers also have the choice of Caffè Nero. Pair your dairy-free coffee with one of a range of vegan salads and snack pots. The cafe also offers the option of a vegan Panini, sandwich or wrap.

When ordering food and drink at any of the restaurants, cafes, and bars at Mailbox, we recommend that you specify to staff that you are vegan. Doing so will help to avoid any confusion, particularly if you are adapting a non-vegan dish.

We expect that restaurants will continue to put time and energy into developing vegan recipes, so it’s likely that menus will alter as new dishes are added. If you want to find the most up to date information, it’s a good idea to check the official website of the restaurant or cafe you are interested in eating at.

This guest blog was written by Freya Partridge

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