Being vegan at…

Vegan pizzas at Firehouse, Exeter

Aside from Mr Singh’s in Birmingham, my absolute favourite place to get vegan pizza is The Old Firehouse pub in Exeter. They have a day-time menu with lots of meat, veggie and vegan options; then from 8pm onwards they serve the most delicious pizzas.  Their menu is definitely one of the most vegan-friendly I’ve seen, with 4 clearly labeled vegan pizzas.

Firehouse vegan menu

Since the pizzas are absolutely huge, I usually share the Vegan Mushroom with Maria (which is absolutely heavenly btw, I mean rocket + vegan cheese + tomato + mushrooms + onions + peppers on the perfectly doughy base = major party in your mouth). Meanwhile, Matt manages to eat an entire Vegan Margherita by himself – I seriously envy that boy’s metabolism!

Btw, sorry for the poor quality pizza pic, let’s just say that mood lighting + iPhone camera ≠ the best photos; but trust me when I say these pizzas are delicious!

firehouse vegan pizza

Aside from the amazing food, another thing that makes Firehouse so awesome is its cool Harry Potter/traditional english pub vibe. Seriously though, how cute is that decor?!  ▽▼▽▼▽

Firehouse

With such a diverse menu that caters for all diets, Firehouse is the perfect place to hang out with friends, have a couple of drinks and eat some insanely good food!

Vegan at Prezzo

When I was a vegetarian Prezzo was one of my all time favourite restaurants and until last week, I hadn’t been back since going vegan. When I saw that the allergen menu on Prezzo’s website said that the Bruschetta was suitable for vegans, I thought it was too good to be true… aaaand after a little chat with our waitress, turns out it was too good to be true – the pesto contains parmeasan. Our lovely waitress was so helpful and explained to me all of the things which were suitable for vegans (including the pizza dough). So I decided to get creative and combine two of my previous favourite starters to make the ultimate vegan starter: Bruschetta with garlic oil in lieu of pesto, with a salad garnish and pomodoro sauce (usually served with the Mozzarella in Carrozza). Combining my two favourite starters was a great shout because it was yummy!

vegan bruschetta at prezzo

For my main course, I went a bit more mainstream and ordered ‘The Vegetarian’ pizza without cheese but with extra mushrooms and red onions (my two favourite pizza toppings). Although I enjoyed it, the pizza was nowhere near as good as my starter so I think next time I visit Prezzo I will be ordering two vegan Bruschettas!

vegan vegetarian pizza at prezzo

Despite Prezzo’s website blunder, it turns out they have some great vegan options so it’s definitely worth asking in the restaurant what they can whip up for you! If it’s anywhere near as good as my Bruschetta, I’m sure you’ll be a happy bunny!

Vegan at Pizza Express

When I first became vegan, before I had even started the blog, I had my first (awesome) vegan pizza experience. I read on the PETA blog that Pizza Express had introduced a  vegan pizza: the Pianta, so I immediately dragged my best friend Alfia to Pizza Express to try it out. After initial issues with the Pizza arriving with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top (naughty Pizza Express), they sent me out a new one and it was DELICIOUS. Hands down, the best pizza I’ve ever had. It is served on their classic base smothered in spicy sauce, topped with artichoke, chestnut mushrooms, pine kernels, spinach and I added some red onions.

I went back to Pizza Express this week with the same friend, and had the same pizza. I’m a creature of habit, okay?! Buuuut this time I added mushrooms and garlic oil – yummy! Who says I don’t like to try new things ;).

vegan pizza

What’s even better is that all of their pizza bases are vegan, so you can make any pizza vegan friendly by just asking for it without cheese. Ideal! Although I really enjoyed my pizza without cheese, it’s also good to know that they offer the option of bringing in your own vegan cheese, providing it meets a couple of requirements.

There are a couple of starters that are vegan too, including olives and dough balls (substitute the garlic butter for garlic oil). With such a range of vegan options available, Pizza express is definitely a great place to hang out with your non-vegan friends as there is something for everybody!

Check out this statement on the Pizza Express website for a full list of vegan friendly dishes.

Vegan at Wahaca

After one too many trips to Nandos where I always have my favourite veggie wrap, my boyfriend and I decided to mix it up a bit and visit Wahaca. I was a little worried about finding vegan options as I couldn’t find anything on their website about this. However, our waitress was extremely helpful and pointed out all of the vegetarian dishes they could make vegan by excluding cheese or sour cream – ideal!

wahacca menu

To start we had tortilla chips with guacamole whilst we pondered over the menu, and they were good!

vegan wahacca

I love the style of the Wahaca menu as it offers a selection of smaller, street style dishes as an alternative to ordering just one, bigger dish. As there were so many amazing looking veggie options that could be made vegan, we decided to order lots of little dishes.

For the very childish reason of wanting to know whether or not it would be spiky, we ordered the cactus tacos without cheese. I am happy to report that they were in fact not spiky but were very yummy!

cactus taco wahacca

We also had the plantain taco without feta cheese and crema which was nice but very spicy!

plantain taco wahacca

The black bean tostadas (without cheese and crema) were awesome! I love black beans, red onions and lettuce so this dish was perfect for me.

wahacca black bean tostadas

Finally, saving the best to last we had broccoli drizzled in garlic chilli oil. DE-LIC-IOUS!

wahacca broccoli drizzled in garlic chilli oil

Not only was the food amazing but the staff were so friendly and helpful so we will definitely be heading back to Wahaca soon.

You can check out their menu here. Veggie options are marked with a v and most of them can be made vegan, so be sure to ask in the restaurant, and if our experience was anything to go by, the staff will be more than happy to help.

Vegan at YO! Sushi

Last night, after a bit of Glastonbury shopping with my mum (I just can’t help myself!) we went to Yo! Sushi for dinner. Now that I’m transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, there are obviously quite a few dishes in my favourite restaurants that I no longer eat; so I was beyond excited to discover that as a vegan I can still enjoy all of the same dishes I had as a vegetarian in Yo! Sushi. For this week’s ‘Being Vegan at’ post I thought it would be great to share last night’s eats with y’all.

Vegetable Gyoza – this is my all time favourite dish; they’re like little parcels of heaven!

Yo! Sushi Vegetable Gyoza

Pumpkin Karoke – these strips of pumpkin covered in breadcrumbs are awesome, and the ‘fruity’ sauce is just too good!

Yo! Sushi Pumpkin Karoke

Aubergine Salad – last night was the first time I’d tried this salad and it has become a new favourite;  the harusame sauce is delicious and I can’t wait to try to recreate this healthy snack at home!

Yo! Sushi aubergine

I was definitely full up after these 3 dishes but I’m also a big fan of the Kaiso Salad and Vegetable Yakisoba.

For a full list of vegan options currently available at Yo! Sushi, check out the Allergen section of their website here.

Vegan at Nandos!!

For this week’s ‘Being Vegan at’ post, I have chosen my favourite restaurant: Nandos!

Being a long-time vegetarian, and now transitioning vegan, people always find it weird when I say that Nandos is my favourite restaurant, but it is. I really love Nandos. I go there several times a week in hope that they’ll recognise me and finally deem me worthy of a black card. I’m still living in hope. Sidenote… check out Example & Ed Sheeran’s Nandos black card song below, absolute genius.

Anyway, back to the food. Their veggie burger is the best; so I was praying I could still have it when I became vegan. Good news is, on reading their website I found out that I can still have the burger filet, peri peri sauce (thank the lord!), salad garnish, and chips. However, the bad news is that this yummy burger cannot be sandwiched by one of their buns as they contain dairy. I decided to try the burger sans bun and actually really enjoyed it.

Next time, which of course was a few days later, I tried the veggie wrap without the mayonnaise and chilli sauce and this was even better. Another bonus is that when I said I was vegan, the staff were so helpful and accommodating. The manager brought out a huge, and i mean huge allergen menu and went through it with me to see what I could have. This (and the amazing food) is why I love Nandos!

vegan nandos

All of their bastes are suitable for vegans; and they also have a great range of vegan friendly sides including corn on the cob and a mixed leaf salad!

You can check out their vegan recommendation on their website here; and it’s definitely worth asking to see the allergen menu in the restaurant if you fancy mixing it up with some other sides as they are always adding new ones.

 

Vegan at Pret-a-manger

One of the things that worried me most about becoming vegan is eating out, as I’m not an ‘I’ll just have the side salad’ kinda gal.  I initially anticipated that this would now involve me dragging my friends & family around all of the London vegan restaurants; or picking at a plate of leaves in a more ‘mainstream’ restaurant whilst they ate. However over the past couple of weeks, as well as trying out Vegan restaurants such as Mildred’s & Bistro 1847 (yum!), I have become acquainted with a lot of Allergen menus in my favourite chain restaurants. I have been pleasantly surprised by the vegan options available and thought it would be great to share my experiences of eating out as a vegan  in mainstream restaurants in a series of ‘Being Vegan at…’ posts.

What better place to start than PRET-A-YUMMY (Pret-a-manger)?!

My job sends me all over London, so I am constantly grabbing breakfast and lunches on the go from coffee shops. Pret is my all time favourite, and turns out when it comes to Vegan options, they don’t disappoint.

Breakfast

For breakfast I have been loving the Super food fruit salad. It’s so refreshing, and with all of its goodness this yummy little pot is the perfect way to kick-start a busy day.

pret super fruit salad

Their smoothies and juices are also amazing; my favourite is the mango smoothie.

pret mango smoothie

Lunch

Last week, I tried Pret’s vegan friendly superfood sandwich for the first time. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have been putting this off for a while now, as I thought it looked ‘too green’ but I am so glad I tried it because now I am addicted!

pret superfood sandwich

They also do a great vegan-friendly butternut squash soup.

butternut squash soup

Snacks

On the snacks front, there’s a great range of vegan options: selected crisps, pretzels, drinks & of course fruity treats like dried mango.

Check out Pret’s allergen menu here for a full list of all of their vegan options. I have this bad boy downloaded on my phone, ready to whack out at any time!