In this series of articles, we will be visiting three big university cities, Bristol, Manchester and Leeds, and choosing the very best food that each city has to offer for vegetarians and vegans. Showcasing some amazing healthy options, some delicious junk food, and some regional vegan and veggie cuisines from around the globe.
First in our series of cities is Bristol. In 2019 Bristol was voted the most popular city in the world for veganism by researchers from Chef's Pencil, although are we really surprised? Around every corner there is a new vegan friendly coffee shop, cafe and restaurant opening, there is almost no reason for us not to try and cut down our meat when there are so many amazing alternatives on offer. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite spots in Bristol for you to try.
Let's not beat around the bush, Oowee Vegan are at the top of their game. Within the space of a few short years, Oowee have revolutionised vegan junk food, and have been so successful they are now branching out to London and Brighton. Set up in 2016, Oowee was originally a small (non-vegan) restaurant based on Picton Street. With the incredible success and demand for more vegan options from Bristolians, Oowee opened up restaurants in the city centre and Bedminster. Oowee Vegan is now one of the most successful vegan establishments in the country, even winning Deliveroo’s ‘Restaurant of the year’. When the vegan option looks like this - who needs meat?
Fi Real is an exciting family run cafe based in Old Market, that combines traditional carribean food with healthy vegan options, to create a menu packed with flavour. The ethos of Fi Real is ‘being Vegetarian or Vegan doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or variety’ and we certainly haven’t had to sacrifice anything eating here - not even our diet! Not only are their mains delicious, but they also have a varied selection of cake and even their own branded juices. They’ve replaced jerk chicken with jerk tofu, and curried goat with curried soya chunks. You can also find them on Deliveroo, if you fancy having a night in.
The Thali started as a street food truck at Glastonbury Festival and they have now expanded to five restaurants in Bristol in Clifton, Easton, Montpelier, Totterdown and Southville. So you really have no reason not to go! The Thali Cafe pride themselves on organic, sustainable food that doesn’t skimp out on the flavours either. Although not all vegetarian and vegan, they have plenty of options for you plant based lovers. The Thali also encourages a minimal waste policy with their tiffin scheme. A tiffin is essentially a reusable metal lunchbox that originates from Mumbai, which you can purchase from the cafe and have it filled for a low price. Perfect for you and your housemates to share!
You can’t talk about the Bristol vegan and vegetarian scene without mentioning Eat a Pitta. If you’ve ever wondered ‘what is that delicious smell?’ whilst walking around Bristol, there’s probably about a 9/10 chance there’s an Eat A Pitta nearby. The concept of the restaurant is pretty simple, fill your box/pitta with as much falafel and salad as you can. The meals are perfect to take to your nearest park and eat whilst you’re sat in the sun. Eat A Pitta are another company committed to sustainability, with 100% of their energy coming from renewable sources, and 99% of their packaging being compostable materials created by Vegware. Eat A Pitta have also partnered with Good To Go, an organisation that is tackling food waste through their free to download app. You can find the chain of restaurants in Saint Nicks Market, Broadmead, Gloucester Road and Queens Road.
Koocha Mezze is a fully vegan, Persion and Middle Eastern inspired restaurant and bar based on Zetland Road. The establishment was first opened in 2018, but now the owners have plans to expand to more locations across the country. If you and your housemates fancy going out and trying lots of different dishes, the mezze style of dining is designed for social eating.
Koocha describe their food as ‘fresh, colourful and creative’ and they are not wrong! Their local and ethically sourced menu has a range of tasty treats, from sweet potato samosas to doner kebabs as you’ve never experienced them before. They even have dirty fries for you junk food lovers. Just looking for a quick drink? Koocha Mezze also has a wonderful selection of gins and cocktails too.
Keep an eye on our blog page for the second two articles in the series. Next on the list we will be discovering the veggie and vegan delicacies to be found in the cultural hub of Manchester.