Dining Out as a Vegan

Dining Out as a Vegan

In this episode we're talking about dining out as a vegan. It's super easy to find great options in restaurants now, and we give some handy tips on how to find that perfect meal.

People enjoying food around a table at a restaurant

Going vegan may once have meant a tricky experience eating out with friends and family at cafes and restaurants, but there has never been a better time to go vegan than 2023!

Going vegan may once have meant a tricky experience eating out with friends and family at cafes and restaurants, but there has never been a better time to go vegan than 2023!

Whether looking for something to grab on the go or heading out for an evening meal, you will now find at least some plant-based options in most locations in the UK.

If you are new to veganism or want advice on finding the best dining spots near you with plenty of options, here are the Two Vegan Scientists' top tips for dining out.

Use the Happy Cow restaurant finding app.

The Happy Cow logo

Using the Happy Cow app has to come top of the list for advice for finding places to eat out as a vegan.

The app helps you discover vegan restaurants or restaurants with vegan-friendly options in the area on your phone, along with reviews and plenty of pictures to help you decide what you fancy.

You can check a location in advance or check what is currently around you, which comes in handy if you are planning a holiday abroad and want to know what options will be available.

Going out for food with non-vegan peers is also effortless with Happy Cow, as you can find places suitable for both diets rather than exclusively finding vegan restaurants.

Join local community pages and groups on social media.

Social media app icons on a phone screen

Social media can be a great way to discover places to grab food when you are out and about.

Local vegan groups can help you find new places to eat, see other people's experiences and photographs and meet like-minded plant-based folk!

You may even be able to dial down on a more specific diet, like "Whole Food Plant Based - [Your Location]", and find local people with similar diets who are likely to use the space to recommend places to go for food.

Ask for the Allergen Information Chart.

Icons for allergens and check marks to show an allergen list

As part of food safety regulations, you should find it easy in most establishments to get hold of the allergens chart, which helps those with allergies identify the suitability of each product served and help owners label food correctly.

The allergens chart should include every item sold, including condiments and sides, along with every allergen - milk, fish, meat, eggs etc.

Finding vegan options can be much easier using the allergen menu if you are in a restaurant with no options clearly labelled as vegan.

Reviews: leave them, and check them.

A 3d graphic of green stars

Leaving reviews can be a great way to inform other vegans of your experience and help restaurants to improve.

If a restaurant has made an effort with their vegan options and the food is excellent, leaving a positive review will encourage more people to try the food and help restaurant owners know they made a good decision in providing plant-based options.

If you plan to head out to a restaurant, pub or cafe, checking reviews beforehand can also help you find out what kind of experience you are likely to have and what options are available.

Ask the chef or waiting staff for vegan options.

A chef preparing food on a kitchen surface

Ultimately, staff and chefs want restaurant guests to have a pleasant experience, and most places will be able to put at least something suitable together if you inform the chef of your requirements.

If you are unsure or feel a restaurant lacks suitable options on its menu, talk with the waiting staff and ask them what the chef can prepare that is suitable for vegans.

List of Vegan-Friendly UK Restaurant Chains:

Vegan street food featuring satay tempeh skewers

Wagamama (our number 1) serves Asian food based on Japanese cuisine and provides a range of delicious vegan options showcasing tofu and seitan. Wagamama even collaborated with vegan chef Gaz Oakley.

The Lounges are vegan-friendly informal café bars perfect for breakfasts, brunch and lunch, or an evening meal with drinks. Their menus feature a range of cuisines and great tapas options.

Pizza Express have a range of plant-based options on their Italian-inspired menus and has previously attempted to open exclusively vegan branches.

Harvester is a casual family dining restaurant that serves dishes inspired by several cuisines with vegan-friendly chillis, pasta dishes and burgers.

What the Pitta is an all-vegan, award-winning kebab chain based in and around London, with more branches popping up around the country. Every bit, What the Pitta is worth the trip!

TGI Friday's is a cheap and cheerful diner-style restaurant serving fast food, like burgers. They lack vegan milk alternatives but have a range of options for eating plant-based.

Mowgli is about "how Indians eat at home and on their streets". This chain is branching out and bringing fantastic vegan options to even more of us here in the UK.

Brewdog is a producer of craft beers and ales that - following the success of its vegan-friendly IPA - saw the brand open its post-modern restaurants and bars across the country. They have delicious vegan options and have worked collaboratively with the vegan chicken chain Temple of Seitan (another great place to check out).

Greene King's Hungry Horse is a countrywide gastro-pub chain with vegan-friendly options, including hummus and falafel burgers.

Wetherspoons may have a reputation for cheap and cheerful pre-drinks on a night out, but they also have plenty of vegan options on their food menus.

YO! Sushi is a chain of conveyor belt sushi restaurants with vegan options, including ramen, avocado maki, and vegan 'steak' teriyaki.

Greggs is a fast-food cafe known best for its baked goods, including its infamous vegan sausage roll, which became a sensation a few years ago.

Pret A Manger is a cafe chain that has recently launched several exclusively vegetarian and vegan branches called Veggie Pret. All Prets offer plant-based alternatives like oat milk and plenty of food options in the fridges.

Prezzo and Ask Italian both offer a similar dining experience with Italian menus and plenty of options for plant-based diners.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a fast food restaurant serving burgers, sides and fries. Options may be minimal here, but this is somewhere suitable to eat a vegan cheeseburger.

Full Episode Transcript

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Come in, let us take your coat. Take a seat. In the two vegan scientists restaurant, our specials tonight are British Pod Peas and South Indian chat bombs. Oh, no, . That's how we're starting this. Is it ? Yeah. This is the two Vegan Scientists podcast. My name is Sam, And my name is also Sam. I am a nutritionist and a coach, And I'm a biologist. And today we're talking about dining out as vegans. And Sam, this is quite a good time to talk about this because vegan is the time where a lot of places started to bring out new options. Yeah. You'll walk around most places, even the supermarket, and you'll see brand new products. You'll see, you know, a lot of places have brand new menus, esp like, especially for this month. So yeah, it's a great time to, to sort of head out there as a vegan, even if you're not a brand new vegan, but you've been vegan for years. There's, uh, normally a lot more to discover every, every January, which is really great. Yeah. And there's a, I think we've, we've sort of made a a point of going against misconceptions about veganism. This is another one. Yep. Uh, my partner's dad always jokes that, so my partner turned vegetarian when she was in her early teens, so this was, you know, 15 years ago when it was quite difficult. Your best option if you went out to eat was to get the classic side of chips and salad. Combo chips or salad . Yeah. And then things rapidly changed and it became a lot easier to find vegetarian food. And her dad always jokes that as soon as it started to become easier to find vegetarian food, we then turned vegan. Yeah. We weren't, that wasn't awkward enough anymore. We needed to become more awkward. Right. That's, that's what this is all about, . And he sort of says, what's next? Now it's getting easier to find vegan food. Yeah. Yeah. Where are we going? Whole food, plant-based. That's us now, isn't it? ? Yeah. We need, Which is actually since I'm challeng. Yeah. So, so yeah. This, this is the thing. People think it is still think it's hard to find a vegan food, but I I, I realized that it wasn't the case when I was sat in a pub in the middle of the Lake district, the only pub in the area, and they had vegan stuff on the menu. Yeah. I mean, but this, there are, there are honestly, most restaurants you go to, there are, there will, there will be something now. Um, you know, even like local pubs where I live, I'm in quite a sort of remote part of the country, and yet still, um, you know, our local pubs are still serving these options. So it is, it is kind of a crazy time to, to be a vegan or even just like, you know, take your first sort of steps into veganism. It's great. It's not always the most inspired choice. No, no, no. But, but, but there is always an option. Yeah. And that's the main thing. Yeah. So I, I feel like the episode's probably gonna be quite UK dining heavy, because we're gonna talk about some of the, what we think are some of the best places. So now we're gonna have some tips on how you can find good options and sometimes make options when you eat out. But for the most part, we're gonna talk about good spots in the UK mm-hmm. and places that we like in spots that you probably find in your local town. But I'm also aware that we also have listeners in other countries as well. And in order to make this universal, I think what we should, we should start with is talking about an app. An app that we've used both use traveling an app that helps you very easily find good vegan options. Yep. Wherever you are. And that's, that's Happy Cow. The Happy Cow app is a, a well, it's a game changer, to be honest with you. Anyone who wants to go out, even if you are vegetarian and you are out and about, can be in any country, you know, in the uk and you want to find somewhere with either an option or exclusively suited to your diet, then, uh, a happy cow is, yeah. It is an absolute game changer. We aren't sponsored, by the way, . No, no. But it is, it is a really useful tool. And, and even to the point where it doesn't just show you specific vegetarian and vegan restaurants. It all also show you restaurants that serve meat and dairy, but have vegan vegetarian options on the menu. Yeah. So if you're traveling and abroad, this, this comes in really, really handy. Yeah. And it's user, and, you know, the users can rate things as well, so you know, if it's gonna be good. So I, I thought to start, it'd be good to maybe talk about a time where we've been abroad and we've been stuck and we've used something like Happy Cow to find a good option. And, you know, just to demonstrate that is a useful tool. So can you think of a, a Specific example? Yeah. I mean, towards the end of December, I had a, an impromptu last minute trip to Prague. And, um, you know, I hadn't planned anything. I, I, I was on the plane even thinking this place could be rubbish, , I have no idea. I've done no research. Um, but I've had that Happy Cow app for a long time now. Um, and it's, it's like you said about the reviews. It, it's more than that. You also get the pictures of the food so you can kind of, yeah. Do a little bit of window shopping from your phone. Uh, where do I wanna go today? But, you know, you can select vegan restaurants specifically and it'll show you within a certain radius all of the, the best restaurants. So yeah. Prague, that came in really handy. Uh, I was surprised to find Prague was actually a, a little, little vegan treat in the middle of Europe. That was, that was amazing. Yeah. Um, but yeah, it, it, it's the fact that you can see, you know, you can see the quality of the food, the kind of experience the customers have had before, and for convenience sake, which is closest, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah. Um, yeah. That's really, really handy. Yeah. And, uh, for me, I think it was, we went to, this would've been, well now, four years ago, it was 2019, we went to Palmer in Meca. Yep. And Meca is, is known really for British toys, going to Malo, getting horrendously drunk and, and basically giving British toys the bad name. Yep. But we do that, well, a few miles up, a few miles up the coast is Palmer de Meca, which is an absolutely beautiful city. Uh, it's the capital Meca, and it's like, there's so much history there. It's almost like a mixture between Madrid, but also because Meca, the island has been basically inhabited by a lot of different cultures over the years. There's all these different cultural sort of markers that you can see that in the architecture. It's a really fascinating place. And it was sort of an impromptu trip. Um, we got off the plane like you always do when you get off an airplane, absolutely starving hungry, because you always are, don't worry, it's about by air travel, it makes you really hungry. And as soon As first thing you wanna do is go and get food. I think that's what it's, yeah, Exactly. And it was hot and yeah, the hanger was setting in and we found a place on Happya, I think it was called Bagel, which the name suggests what you're gonna get. Yeah. But it was like, basically bagels were like different vegan toppings it, and I dunno if it's because I was hungry, but it was one of the nicest things I can remember having while we were there. And so as, as we went around, we started here, but used the app quite a lot and found lots of different vegan spots. It was also really useful in Singapore as well, you know, um, I thought Singapore was gonna be a difficult place to find vegan food, but with the app we could even find things like Hawks, which are like street food vendors where you could find vegan food. Oh, Wow. Yeah. That's, that's What was really hot. I kind of had a, a similar experience, like you said, with the, um, the sort of bagel place, um, with this little cafe that was kind of like right next, conveniently right next to the hotel. Yeah. Um, the, the app helped me find it, it, it, and that was exclusively raw vegan. I, I wouldn't have expected to find anywhere, uh, sort of on that level, you know, just, just when you're out, when a board, you just dunno what you're gonna find. Um, you can go, I'm sure you'll go to some countries and have the complete opposite experience. Um, but yeah, I managed to find this, uh, with the app, I managed to find this little, um, raw vegan restaurant. I kind of went there for lunch probably most days because it was just fresh. It was just really convenient. But yeah, that app, that app really did sort of save us some, some time. Uh, and we found some really nice places to eat every day. That was what was also handy. We could kind of, you know, rather than just sort of check somewhere online and kind of stick with it, you know, I know this place has options, so I'm gonna go here every day. We tried somewhere completely different every day. Um, and where, you know, where I think if you were doing the research yourself, you might find somewhere that's only vegan. It's the fact that the app helps you find places that are not necessarily vegan, but have good options for you. That's really handy. And, and how's the handy little sort of price indicators as well, roughly how much you're gonna spend when you go somewhere? So before we get into the UK stuff then, is there anywhere that sticks out in your head as somewhere that you've traveled that's maybe surprised you at how good it was for, for vegan options? Honestly, I, I, I, I don't wanna say it again, but yeah, Prague, Prague was, was, I, I had no idea what was in for, um, you know, like I say, no research at all. And I turned up and I opened up the app and it was just this sea of green restaurants, like on the screen, uh, within, not too, too far, not much distance from any point I was at, there was something to eat. So, yeah, Prague was a real surprise. Um, Holland was very good as well. I found Holland was really good. Yeah. Uh, I'd find, I think you'll find most places in Europe, uh, are kind of getting quite good at providing vegan options. Yeah. So the place that surprised me was, was Walt Disney World, because Florida is not a place that we really associate with vegan food, but pretty much everywhere had a good vegan option. And some of it was sort of vegan fast food. Some of it was things like sort of fluffle with hummus and fresh salad. And then, then we went to a place called Sonar, which was like, um, uh, it was Curry, but it was some sort of fusion between Indian and African curry. And we had some amazing like dolls and chickpea curries and that kind of stuff. So that, yeah. Yeah. Walt Disney World really surprised the Place. And did you research this beforehand, or did you kind of get there and, and Yeah. So you knew that you knew kind of what you were expecting? Oh, I, I was like military level research for Disney World, not just for that, but for things like the rides, getting all the Fast Passes book. Did you have the whole day planned every day? ? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, just to get the most out of it. And it was an amazing time. Yeah. Um, and then we went to Universal afterwards, which wasn't as good. A lot of it was sort of vegan processed food, which was, you know, it's tasty, but you get to, to a point where you've had enough of that after a day Or two. Yeah. I must admit, um, when I went to Holland, that was something that, cause I went with someone who was not vegan and wasn't particularly excited by anything green or vegetable . So yeah, processed junk food was kind of all I could kind of get her to, to sort of enjoy. Um, and it was by the sort of the final day we were there, I was kind of thinking, oh, you know, I kind of, I need something fresh in me now. It does sort of wa weigh you down a little bit. It's feeling greasy and heavy. . I remember like two or three days into the trip, we'd been, we'd do done a few, uh, fast food places at lunch, but the evening meal's always been, we'd been out and somewhere, so the first night we had like, sort of vegans like pasta dishes. And I think the second night we had like a, a bean burger. But then the third day we were at one of the parks and we just thought, we want something like with vegetables and went to a place, it was in Animal Kingdom called Tule Canteen, where you could get like a tofu noodle salad. Mm-hmm. Which is really fresh and really in, in hot weather as well. Like a cold tofu noodle salad. That was really nice. Yeah. No, there, there is, it is definitely a, like, I, there seems to be a number one saying of mine, but it is a changing world. You know, like, like this would not have been possible years ago. Um, especially like say in Florida, it's just not what you'd expect. But everywhere seems to be kind of getting on board with, with introducing options for people. I think there's ultimately a market to kind of miss out on nowadays. Um, definitely. But yeah. A question that I was gonna ask you, when you first went vegan, did you find it difficult initially sort of heading out into public, like going restaurants with friends or family? Did you kind of have a struggle with that initially? Um, for me, not particularly because we'd been vegetarian and a lot of places we'd been to, oh, we would often try the vegan options. And a lot of the times, especially in places like pubs where, you know, there's a couple of options. They often make the vegetarian food vegan. Yeah. Just to make it easier because it covers both bases. And, you know, some of our fav, we lived in Liverpool when I turned vegan and some of our favorite places, there's a place called the Old Hardware Shop, which was all vegan. Um, another place called, uh, that I wish I got to try before I left, just open, called the Vi Liverpool's a greatest suit for vegan, by the way. Oh, right. We should do an epi episode. We should do an episode on Traveling is vegans. Or maybe a month on vegan travel. Yeah, Vegan travel would be, would be great. But yeah, for, for me, it didn't seem, seem that difficult. What about for You? Yeah, no, I, so I write, the reason I'm asking, I, I put, I did another one of my polls on Facebook and, uh, I asked sort of everyone what, how they found it. And I was surprised to see a lot of people saying that they sort of had struggled. Um, you know, they've gone vegan and they'd found it quite difficult to begin with. Um, I think some of the responses we're talking about going out with non vegans, um, perhaps some of the discussions they'd faced, that kind of thing. Uh, but half of them sort of seemed to be having that struggle of, like you say, with the chips and salads still. Uh, yeah, yeah. Now obviously there's people from all over the place, people from different countries. So everyone's sort of having a different experience. But I found it really strange because when I went vegan, which, you know, realistically five years ago, uh, five, six years ago now that's, we'd already kind of entered this vegan world where it was already starting to shift quite massively. So I, I, I did kind of enter at a time where most restaurants, even non-vegan restaurants were now providing something. So Noah, I didn't, I didn't struggle with it at all, but it did surprise me to see so many people because of my experience sort of saying that, you know, they, they had struggled. I think the only bad experience I had, and it wasn't even that the food was bad. Um, with my last job, we went to a place called Fender for someone's leaving, leaving drinks, and, and in food. And for Forend is one of those places where they just bring you con, constantly bring you meat. Yep. Until, until you tell 'em to stop . But they had a vegan menu for me, and the food was really delicious. But I hate the smell of red meat cooking. Oh, right. It turns, it turns my stomach fair. It's been a long time since I've smelled that. So , I've never liked the smell of red meat cooking. I never really liked steak when I used to eat meat and that's all I could smell was this really strong smell of red meat cooking. And as delicious as the food was, I struggled to enjoy it. Yeah. So, I mean, I did, I did take it home and then enjoy it at home. just, just go with the takeaway when you can smell all the, the food cooking. Yeah. It's, it's one of those places where I can't complain cuz that restaurant's not for me. No. Yeah. It's not, it's not, it's not aimed at me. So yeah, They've met the alami, they, they had options for you and that, that's more than, you know, I think a kind of normal non-vegan restaurant sort has to do. So. Yeah, no, I hear you on that. So have you got any f just to help people, have you got any favorite places? So let's say you are doing vegan Yep. And you've been cooking at home, you've been eating fresh, but now you want to go out and enjoy the experience of going cuz it is an event going and, and dining out and a good meal can make or break that event. Yes. You can either feel like you've had a great time or you feel like you've wasted your money. So I think we should start, we can, we can touch on some of our favorite more niche spots a little bit later on. But let's try and tick some of those boxes for things that you'd like it to find at least within 10 to 15 miles away live. Yeah. Okay. We can provide you a good meal Out. So with the niche things, we'll get to that. And Happy Cow, like I said, really comes in handy with that. But in terms of chains, um, if you like Asian food, uh, not for me, nothing Beats or wa Mamas, there's, you know, there are Oh yeah. So many good options in Waggles. And not only that, but their menu makes it really easy to know what you can and can't eat. It's a really simple, if it's got black text, it's not suitable for you. If it's got green text, it's suitable for you. Which is, I've not seen that. You can Get a, we can get a separate vegan menu Yeah. As well. Yeah, exactly. They're, they're, they're really, really on it with providing vegan options. And I know it sounds stupid, but they're actually also really tasty. You know, lots of places provide options, but I have been some places where it is not far off of just vegetables and rice, you know, and, and some places can do a bad job. Um, but Waam, I'd say has kind of put just as much effort into its vegan menu, if not more, to be honest with you. Then it's standard menu. There's some really good options there. Yeah. I think the last thing you want is to be paying 15 pounds for mixed, frozen mixed vegetables and a sauce . It happens. It does happen. . I mean, I think one of my favorite, cause we go to Waka Mama a lot. Yeah. And I love the tofu rice or curry. Yeah. Which is like a lovely aromatic coconut curry. The kasu, I prefer it with the, with the vegetables. You Yes. I, yes. Yeah. Yeah. Really, really Good. And they occasionally do collaborations with people like Ga Oakley to wear that was too Recipes. So we had the, um, the, the, the first time I'd ever seen a, a hard boiled egg made vegan that was, yeah. That was crazy. Uh, with the sriracha mayonnaise in the middle, that looked really, really good. Um, so Yeah, it was good. Tried it, it Was nice. Yeah. They collaborated with a vegan chef. That was, that was a big deal. So yeah. Wack . I listened to a podcast called, what's it called now? Off menu. Yeah. Uh, listen to a couple of comedians where they basically bring a different celebrity guests in each week and it's, you basically, you dream meal. And for my main course, I'm, I al I'm always half tempted to go for Tora Rako from Wagga Mama. Like, I enjoy it that much. Yeah. And people always say always, it's not authentic. Well, yeah, it's, it's, it's fusion. It's a mixture of lots of different things of course's. Not authentic, but it's tasty. Yeah. Yeahs nots the main point. Right? The unhealthiest either. No, I think that's, that, that's, I've had that kind of experience where I try to avoid, uh, as we mentioned sort of last episode, um, eating out as, as much, as much as possible. I try to cook fresh and, and eat whole foods, but for me that waam has gotta be one of the, the kind of freshest experience. I do feel like I've walked out there having eaten real food. Do you know what I mean? That's the, the whole food ingredients are definitely on those plates. Um, it feels like one of the less processed options, I think along a, a similar theme, although, I dunno if it's not as good, but it's more expensive than Waam Mama, uh, is yo sushi. Yes. And, but the thing with yo sushi, it very much depends on which one you go to. Some of them are terrible, but a good one is a very good one. And, you know, you eating sort of fresh vegetables and rice and the stuff that's good for you. And they have hot menu options as well. Although I think I would always go to yo to Waka mama over, I completely agree. It's got good options. But I, I've always found that I've paid a lot more than I'd expect, like for what I expected from what I got. Do you know what I mean? I, I'd always say that. Whereas Waam Mama, I always leave feeling completely full and I would never say I've broken the bank on it, to be honest with you. Um, wa I could talk about Waam mama. Yeah. We need to move on Greens, walk fried greens. Yeah. So Good. Yeah. Simple, simple broccoli and garlic. Couldn't he ? Yeah. What dude, the, the first big shot I'm gonna make is a chain called the Lounges. Yes. Which is, is that from your Yeah, well it's kind of one of those if you're, if you're lucky enough to live around one, but they are, they are really great. Yeah. Another one with vegan options rather than exclusively vegan. Yeah. So the lounges, I mean, they've, they've got, they cover most, well all of the UK now. And most people are probably within 15 miles or there, there are some little, I had look at the map, there are some little sort of spots where it's harder to find one, but essentially they've also got a separate vegan menu and they have options like sort of sweet potato and black bean super food, rice bowls and that kind of stuff. So you can get quite whole food meals in there as well. Yeah. I of food, I've never, like, it's exactly the same. I've, I've never left their thinking. I've spent a ton of money and I, I don't leave, they're hungry either. They've got a brilliant tapas for vegans. Yeah. Um, they've kind of taken their meat based menu or their meat based, it's meat and dairy. They've kind of taken their main menu and translated most things to so to, so vegans, you know, there's not really a single section that you can't enjoy just as much as someone who's, who's there for, you know, for the normal menu. It's, it's really, I I think if you are lucky enough to live near a lounge, they have different names, don't they? Um, yeah, that's what I was gonna say. Yeah. So, So ours is the Aos . Our, our local one is the, uh, Arco Lounge. Yeah. So you, yeah. So usually it's, it's called the, the Something Lounge. Yeah. So it's not, it won't be called the Lounges, it'll be called the Something Lounge, but Yeah. Yeah. We're various Edmunds. So the Edmondo lounge is what we've got, but yeah, they're really, they are really good. Yeah. So, so what if you wanna go to the pub, If you wanna go to the pub, well, green King have, uh, have some some good vegan options. I've, so I have heard have you had, have you been to a Green King bar at all? Yeah, I've up into a few different Green King, uh, pubs and there's always a vegan menu. Yeah. And another one actually, um, we, we, we found the other day we went into Worcestershire and there's a, a chain called RINs as well, who also have a, a vegan menu. So I think what can be difficult is if you're going to maybe an independent pop. Yes. Yeah. Where they get locally sourced sort of fresh meat and produce. Although they, if you speak to them, they, they still might be able to, to fix you something up, but it might not tick all your nutritional Boxes. I mean, dare I say it, weather spoons, I mean, . Yeah. Yeah. They have, do you know what? I have good vegan options. I actually went to, to, it was about a month ago, I was waiting for a, a store to open. I went to town a bit too early, so I thought I got to weather boons and to see if I can get a breakfast. And they've taken the vegan menu off the, off, off, the completely off because they found out that the hash browns had got milked. Oh. After, after a long time of serving them to people, they found out the hash browns Got, well, maybe I should be careful recommending that then. Yeah. But to be fair, no, I think, I don't, I that's not, that's not on them. I don't think their suppliers had told them that. No, no. But yet they have a lot of vegan menu, uh, options on the menu. And again, really, really reasonably priced Talking to pub, you're also finding that like more and more alcoholic, like drinks, like, uh, BrewDog for example, they're, they're making a bigger point than ever of, uh, making sure that their production is vegan as well. Um, it's not necessarily just A out actually, Yeah. Brew dog as, as a restaurant as well. If you're lucky enough to live near a BrewDog. Um, I know there's one in Norwich, uh, they have a really great food menu as well. Um, and I, I believe that they're trying to reduce their sort of animal consumption on the whole, I think that they're, they're, their meat based foods are 50 50 now. Um, okay. So they're, I I think they made a pledge, I'm not sure if they've actually done it yet, but to, to make their meat burgers 50 plant, 50% plant based in 50%. Oh, okay. Meat. That's Interest. Interesting. Even, even, even just I heard before, it's, it's something, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, that's, that's, I didn't know that. That's, that's, that's sort of Yeah. That's quite interesting. I've Said it now. They might pull that on back down on that one. And I've just . So we've covered sort of, well, many, many different, many different food types. So we've got, I don't wanna say what, what, what is class waam and They're kind of, I'd I'd say sort of like Asian food. Yeah, Right. Yeah. Sort of like Oriental. Yeah. So Chinese, Japanese. So we, we've got that covered. The lounges is I guess in some ways Mediterranean. Yeah. You've Got Also, it's also got some quite English, you know, English food. We've got the pubs. What if you want Italian. Italian. So there's obviously, I mean, you don't get more Italian than a pizza, right? There's always Pizza Express or Yeah. Uh, preso, I think even peso's got some good vegan options as well. Yeah. Um, yeah, pizza Express, I was, I was very impressed with, with that was one that we went to quite a lot when I first sort of transitioned with my family. Um, kind of got into this habit of every time I was on break at work, they'd drive to town and we'd go out somewhere different every time. Cause we were just excited to try these new places. That's good to, but do you know what, I'd say, honestly, more than anything, we were trying non-vegan restaurants that had increasing options for us. It was, it was really exciting. That was, that was definitely when I'd say vegan first, Garrett Clark gained its sort of traction. Uh, but yeah, pizza Express has got some really good options for that Kind of thing. Yeah. That's what we use a lot. Yeah. Um, my Italian friends are not a fan of Pizza Express, but we really like it. And again, it has a, a separate vegan menu with, there must be 10 or 12 pieces on there now. Yeah. And what I, what I like about the vegan options in Pizza Express is they don't overdo it with the vegan cheese. It's just a little bit here and there. And what they, they focus on is nice fresh toppings. But you can also get, I think it's something called a super food, or I think it's called a Nourish bowl as well, which is basically like a whole food plant base just bowl of like things like sweet potato and beans and that kind of thing. I mean, which is a nice option As well as a nutritionist. I should probably know that. And not have only ever gone there for pizza, but Oh, I'm, I I've never ordered it. If, if I'm gonna Pizza Express, I'm not getting, who's There for pizza there for a salad , I'm getting a pizza and I'm gonna get, uh, I'm gonna get a glass of wine. Yeah. This is just gonna happen. But my advice would definitely be to go for the salad and look after yourself. Everyone . Yeah. Or, or get the pizza that, that has the hole in the middle where they put the salad in the middle. Yeah. You can get that as well. I Mean, so that just does sound disappointing, doesn't it? . It really does. It's basically less of the tasty, um, I mean salad's, tasty books. Yeah. It's not a pizza. So, I mean, I think Pizza Expresso waam two of two of my Favorites. Yeah, I completely agree. Um, so I think we, the, the other thing we should cover is, is sort of South Asian sort of Indian, Sri Lankan, Bangladesh food, that kind of thing. Uh, there's a, there's a, there's a chain that's started in Liverpool and they have restaurants, I think in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, London, I think they've got a couple in Scotland. They're opening one in Brighton. And that's a chain called Mogley. I dunno if you've been to Mogley. Yeah, I remember you. I actually remember you mentioning this. Um, I've not been to one myself, but I've heard of them. So good experience. Yeah. Oh, fantastic. So the point of Mogley is, it's kind of like the, the slogan is Indian Street food. Yep. And what you get are, I dunno if you're familiar with the, I think it's called the Double Wallers in India. So basically there's, there's a, there's a, a tradition where when the partner goes to work, the other partner stays at home and cooks a meal and he gets put into like a metal tin. And then that metal tin gets transported by do double wallers across the city to the office and gets delivered to the person who's working in the office hot. So they've got a hot lunch. Oh, wow. And they de they deliver millions of these each day with something like a 99.9% accuracy. It's, it's ridiculous the accuracy. And what Moga does, it serves the food in the, those same kind of metal tins, they're called tiffins. And so it's sort of like tapa style. So you get little dishes, little curries and that kind of stuff. But what you can say is, is That a, a tiffin box that I've, cuz I've heard of that. Yeah, yeah. That like a, like basically little compartments for each different type of Yeah, yeah. Of look really cool. Yeah. So, and so I, I think, so I think, dunno if a tiffin is the individual part, it's the, or if it's the name of the stack of multiple dishes. But you can get, basically you can, you can order individual dishes and there's plenty of vegan options on the menu. But what you can also get is a, a tiffin, which is usually three random dishes and then one carb, so like rice. And so when, when when we go, we, we get one each. So we've got like six different dishes, rice breads. It's a really, really good and tasty face. I suspect the spice level is tuned down a little bit for the British palate. Yeah. . But it's still a really, really tasty Tasty, Yeah. They're, they're looking after the spice. That's, yeah. No, definitely. I'm not, uh, I'm not, I wouldn't say I'm, I'm lucky enough to have any chains around here, um, that are sort of vegan friendly in the, on the Indian kind of front. But we do have, um, we do have some really nice all vegan Indian restaurants, uh, if you sort of head towards Norwich, but they're not really ones that are useful for anyone who's sort of somewhere else in the uk. Yeah. Um, again, that's one of those niche options that happy cows sort of found for us. But yeah, there's not really any chain sort of Indian restaurants where I'm at. But the good thing about an Indian restaurant is you can always find a doll Yes. Or something like that. Or, or a charan masala, something with chickpeas or something with lentils and usually vegan. Although sometimes doll can be made with, with gee and that kind of thing. Yes. Yeah. So you have to be careful there. But I think it's one of those things where truthfully, most, most cuisines celebrate plants, you know, they, they do in some way celebrate plants with the way, with the way they cook. Uh, and I definitely think the sort of staple dishes from each country will, I'd say rely heavily on because they, they tend to be the sort of cheaper foods to produce like a curry, for example. Yeah. Uh, which use a whole range of vegetables and a grain of some sort. Uh, and it's the same with, um, pizza for example, that used to be used for kind of taking a load of leftovers and kind of making the most of them. Yeah. So I do think that most kind of, if you, if you go like an Indian restaurant, you would, you would probably find that the majority of their meals are quite plant heavy anyway. I think a good way as well is, is quite interesting. If you look at, if you want to guarantee vegan options, generally speaking, if you go into a restaurant where the cuisine comes from the country with low rates of chronic disease, they probably have a lot of vegan food. Very true. True. Very, very true. Uh, have you ever tried Ethiopian food that's got a hell of a lot of vegan stuff as well? No, but it looks, it does look amazing. It looks, uh, it looks very, very suitable for people who follow a whole food plant-based diet. Definitely. Yeah. It's all like lentils and vegetables and then like, sort of sour, uh, flat bread pancakes, which are really nice as well. Yeah. It's, it's really good. The way they eat is is so much different to us as well, isn't it? Like they, they're very hands on and Yeah. Yeah. I'd love to give that a go. I really would. Yeah. It's a great experience. But you say that, I mean Asian food, um, like Guam and yo sushi, I mean, Asian countries are, you know, they're known for a very plant rich diet and they're also known for some of the best sort of health outcomes throughout history. Um, the China study, for example, was, was a huge one. Um, the China study Isn't a full book about That. Yes. The China study. Um, i I wanna say 2008, but I, I, I don't know, that was, um, I think the, the most comprehensive study into, into nutrition. Um, I at the time at least, I think it was sort of ever. Um, and that sort of compared the differences in eating between Asian and, and western cultures and the rate of chronic diseases. And yeah, it was pretty pr pretty shocking that the kind of, well it makes sense, but the processed diet that we've we're all following is, is kind of half of what's leading to our diseases. So Yeah. Look, look for, look for the healthy people and, and try their restaurants . And that sounds like an interesting future podcast. Yeah. I thought I'd put a hal on there cause I kinda kept going. . So say, um, then, so you're giving people a list of, of, of options. Yeah. But say they're going out with some friends, they perhaps don't have the, the ability to search beforehand. They're not going to one of these sort of guaranteed places. So have you got any tips for somebody who's navigating that experience? Yeah, I mean, if you are, you know, there's, there's not much time to do research or, or check your reviews or, or what other people have done in the past. If you are, you know, if it's a last minute thing, I would honestly say don't be scared to ask. You know, don't be scared to, to talk to like your waiting staff or you know, if you can find a way to ask the chef if it's somewhere with absolutely no options and you are, and you're really panicking, most places will be able to provide you with something. Uh, and I don't think there's many restaurants out there that would really, genuinely want you to sit there and starve. Uh, no, no, let alone for the sake of a, of a review. It is not what they're there for. Um, most places, uh, and most chefs would, would like to have happy customers that have, that have eaten something. So yeah, I would say just don't be scared to ask them if they've got something. Um, if there's nothing on the mains sides are your friends always look for sides. There's there's gonna be something there. Um, yeah. And honestly, if there, if there isn't, then just ask. There's nothing that can go wrong from asking someone. Yeah. And I think also, I mean, the review is really handy. Yeah. So I think it's always handy to, to leave review as well so all the people know, but also look through reviews. I mean, it only takes a few seconds. You can sort of, especially on TripAdvisor, you can search for the word vegan in the reviews. Yes. And you can find out if people have, have, have said that there's vegan options there and that kind of thing. Yeah. That was something I I kind of wanted to mention today is kind of to anyone who's gonna go to any of these vegan restaurants. Um, but just as important if you go to non-vegan restaurants is Saliba review. If you've had a particularly good experience, you're not only helping, you know, other vegans know about it, but you are, you're encouraging that restaurant, you know, into supporting veganism because ultimately they've provided you with an option that you've then shown them it's actually been appreciated. Um, you know, it's only gonna encourage them and other restaurants to sort of follow suit and, and do the same thing. Yeah. And I think along the similar theme is you, you can also find, uh, social media groups, particularly for your, you know, where you live that are vegan focused Yes. That you will, will share places you can ask questions. I once look, go for this kind of food world you recommend. And these are really useful tools as Well. Yeah. I mean, everything down to whole food, plant based, there's, there's, there's Facebook groups for everything now. Yeah. Um, so whatever sort of diet you're following, you'll probably find somewhere that can recommend places locally that you, you'll get good options, that kind of thing. Yeah. Um, So I, I think, I think we've covered quite, quite a lot of useful tips there. So I think it's time to finish in a more niche area. And I wanna ask you, you're going out for a meal, it's the only meal you can go out for. Yep. That month. Where are you going? Where, where is it? What's the name of, name of it? What's the place? Okay. So To guarantee yourself a good meal. A good meal. Okay. So I, I have two that I've always stuck between. They're both in Norwich. Okay. Uh, these are more, these are more niche as far as I'm aware. Only one of them has a sort of second restaurant, so to speak, in terms of being a chain. Number one, I've gotta say is Uppingham House in Norwich. Um, that kind of, that's kind of got a bit of a name of itself for itself recently. Um, the food is just perfect. I mean, it is just really, really well done. Um, it's kind of just out of the center of Norwich and we are talk, we are talking any sort of cu cuisine in the world you could expect to find in there. But it's just done perfectly, no matter which cuisine. They seem to just nail it every time. Um, so if it's a burger and chips, they'll do it differently, you know, just really differently. Yeah. But if it's, uh, I mean they've got a, a stir fry that was just, you've just never experienced anything. Like it just really, really well done. Uh, yeah. Ingham House is one of my absolute favorites. The second is the Tipsy Vegan. Um, yeah. Which is brilliant. They're, they're in Cambridge and Norwich. Um, and they're, they're kind of got this kind of old pub feel Yeah. Um, with this tapas that just, they can absolutely fill a table with incredible tapas dishes like Arancini. Uh, I had some sticky Korean bow buns. Just really good sounds. Quality food sounds. Yeah. They're, they're perfect. How about you? So I'm gonna pick two as well. Yep. The first one is a little Thai greasy spoon. Yep. In Queensgate Market in Huddersfield. So Huddersfield Field in is a little market town in West Yorkshire. It's where I did my undergrad, it's where I did my PhD. And in the market is a place called, when I was there, it was called just Thai Cafe. And now I think it's called something like Rice Cafe or something like that. And it's a little Thai family. There's of like three or four people. Uh, so there's like the, the father of the, the wife, you know, the mother. And then a couple of the, of the older kids work in this, in this cafe. And they just produce unbelievably tasty, authentic Thai food with an extensive vegan menu. It's where I discovered my love for Thai food is this place. And I've got a lot of memories. My partner and I, we took some of our early earlier dates there. Uh, a dad made a joke that, uh, you know, he used to always take her to, to re nice restaurants. Then she'd come back after a weekend with me and say, we went to this really cheap Thai greasy spoon. It was great. So, so that's, that's one place Thai cafe in Huddersfield. You Were, am I right thinking you weren't vegan at the time? This was still No. Yeah. So yeah. So the, the, when I, if, if a sort of card on the table when we first started dating, I would, I would eat with with her and would have sort of veggie food when she would cook. And then I'd go to Thai cafe at lunch to get my meat fixed. Yeah. To get like a chicken fried rice. But then as I turned to veggie, I started eating the, the vegan food on the menu and started really enjoying that as well. And it became a place that would, we'd go quite regularly. And then the second place sticking with, with, with that part that, that side of the world is a Chinese restaurant in Liverpool called Big Ball Noodle Bar. Oh, lovely. Uh, big Ball noodle bar is is is open till ridiculously late hours. It's, again, it's a, a small place, small independent place, really popular with both scouts and Chinese people alike . And it, again, it's, it's fantastic food, great vegan food that would, that became our go-to place to go if, if, if we wanted to go out for a meal and we didn't. And we wanted to have like a nice, a nice experience without paying. I like places that aren't, if, if I'm going somewhere where I want to guarantee that I'm gonna have a a, a nice time, I tend to go back to places where the price point isn't too high. But the food quality's really good. Yeah. And that was one of those places for me, I'd love to pick an Italian book cuz Italian's my favorite food. But since going vegan, we haven't been out for Italian that much. And we tend to make it ourselves at home instead. I Feel the same about, uh, Mexican food. I'd say Mexican's like probably my favorite cuisine. Uh, yeah. But in terms of like vegan restaurants, that's again one that I'd say I do an awful lot of cooking my home like, uh, at that home myself in, in that, uh, in that style. Uh, but I wouldn't say there's necessarily a restaurant out there that I'm, that I'm, you know, massively keen on. That's, that's all Mexican themed. Um, but there are options still. I think like most, most of your kind of tasi Mexican dishes, like there, there will be some easy vegan options in most places. I think what it is is with, because I love vegan food as well, it's with the fact that when you go for, uh, when you're cooking vegan Mexican food, what you're making is incredibly cheap. Yeah. And if you're going out for a meal, don't necessarily wanna pay 15 credit for something that costs you a fraction of that to make eight portions Of Well, beans, rice, and spices. I mean, there's some of the cheapest things out there, aren't they? Yeah. . Yeah. Can I, can I, uh, throw the conversation back an absolute mile? I just thought of one more thing that I wanted to mention for anyone, um, who, like you asked earlier, if anyone is going out to a, say a non-vegan restaurant, um, and they're sort of panicking, ask for the allergen list. Most restaurants have somewhere in the building. Oh yeah. Um, someone showed me this recently and my, my mind kind of exploded. I was like, ah, this makes so much sense. But all restaurants are required to have an allergen list, which is a grid of basically everything they serve. It should include all their size and sources. Absolutely. Everything should be on there. Uh, and there's a grid across the top of every allergen. And the good thing is, at least I, I want to say most of the things that are kind of non-vegan are allergens. So crust stations, fish, yeah. Meat, um, you know, milk and dairy. You can see most of these things on, on the grid. And they kind of have to check, like check whether it will contain, may contain, or definitely contains. Um, so worst case scenario, if you can get ahold of their allergen menu, you should be able to see kind of what what options are are suitable for you. But obviously bear in mind they might cook it next to th you just never guaranteed that it's not gonna be cooked in the same oils or on the same hubs. But other than that, yeah. That can come in handy. Sorry, . No, I think that's a good thing to go back to. That's really hand advice cuz it can, it can really make that, that decision making approach is a lot easier cuz you can just see that, oh, that's not got in. I can have that for sure. Yeah, exactly. Uh, I think then I think we've once again busted a myth that eating, eating, dining out as a vegan Yeah. Is not difficult. Yeah. I mean I, I think if I had to pick a favorite of the, the trains that we talked about, mine's definitely gonna be wa mama. Yeah. I mean, I agree. That's not the list . I have to agree. But funny enough of all the chains, the lounges, I think that's gotta come up quite high. As, as Oh definitely. Yeah. That's, that's, I'm, I've been really impressed with the lounges. There's one place that I really wanted to try that I never got to because it opened shortly before we left, we moved away from the airport. And that's a cafe called The Vibe. Yeah. If anyone from the vibe is listening, I love what you're doing there, . It's, it's, it's basically a whole food plant-based cafe. Wow. If you find myself back in Liverpool, I am going there now. We need to And you can take dogs. We to Take dogs. Take a trip there. We need to take a trip there. We'll do an episode . Yeah. So if any, if any sort of vegan Eats are listening and you would like us to come and record an episode there as well definitely. Then, then, then please reach out, fade Us up. We'll be happy with that . Yeah, definitely. So if people want to want to get in touch with us after this to maybe ask, ask any questions or interact with us, where can they find Us? So we finally have the email address in place. We are now available at Halla Hold can speak, uh, hello. Two vegan scientists.com. And the second half of that email address is our brand new website, which is two vegan scientists.com. Um, so head there, you'll be able to find all of our socials on the website. But yeah, if you wanna get hold of us and that's either of us, um, just, just ask for Sam, you'll get one of us. But yeah, that's it. Hello. At two vegan scientists.com. Yeah. It, it's a very Nazz website and uh, there's, there's lots of cool features. Um, I'm really happy with the work that I haven't done that you worked Well, I just wanted it to be sort of, if anyone wanted to catch up on other episodes, um, or just sort of see it all in one place. I've kind of gone a bit further. Yeah. So if you, if you've listened to the episodes and you, you enjoyed them head over to the website cause there's even more on there. Uh, I'm trying to make sure that every episode that we do comes with a little blog, uh, blog post as well. Yeah. Just to kind of get the most out of it. But yeah, if you, if you've missed any episodes and you wanna catch up on them, they'll all be posted on the website. But, uh, yeah, so too will be a little blog post to sort of accompany each one And as the show develops, more stuff will be available on there. Yes. If, if the show continues to grow, we might then start putting merchandise on there. Maybe, maybe. You never know. We have some T-shirts with my face on. Yeah. . Everyone's gonna want that. Um, yeah, the other thing to mention is if you wanted to stay up to date and, and you know, if you, if you are enjoying these episodes, then on the website there is actually a little form. If you just drop your email address, then we can send you, uh, before anyone else basically the link to every episode, whether you go on the website to read it, if you're out and about, uh, or listen to the podcast, you can sort of get it before anyone else. So sign up, support us, . Yes, definitely, definitely. We great. Greatly appreciate it. Yeah, definitely. And if you have enjoyed the podcast, make sure you subscribe on whatever app you're listening to. If there is a feature for to leave a rating, please do that as well. But until next time, thank you all for listening. Thank you. We'll speak to you again soon.

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© Two Vegan Scientists 2023

Seek a general practitioner's advice before making lifestyle changes. This site is for informational purposes only. All content, including external, is not to be received as advice.

Proud to be Top-Rated by Best Podcasts

© Two Vegan Scientists 2023

Seek a general practitioner's advice before making lifestyle changes. This site is for informational purposes only. All content, including external, is not to be received as advice.

Proud to be Top-Rated by Best Podcasts