I feel like Anton Ego from Ratatouille
Eating out is a treat and being plant-based shouldn’t make it any less of one. Luckily over the years, restaurants have moved away from the dreaded 100% tofu and salad menu and started being more innovative in what they have to offer.
From your local Wagamama to that small independent cafe round the corner, today, most restaurants can easily accommodate this growing change of diet with updated and adapted menus. With that said, here’s my rundown of the best vegan and veggie food spots in Notts.
Pronounced “fuh”, Pho is an absolute banger of a restaurant with a branch that recently opened in Nottingham. It’s an impressive space with a buzzing atmosphere found in the Lace Market area. More than a quarter of the menu is vegan and it’s mostly gluten-free too. My favorite dishes are the veggie spring rolls and the ‘This isn’t Chicken’ broken rice bowl. They also do fresh veg and fruit juices which are sure to remedy any hangover. I go for the carrot, apple and ginger which has a kick to it. Eating here will set you back about £ 20 for a starter, main and drink.
This 100 per cent plant-based restaurant has to be the best thing to exist within Nottingham. Simply glancing at their burgers has me salivating. What’s more is that they also offer takeaway.
Located just three minutes from the castle, 13th Element has super fresh interiors and wall art, making it an incredibly inviting space to eat. Burgers range from £ 9.50 t0 £ 12.95. Small dishes such as corn ribs, shawarma loaded fries and Mac balls are £ 5-7. I haven’t been yet but will be sure to go soon.
An independent cafe & deli based in Lenton, Nottingham that does a good vegan gourmet breakfast for £ 8.95. With its warm yet intimate interiors, Toast is a great option for those casual brunch catch-ups at an affordable cost. As an added bonus there’s plenty of cake to go round here too.
Like a second home to me, Crocus Cafe embodies a friendly cafe atmosphere with outdoor space at the front and back. It frequently does dishes from around the world and also holds evening dining. There’s always a vegan and gluten-free option and nearly all of what they do is plant-based.
Due to my deep admiration for this cafe, I must admit that I came here for my Christmas meal not once, but twice last year. It’s located a short walk away from Gregory Street tram stop in Lenton Boulevard. When you don’t feel like rustling something up in the kitchen, you can delve into their super affordable menu which includes the humble delicacy, beans on toast for just £ 2 or if you’re feeling more adventurous, mezze for £ 6.50.
I cannot recommend their samosas enough, and if you won’t take my word for it that’s alright – but as an fyi, they’re award-winning.
Chaska serves the best of Indian and Pakistani street food and aims to “bring the streets of Lahore and Mumbai to you.” It’s tucked away on Lenton Boulevard a mere minute away from Lenton recreation ground. Go with friends and family. I love the Garama Garam vegetable pakoras for £ 3.75 and the daal of the day for £ 7.50 served with rice, roti or naan. They also do takeaway.
It may have taken me two whole years, but I finally visited AvoCafe.
I tried their Buddha bowl and tofu soba noodles which were both £ 6 and I must admit, they are pretty tasty. I also loved the toasted coconut flapjack bar which in my opinion, single-handedly gives this cafe the right to feature among the great vegan spots in Notts. AvoCafe is found just next to the Savoy cinema at 1 Park Street, Lenton.
It’s an ideal spot to get some work done but is usually pretty packed so go early morning to secure a seat or after the lunchtime rush has passed. However, if you’re happily working away at home, you needn’t worry – AvoCafe is on Deliveroo.
I went with a vegan friend from home and we were impressed. Located on Mansfield road, it’s another one hundred per cent vegan establishment. Their open cooking set-up means you can see your food being prepped. Something to bear in mind is that it’s a small space so probably best to book in advance. They do a mean Mac and cheeze for £ 7.50. I’m keen to try their biscoff and hobnob milkshake for £ 4.50.
Birdcages, lanterns and swing seats are the norm at Mowgli. Their decor is as vibrant as the food they serve. Great for big groups wanting to share classic Indian street-food dishes. It’s located in the Hockley area a short walk from Lace Market tram stop. What I like about Mowgli is that you can try a lot of the dishes and mix and match from across the menu. I had the Mowgli chip butty recently at £ 6.95 and it sure was a ‘flavor grenade.’
I love Bendigo in Beeston. They frequently update the menu and their vegan offering has just got a whole lot bigger. I would go so far to call them the king of brunch – it’s served all day with seven meal options ranging from vegan bacon hash to your classic bacon butty vegan-ised. For those more traditional brunchers there’s a great vegan breakfast for £ 8.95 / go big for £ 13.25, or the vegan smashed avocado brunch for £ 7.75.
Don’t worry, 400 rabbits were not killed.
This isn’t a restaurant but, it is the go-to place for all vegan cocktails, tequila and mezcal. They use aquafaba (the juice from chickpeas) and agave as plant-based cocktail swap-ins. Their cocktails are priced up to £ 9 however, if that is a price you are not willing to pay, their happy hour runs everyday between 5-8pm where you can pay only £ 6 per cocktail.
A chain but a good one. Located at 12 King Street, nearby Old Market Square.
When you want a fill of carbs, they more than meet your needs for pizza and pasta and for something sweet, I love their Zillionaire’s slice. if you’re feeling particularly famished, they do an amazing three course menu for £ 22.95.
I stopped by here in a ravenous state and was pleased with the roasted veg and hummus sandwich. With both their vegetarian and vegan breakfasts setting you back only £ 6.75, it makes both a great and affordable place to meet a mate after some retail therapy in the nearby charity shops of the Hockley area.
Cartwheel Cafe & Roastery
Found in Lace Market as well as Beeston, their small cafe / restaurant cannot be underestimated. I was amazed at the quality and presentation of the food. If you were interested in what their prices are like, their ‘big plant based breakfast’ is £ 11.
Related articles recommended by this author:
• Hungover from Crisis? Here are the best spots in Notts for a morning-after breakfast
• Realistic changes you can make as a Notts student to live a healthier lifestyle
• Calling all vegan Notts students: Your prayers have been answered and a vegan butchers is opening in Notts