10 Fave Veggie Eateries
Tofu or not tofu, that is the question! Whether you're a veggie or the full vegan, Devon's plant-based cafes and restaurants have never looked so lush.
Thank the Veggie Gods for plant-based diets: they’re not only cutting carbon emissions, but they’re pretty darn tasty too. And tofu jokes aside, the choice of veggie dishes these days has come along way from nut roast and pasta. It’s all good – for you, your tastebuds and your conscience. So what the hell, I will have another vegan wine with my energy ball, thank you. It’s saving the planet.
THE FLAT, EXETER
Ciao pizza! This newish city trattoria is owned by partners Chloe and Pietro (she’s front of house, he’s Italian chef). Together they’re channelling Exeter’s indie vibe into their hand-made pizza, served to eat in-house or takeaway. It’s urban yet homely, with bench seating opposite an open galley kitchen where you can cop a load of the chef action. They’re rightly proud of their tasty home-made vegan parmesan and mozzarella, and their Aperol Spritzer which they recommend with elderflower for those who like it sweeter. Their bestsellers include The Smoked for its earthy cheese and mushroom flavours – loved by non-veggies too apparently for its meaty flavours; The Spicey for spicy aubergine and herbs, or the folded Sfilatino for walnuts and vegan sausage. Everything can be made gluten-free and, because they care about the environment, they source locally from Riverford and Darts. Buon appetito!
The Flat, 142 Fore Street, Exeter EX4 3AN. Tel: 01392 459424
SEEDS 2, TOTNES
Totnes is rammed with great veggie cafs, including this friendly family-run cafe/salad bar. I’m a sucker for a heaped bowl of salad, always so much more flavourful than anything I make (eat-in or takeaway for £7.95). Sit at a bistro table right and watch the goings-on up the High Street or cosy indoors on mis-matchy sharing tables. Apparently, the staff all bring in their fave recipes to share, using local seasonal produce and don’t miss that scrummy bread and the cookies made just a few food-yards away at Seeds 2 Bakery opposite. It’s not 100% vegan (though much is) so check if you’re not sure, and there’s a helpful list of allergens in the window.
Seeds 2, 40 High St, Totnes TQ9 5RY. Tel: 01803 865101
THE DUCK AT YEOFORD, CREDITON
Cor, love a duck? You will this one! Previously called The Mare and Foal, The Duck has new owners, a new name and a new zhuzhed-up look. Owned by chef James – who’s worked with Gordon Ramsay – and front of house Sarah (ex AA inspector) they clearly know what they’re doing. He puts on a huuuge daily choice of six vegan starters and five mains, and the summer menu has a distinctly Mediterranean vibe: curried cauliflower arancini made with soya whip and oat cream; candied aubergine doused in maple syrup, coriander falafel and saffron risotto. How do you choose! And there’s vegan Avocet ale behind the bar to boot, (or to drink, which is much better obvs). Muddy review coming very soon…
The Duck at Yeoford, The Village, Yeoford, Crediton EX17 5JD. Tel: 01363 85273
RIVERFORD FIELD KITCHEN, BUCKFASTLEIGH
Vegcentric, if not vegan, Riverford is bursting with organic farm-to-fork food grown on the Riverford farm. Book a table on Meat-free Monday for a menu that’s different every single day, depending on what’s been cropped. It’s a sharing menu – so if you don’t like mucking in come with a bunch of friends – served farmhouse-style on big platters. The day I went we had artichokes and vinaigrette (so pretty they looked like something out of a still-life class), roasted heritage carrots in shades of orange and purple, and sweetcorn fritters with a not too spicy harissa, all amazing. No school-dinner boiled veg here – it’s roasted, oily and flavoured with herbs fresh from the fields and polytunnel just over the wild hedges where you eat drink your aperitif of homemade lavender lemonade. Everything is cooked to the correct quantities to reduce wastage, so no just dropping in please: booking’s essential.
Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0JU. Tel: 01803 227 391
VEGAN AFTERNOON TEA, BORINGDON HALL
Prefer to eat your greens in swanky 5-star surroundings? To Boringdon Hall you go! Less of the OM, more of the opulence; served up on three tiers, a veggie-vision of vegan Cheddar and cucumber sandwiches, beetroot vol au vent, chocolate and salted caramel slices and warm, plump scones with home-made strawberry preserve. Yours for £27 but please do make a reservation first, madam.
Boringdon Hall, Plymouth, Devon. PL7 4DP Tel: 01752 548225
Oh no, that’s far much too ice-cream for me – like no-one said ever! Pop into Kawaffle’s stall at Plymouth Market to get your chops round this guilt and gluten-free Bubble Waffle, brimful of dark chocolate, strawberries, dairy free ice-cream and squirty cream. (Calories don’t count when they’re saving the planet.) Kawaffle have just launched their new Cereal Cafe next door, for a range of international quirky cereals you won’t find in the supermarket, as well as all day vegan and GF breakfasts. So you never need go hungry again.
Kawaffle, Plymouth Market, Cornwall Street, Plymouth PL1 1PS
Who could resist a name like Mooplehog, certainly not me, never mind their home-made lemon verbena and mint tonic? A bijou town-centre cafe with vegan afternoon tea, caramel tahini crumpets, Drunken Mushroom Pies and vebabs on the menu, as well as pop-up eco-shops and guitar sessions. This quirky cafe has its roots in the community producing yummy food inspired by owners’ Mooplehog and Man-thing’s (aka Rebecca and Shane Green) travels. They also have amusing names for their food portions, such as hungry and hungrier. Love it.
Mooplehog, 5 West Street, Okehampton EX20 1HQ
SACRED GROUNDS, EXETER
Muddy adores Mccoys Arcade in Exeter and tucked away with the vintage stores and guitar shop to the stars, Mansons, you’ll find this 100% vegan indie cafe serving plant-based soups, brunches, waffles and locally-made Smorbord sourdough delights. Plus, there’s delicious iced coffee for the heatwave that’s going to last all summer (please, Met Office?). Owners Hayley and Nathan do business like they cook, with everything run on green energy, and a bright and airy Atrium filled with cool art, natural light and greenery. Perfect for a jet-travel free Vitamin D top-up.
Sacred Grounds, Mccoys Arcade, Fore St, Exeter EX4 3AN Tel: 01392 791440
SAMPHIRE BRASSERIE, PLYMOUTH
Vegan. Junk. Food. Surely some mistake? But no, this small family-run restaurant is all about American-inspired buckets of chix, beer-battered phish and more naughty Mock-shakes than you can shake, well, a shake at – made from Chocolate Oreo or peanut butter and banana. For evening, how about a burger from the 99 Problems but a Burger Ain’t One list, and while you chow down on the meat-alikes, sip from the fully-licensed drinks menu or ethical Fentimans softies. And yay, they deliver but booo, only around Plymouth. Time for a move to the ocean city then.
Samphire Brasserie, 111 Mayflower St, Plymouth PL1 1SD Tel: 01752 263116
RADIUS 7, STOKE FLEMING
At Radius 7, they like to keep it natural and local, so food comes from a seven-mile radius (I get it now!) and chef Richard Ashworth sources plenty from land, to conjure dishes like roasted beetroot & tofu croquettes, garlic-baked aubergine with salty samphire and bourginon made from heritage root vegetables. Mains are around £17 and up, and there is tempting wine list, with of plenty of vegan too, including white Marlborough Sauvignon and Viognier, and an Italian red. Plenty is sourced from local farms and the sea (which you can see from the windows), so a great go-to if you’re out with an omnivore.
Radius 7, New Road, Stoke Fleming, Dartmouth, Devon, TQ6 ONR Tel: 01803 770007