Plants please! Where to eat for #NationalVegetarianWeek
Meat? No, thank you! We're all about delicious plant-centred meals this week, and we know ALL the best places to find them locally.
No longer the sole preserve of the hippie contingent, plant-based food is officially on-trend. Whether you’re a committed vegan, meat-free Mondayer or just fancy doing your bit for the planet, here’s where to eat out for National Vegetarian Week, Mon 16 – Sun 22 May.
The Cheeky Vegan, Exeter
Fancy trying somewhere shiny and new? Newly opened last week on Cathedral Yard in what was The Plant Cafe, here’s a 100% vegan junk food and coffee bar where you can tuck into plant-based burgers, dogs, pancake stacks and all manner of fast food naughties, but without the meat guilt. Open Weds – Sundays.
Korea Town Kitchen, Bideford
Yep, seriously – an under-the-radar Korean kitchen in Bideford (not a restaurant but delivering in a 5km radius) and putting a smile on vegans’ faces with their smoky Buldak cauliflower dishes, braised organic tofu and seaweed rice wraps and loads more on their mouth-watering vegan menu here.
Since its move last year, now at No 14 North Street, this family-run pop-up is a colourful go-to for mezze and world-food veggies, with Thai spiced soups, kimchi, quesadilla and hot sarnies with always plenty of vegan choice on the menu. One to book for brekkie or brunch betwixt a walk on Dartmoor and if you’re in the mood for a vegan ice-cream post-walk head to nearby Creamos on St Lawrence Lane.
The Veg Box, Exeter Quay
Muddy’s go-to for Sunday morning walks, here’s your place for veggies sitting in the sunshine on a bistro table overlooking the beautiful quayside or inside the pretty interior which rocks a pink and botanical theme. Even the bottle water comes in pink bottles. Go for vegan wraps, pancakes, cake, smoothies and local Roastworks coffee – brunch for your insta-feed.
Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh
Riverford know their veg – they grow tonnes of it organically on their farms, and here it’s so close you can walk up to the poly tunnel or take a tour. The talented Field Kitchen cooks rustle up a sharing menu – so if you don’t like mucking in then book with a bunch of friends – served farmhouse-style on big platters. Saturday brunch, served at 9.30am, is meat-free: a four-course, vegetarian set menu with flavoursome veg you might not always expect to see at the breakfast table. It’s kid-friendly but there’s no kid menu as it’s good to get them liking what we eat, no? Everything is cooked to the correct quantities to reduce wastage, so no just dropping in please: booking is essential.
Cosmic Kitchen, Plymouth
100% vegan eatery run by twin sisters Gabriela and Lucia Evangelou which started life as a one-day a week pop-up in an old morgue (yes, really) and won Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s Choice 2021. Go for a welcoming atmos, along with options on Greek mezze and falafel, vegan Scotch eggs, jackfruit wraps, an immense salad bar, daily hot specials, vegan roasts and, oh goodie, a live music on Fridays and a fully vegan bar.
The Edgy Veggie Kitchen, Totnes
An exciting new Totnes kitchen and cafe, tucked away behind the Mansion House just off the High Street worth seeking out for vegetarian owner and chef Ruth’s small-batch veggie and vegan food to eat in or takeaway – made fresh on the day then frozen for take-home, click and collect or free delivery in compostable cartons on Monday and Wednesday across the TQ postcodes if you order before midday.
Baobab Cafe, Crediton
We’re talking colourful couscous and tabbouleh salads, plates piled high with caramelised roasted veg, crispy chick pea fritters, exciting flavourful medleys of pulses and quinoa. You sure won’t leave hungry from this daytime cafe, but you will come away feeling inspired to try harder with your veggie cooking.
How on Earth, Exeter
Missing meat too much? This family-run, city-centre deli specialise in making their own range of vegan meat substitutes alongside freshly made lunches. They’re worth popping in for a wide range of local, artisan products too, including nut-based cheese, chutneys, snacks and drinks. Now offering breakfast too, including a chicken and waffles inspired breakfast bun, featuring classic southern fried “chicken”, hash browns and maple mustard sauce. Mmmm.
The Oasis Plant Based Eatery, Paignton
Just a short stroll from the seafront to this haven of 100%plant-based food, for all day vegan brekkie with scramble tofu and facon, vegan pancakes, wraps and Caribbean nosh.
This cute new seaside cafe serves up bubble teas in lots of different flavours, cold fruit teas and burritos. Not heard of bubble tea? Do keep up *no, me neither*. So, my son explained to me… based on the 80s Taiwanese trend for boba tea, they’re plant mylk shakes which you have with a variety of flavoured boba capsules which pop in your mouth for a bubbleicous hit. Already a hit with the kids, and ideal for anyone who want to stay cool – literally.
Seeds 2, Totnes
Totnes is veggie heaven, but this is one of the most traditional with a heaving deli counter and an all-you-can-eat hot and cold buffet for £9.95pp. Plus, home-made cakes, biccies and bread from sister site, Seeds 2 Bakery right across the road. I’m told staff all bring in their fave recipes to share, using local seasonal produce. 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.
Cafe Banana, Tiverton
A rustic, all day veggie and vegan cafe in the leafy surrounds of Withleigh Plant Nurseries just outside Tiverton. They do vegan breakfasts on the weekend (it’s a good idea to book as space is limited) or or pop in anytime for coffee and cake. Their Mediterranean plates are going down a storm at the moment, make it your pitstop after a visit to Knightshayes.
Harbour House Vegetarian Cafe, Kingsbridge
Veggie cafe at Kingsbridge’s centre for arts and yoga, this daytime cafe is a hidden gem just off the quay in Kingsbridge. Head here for home-made tarts, vegan cakes, soups, fritters and a cool, calming vibe.