Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Saturday, 16 January 2016

Vegan Meal Options At Your Favourite Chain Restaurants

Vegan Meal Options At Your Favourite Chain Restaurants

The Debrief: Doing #Veganuary? You can still eat out, don't worry!

Whether you're hopping aboard the vegan train permanently or you're just doing Veganuary, here's a few safe options for eating out.

Pizza Express

Dough balls might be 0ff the menu (all that there delicious garlic butter you numpty), but Pizza Express do have their very own vegan pizza - the Pianta. It's got spinach, chestnut mushrooms, pine kernels, artichoke, tomato, chilli flakes and garlic oil finished with rocket and extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley. And, most importantly - no cheese. Obvs.

More info on vegan friendly eating at Pizza Express here.

Itsu

As expected, Itsu is kind of winning when it comes to vegan options; there's plenty to choose from. In the salad area there's the Garden Shed 'on a Bed' salad (green and muki beans on rice with fresh ginger) or the Hip Humble and Healthy salad which has avocado, green and muki beans, rice, kombu relish and that yummy green herb dressing. In the soup area pick up either the miso or detox miso soup and for dessert get yourself a Hawaii 5 0 fruit pot.

More info on vegan friendly eating at Itsu here.

Nandos

There's always one person in a group of mates who's got an inexplicable obsession with Nandos. Someone who, despite having tasted top quality chicken, is so struck by the bright lights and different sauces that she makes it her mission to make everyone in the group eat there no matter what. But - good news, if you are mates with that person, you don't have to sit there drinking water. Nandos are keen to state that they are NOT a vegan restaurant however if you do want to eat there you can order the Veggie Pitta and specify 'no mayonaise' which means you're left with 'A spicy soya and tomato burger seasoned with spring onion, green chilli and cayenne pepper.' The bastes are all vegan suitable so choose whichever you want.

More info on vegan friendly eating at Nandos here.

Wagamama

Delicious. As I'm sure you well know, Wagamama is a bit of a pickle when it comes to vegan eating. Sides are no probs - get yourself the Yasai Gyoza dumplings, rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles... For mains though, you might have a struggle except for the Yasai Itame which is... 'rice noodles in a spicy green coconut and lemongrass soup topped with tofu + vegetables, stir-fried beansprouts, red and spring onions, bok choi, peppers, mushrooms and chillies. garnished with coriander and lime.' Yum. Ask your server about switching up egg noodles for rice noodles in other dishes too.

More info on vegan friendly eating at Wagamama's here.

 

So good! □□ #wagamama #vegan #yasaiitame

A photo posted by Saby (@sabyaurora) on Aug 31, 2015 at 1:23pm PDT

Pret

No baguettes or wraps here for veganers unfortunately but there is solace for bread lovers in the form of the Super Greens And Reds Sandwich - peppers and avocado, tapenade, toasted almonds, kale... Yum. In the soup area there's plenty of choice from Pea and Mint, Roasted Pumpkin, Souper Tomato to South Indian Tomato and Spice to Tuscan Bean and Veg Tagine. Salad-wise there's the Falafel Mezze.

More info on vegan friendly eating at Pret here.

Eat

I mean, take your pick. From the Chilli Non Carne (see what they did there?) to the Sesame Shiitake Mushroom Broth Pot, you're covered for hot meals. There's also the Thai Butternut Squash Soup and the Spicy Tomato and Basil one. In the sandwich section get a houmous and avocado one.

More info on vegan friendly eating at Eat here.


Leon

Being the fine purveyor of uber super duper healthy food that it is, Leon is kind of average when it comes to the amount of vegan dishes it offers. There's the Brazillian Black Bean box with rice and a yum black bean stew, a Rainbow Roasted Veggie Salad, a Vegan Super Clean Quinoa Salad. Plus a couple of sides. More info on vegan friendly eating at Leon here.

 
 
 

What do you bean? #BrazilianBlackBeanBieber

A photo posted by LEON (@leonrestaurants) on Jan 14, 2016 at 7:34am PST

Busaba Eathai

One time I saw Mark Francis in the Busaba in Soho by himself. I don't know what he was eating but for me that proved that Busaba is always an excellent choice. They also have the most super helpful menu when it comes to deciphering what's vegan friendly and what's not. The aromatic vegetable curry is a good shout (pumpkin, French bean and cucumber relish), as does the coconut and vegetable hot pot. Don't forget the Chinese broccoli on the side.

More info on vegan friendly eating at Busaba Eathai here.

 

Vegan Pad Thai at Busaba! They've got locations all over London.

A photo posted by quarrygirl (@quarrygirl) on Jan 30, 2015 at 4:46am PST

Bill's

All of a sudden Bill's restaurants were absolutely bloody everywhere don't you think? Which is no bad thing. Unless you're vegan-ning, in which case you might struggle a little; short of asking them to make the rustic tomato & basil risotto goat's cheese free, you're stuck for mains. Although the blood orange sorbet for desert sounds nice, as does the potato and rosemary bread to start.

More info on vegan friendly eating at Bill's here.

 McDonalds

Probs not your choice of where to eat out but sometimes needs must. There's basically very little choice. McDonalds says they currently have 'no plans' to add any approved vegan items to their menu but they claim that their French fries, hash browns, garden side salad and a bunch of the sauces (Ketchup, Spicy Tomato Salsa, Sweet Chilli Sauce, BBQ Dip, Sweet & Sour Dip and Sweet Curry Dip) are good to go. FYI - this is just the UK McDonalds - US McDonalds fries are definitely not OK.

More info on vegan friendly eating at McDonalds here.

 

I'm loving it □.

A photo posted by One Trillion (@one.trillion) on Aug 4, 2015 at 10:39am PDT

Jamie's Italian

Jamie's has a disclaimer on it's site which is probably just being careful but they do say that they 'CANNOT' guarantee any foods are 'allergen free'. That being said, their website is super helpful in figuring out what you can and can't eat. The Harissa-Spiced Aubergine is a winner ('Roasted aubergine topped with a ragù of lentils, tomatoes, raisins & smoked paprika with a garlicky almond yoghurt dressing, toasted pine nuts, lemony rocket & pomegranate'), as is the Roasted Squash and Winter Greens ('Roasted squash & wilted greens with caramelised red onion, grilled chicory, whipped ricotta, toasted pine nuts & sticky balsamic').

 

Get stuck in to our delicious Harissa-spiced #aubergine this evening! #MeatFreeMonday #Vegetarian #Vegan

A photo posted by Jamie's Italian UK (@jamiesitalianuk) on Jan 18, 2016 at 10:20am PST

You might also be interested in:

13 Things You Need To Know About Being An Ethical Vegetarian

Vegan Sunday Comfort Food: A Banging Toad In The Hole

A Few Questions You Should Just Never Ever Ever Ask A Vegetarian

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Tags: Food, Food Glorious Food, Vegan