A WAY OF LIFE: BEING VEGAN IN TOWN

A WAY OF LIFE: BEING VEGAN IN TOWN

We like to avoid a list. Well, we have since our first day, anyway… this is a bit different, though. Don’t think of it as a list, it’s not in any order, but more a walk through the city centre across many afternoons with a lovely vegan guide. Breakfasts, brunch, burgers… cake! We’ve got it covered. But there’s always room for more cake. By Adele Halsall.

Being a vegan in Liverpool is a mixed business. Especially in and around the city centre. While I want to say that the city makes things easy for us, I also want to say that it doesn’t… in the way that establishments will sometimes be unknowingly on the cusp of unleashing a vegan goldmine, yet fail to actually take the step. The potential is there, though. So, where do vegans go to eat and drink in the centre of our culturally diverse and vibrant city?

Here are just ten hot-spots for vegans in Liverpool… and don’t forget to tell us who’s missing!

Leaf on Bold Street, Bold Street
Ever a crucial meeting point and thriving social hub, Leaf has effortlessly developed its plentiful menu over the last few years to accommodate for veggies, vegans and everyone in between. Among the homely, rustic atmosphere – and the impressively vast selection of loose leaf teas – you can find a tasty and nourishing meal, no matter what your dietary tastes.
What you having? Lebanese lentil and butterbean stew (tip: ask for it without yoghurt); hummus sandwich; full vegan breakfast.

Egg Cafe, Newington
Duh’. Of course this was going to be on the list… one of very few remaining dedicated veggie/vegan spots in Liverpool, Egg comes out on top time and time again as the place to eat in town. With good reason, too, even with many years of varying management, this cosy converted loft has retained its simple charm, while reliably serving up hearty and plentiful plant-based meals at wonderful value. It’s no wonder it’s always packed to those rafters…
What you having? Full vegan breakfast; nut roast (Sundays only); banana cake (particularly with vegan custard); fruit crumble; mixed berry smoothie.

Bakchich, Bold Street
Specialising in Lebanese street food, it’s no surprise that this Bold Street-based restaurant lends itself well to the vegan appetite. While the number of vegan-friendly choices are pleasing to see, I can’t honestly say that all of them match up to their delightful menu descriptions (the Fattoush salad, for example, only comes with two pieces of falafel… more please!).
What you having? Falafel/sweet potato falafel wrap (or wrap platter); lentil soup; baba ganoush; roasted aubergine and chickpea stew; veggie mezze board for one; carrot, orange and ginger juice.

81 Renshaw St, Renshaw Street
So far, it’s all about the delightful vegan cakes at 81 for me. A quiet, quaint little arts cafe like this should certainly be on your must-visit list as, despite its location on one of the busiest streets of town, it’s somehow remained discreet and could easily be overlooked. Don’t, though, as this place is miles ahead of its bigger competitors when it comes to vegan food and for that it deserves our support.
What you having? Vegan cakes (change daily); full vegan breakfast.

Bold Street Coffee, Bold Street
Not all about the vegan fare (and famed for its coffee and bastardly-decadent-yet-sadly-NON-vegan chocolate brownies), Bold Street Coffee is nevertheless a chilled huddle spot that’s more than accommodating to vegans. Not all of the salads are vegan all of the time, they do change daily, and their vegan sandwiches and brunch options are more than enough to be going on with.
What you having? Smashed avocado on sourdough toast; any of the porridge selections (ask for it to be made without milk; maple syrup instead of honey); peanut butter on toast.

Maguire’s Pizza Bar, Renshaw Street
Nothing if not predictable, but I couldn’t possibly skip over the only pizza bar in Liverpool that goes out of its way to give ethical pizza lovers a slice of the action. A lively hub and popular music venue, Maguire’s has set the scene not just for vegan pizzerias… but pizzerias everywhere, thanks to its nostalgic eighties diner decor and walls adorned with good ol’ punk-pop culture. I admit it’s hard to compare vegan pizza places and slices, seeing as there’s so few of them around, but Maguire’s is delicious and offers a whole array of veganised and plain veggie classics.
What you having? Veggie delight (vegan version); vegan cupcakes; vegan garlic bread.

Maray, Bold Street
This tapas-come-deli style restaurant made a bit of a ripple when it arrived last year. Maybe it’s their approach to Mediterranean/Lebanese fusion, or perhaps it’s their passion for making vegetables the centrepiece of a dish, but these guys have a real talent for making beautiful and delicious small plates that just so happen to be a dream for vegans.
What you having? Sweet potato wedges in balsamic glaze (best sweet potato wedges in Liverpool); FHT (falafel, hummus, tabbouleh); roasted half cauliflower with flaked almonds, pomegranate and tahini (ask for it without yoghurt).

Brewdog, Colquitt Street
Few bars offer a great selection of beers vegans can drink guilt-free, let alone chow down on some good comfort food, too! Brewdog offers all of this and more, including its wide selection of board games, dog-friendly policy and joyous beer-on-demand service (if you sit in a booth).
What you having? Bean burger (ask for the vegan version); seitan burger with spicy hummus; tator-tots with veggie chilli.

The Juicery, Exchange Flags
Business district-dwellers will be pleased to know this live-wired juice bar resides right within their reach. Opening just last year, it’s a friendly juice bar and a reliable safe-point for busy vegans – whether stopping off on the way to work for a quick boost or grabbing a quick and healthy lunch. Their endless combinations of fresh juices and superfood smoothies will have you revved for the day ahead, while their healthy, raw vegan snacks and baked goods are great to have on hand for an afternoon slump.
What you having? Vegan cupcakes; raw energy balls; vegan and gluten free pies; homemade soups.

White Wolf Yoga & Kitchen, Cook Street
Perfectly placed on, well, Cook Street, the recently-opened White Wolf Yoga Studio & Kitchen fills up prime real estate with much-needed health and well-being vibes. Primarily a yoga studio, White Wolf Kitchen marries a chilled, laid-back atmosphere with excellently and carefully prepared vegan food, adding a sense of seriousness to the vegan eatery scene. One of few establishments that actually seems to ‘get’ what vegans want from their food (you know, substance, variety, exciting flavours, plenty of nutrients and, yes, cake), morning till night, it serves a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfasts, sweet treats and healthy snacks that’ll keep your taste buds stimulated for days.
What you having? Caesar salad tofu wrap; vegan cheese toasties; handmade chocolate; fresh sourdough; juices/smoothies; daily changing cakes.

@Addiefield
everythingspeachy.co.uk

Pic courtesy White Wolf Yoga & Kitchen

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