Why these fast food chains are going vegan

Food & Drink

When McDonald’s launches a McVegan burger, you know the plant based movement is in full swing. While still only available in Finland, we think it’s only a matter of time before the soy patty on a Quarter Pounder bun arrives in London.

Just look at the success of Veggie Pret. What launched as a pop up to test demand for meatless dishes resulted in three permanent locations.

Given that the number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360% in the last decade, it was only a matter of time before more fast food chains jumped on the bandwagon.

Here are a selection of vegan menus across the capital…

Photo: Pret A Manger

VEGGIE PRET

In 2016, Pret A Manger opened its veggie pop-up in Soho that proved so popular, they kept it open… for good. Earlier this year, they dished out a second helping of Veggie Pret on Great Eastern Street. Now, their latest serving of Veggie Pret is coming to Exmouth Market, complete with a refreshed menu.

BREAKFAST: Try the Acai Almond Breakfast bowl. Delicious layers of fresh banana, gluten-free granola and acai berry puree, topped with shredded apple, juicy pomegranate seeds and almond butter. Or Coconut Porridge that’s dairy-free, simmered with gluten-free oats and red quinoa. For something savoury try the Beans & Avocado power pot.

Photo: Pret A Manger

SNACK: Swap your Choc Bar for a vegan brownie, filled with gooey salted caramel. Or Coconut bar coated in dark chocolate.

LUNCH: We are a fan of the Avo & Chipotle Salad Wrap: creamy avocado covered with chipotle chickpeas, charred corn and black bean salsa and topped with fresh coriander and mixed salad leaves. There’s also a tasty sounding Cauli & Turmeric Super-Veg salad: Turmeric-roasted cauliflower, spiralised courgette, cucumber, edamame beans and pickled cabbage on a bed of spinach, brown rice and red quinoa with cashew nuts and a pot of teryaki dressing.

FIND A VEGGIE PRET NEAR YOU

Photo: The Diner

THE DINER

Famed for its shakes, pancakes and good ol’ home-cooked dishes… The Diner isn’t somewhere you’d associate with healthy eating. But thanks to a new Vegan & Vegetarian menu, you can now get your fix of American comfort food from plant-based pancakes, quinoa burgers and southern fried seitan…

BREAKFAST: Try the Vegan Pancakes with maple syrup and toasted flaked almonds. Or vegan benedict with mushrooms, baby falafels, avocado, beef tomato, spinach and sesame sauce on a vegan muffin with tater tots.

SIDES: Vegan Mac n Cheese, Queso with Tortilla Chips or Freakshow Seitan with Franks hot sauce.

LUNCH: Diner Vegan Burger House made vegan patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, Frank’s hot sauce & guacamole served in a vegan bun.

FIND THE DINER NEAR YOU

Photo: Wagamama

WAGAMAMA

While some of their main menu dishes were already vegan, Wagamas has expanded its vegan and vegetarian horizons and re-worked a few classics. Some were simple, like removing egg or swapping to noodles, but as they explored possibilities became inspired, creating dishes specifically with the vegan palette in mind.

LUNCH/SUPPER: Try the yasai pad-thai: rice noodles in an amai sauce with tofu, beansprouts, leeks, chilli and red onion. garnished with fried shallots, peanuts, mint, coriander and fresh lime. Or the yasai samla curry: a fragrant, spicy lemongrass and coconut curry with tofu, peppers, shiitake mushrooms and baby plum tomatoes. served with white rice and garnished with spring onions, chilli and coriander.

SIDES: Yasai steamed gyoza: five tasty steamed yasai dumplings, served grilled and with a dipping sauce.

JUICES: Wash it down with a “Super Green” juice with apple, mint, celery and lime. Or “Positive” juice with pineapple, lime, spinach, cucumber and apple.

FIND WAGAMAMA NEAR YOU

CARLUCCIO’S

The much loved Italian restaurant chain is launching a meat free Monday vegan pop-up called “Cucina Verde” at its restaurant in Covent Garden. What do pop-ups mean? Yes, we think this one is hear to stay too. You can experience the menu from Monday October 23…

LUNCH/SUPPER: Try the crostini al funghi with sautéed mushrooms and kale in garlic and chilli on toasted ciabatta. The traditional Puglian dish with a vegan twist of polpette di pane featuring meatless bread balls of semi-dried tomatoes, garlic, capers and rustica olives in a tomato sauce on spaghetti. And orecchiette al cavoflore with cauliflower purée, sautéed kale, chilli and roasted turmeric cauliflower florets.

FIND CARLUCCIO’S NEAR YOU

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