With the number of vegans growing at a seemingly unstoppable rate in the UK, businesses around the country are trying to keep up with the demand for plant-based food. It doesn’t look as though veganism is going away anytime soon!
What is veganism?
Veganism is a lifestyle choice that focuses on reducing animal exploitation, and eliminating cruelty as much as is reasonably possible. Veganism is mostly known for the plant-based diet that people follow in order to reduce the manufacturing of meat and animal products.
Who is going vegan?
A reported 3.5 million UK residents were living on a plant-based diet in 2018, and the number of people signing up to Veganuary in 2019 doubled compared to the previous year. Bristol was said to be the best UK city for vegans in 2018, closely followed by Edinburgh, Manchester and London – but how does York compare?
We visited some of York’s vegan-friendly eateries, and narrowed them down to our 5 favourite plant-based joints in the city.
5) The Block Pizza Bar
First on the list is pizza bar The Block. Selling pizza by the slice, they have an array of pizza with great veggie and vegan options. Their less-than-a-fiver drink and a slice deal is a great option for lunch on the hoof.
USP – vegan pizza! Not necessarily the first thing you might think of when someone says ‘vegan food’ – but being vegan doesn’t have to mean missing out on pizza!
What we had – the ‘New Yorker’ vegan pizza; plant-based dough, sauce and cheese topped with beef tomato, gherkin slices, American-style mustard and vegan sausage.
Where – Goodramgate
4) Brew & Brownie
Next in line is the famed Brew & Brownie, a cafe that specialises in fantastic baked goods, and in particular (as the name may suggest), brownies! They have a choice of vegan cakes and brownies for those of us on a plant-based diet.
USP – the best brownies in York (vegan or otherwise) – we are yet to find a rival brownie anywhere in the world!
What we had – iced coffee with oat milk and a slice of vegan chocolate cake. We were too late for the vegan brownies and they’d sold out, but the chocolate cake was definitely the next best thing!
Where – Museum Street
3) The Habit Cafe Bar
In the middle of our list is The Habit, a quaint and cool cafe/bar in the city. Open from 10am, The Habit serves breakfast, lunch and dinner before converting into quirky bar and live music venue on an evening. The vegan food options are aplenty, and they have a wide choice of vegan alcoholic beverages to boot!
USP – The Habit boasts a roof terrace with a gorgeous view of the Minster; particularly atmospheric at night, if you can brave the cold!
What we had – a plant-based cooked breakfast and a cup of tea with soya milk, served with a mini Lotus biscuit (vegan of course).
Where – Goodramgate
2) True Story.
At a (very) close second is the quirky and intimate True Story. – a real hidden gem in York, it is easy to walk straight past this all-vegan cafe (but we wouldn’t recommend it!). True Story. offer a choice of all-vegan meals, including lighter nibbles and old favourites, an ever-changing selection of baked goods, and even IPAs and cocktails.
USP – out the back is a beautiful ‘secret garden’; the perfect courtyard for a springtime drink in the sun, and upstairs is a yoga room that is open for the people of York to unwind in throughout the week.
What we had – the vegan brownie, coconut iced coffee and fresh ginger and lime soda. Even better enjoyed under a blue sky!
Where – Lord Mayor’s Walk
1) Once Across the Garden
In first place is the new(ish) kid on the block – Once Across the Garden. Having had food stalls around the city serving their top-notch vegan grub for a number of years, OATG have opened a casual-dining restaurant with a brand new all-vegan menu (while still keeping previous favourites of course).
USP – your favourite junk food, veganised – who said vegan food has to be healthy? The extensive menu at OATG offers both ‘junk food’ and healthier options. Having lots of different plant-based dishes to choose from is a rare treat for a lot of people, and is a great step forward for the vegan folks of the city.
What we had – the Spicy hot dog and American hot dog (or not dog) – both with generous toppings and crispy fries.
Where – Church Street
While these are our top 5 picks for plant-based nosh in York, there are numerous other options around the city for those wanting to eat vegan. It seems as though York is definitely keeping up with the growing demand for plant-based food in the UK, and is keeping a lot of vegan people very happy!