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The best places to get vegan food in Preston

Posted on - 6th January, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Food & Drink, Friargate, Health, Opinion, Penwortham, Plungington, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Restaurants in Preston, South Ribble News, Takeaways
Tofu Pad Kra Pow with steamed Jasmine rice from Taste of Thailand Pic: @vegan.preston
Tofu Pad Kra Pow with steamed Jasmine rice from Taste of Thailand Pic: @vegan.preston

This is a guest post by Rory from @vegan.preston. If you’d like to write a guest post for Blog Preston, email contactus@blogpreston.co.uk.

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Vegans, eh? With their bloody organic roasted coquina squash, artisanal couscous salads and activated, foraged hemp seeds – why don’t they ditch the rabbit food and just eat some proper grub?!

To that, I say: “The 1980s called, and they want their stereotypes back”. (And this joke format, too.)

Veganism was everywhere in 2020, with pretty much every major supermarket and restaurant chain you can think of scrambling to expand their plant-based offerings.

Read more: Vegan aisle coming to Asda in Fulwood

Perhaps most emblematic of the shift was Greggs’ vegan sausage roll, which performed so well it was almost single-handedly credited for the £7m bonus pot that was shared amongst the company’s 25,000 staff.

But more than that, it opened the public’s eyes to something us vegans have known for ages now: vegan food isn’t just lettuce and tofu. It’s burgers, hot dogs, wings, and cheesecakes. It’s pizzas and pastas, Pad Thais and döner kebabs. It’s everything you eat now, just… vegan.

Indeed, it’s never been easier to ditch the dairy and give meat a miss in the UK, and Preston’s no different, with loads of superb cruelty-free options now available right across the city.

So, if like 440,000 other Brits you’re taking your first steps towards a more compassionate lifestyle this January, here’s our guide to Prestonian plant-based eating in 2021.

Disclaimer: Restaurants, pubs and cafes can continue with delivery or takeaway during lockdown, but we all know there may be more disruption afoot over the coming months, so be sure to check ahead.

Highlights

PLAU – Friargate’s beautifully-renovated gin and beer house confidently boasts the most inventive and honest vegan menu in PR1. Rather than replicating meat dishes, there’s a real focus on pure vegetarian cuisine and bold, innovative flavours, and it pays off magnificently.

Coco’s Soul Food – a world away from PLAU’s suave sophistication, this Preston institution offers up outrageously tasty home cooking in the most laid-back setting imaginable. Vegan cheese is available to grate, pour and melt over falafel-filled burritos, enchiladas and more, and there’s always a vegan option on the specials board.

Coco's Soul Food burrito and red skin fries Pic: @vegan.preston
Coco’s Soul Food burrito and red skin fries Pic: @vegan.preston

RK Dining – worth the short detour to Plungington Road, this 100 per cent vegetarian and vegan deli offers some of the very best and most authentic Indian street food you’ll find anywhere in Lancashire. The flavours here are genuinely mind-boggling at times.

1260 Craft and Crust – Penwortham’s premier pizzeria is easily the best around, serving up absurdly good wood-fired pizza with vegan cheese at very reasonable prices. Jalapeños and pineapple on mine, please!

A Taste of Thailand – this cool and cosy hideout features one of the most extensive vegan menus in the city, and they repeatedly manage to do the unthinkable: make tofu tasty. I heartily recommend the sweetcorn cakes and Kratiem Prik Thai with sticky Jasmine rice. chef’s kiss

Wings and Beer Co. – for dirty scran, there’s nowhere better than this Cannon Street icon. Extra marks for making their vegan wings out of meaty seitan, rather than the limp cauliflower offerings you’ll find elsewhere. The burgers and hot-dogs are also bob-on.

Olive Tree Brasserie – a fully vegan three course meal is easily achieved at this gorgeous Greek brasserie. A substantial breakfast option, plenty of lunch and mid-week offers, and even a Sunday roast means you can pop in anytime, too.

FORUM – well-known for its stylish surroundings, chic interior and superb cocktails, FORUM’s food offering is criminally overlooked. Take your pick from the excellent Vietnamese noodles, Thai green curry, fajitas and more.

Vietnamese Noodles with vegan Quorn from FORUM Pic: @vegan.preston
Vietnamese Noodles with vegan Quorn from FORUM Pic: @vegan.preston

Honourable mentions

Turtle Bay – probably the best chain restaurant in town

We Don’t Give a Fork – a very decent burger and curly fries to die for

– The Destination – for having vegan butter pie(!) and tofish and chips

Brew + Bake – a full English breakfast under the Victorian market canopy

Fino Tapas – not the biggest choice in the world, but what’s there is quality

Lola – because vegan moussaka is hard to come by

Cafuné – a bit of South American flair on the Flag Market

rise. – the most Instagrammable smoothie bowls this side of the Ribble

– Origin Juice and Brew Bar – seriously tempting cakes and bakes on Fishergate Hill

Town House Coffee and Brew Bar – award-winning brekkies and vegan pancakes

The Adelphi and Roper Hall – no nonsense vegan junk food in a student pub setting

Lapar Malaysian Cuisine – the Rendang curry is out of this world

Jaffa – possibly the best hummus you’ll ever taste

New York Pizza Co. – for when Penwortham’s just a bit too far

Falafel Express – yep, that little van on the flag market is seriously good

The Fresh Chef Meal Prep – nutritious plant-based meals delivered weekly

Plant-based eating is so common now that many other independent and chain eateries in Preston also offer decent vegan options.

Top tips for Veganuary

Buy a quality cookbook

It’s becoming more and more convenient to be vegan with each passing day, but it’s still good to cook from scratch every now and then. Buying a good quality cookbook is a great way to expose yourself to new ingredients and cooking techniques, and to give yourself a better understanding of vegan cuisine as a whole. Choose a book you like the look of and aim to cook one new dish from it per week.

My favourites include the BOSH! books, Vegan Comfort Classics by Lauren Toyota and Plants Only Kitchen by Gaz Oakley. There’s also the handy How To Live Vegan from the BOSH! boys which gives great advice on nutrition, filling your pantry, and even handling awkward social situations.

Give it a good go

For me, making the switch to veganism was easy and exciting, but changing lifelong habits might not come so naturally to others. Your body may experience some… adverse reactions… in the first few weeks (oh god, the gas!) but it’s just a case of your body adjusting. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be feeling superhuman levels of energy after the first month, and the farts will have stopped. Mostly.

1260 Craft & Crust pizza  with caramelised red onion, mushroom, jalapeños and pineapple Pic @vegan.preston
1260 Craft and Crust pizza with caramelised red onion, mushroom, jalapeños and pineapple Pic @vegan.preston

Meat and dairy alternatives are your friends

Dropping meat and dairy overnight and not expecting cravings is unrealistic. Fortunately, there are some superb meat and dairy alternatives out there. Alpro, Violife, Flora, Beyond Meat, Squeakybean, Plant Pioneers, Oumph! and THIS! all offer convincing and delicious substitutes, and most budget supermarkets now offer their own vegan range.

You should aim for a mostly wholefoods diet, with plenty of fresh vegetables, beans, legumes, grains and fruits, but there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a tub of dairy-free Ben and Jerry’s every now and then.

Remember why you’re doing it

Whether it’s for animal rights, personal health, or the environment, there’s probably a reason why you decided to give this a shot in the first place. Don’t lose sight of that! Your choices have real consequences, and you can make a positive difference every time you sit down to eat.

Give these Instagram accounts a follow

  • @vegan.preston – showcasing Preston’s finest plant-based eats, powered by yours truly
  • @accidentallyveganuk – you’ll be surprised how many of your favourite foods are already vegan
  • @vegan_food_uk – it’s impossible to keep up with all the new food launches, but your best chance is here
  • @vegan.scrancashire – vegan recipes and laid-back grub recommendations for the whole county
  • #vegan – just by following this hashtag, you’ll see tons of scrummy looking food on your feed



Are you doing Veganuary this year? Do you agree with Rory’s plant-based recommendations? Let us know in the comments.

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