Luckily for the ethical stalwarts who still loyally refuse a hot buttered crumpet on the chilliest autumn day, vegan food has gone all brilliant. Now, even the beef-sweating macho carnivore type has plenty an opportunity to eschew both animal products and veg-phobic groans about salad. Whether an actual vegan or an earnest free-range obsessive simply dipping a toe into the vegan lifestyle, here’s a load of plant-based ‘junk food’ so good it’s tempting omnivores away from sins of the flesh.Read More
The Best Places to Eat Vegan Fast Food in London
Where to get healthy ‘junk’ in London right now
Young Vegans Pie Shop
The century-old east London pie and mash tradition is given the Millennial vegan treatment: Where delightfully stodgy soy-meat pies nestle onto creamy mashed potato. The only setback: if these seitan- and vegetable-filled pastries fill you up, there’ll be no room for desserts — delicious peanut butter chocolate mud pies.
Temple of Seitan
Juicy, hefty slabs of deep-fried seitan (what gluten): springy, sausage-linke in texture, with creamy, tangy mac 'n' cheese are favourites here, with subs, burgers and gluten-free ‘chicken’ popcorn also on offer. Not so fast food if you’re at the back of the queue, though.
Vegan Mexican food is more than just another blow to Tex Mex’s increasing irrelevance in a city that finally has a found some form on the Mexican food front. At market venues, enjoy Club Mexicana’s tofu “fish” tacos, black bean nachos and pulled BBQ-sweet jackfruit burritos.
This grime scene-endorsed ‘No blood, no bones’ joint serves up Thai and Laotian-influenced bowls. Tofu and soy-based ‘chickn’ and ‘praun’ beds in with spicy, saucy, crunchy vegetables and hefty portions of noodles, rice or quinoa. Look out for vegan-ified British and Jamaican classics: chicken pie, Full English, saltfish and ackee, and jerk ‘chicken.’
Biff’s @ BrewDog Dalston
Biff’s, established originally in Hackney, now serves its crispy fried jackfruit patties and ‘wingz’ in pubs, bars and eateries around the country. Owing to unripe jackfruit’s meaty texture and vague similarity to pulled pork, it has long provided the basis for south-east Asian curries. Biff takes the fruit, slow cooks it in sweet BBQ sauce, then slings it onto burger buns or shapes into chicken wings and fries them. So called: “Filthy AF vegan junk food.” Biff’s Jack Shack is roving. Find out where it is here.
What the Pitta!
What the Pitta! take Turkish fare — namely the vegan döner kebab — and reconfigure it with soy alternatives. Rich and tender slivers of not-meat — texture-wise not entirely unlike shavings of the unidentified-meat-combo inspiration — glisten atop authentic-tasting bread or come bundled into wraps with all the salad trimmings and creamy homemade hummus. Branches in Croydon, Camden Town, and Brighton.
Mooshies London Vegan Burger Bar
Celebrating the textures of jackfruit, and the capacity of quinoa and black beans to sort-of-resemble beef, this burger bar tips its hat to the Bangladeshi traditions of Brick Lane — with bhaji burgers and chickpea bites.
This Egyptian spicy-carby mix of lentils, vermicelli noodles, macaroni and chickpeas, topped with tomato sauce, dukkah and crispy fried onions will fill your stomach, and stretch your definition of junk food. Three locations.
The Full Nelson
Popular with local students, this south London venue does more than burgers, corndogs, milkshakes and ‘cheese’-topped chips. Bunch is extra-crunchy deep-fried seitan ‘chicken’ piled on top of American-style waffles, and served with maple syrup.