By Izzy Brimeau
Travelling the UK as a vegetarian or vegan can sometimes prove limiting. Thankfully, visiting Brighton is not. Hands up – I’m not vegetarian or vegan myself, but I do find myself eating a mainly meat-free diet. During my time away with my partner Nick, I was pleasantly surprised by the ample options available for those following a primarily plant-based diet. Here are my favourite veggie and vegan-appropriate places to eat in this quirky seaside town…
Trading Post Coffee Roasters
Nestled into the one of Brighton’s many lanes is this wonderful-smelling cafe and roastery. Serving up sustainable, fair trade coffee and an impressive selection of breakfast and brunch dishes, it’s always humming with activity.
We started our morning with iced coffees and a plate of sourdough, smashed avocado, roasted vine tomatoes, poached eggs and halloumi. The coffee was strong, the avocado ripe and the eggs perfectly cooked.
The menu also included a lovely selection of vegan-friendly breakfasts along with an abundance of vegetarian dishes.
Smorl’s Houmous Falafel & Salad Bar
Located in the well-known Open Market, Smorl’s is a vegan’s dream. It’s a family-run business that specialises in falafel and houmous. Various types of houmous at that. Their original, fresh chilli, extra garlic and thunder garlic are all made using organic, hand-peeled chickpeas and sealed with a layer of olive oil.
The garlic is a mixture of fresh and roasted to ensure you don’t get that dreaded acidic burn.
The falafel is based on a traditional Middle-Eastern recipe that has been adapted by Smorl herself. We were lucky enough to sample all the houmous, dips and falafel. My personal favourite was the thunder garlic – wickedly strong and providing you with a great dose of vitamin C. I didn’t have room for a filled pita but they looked incredible, overflowing with salad, seeds and lined with houmous.
The idea for these sushi wraps was born after Anna, founder and full-time vegan, spent two months living and working at a pearl farm in Tahiti. She wanted to raise awareness of the ongoing marine issues while still providing people with tasty, sustainable sushi.
We tried the Thai sweet potato, hoisin ‘duck’ and avocado kiss wraps. Each had as much flavour and satisfaction as non-vegan sushi. I usually opt for an avocado maki roll so naturally avocado kiss was my top choice.
If eating this vegan sushi doesn’t already make you feel like you’re making a good change, then perhaps knowing that 7p from every wrap is donated to Mary’s Meals, to help feed a child will help.
That’s not all. Another 8p from every wrap is donated to Eden Reforestation Projects. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel like a pretty good human!
Terre à Terre
Vegetarians and vegans rejoice – Terre à Terre have nailed plant-based dining. Now, my boyfriend loves a good steak. I mean really enjoys it. But he raves about this restaurant. And so do I.
We went on a Saturday night – the lights were low, candles lit and the general ambience was romantic. The floor staff were friendly and efficient and the food was sensational.
Our starter, and without a doubt the highlight of the meal, consisted of four steamed bao buns filled with marinated halloumi and bok choy. This was served alongside a plate of kimchi, pickled cucumber and sauces. I could have just had that and been happy. The vegan option is made with tofu rather than halloumi.
For a main we were recommended the vegan Terre à Terre sharing plate. The KFC (Korean fried cauliflower) and aubergine slow-baked with tahini and miso were both standout dishes. Next time I’m in Brighton I’ll be having the bao buns as a main (so that I don’t have to share).
Looking for somewhere to stay?
My boyfriend and I stayed at The White House in Kemptown. Located about a 15-20 minute walk from The Lanes, this quaint guest house was quiet, homely and only hop, skip and a jump away from the sea.
Vegetarian breakfast options include a veggie breakfast (scrambled eggs, toast, grilled mushrooms, vine tomatoes and beans) or wild mushrooms on toasted brioche. The kitchen are happy to cater to dietary requirements so a vegan option should be available on request.
Smorl’s and Happy Maki were both stops on the Very Independent Brighton Food Tour. This tour is a great way to experience some of the best quirky foodie places Brighton has to offer. Check out visitbrighton.com for more things to do, eat and see.