As National Vegetarian Week approaches we thought it was about time we looked a little closer at what Leicester has to offer those opting for a meat-free diet. And who better to ask than Leicester-based food blogger Lindsay Clarke (aka Leicester Veggie); who devotes much of her time to seeking out great places to eat for vegetarians and vegans in the Midlands.
So if you’re already committed to avoiding animal products or just fancy discovering what meat-free options are available in our great city, here’s what Lindsay has to say about Leicester’s veggie scene…
As a vegan, the first question I am often asked is, “what do you eat?!” To which I respond by rattling off several different dishes that I like to make – lasagna, veggie burgers, soups and stews, curries, stir fries, etc. etc. The second question inevitably is, “isn’t it difficult to eat out as a vegan?” Well, yes and no. Sure you have to be a bit more diligent when dining out, but more and more restaurants these days are catering to vegetarians and vegans, making it easier than ever to get a cracking meal out regardless of your dietary needs.
This goes for Leicester as well. I’ve been really impressed by the effort that local restaurants are starting to make to provide not only dishes that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, but that are inventive, hearty and miles away from what you’d normally expect to get as a veggie (please, no more risottos or stuffed peppers).
Where can I get vegetarian and vegan meals in Leicester?
Most restaurants serve great vegetarian food in Leicester but here are a few of my personal favorite places in Leicester to get a great vegetarian or vegan meal.
1. World Peace Café
The World Peace Café in the city centre is a vegetarian restaurant located in the Buddhist temple across from the Guildhall. This little café is completely run by volunteers and is open for lunch daily serving sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. The vegan items on the menu are clearly marked, and are incredibly tasty – I’ve yet to try a dish I haven’t liked. The service can be a little slow, especially during the lunch rush, but it’s a lovely, bright, airy and inviting place to hang out for a while, making the wait worth it.
2. The Lansdowne/The Orange Tree
The Lansdowne, on London Road, is a fantastic place for vegans and vegetarians. They clearly label their menu with vegan items, and generally have at least 3-4 vegan mains to choose from, including a weekly special. These dishes range from tofu rancheros to hummus sandwiches and vegetable stir-fries.
The Orange Tree in the city centre is a sister company to the Lansdowne (both are part of the Orange Tree Group), and while they don’t have as many options, they do generally have a few vegan dishes and are more than willing to veganise dishes for you. The Orange Tree is one of my favorite pubs not only for being vegan-friendly, but also for its pretty beer garden, good music and overall laid-back vibe.
3. Café Mbriki
For a piece of vegan cake and soy latte, there is only one place in town to go: Café Mbriki. Café Mbriki stocks delicious treats from The Vegan Cakery including cupcakes, millionaire’s shortbread, mille feuille and more. Be sure to get in early on the weekends if you want one, as they sell out quickly!
Shivalli is a vegetarian restaurant on Welford Road that serves South Indian food. During lunch you can sample the tasty, varied vegan and vegetarian buffet for under £5 if you go during the week, which is a real bargain. In the evening you have a huge choice of different curries that appeal to both veggies and meat-eaters alike (on a recent Trip Advisor review one even wrote “a carnivore’s dream!”). I particularly like the vegan thali – which gives you several little bowls of different curries, breads and soups to try.
5. Currant Affairs
Currant Affairs on Loseby Lane is a cute little health food shop that stocks vegan staples and groceries as well as delicious vegan takeaway dishes made fresh daily in the kitchen above the shop. You’ll often catch me in there on a Saturday grabbing a couple of vegan baps before a Leicester City match. I also have a hard time resisting the vegetable spring rolls or vegan sausage rolls, especially if they have just come out of the oven.
There are so many other restaurants in Leicester that deserve a mention including Bobby’s, Mirch Masala, The Good Earth, Kayal, Maiyango, Las Iguanas… the list goes on. These are just a few of my favorite veg-friendly restaurants in Leicester, and I have to say, we’re pretty lucky to have them.
So now you know. Veggies of Leicester needn’t settle for a bog-standard reheated lasagne verdi and limp lettuce, there are so many cafes, bars and restaurants in Leicester now offering something much more exciting!
National Vegetarian Week 2018
Next year the National Vegetarian week will be in 14th – 20th May 2018, keep an eye on this page to find out what events will be running and how you can get involved.
If you would like additional ideas for things to do in Leicester, why not take a look at more of the attractions and events in our other Leicester guides.