Leeds is a great city in which to be a vegan these days. No longer is it tough to find anywhere with even one vegan item on the list. No more sighing as you resign yourself to the questionable soup, or the salad without the toppings – the culinary world is now your oyster (mushroom)!
Most restaurants in the city are adaptable these days too, and are used to being asked for vegan menu items. What’s more, there are a plethora of vegan-only restaurants.
Here’s our pick of the crop:
Knave’s Kitchen is the place to head if you fancy 100% vegan junk food. Housed in Oporto on Call Lane, Knave’s Kitchen were some of the first pioneers of the Leeds vegan scene, popping up in Spring 2018, and they’re great at serving up all the calories of junk with a guilt-free conscience. They make their seitan inhouse, use compostable vegware, recycle their oil and are committed to being zero waste.Website:oportobar.co.uk/knaves-kitchen/
Bundobust is a Gujarati-inspired street food and craft beer hub, and if you haven’t tried it, you must! Vegetarian and vegan by nature (Gujarat is a traditionally vegetarian state in India), Bundobust is the place to go if you’re eating with carnivores, too - the Bundo menu has something to appeal to everyone, and no one will notice the absence of meat. With 15 of the 22 items on the current menu clearly listed as vegan (it’s a great menu for those juggling allergies, too, as it’s very clear what contains ingredients such as mustard, cereals, milk and celery), it’s technically a veggie restaurant - but a true must-visit for any vegan in Leeds.Website:bundobust.com
Punk vegan is a Hyde Park student staple. This is a ‘roll out of bed and head for food’ type venue, serving up all the fast food goodness you ever fancied. They kick off with morning burgers, and move through to evening burrito bowls, wraps and toasties, loaded fries and inspired vegan burgers.Facebook:punk.vegan.leeds
Meat is Dead
This new Kirkstall-based “junk-free” vegan eatery only opened in early 2021, and is busy serving up wholesome, tasty vegan grub. For breakfast, think homemade beans on sourdough toast, flavoursome tofu scrambles and smoothie bowls. For lunch and dinner, think small sharing plates of shakshuka, seasonal veg dishes, gyoza and exciting salads.Wesbite:meatisdead.co.uk
Fint, which used to be Fettle, only reopened as Fint in Summer 2021. It’s veg focussed, but not completely vegan. However, six out of the nine dishes on the current menu are vegan. The brunch, available Thursday to Sunday from 10am, includes dishes like vegan Benedict, vegan pain perdu and vegan crunchy fruit granola. From 4pm, Fint serves up dishes like miso aubergine with cherry tomato marmalade and almonds, or portobello mushroom kiev. A great weekend treat.Website:fint-leeds.com
Popular vegan junk food purveyor Doner Summer is focussed on 100% vegan junk. Think loaded fries (called “Teller Trays” at Doner Summer, they come with toppings like their vegan döner, tomato, pink cabbage, cucumber, spring onion, dill pickles, scotch bonnet sauce and pink aioli - yes, that’s all on one “Teller Tray”), kebabs (with chick’n or vegan doner, and various toppings) or their butterm*lk fried chick’n dishes. It’s never been easier to fulfill your wildest vegan junk food dreams!Website:donersummer.com
Eat Your Greens
Groceries and lifestyle clothing by day, restaurant by night, this New York Street located store focusses on farm to fork goodness, highlighting local organic produce where possible. Their restaurant menu changes weekly, and is available Thursday to Saturday. There are always several vegan options on the menu (looking at the current menu we’d go for the mixed veg pakora bun with beetroot ketchup, with a side of dukkah-topped hummus or salt-crusted potatoes with nasturtium oil), and they are happy to cater to dietary requirements. The vegan dessert of red gooseberry tart and fennel custard really has our mouths watering...
JJ Vish and Chips
The humble British fave, fish and chips, is finally becoming an option for vegans too! Situated on Kirkstall Road, this is classic chippy tea - honest, no-nonsense ‘fish’ and chips - but all vegan. They offer up a traditional menu, including all the favourites but reincarnated into plant-based counterparts. There’s everything you’d want, from Tofish and Chips to Battered Sosage to Scam-pi to Vish and Chips. Of course there are still great chips, mushy peas, and curry sauce. This is quintessential British tradition, but animal-friendly. No brainer.Wesbite:jjsvishandchips.com
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the great vegan options available across the city now – long may the trend toward plant-based eating continue to grow!