Guide: Vegan Coventry
You can be in a room with 100 people, and you just need one person to be vegan for a controversial conversation to start. A survey by Compare The Market last year found that over 3.5 million people live a plant-based lifestyle; according to a study by Figure earlier this year, this number is set to rise by 327% by 2020... And I'm in that 327%.
However, with European parents, I'm sure you're not surprised that my diet growing up was basically built on whichever cut of meat was available that day. Fast forward to now, I've been strictly veggie since the start of the year and I'm determined to go vegan by 2020. So whether you’re right at the start of your journey to vegan living or you’re a well-established animal rights activist looking for somewhere new to hang out then here’s your ultimate guide to the area’s finest plant-based eateries!
Backhaus & Co
I discovered this little gem over a year ago. Now almost every time I’m around FarGo Village I head back! Set in Coventry’s creative quarter, Backhaus is an independent family-owned cafe and bakehouse specialising in ethically produced artisan goods. Their menu changes throughout the week, so if you’re heading there at the weekend I’d recommend the Vegan Haus Waffle, but if you’re stopping by on an early Monday morning, you need to try the PB&J Waffle.
MOD opened in Coventry earlier this year and is a hotspot for local vegans in search of a plant-based pizza. With branches sprinkled across the UK and USA, MOD creates artisan-style pizzas which are made fresh to order. Choose your pizza size and whichever toppings you opt for, it’ll stay the set price and every pizza can be made vegan, too!
The Pod Cafe
This gorgeous, buzzing cultural hub specialises in sustainable, honest, plant-based food that won’t break the bank. Expect wholesome and comforting slow-cooked meals made from local ingredients. Oh, and speaking of local ingredients, The Pod Cafe runs a community allotment where much of their stock is sourced - each one hand picked for the highest quality and freshest taste. Stay up to date on their socials to find out which seasonal specials are in and what’s on the menu, which is switched up each week.
This little gem is right in the centre of the city. An independently run cafe complete with its own sandwich bar for veggies on the go, at Falafel Corner you’ll find a selection of seriously tasty and totally fresh Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes. Open Monday to Saturday from 10am, you can expect everything from freshly prepared couscous and wraps to freshly pressed juices and smoothies.
If you’re searching for the kind of hearty vegan food that even your meat-eating friends will love, Basement Browns is the place you’ve been looking for. With speciality stonebaked pizzas with a ton of vegan alternatives for toppings from cheese to chorizo, vegan-friendly Southern fried ‘chicken' bites and a plant-based blondie dessert, you're set for your next meal out with vegan and non-vegan mates.
Bayley Lane Kitchen
The perfect space for an elegant evening out, Bayley Lane Kitchen offers a small but extremely refined selection of exceptional vegan dishes. From sweetly marinated aubergine tempura to a hearty vegan stew complete with dumplings and tiger bread to mop up the sauce, this is the place to be for a contemporary take on a variety of cuisines from around the globe. It's also worth noting that they have a brilliant range of gluten free meals, too.
For a traditionally British grub with a vegan twist, this quirky, independently run bar and bistro is open every day for every meal. Set in the heart of Coventry's Cathedral Quarter, you'‘ll find this eatery in a beautiful listed building, with a locally-sourced menu to match. Now in its 18th year, Playwrights offers an extensive range of vegan options alongside its regular dishes.
Let's be honest: I couldn’t write a vegan restaurant guide without including Coventry’s branch of Wagamama. I’m sure you know it well, but this vegan menu is seriously sophisticated. If you’re after some uncompromisingly delicious vegan-friendly takes on a range of Asian-inspired dishes, this is your one-stop shop. Expect plant-based ramen topped with shichimi-coated silken tofu, mushroom and panko aubergine-filled fluffy bao buns, a zesty and zingy vegan pad-thai, and a whole lot more.
Good news: looks like next time you’re in a room with 100 people, there’ll actually be at least three vegans. So whilst there may be another tiff, at least you’ll know where to head for excellent falafel afterwards.
Written by Nati Macchiato. Follow on Twitter: @natimacchiato