Vegan adventures in Wales

IMG_3849At the end of May I took on a new role at work that’s going to see me working in Cardiff, or elsewhere in Wales, roughly half week until March. Whilst being away from home means unsettling my routine, friendships, relationships and can be quite tiring, I not only want to make the most of the professional opportunity but also of exploring a new place and what it has to offer. Clearly, the first thing being food! So over the past two months I’ve started to compile my Vegan Adventures in Wales, noting and photographing what and where I’ve eaten, not only to help as a guide to other vegans but also to ensure I’m continuing to mix it up and try new things (otherwise I’d eat at Anna-Loka every night!). I’ve been posting on Instagram so check out my feed for even more photos of these places – and beyond.

The concept is easy and there are four simple rules:

1) Every time I’m eating out for dinner in Wales I will eat a different vegan meal.

2) I can visit the same place more than once but can’t have the same dish (same sides are ok).

3) I can’t go back to the same place for at least two weeks.

4) I can’t have the same cuisine two weeks in a row, even in different restaurants.

You can read a follow up to this piece with more options at https://saretaskitchen.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/vegan-adventures-in-cardiff-part-2/.

So my first two months of vegan adventures in Wales involved:

CARDIFF

ANNA-LOKA 114 Albany Rd, Cardiff, CF24 3RU

Cardiff’s only 100% vegan café. On my first visit I went for the vegan kebab special. Partly because it was a special so I could try everything else another time (tactics, huh). And partly because who doesn’t love vegan junk food?! I washed it down with some fresh carrot and orange juice to fill me with goodness.

 

THE COSY CLUB St David’s Dewi Sant Cardiff, 1 Hills St, Cardiff, CF10 2LE

A chain across Wales and England that is known for having a separate vegan menu. I couldn’t resist the Thai quinoa burger and justified it by knowing that I could have the healthier options another time. It was just as good, if not better, than several of the dishes in my top London burger blog.

Today's vegan adventure in Cardiff was to @thecosyclub which has a whole vegan menu. I had a massive internal dilemma between tapas & burger but opted for this as I had falafel & hummus for lunch. Any excuse eh?! Plus I was starving after an unexpected 10k run in the park, in the sweltering heat! The Thai quinoa burger was tasty but I was confused where the edamame beans were (I think the paste in the bun?) and found the one leaf of pak choi rather miserable. But the flavours were lovely (I did add the whole bowl of extra chillies to the burger…) & the fries were lush. #vegansofig #whatveganseat #veganbloggers #ukvegans #veganism #govegan #plantpower #veganjunkfood #veganfood #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #veganfoodshare #veganpics #veganburger #vegancardiff

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FALAFEL WALES 122 Cowbridge Rd East, Cardiff, CF11 9DX

Where ordering everything is compulsory. That should be their tagline anyway as it is insanely cheap. On my first visit (below) I was laughed at my the guy who thought I couldn’t eat it all. Correct, not all at once but I got there. Over two days. The koshari, Egyptian noodly lentil goodness, is maybe one of my top dishes. Ever.

I finally tried Falafel Wales. Might have ordered everything as I was so excited & didn't realise how generous portions would be (8 vine leaves for £2.50?!?) but it does mean lunch for tomorrow is sorted 😂😂 Also got the mezze plate starter (falafel, hummus, salad & bread for £4.50) and koshari (Egyptian lentil, rice, tomato & pasta street food for £4). Wickedly cheap & absolutely tasty plus all vegan options are clearly marked 🙌🏽. Although my falafel prize still goes to the dudes on Chapel Market in London – don't think that crown can ever be lifted! #whatveganseat #vegansofig #veganfood #vegan #vegetarian #veganfoodshare #vegancardiff #cardiffvegan #veganwales #falafelwales #falafel #koshari #plantbased #veganfood #veganblogger

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VEGETARIAN FOOD STUDIO 115-117 Penarth Rd, Cardiff, CF11 6JU

I went all out and ordered everything on my first visit. I had enough left to have kachori and paratha for breakfast the next day – just like actually being in India! The menu is so vast I could probably get through a year of vegan eating just visiting here (but would break rules 3 and 4, obvs).

ZIZZI’S 27 High Street, Cardiff, CF10 1PU

Not the type of place I would ever really choose to dine but when alone and on a vegan challenge it was the ideal chance to try their new vegan cheese, mozirisella. A bit creamier than expected but with build your own pizza choices it’s ideal for the girl who likes a bit of everything!

THE GRAZING SHED 37 St Mary St, Cardiff, CF10 1AD

I’ve been to Wales’ self-proclaimed best burger joint twice now – once for the kale fritter roll: an absolutely dreamy, if not somewhat indulgent, breakfast option, and another time for the vegan hippie burger which oozed flavour and spice from my added chilli toppings. The brill value for money meal deal includes fries and ‘fizzy juice’ as we call it in Scotland – and I ain’t talking Coke or Irn Bru here but delicious Super Tidy Soda drinks.

 

CHAPTER ARTS CENTRE 40 Market Rd, Cardiff, CF5 1QE

Working in film education means having to frequent hip venue and cafe Chapter regularly which is certainly no bad thing! They have a vast vegan menu of sandwiches, soup and mains. The beetroot risotto is a bit different to the typical offering and the cauliflower and lentil sandwich is also a winner. And the chunky skin on chips are always tough to resist!

 

DUSTY KNUCKLE The Printhaus, 70 Llandaff Rd, Cardiff, CF11 9NL

I’m super happy that I’ve experienced what is listed as one of the alleged top pizzerias in the UK and the world! This fairly new, very hip, pop-up style venue offers 4-5 daily changing pizzas including always one vegan option. They offer up locally made chilli sauces too which are irresistible.

 

MILGI 213 City Rd, Cardiff, CF24 3JD

This renown plant-based restaurant has been top of my list since my first week and it did not disappoint. With almost everything vegan or vegan-friendly I had that odd sensation of actually having a choice! Check out my Instagram for eveyrthing we ate: a starter of Peruvian street food, tofu and rice whole food bowl and the butternut squash and pea curry with an abundance of sides. Oh and how could I forget the cinnamon donuts, chocolate sauce and ice cream?! Already looking forward to my next visit!

 

KIMCHI 72 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF11 9DU

Jostling for custom on popular Cowbridge Road East in hip Canton, this caught my eye as the lure of vegan kimchi was too much to resist! I didn’t realise the tofu and kimchi dish was going to be so sizeable and alongside dumplings and cucumber (lucky I didn’t order rice!) I was suitably satisfied. Their at table BBQ looks worth trying and they have a whole veggie/vegan selection of ingredients.

 

WAHACA St David’s Dewi Sant Cardiff, The Hayes, Cardiff, CF10 1GA

As mentioned with Zizzi I tend not to dine in chains but this challenge has shown me that they often have either clearly labelled menus or consistently trained staff who are able to help. Tristan was in town so we shared corn and black bean toastados, plantain tacos, smoky tomato fideus noodles and cactus and courgette enchiladas.

 

WAGAMAMA Mermaid Quay, Cardiff, CF10 5BZ

Another chain, and the manager at Cardiff Mermaid Quay was super helpful. He told us things like aubergine, and even tofu, in some dishes weren’t vegan cause of how they were cooked. He offered up plenty of alternatives and we had a brilliant meal. Tristan again was around to help out so we shared gyoza, edamame, wok-fried greens and yaki soba with udon and tofu instead of soba and eggs. Plenty more to check out on future visits!

So much love for greens on my second successful chain visit this week. Tonight @wagamama_uk in #CardiffBay. I haven't been to a Wagamama since my uni days & don't normally opt for chains but was pleasantly surprised. The manager came & talked through all vegan options – in one dish the silken tofu isn't vegan and another the aubergine isn't due to how they've been cooked! They happily replaced egg for tofu in our yaki soba main which also subbed soba for udon noodles to ensure was vegan. These starters of edamame beans and wok-fried greens in salt and chilli were just sublime! We also got gyoza but ate them before the photo 😱😜 Props again to the manager tonight (please take note @wagamama_uk as he was ace!) Fab end to almost of whole week of vegan adventures in Cardiff! #vegansofig #whatveganseat #veganbloggers #ukvegans #veganism #govegan #plantpower #bestofvegan #cardiffvegan #vegancardiff #veganfood #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #veganfoodshare #veganpics #veganwagamama #wagama #cardiff

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CLANCY’S VEGETARIAN EMPORIUM 167/170, Central Market, Cardiff, CF10 1AU

We picked up a selection of snacks for our walk up Pen Y Fan in the Brecons from this fab stall in Cardiff Market. Falafel, lentil balls (too sweet for me), potato balls, Moroccan pastie and a couple of cheesy things for T, did us well, alongside a massive punnet of olives, vine leaves and sundries tomatoes from the stall across the way. At lunch time they also serve wraps.

 

There’s also a stall outside the market on St Mary’s Street at weekends where you can get vegan brioche and Chelsea buns but I have no idea what it’s called or who runs it!

REST OF WALES

Whilst I’m usually in Cardiff I have been lucky to spend a weekend away in the Gower, near Swansea. I was pleasantly surprised at just how vegan-friendly all the places we visited were.

THE KITCHEN TABLE 626 Mumbles Rd, Swansea, Mumbles SA3 4EA

We dived in here to escape the rain on what otherwise was a gorgeous weekend away and were delighted to find a fully labelled, very vegan-friendly menu. I was torn between several dishes but went for the tofu and peanut sauce sourdough toastie with a hearty salad. Just wish I could have sampled even more of their menu!

 

THE KINGS HEAD Llangennith,Gower, Swansea SA3 1HX

One of the most popular pubs in the Gower so you’re best to pre-book if possible. There’s only a couple of vegan options on the menu but they are all clearly marked which I was surprised at for somewhere rural. The chickpea curry was rather pleasant given that pub curries can be disappointing. Would recommend and return!

THE BRITANNIA INN Llanmadoc, Swansea SA3 1DB

Another rural pub with a well labelled menu. I was in touch with the co-owner and chef in advance of our visit and he was very informative and helpful of what was vegan or what could be adapted. The bean tagine starter was delicious although my Thai curry left a little to be desired flavour wise. However I would go back if I was in the area again as I know not every dish can be 100% and the main chef was actually off that day.

THE BAY BISTRO Rhossili Visitor Centre and Shop, Gower SA3 1PL

Located conveniently in the centre of gorgeous Gower, this cafe always has at least one vegan option on their menu, sometimes more. When I visited coconut and tomato sauce and potato wedges were the perfect lunch to power me through our 6 mile walk.

Where are your favourite places to get vegan food in Wales? My future hit list is still quite long but I know that I’m still just scratching the surface of vegan eats in Wales so so please let me know of any vegan-friendly places in Cardiff (or further afield in Wales for consideration when out and about).

 

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6 thoughts on “Vegan adventures in Wales

  1. shaheen says:

    Fabulous post, Being Welsh and living in Wales, over the past two years, I’ve eaten at most of the places that you mentioned living in Wales (except for The Grazing Shed), but I don’t do food restaurant reviews on my blog, hence the reason none of these places have ever featured. Anna Loka is one of my favourites, I haven’t been to Milgi for a year as I was disappointed with what I had there on two occasions. I love Clancy’s I tend to go there often for spices and my vegan Black Pudding sausage. In the last 5 years vegan and vegetarian offerings have rocketed, previous to that it was really poor. So super post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • saretap says:

      Thank you! I’ve actually heard mixed things about MILGI but I really enjoyed it. Anna Loka is amazing. I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by all the vegan food options. So many more to explore. Any recommendations always welcome 😃

      Like

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