Here’s our roundup of the best vegan dishes available at high street restaurant chains in the UK this year. Let’s get this party started!
Chain restaurants have majorly stepped up their game this year with festive vegan offerings, from ‘snowball’ dough balls to spicy jackfruit Christmas stew. There are some fantastic options available nationwide, which makes us super happy – it was only a few years ago that a vegan Christmas menu would usually mean a dry nut roast (or a plate of chips if you were really unlucky), followed by fruit salad.
For proof that times are changing, Pizza Express has added a vegan dish to its Christmas menu for the first time – the mushroom and pine nut pizza. Topped with Portobello mushrooms, pine kernels, rosemary, and mozzarella alternative, the pizza is also available with a gluten-free base.
And because it’s the season for all things decadent, Pizza Express has brought back its snowball dough balls for dessert, which are sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar, and can be made vegan when served with fruit coulis dipping sauce.
All Bar One
All Bar One has launched a standalone vegan menu for Christmas, which features a carrot, coconut and ginger soup for starters, a mushroom and butternut squash tart with red pepper, chargrilled asparagus and pesto for the main course, and a raspberry sorbet and blueberry compote for dessert.
The American-style chain has rolled out a few vegan items recently, and on its Christmas menu is a Pomegranate & Avocado Hummus Appetiser: a bean-based dip served with garlic ciabatta bread, tortilla chips, and topped with pomegranate seeds.
It’s vegan main course option is the Festive Roasted Vegetable Fajitas, ‘spiked with tequila and lime’ and ‘served with a selection of dips and warm tortillas.’
Perhaps more famous for its cocktails than its food, TGI Fridays also offers several vegan drink options, including the Jingle Bell Punch, Christmas Long Beach Iced Tea and Purple Snowstorm.
The Real Greek
The popular Greek-based chain is serving a spicy jackfruit Christmas stew this year as a main course, as well as traditional Greek baklava for dessert. And of course, staple vegan nibbles are on offer – including olives and hummus.
Another Italian themed favourite, Zizzi is upping its game this Christmas by offering festive set menus for vegans. The Classico Menu (£19.95) provides a vegan bruschetta starter, three main course options (including pizza or salad), followed by vegan gelato and sorbet.
Meanwhile, the Super Festivo Menu (£25.95) comes served with a drink, and alongside the bruschetta starter offers a choice of Tuscan soup or ‘beetball’ polpette – pink beetroot ‘beetballs’ oven-baked in Pomodoro sauce with melted Mozzarisella, chilli threads and fresh oregano. As well as pizza and salad, the main course also offers two pasta dishes, including the festive melanzana tagliatelle, an aubergine based ragu served with red pepper flecked tagliatelle, crispy sage and purple basil.
There’s also a sticky chocolate and praline torte for afters, or a dessert calzone stuffed with banana, strawberries, raspberries, raspberry coulis, and dairy-free gelato or sorbet.
Vietnamese restaurant Pho – which has branches dotted throughout the UK – is also offering a set festive menu, including rice cracker nibbles or tangy lotus stems to start, followed by Spicy Green pho with tofu, green beans, pak choi, fresh lime and Thai basil in a spicy broth, with a banana fritter and sorbet served for dessert. Many of Pho’s other dishes are also easily veganised – and equally as delicious!
Other restaurants offering vegan menu items this festive season include Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and ASK. We really are spoilt for choice!
Check out the Veganuary restaurant guide for to learn more about UK restaurants that offer plant-based menu options all year round.