A Guide To Delhi’s Best Vegan Food

A Guide To Delhi’s Best Vegan Food

India has always been a predominantly vegetarian nation but in recent years more people have been hopping aboard the bandwagon in an attempt to live and eat healthier. The vegan trend has also hit the metros and thousands of people are choosing to live a cleaner and kinder life.

The South has always been a vegan sanctuary as most Udipi food heroes vegetables and the perennially hipster cities like Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore have of course been on this bandwagon since the start, but our capital city took a little longer to get on board. Delhi’s cuisine has always been synonymous with meat. Butter chicken, mutton biryani, succulent kebabs, all the signature North-Indian delicacies come with the assumption that you’re a carnivore.

There are of course plenty of vegetarian joints in town this almost always means Indian food, and while everyone loves a good sabzi-roti, vegans have a very limited repertoire to explore when it comes to eating out. But with so many people choosing alternative eating it seems bizarre that purely vegan eateries are still unheard of, of course you could most likely walk into any vegetarian joint and request a vegan adaptation of a dish but to find a place that caters exclusively to vegans is a near impossibility.

This most likely stems from the fact that most people equate vegan food to chewing on hay, which in fact couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s a wide variety of tastes, textures and cuisines to be explored within the vegan ambit, it’s simply a matter of innovative, out-of-the-box cooking. There are a few places in Delhi that are picking up on this trend and delving into the unknown with their experiments, from meatless meatballs to vegan pulled ‘pork’, here are some vegan dishes that will have you believing in the impossible.

I. Vegan Thalis at Cafe Shunya

This charming little cafe is every vegetarians wonderland. They’ve taken prosaic ingredients and created some truly innovative cuisine. From their hearty soul bowls to their unique beetroot burgers, they’ve adapted a menu to fit the vegan palate. They also offer full vegan thalis complete with almond mild thandais and vegan desserts so you never feel like you’re missing out on the good stuff.

What it will cost you: Rs. 750 for two people (approx.).

II. Plant Meatball Pizza at Greenr Cafe

This one-of-a-kid restaurant has made a name for itself with their unique and experimental ‘Plant Meat’. A great option for people tired of chomping on leaves, plant meat is a textured protein derived entirely from vegetables. They serve delicacies like a tofu amaranth burger and vegan meatballs atop a thin crust pizza, made entirely of their exclusive Plant Meat. The GREENR kitchen has become the centre of a new food movement in India, they are constantly evolving and trying to build on their creations to provide the best possible experience.

What it will cost you: Rs. 1,100 for two people.

III. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie at Rose Cafe

Though not an exclusively vegan restaurant Rose Cafe has gone the extra mile to make sure their vegan customers are taken care of. They offer a selection of intriguing options like the Sun Dried Tomato, Roast Garlic Salad Pizza and a vegan shepherd’s pie that’s so good it’s been known to sway the stoutest of carnivores. With it’s quaint decor and cosy atmosphere, this is sure to be your favourite afternoon hangout in no time.

What it will cost you: Rs. 1,000 for two.

Plant Meat Burger at Greenr Cafe

IV. Vegan Dragon Rolls at Sattvik

This pure veg joint has been a been a favourite with North Indian vegetarians for years. Being such a rarity they’ve worked hard to create a menu that echoes the favourites like seekh kababs and tandoori everything but in a completely meat-free avatar. The big crowd-pleaser for their vegan customers however are the Vegan Dragon Rolls, translucent and stuffed full of exotic vegetables this one will really hit the spot.

What it will cost you: Rs, 1,700 for two.

V. Falafel Wrap With Hummus at Cafe Turtle

Even if you aren’t vegan, it’s hard not to love a good falafel, and no one’s doing it better than Cafe Turtle. This little vegetarian eatery is a favourite among locals as it’s the perfect spot for a quick salad and sandwich at lunch. Though they’re not exclusively vegan, the staff are very accommodating and will be happy to bring you a vegan version of almost all the items on their menu.

What it will cost you: Rs.1,100 for two.

VI. Pulled ‘Pork’ Burger at Root’d

Now a pulled pork burger is hardly what you’d expect to show up on a vegan menu, but it does here at Root’d where the ‘pork’ is actually jackfruit. They’re really innovative with their creations here, even serving a BLT where the ‘B’ is for brinjal and tofu ‘omelettes’. If you’re just getting into veganism, Root’d is the place you need to head to ease into the transition.

What it will cost you: Rs. 1,200 for two.

Pumpkin Khichdi at Cafe Lota

VII. Tofu in Togarashi Sauce at Dirty Apron

Asian cuisine is usually a little out of reach for vegan diners with it’s heavy reliance on meat, however Dirty Apron is offering up a range of your favourites in a totally vegan version. Start with their Bok Choy cups stuffed with kra pow filling, fill up on their vegan Khao Suey or the blackened tofu in Togarashi sauce and round off your meal with a Thai black rice pudding with mangoes and coconut cream.

What it will cost you: Rs. 2,000 for two.

VIII. Pumpkin Khichdi at Cafe Lota

Getting back to the basics, Cafe Lota doesn’t mess around when it comes to food. They believe in hearty, soulful food that above all, tastes amazing. Try the ragi uttapams if you’re in the mood for something light but their khichdi made with rice, lentils, wild pumpkin and signature spices is what really steals the show. End a great meal on a sweet note with the apple jalebi with coconut rabri and you’re sure to leave with a smile on your face.

What it will cost you: Rs. 1,200 for two.

Started in Hyderabad, this health-conscious organic bakery made the move to Delhi in 2015. A year later they made the decision to convert their entire menu vegan and today al their offerings are 100% vegan, preservative and chemical free, and all custom-made. They have numerous delicious baked goodies but the section that really pulls focus is their vegan cheeses and butters. They have delights such as olive oil butter and cashew cheese and if you’re feeling really indulgent try out their Organic black cherry swirl ice-cream.

Special Mention:

India’s first exclusively vegan, vegetarian and organic store, they have absolutely everything you could ever need to start and maintain your vegan lifestyle. Aside from all your kitchen staples, snacks and supplements they also have a fully stocked range of lifestyle and beauty products, all organic and cruelty-free. Even if veganism isn’t your thing, this is definitely worth a look because their sustainable, minimal waste products and eco-friendly approach is something that everyone could do with a bit more of in their life.

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