Hailan Korean Restaurant, 65 Dame Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

What: Inexpensive (for Dublin) Korean restaurant. Enough for two with 1 litre of sparkling water was €33. Vegan friendly, meat also served.

Prices: Starters around €6, mains around €10.

Vegan menu: cucumber, avocado and asparagus makki. Default is without mayonnaise (take note Yo! Sushi). Vegetabale tempura role — ask them to make it vegan. Vegetable spring rolls — ask them to make them vegan. Kimchi vegetable pancake — ask them to make it vegan. Vegetable and rice dishes can also be vegan. Other items may also be made vegan, but we didn’t get that far.

Drinks: Sparkling water, soft drinks, at least.

Service: Earnest, friendly and competent. You may have to apply a little pressure to give wait staff the idea that the chef should be asked if she can make something vegan, otherwise you may be told that your preferred item isn’t vegan when the chef is actually likely to cheerily volunteer to make it vegan.

Comfortable? I wouldn’t want to eat here when it’s very busy. Tables are very close together. However, when it’s quiet it is comfortable. Tables are solid, chairs are comfortable. Music is not too loud. If you are planning to assemble a few side dishes take a bigger table, a table for two is a bit awkward for such a meal. The only complaint for this section is the stainless steel chopsticks — a bit slippery.

Was the food good? Yes. We enjoyed vegan kimchi pancake, vegan tempura, and vegan sushi. Neither the pancake nor the tempura were overly greasy. The vegetables in the tempura were courgette, red pepper and sweet potato. We would order all of it again.

Toilets: Downstairs. Adequate. Clean. Paper towels to dry hands.

My advice to the chef: Keep up the food work.

My advice to the manager: Mark vegan items as such on the menu.

Overall: We’ll be back and would recommend it outside of peak times. We didn’t have our camera with us but some photos are here, together with another vegan review. Menu below.

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Napfényes Étterem, 1077 Budapest, Rózsa utca 39, Hungary

What: Vegan restaurant focusing on Hungarian specialties. This is an actual restaurant and not the run-of the-mill self-service canteen/community canteen posing as a restaurant often experienced by vegans/vegetarians.

Prices: Inexpensive if you’re spending euro, less than €6 for the main course.

Vegan menu: Everything is vegan. For example, Mixed Garden Vegetable
Soup with Semolina Dumplings 550 HUF, Caesar Salad 1300 HUF(iceberg lettuce, tartar sauce, garlic flavored spelt-wheat bread cubes, fried tofu cubes, grated dairy-free cheese, parsley), many types of pizza, Creamy Spinach Fusili 1700 HUF(creamy durum wheat pasta with spinach leaves, garlic, nutmeg and grated dairy-free cheese), Fried Dairy-Free Cheese in Sesame Crumbs served with Green Peas, Rice and Tartar Sauce 2100 HUF (dairy-free cheese breaded with spelt wheat flour and sesame seeds, served with green peas, jasmine rice and a spicy soy gravy), Fried Pancakes Filled with Vegetable Cream served with Mashed Potatoes and Onions 1900 HUF (spelt wheat pancakes filled with spicy vegetable cream served with fried, mashed potatoes and savory tomato sauce), Somló Sponge Cake 850 HUF (vanilla, walnut and carob sponge cake layered with vanilla cream and walnuts, served with carob sauce and soy whip cream) and much, much more (see menu photos below).

Drinks: Various juices, sparkling water, teas, coffee.

Service: English and German spoken. Friendly, helpful. Menu available in English and German.

Comfortable? Yes. There’s a nice atmosphere. Tables are big and solid. Chairs are comfortable. No loud music.

Was the food good? Yes. We enjoyed everything. We also enjoyed items that we purchased from the small shop.

Toilets: Adequate, but tiny.

My advice to the chef: Keep it up.

My advice to the manager: Keep it up.

Overall: This place is hard to find, but it’s worth making the effort to get there. We recommend a visit.

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Some of the Vegan Offerings at Camden Market

Camden Market is a fun, quirky and eclectic place to get lost, really, for a few hours. There are plenty of food stalls, many claiming to be vegan. Watch out though, some of the ‘vegan’ food is kept in the same containers as meat (see photos below). We highly recommend getting some vegan ice-cream at Cookies and Scream. We weren’t hungry enough to try the rest of the food here, but took photos of the offerings.

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All vegan, super ice-cream, cookies, coffees. Yummy.

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Vegan truck.

Vegan truck menu.

Vegan truck menu.

The truck itself :-)

The truck itself :-)

Another stall with vegan food.

Another stall with vegan food.

Vegan food next to the chicken = not vegan anymore.

Vegan food next to the chicken = not vegan anymore.

More stuff.

More stuff.

More vegan food!

More vegan food!

What better on a sweltering day in London?

What better on a sweltering day in London?

 

Graenn Kostur, Skolavordustigur 8b, Reykjavik 101, Iceland

What: Small cafeteria style vegetarian/vegan eaterie. For those familiar with Cornucopia in Dublin, Ireland, imagine it on a smaller scale but nicer. It’s also much easier to negotiate the queue here than in Cornucopia, i.e., not designed to create a big bottleneck.

Prices: Reykjavik is not a cheap place to visit, but this place was comparable to similar eateries in the area.

Vegan menu: Evertyhing is vegetarian and at least one meal a day is vegan. Some desserts are vegan also. Menu changes daily. There seems to be a choice of two soups, several salads, around five hot meals and some desserts on offer, daily.

Drinks: Usual assortment.

Service: As everywhere in Reykjavik, I found, perfect English is spoken. Staff were able to quickly explain which food was vegetarian/vegan.

Comfortable? It’s okay for a cafeteria. If you get a bar stool at the window or a regular table at the window it’s comfortable enough. I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of the room with people pushing past to view the food at the counter.

Was the food good? If you’re looking for vegetarian/vegan food in Reykjavik, and you don’t want the hassle of traipsing all around town checking out every menu only to be disappointed then you can happily eat here. The hot food is really not hot enough when served, this lets the place down. It’s not hugely imaginative fare, but it’s tasty enough, and I was grateful that it was available. I did return on that visit and would again, partially due to the fact that Reykjavik isn’t a vegetarian/vegan friendly town so it’s just easier to eat here.

Toilets: Clean, but too close to the dining area for my liking. Almost beside a table at the back.

My advice to the chef: Hot food should be hot not lukewarm.

My advice to the manager: Is there no way to have the toilet further away from the dining area?

Overall: This place has the advantage of being the only really vegetarian/vegan eaterie in town. They do try hard, but there’s seems to be a lack of imagination. It can be a bit tricky to find so check out the location on a map before heading out. You’ll likely end up here anyway so you might as well try it on the first day.

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The Pink Giraffe, 43B St Clements Street, Oxford OX4 1AG, England, UK

What: Chinese restaurant with a super huge selection of vegan meals. Meat also.

Prices: Mains around £7 (huge). Appetizers around £4-5.

Vegan menu: 99% of the very extensive vegetarian menu is vegan. Vegan prawn crackers, vegan mock chicken on skewers in sate sauce, vegan crispy beef in salt and pepper dressing, vegan butterfly crackers with seaweed, mini vegan spring rolls with plum sauce, vegan pork in Chinese red curry, bean curd in sweet and sour sauce, vegan chicken or beef in wine and garlic hot sauce. This is a random sample. Click here for the whole menu: Pink Giraffe menu. It’s amazing, as a vegan, to be able to peruse a menu for a long time trying to decide what to eat.

Drinks: Usual soft drinks, wine, sparkling water.

Service: A relief to speak to people who immediately know what should and shouldn’t be in a vegan meal. Friendly, easy to order.

Comfortable? Yes, It’s nice to get the table at the window.

Was the food good? Very good. Plum sauce is really nice. Sate sauce is really good. The black bean sauce is very, very nice. Skip the curry sauce. It’s hard to go wrong here.

Toilets: Adequate.

My advice to the chef: Keep up the good work. Re-think the curry sauce, it’s disappointing compared to the other excellent sauces.

My advice to the manager: Please open in Dublin, Ireland and elsewhere.

Overall: Do not miss this place if in Oxford. It may will be the culinary highlight of your vegan travels in the UK, if you like Chinese food.

Some photos are from 2013, some 2014, but the menu does not seem to have changed. All vegan.

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The Gardener’s Arms, 39 Plantation Rd, Oxford OX2, England, UK

What: Vegetarian pub that caters well to vegans. 20 minute stroll from Oxford centre.

Prices: £8.50 burgers and fries, £9.95 main meal (mushroom pie, chilli and more), hotdog meals around £7, calzone £8.95 and much more.

Vegan menu: Exchange veggie burger for two vegan burgers to make all burger meals vegan. Choose your own toppings. Mushroom pie meal, Indian meal, rocket, olive and tomato calzone, burger wraps, kids burger or sausage meal and bar snacks are all vegan.

Drinks: Usual drinks available in a pub. No vegan ales when this reviewer visited. Vegan Pilsner and lager on tap.

Service: Friendly, helpful.

Comfortable? Yes. Tables are big, chairs are comfortable. No loud music. Nice easy-going atmosphere.

Was the food good? Yes, definitely. More fries in the basket would have been okay. The burger was great (photo below doesn’t do it justice!). The mushroom pie was nice enough.

Toilets: Clean.

My advice to the chef: Good stuff. Keep it up.

My advice to the manager: None.

Overall: Don’t miss it if in Oxford.

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Summer 2014

Summer 2013 --- Mushroom Pie

Summer 2013 — Mushroom Pie

Summer 2013 --- Mushroom Pie with pastry lid

Summer 2013 — Mushroom Pie with pastry lid

Summer 2013 --- vegan burger and fries

Summer 2013 — vegan burger and fries

The Gardener's Arms

The Gardener’s Arms

Cookies and Scream, The Market Hall, Camden Lock Place, London NW1 8AF, England

What: vegan dessert counter at Camden Market, London, England.

Prices: vegan milk-shakes £2.50-£3.50, teas and coffees about £1.60, big tub of ice-cream £3

Vegan menu: Everything is vegan. Lots of cookies, ice-cream with many different toppings , brownies, donuts, pies.

Drinks: vegan milk-shakes £2.50-£3.50, teas and coffees about £1.60,

Service: efficient and thoughtful. Ice-cream was very carefully constructed. These folks take pride in their business.

Comfortable? It’s better for take-away, but you can sit at the counter and watch folks coming and going. It’s a funky and eclectic place to people-watch.

Was the food good? The ice-cream was really nice. I had mine with hot fudge. It’s a real vegan treat to get a tub of very creamy ice-cream. The cookie we had was tasty, but it was the sort that crumbles into big pieces when you pick it up (some prefer cookies like that, but not this reviewer). It was very moist. We only tried the one sort of cookie. They all looked good. The coffee was fine too, but it’s the ice-cream you want here.

Toilets: not tested.

My advice to the chef: keep this up!

My advice to the manager: cover the cookies on the counter so that people can’t sneeze and cough on them.

Overall: go there and get some vegan ice-cream if in Camden. Highly recommended.

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