Vegan Food in London – Part 2 (featuring a side trip to Oxford!)

When Will and I were in London recently, we ate most of our meals in and around South London (as detailed in Part 1).  We did venture further afield on occasion and were very happy to find tasty vegan food all over London (and beyond).  Here are a few of the highlights:

The Movable Feast is a small collection of vegetarian and vegan eateries sharing a common space.  When we were in London, they were housed in a building just under the Shard, near London Bridge.  That location has closed, but they are hoping to reopen soon.  We enjoyed a vegan brunch from Pomodoro e Basilico.  We got the smaller size and were stuffed. Here’s what was on the plate:

MORE THAN AVO TOAST – avocado and chickpea mash on homemade toasted sourdough, topped with lime and olive oil dressing, chillie flakes, black pepper and nutritional yeast;
BLOODY HASH – homemade beetroot and potato hash brown
ALT – grilled asparagus, lettuce and grilled tomatoes served with homemade vegan hollandaise sauce
TO EGG OR NOT TO EGG – eggless cheezy tofu scramble with garlic kale and juicy portobello mushrooms

We also had vegan sushi at Happy Maki and amazingly good juices from Spark Juices. I usually don’t enjoy green juices, so I was a little cautious when I tried Will’s Popeye juice (Spinach, avocado, apple, and lime). It was tart and refreshing and so good I went back to get my own.

This was my first trip to London and I had never had a formal afternoon tea, so we decided to try the vegan afternoon tea at La Suite West.  Everything was delicious – everything.  The first course was a selection of finger sandwiches – summer herb pesto with tomato, hummus and cucumber, scrambled tofu with mustard cress, mock tuna with sweet corn and coleslaw, and kimchi coleslaw with red pepper. I had the Peppermint Leaf tea and Will had Earl Grey. la-suite-west-finger-sandwiches
This was followed by scones with coconut cream, strawberries, and strawberry jam.  This course was our downfall as we felt compelled to eat the entire serving. la-suite-west-scones
The final course was a trio of desserts – a banana creme cake, lemon cake, and chocolate torte with kiwi.  I switched to cappuccino for this round – also delicious. la-suite-west-dessert
Cook Daily at Boxpark in Shoreditch.  Boxpark is a pop-up mall made of shipping containers and featuring mostly fashion and food.  The food at Cook Daily was some of our favorite of the entire trip.  The bowls were so good that when we finished our lunch, we immediately ordered two more to take away for dinner.  We tried 4 different bowls and they were all delicious. cook-daily-hard-bowl
The Hard Bowl (veggies with yam, boiled wholemeal dumplings, steamed plantaint & ackee in a thyme and pepper sauce), Noodle Bowl (vegan udon noodle stir-fry with roasted chili oil, coriander, and tofu & veggies), Da Infamous!! (Mummy’s green curry recipe from way back with tofu & veggies), and Yoga Fire (chickpea, sweet potato veggie curry with dhal). cook-daily-noodle-bowl
We took a day trip to Oxford and stopped by The Gardener’s Arms pub for lunch.  Sadly, they were sold out of the Curry of the Day, but we enjoyed the vegan burger with mango chutney and fries. gardeners-arms-vegan-burger
The decor was cool as well, featuring album covers, including this one from one of my all-time favorite bands, The Cramps. gardeners-arms-album-covers

Thanks, London, for some awesome vegan meals.  We can’t wait to go back!

Vegan Food in London (Yum!) – Part 1: Mostly Brixton

My partner Will and I were recently in London for a short vacation.  I was in charge of finding the food.  We stayed at Griffin House Holiday Apartments, where we had the upper apartment.  It was really nice to have an apartment of our own to come home to and Ben and Nic were wonderful hosts.  They also have a fabulous dog named Barney.

Our first night in London we ate at the Bonnington Cafe, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Vauxhall.  The cafe is a co-op and there is a different cook every night, each with their own style/specialties.  We didn’t know what to expect from the food, but were pleasantly surprised.  We especially loved the stuffed mushroom – a large portobello cap filled with sundried tomatoes, spinach, tofu cream and sunflower seeds. Delicious!  You make a reservation by emailing the chef directly.  They write the reservation names on slips of paper and place them on the tables, so when you arrive you just find your table.


The Old Post Office Bakery is in Clapham, only a few blocks away from where we stayed. It became a regular morning stop.  All of their breads are vegan and they had at least one vegan cake option as well.  The organic fruit buns with pieces of apricot, date, and sultanas, quickly became a favorite.  As did the vegan chocolate cake.

Griffin House is near Brixton and we ended up there for many of our meals. Brixton is being gentrified and has recently become a bit of a hot spot, especially for food. Brixton Village Market has a number of restaurants and shops, several of which have vegan options. Vegans should be prepared for a lot of meat and fish market stalls as well.  😦

Senzala is a French style creperie with a Brazilian twist.  They have a small selection of vegan crepes, called galettes.  We loved the Rosa Squash (with butternut squash and zucchini) and the Dujhan (garlic mushrooms, asparagus, sundried tomatoes, and spinach).


We ended up at Oracle’s, a sandwich and juice bar when we had a food emergency. We honestly didn’t expect much from our sandwich, but it turned out to be amazing. We split an Avocado Healthy Bite sandwich with avocado, spinach, and hummus. It was easily the best hummus sandwich I’ve ever had.  The hummus was nicely spicy and the bread was really good.

ms-cupcake-box ms-cupcake-lemon- and-black-bottom
ms-cupcake-chocolate-mint ms-cupcake-display

One of our favorite places turned out to be Ms. Cupcake, an entirely vegan bakery. So good we had to go back for more. We ended up splitting 6 cupcakes and couldn’t possibly pick a favorite. We tried the Chocolate Mint, Black Bottom, Lemon, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Banana Chocolate Chip, and Tiramisu.

Also in Brixton, but a little further from our place, was Vegbar, “South London’s first 100% vegan, restaurant, bar, and late night vegan speakeasy”. Friendly people and solid food.  We especially enjoyed the Seitan Wings and the salted caramel, choco-pecan cake.  Head downstairs for live music.

Our final Brixton food stop was Negril, a Jamaican restaurant with a small selection of vegan items. The staff were super friendly and the pumpkin curry was delicious!

Stay tuned for Part 2 where Will and I venture outside of Brixton and Clapham!

Vegan Food in Kauai

Whenever I travel, I make sure to research vegan food options ahead of time.  So Will and I embarked for Kauai with a list full of places to try. Our first few stops were hit or miss. I found that a lot of food had too much sugar added for my taste.  Once I knew what to look out for, things went more smoothly.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Rambutans and star apples made a nice addition to breakfast.

Star apples (left) and rambutans made a nice addition to breakfast.

Farmers Markets – There is at least one farmers market per day from Monday through Saturday at various locations throughout the island.  They only last about a couple of hours and can get very busy.

It’s a good idea to get there early and scout out all the stands, though you won’t be able to actually buy anything until the whistle blows.  We made it to a couple different ones and left with a variety of tropical fruits including rambutans, star apples, mountain apples, and apple bananas (none of which are anything like apples, really).

East Shore – Kapa’a

Java Kai
We liked it here so much we came back a few times.  There are lots of juice and smoothie options as well as a few vegan desserts and sandwiches on the menu. The chocolate mint mousse square was delicious! The BBQ taro burgers were also quite tasty.

On our final trip to Java Kai, I ordered the Kauai Cress juice (watercress, cucumber, ginger, lemon, coconut water). They were all out of watercress, so they offered to substitute bok choy, which I thought sounded odd, but turned out to be really good.

Will and I came the day we left to get food for the plane trip home. We split a BBQ taro burger and the falafel wrap for one of the best all-time plane meals ever. The cafe staff was even nice enough to pack our food so that each box had half of the burger and half of the wrap in it.

Gopal’s Creperie is one of the many food trucks in Kapa’a. Gopal’s has a small menu of vegetarian and vegan sweet and savory crepes. The crepe batter is vegan and gluten-free. They are happy to make substitutions to their non-vegan crepes. Overall, we preferred the sweet crepes. Our favorite was the macadamia nut with chocolate and coffee syrup.

West Shore – Hanapepe

One of our best food experiences was at the Friday Night Art Walk. There were a bunch of food trucks gathered for the occasion and several of them had at least one vegan option.

We cobbled together a delicious meal that included a vegetarian sushi roll from Yanagi Sushi (they take a handful of orders, then make the rolls while you wait), an amazingly good spicy tempeh banh mi from Kickshaws, and cacao coconut vegan ice cream from Powerhouse Creamery. Yum!

Oh, and we also picked up a few bags of chips from the Taro Ko factory.  We ended up with sweet potato chips (my favorite), li hing mui sweet potato chips (a bit too sweet for me), and taro chips.  Light, crisp, and well worth it.


Vacation photos!

So… Will and I were supposed to go to Hawaii last year, but couldn’t sort out our schedules. We finally made it to Kauai earlier this month.  We stayed in Lihue (south east part of the island) which made it pretty easy for us to get anywhere we wanted to go on the island. While Will and I were out exploring, Jamye was back at .retool. headquarters keeping the shop running smoothly.

Click the photos below for a better view. Enjoy!

North Shore

We made it up to the north shore a couple of times during our stay. Some highlights were a self-guided tour of the Limahuli Garden & Preserve, Maniniholo dry cave, Waikanaloa wet cave, Secret Beach (and secret lava pools).

East Shore

We hung out in Kapa’a a fair bit. There are several vegan friendly places to eat (more on that in a later post!) which made it quite appealing. We also enjoyed checking out the ‘Opaeka’a Falls and Wailua Falls. We did some kayaking on the Wailua River as well. The return trip was quite windy!

South Shore

Highlights included the Makauwahi Cave,  lithified cliffs in Po’ipu and the lava arch near the southern point of the island.

West Shore

We made it to Hanapepe twice during the trip, including Friday night for the Art Walk, which featured a bunch of food trucks (again, more on that later). We also enjoyed the amazing views of Waimea Canyon.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for posts on tasty vegan food and the gear I made for the trip – a carry on bag and a camera case.