5 vegan grab-and-go highstreet lunches

Slate it all you want, but attempting Veganuary and not eating animal products for a month requires real dedication. I’ve never really considered myself a “meat-lover” and I actually was vegetarian for almost a year back in my teens (purely because my dad bet that I couldn’t do it…). But I am someone who would happily have fish or cheese with every meal, plus when I do go out for dinner, I often always order a meat dish. So for me, Veganuary, is a real test of my self-restraint.

With food chains and supermarkets waking up to the fact more and more people want tasty vegan food, the range of options has been growing year on year. Because of this, it is easier than ever to have a plant-based diet, which is why I have compiled my top 5 high street vegan lunch options that won’t break the bank.

Leon – Meatless Meatballs

A firm favourite of mine which is really helping me get through Veganuary. These meatless meatballs from Leon are a real winter warmer, the tomato sauce is almost like a hearty soup with the texture of the aubergine, black olive and rosemary meatballs satisfying my meaty cravings. Topped with a vegan garlic aioli, these are a must try for any first time vegans or those trying a plant-based diet.

meatless meatballs leon

Pret – Avo, Olives & Toms Baguette

After opening their first ‘Veggie Pret’ back in the summer of 2016, Pret have been changing their offerings due to a rise in veganism. They now boast four purely veggie shops – three in London and one in Manchester. They have an impressive selection of vegan lunch options and although not all of them are available in every branch, the avo, olives and toms baguette is a real winner in my eyes. This baguette is made from sliced avocado, olive tapenade, roasted tomatoes plus a handful of rocket. Garnished with fresh basil leaves and pine nuts.

pret avo olives toms

Arancini  Brothers – Nuddy Box

Back in January 2018, Arancini Brothers turned their Old Street shop into a 100% vegan eatery and it was so successful that now all their restaurants only offer up plant-based options. Apart from the classic option of vegan burgers and wraps, the Nuddy box is a hit. The risotto balls sit proudly on top of a bed of salad (which rotates daily), topped with roasted mushrooms, onion jam, aubergine tomato sauce and a sprinkling of seeds for good measure.

arancini brothers

Itsu – Veggie Sushi Collection

I have a sushi addiction and eating a plant-based diet this Veganary means I can’t get my mitts on salmon nigiri which I adore so much. I am a mad Itsu fan, and since working in London, it has remained a firm favourite. Luckily for me, Itsu have four vegan sushi dishes which are helping to curb my cravings. The most popular thing on their vegan menu is the veggie sushi collection. In the box, you’ll find crunchy veggie maki rolls, baby avocado rolls and steamed veggie dumplings on an edamame bean salad.

itsu veggie collection

Crussh – Cheese Toastie

Crussh has over 50 vegan options on its menu and as a Veganuary special, their Soho store has become 100% plant-based for the entire month of January. They were the first high street outlet to serve a vegan cheese toastie – which is perfect for a hungover lunch at the office. Their vegan smoked gouda-style cheese is served with red pepper tapenade and rocket, in between slices of spelt sourdough.

crussh cheese toastie

Still hungry? Check out Veganuary’s list of chain restaurants which serve up plant-based dishes to sink your teeth into.

Brunch at The Grain Store

I love it when old friends come to visit me in London as it provides me with the perfect excuse to visit new restaurants and The Grain Store is somewhere I’ve been planning to visit for a while now. It’s only a few minutes walk from Kings Cross Station and is located next to Caravan in Granary Square.

It’s got high ceilings and big open windows, with exposed industrial steel pips and bare brick walls which both compliments and contrasts the choice of furnishings. All my friends who have been have raved about it, so it had some big shoes to fill.

the-grain-store

I simply adore the fact London is moving away from American diner staples and is shifting towards healthier eateries and The Grain Store is a perfect example of this. It’s great to see so many vegetarian dishes on a menu that look inspired; and whilst it’s not solely a vegetarian restaurant you could easily eat there as a vegetarian or vegan and feel that you have plenty to choose from. The menu is rather large and with so many inventive dishes to choose from, we were left pondering a little longer than usual over what you have.

sgrain-store-3

In the end I opted for the Kimchi Omelette which is topped with Smoked Salmon and a dollop of Crème Fraîche. I’ve never had Kimchi before so was keen to try something new, it’s basically a Korean spiced pickled cabbage – I loved my flavours in my dish.

the-grain-store-omlete

If you like sweet things, there’s the toasted banana loaf, vanilla ricotta, warm passion fruit sauce.

grain-store-banana-loaf

I already can’t wait to go back for dinner and try their surprise menu which is only £39 per person for six dishes!

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The Grain Store, Granary Square, 1-3 Stable St, London N1C 4AB

grain-store-sweet-pea