Plant-based and delicious.
While a few years ago, saying you were vegan would be met with blank stares and long silences, in 2018 it’s an increasingly popular choice. Excluding meat, fish, eggs and dairy in all forms from your diet has never been easier – especially if you know where to look.
Going without animal products doesn’t mean going without a good meal. With a bit of research, you’ll find your new go-to.
Here are some of our favourites from around the city. We’re so sorry if you’re reading this pre-lunch.
This New York import doesn’t immediately scream vegan-friendly – it’s all double cheeseburgers and milkshakes designed to be Instagrammed. Take a look at the menu, though, and you’ll spot a vegan burger that’s labelled as such, won’t need any modifications, and is above all delicious. Think a black bean patty, pickled onions, salsa verde, coriander and vegan mayo. Plus either standard fries or sweet potato. It’s pretty incredible. Dhs95.
Black Tap, Rixos Premium at JBR and Jumierah Al Naseem in Umm Suqeim. Walk-ins only. blacktapme.com.
Sticking with the burger theme for a moment, but one that can be enjoyed in the privacy of your own home, we need to recommend the jivamukti burger from Hippy Deli on Deliveroo. It’s a sweet potato, wild rice and black-eyed pea patty, served with caramelised onions and sauteed kale. Always ask for extra tomato relish. The burger comes with a side of greens and a fabulously tangy dressing. We’re hungry now.
Hippy Deli, Deliveroo Editions in JLT. deliveroo.ae.
Dubai is full of excellent Lebanese options, but this is one of our favourites for the setting alone. Go to The Dubai Mall location and sit outside for the lunchtime fountain show – this is a very affordable way to flex for any visiting friends and family. Our order? Hommos, moutabel, falafel, fatoush and spicy potatoes. Go with a couple of friends so you can order up large and try a range of dishes.
Al Hallab Lebanese Cuisine & Sweets, level two of The Dubai Mall near the waterfall. Other locations at Mall of the Emirates, Garhoud, and Downtown Dubai. Tel: (04) 330 8828. alhallabrestaurant.com.
Is there anything more healing than a bowl of pho? There absolutely isn’t. Finding a vegan version can be a challenge, though, so this JLT spot is a firm favourite. The tofu and veggie broth classic has that lemongrass tang, the summer rolls are fresh and full, and the sauteed tofu bun dish is equally good. Mains around Dhs30. The perfect midweek dinner for anyone who gets home via the JLT metro station.
Hanoi Naturally, Gold Crest Executive Building, cluster C, Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Other locations in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. Tel: (04) 431 3099. hanoivietnameserestaurants.wordpress.com.
This wouldn’t be complete without a dessert option, and wow. Il Donaccino donuts are incredible. Order half a dozen (or a dozen, go on) next time you’ve got friends round for movies and watch them disappear. The Lotus Biscoff spread one is a revelation. They have a JLT storefront, too. The perfect work birthday treat.
Il Donaccino, Lake Terrace, cluster D, Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Also on Delivero and Uber Eats. Tel: (04) 276 7110. instagram.com/ildonaccino.
The above is by no means an exhaustive list. Our other favourites include the summer pea bruschetta at 1762 Stripped (ask for it without feta), the bulgar wheat porridge at Jones the Grocer, and several dishes at Comptoir 102. There’s also Be Supernatural in the Galleries Lafayette at The Dubai Mall, and Circle in Media City has a whole vegan section on its menu.
Start yourself a to-eat list, we think.