Friday, June 20, 2008

London Calling

I recently read in a veggie magazine that London was in the top 10 least veggie friendly cities in the world. I couldn't disagree more!!!! Everywhere I went there was an AWESOME veggie option and I was there for a good while with a bunch of non-veggies so I should know. London, in it of itself is the bomb diggity, but the variety of veggie deliciousness made it one of the coolest veggie cities ever in my book!! So much so that it will take 3 posts and even more after future visits ; )

On my first night, we were so exhausted that we ordered in from Red Planet Pizza. I was staying in Kensington and they came highly recommended by our concierge. They weren't kidding ; ) They already offered a cheeseless veggie pizza and I added a bunch of extras. They had a ton of yummy options from Mexican pizzas to traditional and they were super accommodating, quick and yummy! With locations all over the UK, Red Planet delivers!

Dinner the following night was a combo of some veggies and some not so we sauntered into our neighborhood dim sum joint called Ping Pong. It was super cool and trendy inside and apparently a chain in the greater London area. Serving up all dim summy, shareable dishes, Ping Pong was a great place where carnies and veggies alike could dine in harmony. I got a ton of stuff like the plaintain chips, veggie wontons, spinach and mushroom dumplings and the spring rolls. There were at least 10 more things I could have ordered but I felt like a stuffed dumpling myself so I saved those items for my next visit. Check out all the veggie goodness on the Ping Pong website.

Ok, so traveling with other Americans, you can imagine they would eventually have a hankering for a juicy burger. The Gourmet Burger Kitchen was just the place! Again, another eatery with locations all over town, GBK was burger heaven, even for me! They had 5 different veggie burger options and with a name like Gourmet Burger Kitchen, you'd better hope these options would be out of the ordinary. And they were! All of the options could be veganized and I had the stacked portabella burger with thick chips (that's fries to us yankees!) and the best homemade bbq sauce i have ever tasted! They also offered a lentil burger, a falafel burger and many more heavenly and healthy choices. Look them up online at GBK!

As I mentioned, no matter where I went there was a vegan option. Every coffee shop had soy, every market had pre-packaged veggie meals and I never got a cross eyed look anywhere I dined when I mentioned I was vegan as there was always something for me. Walking by Charlotte cafe I decided to look at their menu for kicks and to prove my theory that Londoners know how to take care of their leaf eating friends. Within seconds I was in there ordering their soy beef sandwich to eat later that afternoon. The place was the cutest and the staff was incredibly sweet but the sandwich blew me away!! It was super tasty and mega filling as it was served on a hearty sunflower bun and filled with yummy coriander and herbs as well. I'm craving one right now!! Get one fedexed to you after you look Charlotte cafe up!

I have lots more on old blighty so stay tuned for more!!!

1 comment:

Andrew Luck said...

I'm amazed London apparently has a reputation for being veggie-unfriendly! May I introduce you to France!!! I can recall eating in Paris with veggies and hearing the option of a vegetarian salad being offered that featured very thin slices of ham ... Or, you could have fish ...

I'm from London and no great defender of the place; for all it's plus points it has its fair share of minuses. However, food diversity is not one of the negatives in that I can't think of many other places in such a small area offering such a stunning choice of food - including meat free foods.

I have no idea how many veggies there are in London (we don't yet count these in our census) but I'd estimate around 10% of my friends and contacts are in fact meat-avoiders. And I'm a meatie so it's not as if I associate exclusively with this sector of the population. So if that % is even only replicated at, say 5% of the population, that's a huge market to be catered for so it stands to reason you should have no difficulty finding what you want. Admittedly, vegan's have to be slightly more careful but as I think Carolyn's experience shows, there's no real problem on this front, to my knowledge, so don't be put off about coming to visit us!

(And the other myth I'd like to challenge is the one we Brits dislike you 'yankees' - we don't BUT you do need to try to get to know us first in order to get maximum benefit; we're a bit like a car engine on a very cold morning - everything's in place but needs a little coaxing to get going!!)

Great site Carolyn - keep it up, love reading about your aventures!

Love & xxx's