A guide to some of the best vegan options in Lancaster

Alternative title: How I severely diminished my bank account in one month

January signifies new beginnings, bettering yourself, and generally hoping that this year will be better than the last. I’m sure many people created resolutions to make those deadlines without pulling an all-nighter, stop spending all their student loans in Sugar, and finally use their gym membership at the Sports Centre. Those who particularly like a challenge might have even tried Veganuary, where people avoid consuming animal products for a month in line with the vegan lifestyle.

As someone who has slowly generated a dependency on oat milk and Greggs vegan sausage rolls over the last term, I wanted to branch out and try some new vegan food options this January, with the bonus of forcing my friends to come along too. So, a few weeks, and a fair bit of money spent later, I have compiled a list of places in Lancaster to go and fill your empty stomach. Trust me on this one; it’s worth a try.

Brew – Vegan Hot Chocolate and Vegan Breakfast Sandwich

Starting strong, this café is one of my favourite places to visit in Lancaster. After months of waiting, I finally had the opportunity to try their vegan breakfast sandwich (containing vegan sausages, hash browns, scrambled tofu and chill tomato relish), which was delicious and paired well with their vegan hot chocolate. Their vegan hot chocolate, which includes vegan cream and vegan marshmallows, has been recommended to me by a friend before, and it did not disappoint! It was wonderfully rich and almost indistinguishable from the non-vegan version, so I will definitely be visiting again soon.

GoBurrito – Jackfruit Burrito

A great option for those on campus, GoBurrito has several vegan options, including pulled jackfruit, fajita veg, and three-bean chilli. I tried the jackfruit, a staple vegan alternative, for the first time, and I was impressed by the realistic texture and flavour. I know the chipotle veganaise is also excellent, but unfortunately, they did not have any when I went. Overall, I would suggest visiting to get your food fix after a lecture, even if you do end up spilling half of it on the floor and leaving it for the ducks to munch on.

Herbarium – Mushroom Melt and Butternut Squash Soup

Located near Dalton Square in town, Herbarium is the only restaurant in Lancaster with a completely vegan menu! Its stylish décor and calming ambience make it the perfect place to go and get away from the busyness of uni life for a couple of hours. I chose the mushroom melt and butternut squash soup, but the Buddha bowl is also 10/10. Plus, if you’re still hungry after, they have a vast range of vegan desserts that you can take home as a treat for your flatmates or a reward for finally working on your dissertation.

Barker House Farm – Jamaican Jerk Vegan Burger

If you’re seeking out another place on campus offering some tasty vegan options, I’d suggest Barker House Farm in Cartmel college. This rustic building has plenty of space to procrastinate doing uni work for an afternoon. And if you get peckish in that time, you could try one of the vegan options they sell, including vegan pizza, burgers, ciabatta, or hot pot. I tried the Jamaican jerk vegan burger, and the student-friendly prices alongside the nice environment means it’s worth making the trek down to South campus for.

Whale Tail Café – Bean Burger with Applewood Cheese

This secluded spot is tucked away on Penny Street in town. Perfect for a lazy afternoon, this vegetarian café offers a spacious and comforting atmosphere. There are plenty of vegan options available here, and I decided on the bean burger with Applewood cheese (vegan cheese gets a lot of hate, but I shocked myself by loving this substitute). However, the real star of the show was the vegan garlic mayonnaise, which might have been the best I’ve ever had. The smoked tofu BLT is also worth mentioning since the crispy smoked tofu was so delicious that I’ll have to return before long to try it for myself.

Sage Café – Thai Green Curry

Sage is another meat-free café in Lancaster city centre, with a decent range of vegan meals and cakes. I had the Thai green curry, which was wonderful. All the food here is homemade and uses ethically sourced ingredients. Calling in for a visit here would be a great opportunity to support Lancaster’s community as they often display original art from local artists and supply from local businesses too!

All in all, this experience has been great for expanding my knowledge on different vegan food options and just how enjoyable they are, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many places now offer great vegan alternatives. Vegan or not, I’d recommend visiting any of these affordable places if only to spend a couple of hours relaxing with friends and having some well-earned time off.

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