Vegan Eats in Birmingham City Centre
With huge high street eateries such as Greggs, KFC, Mcdonalds and Subway releasing exciting new vegan ranges, it is now easier than ever to participate in Veganuary (as the name suggests, trying a vegan diet for January). It’s difficult to know where to start but, if you are a Veganuary enthusiast looking for great eats in Birmingham City Centre, we’re here to help.
So, to begin with, you’re going to spend a while reading lists of ingredients looking out for sneaky animal products. Honestly, you will spend 70% of your time wandering, ‘why on earth is there milk in this?’. Here’s a comprehensive list of non-vegan animal byproducts but, according to ilovevegan.com, the most common ingredients that you need to look out for in food are albumen, bone char, butterfat, carmine, casein, gelatin, lactose, lard, l-cysteine, shellac, vitamin D3 and whey powder. Some things are naturally vegan but just aren’t labelled as such but, with the rise of popularity in the vegan diet, the packaging is now more clearly labelled than ever before. I also find @nowyouknowitsvegan on Instagram super useful to scroll through; they have a load of wonderful vegan products on there and each is listed with where you can buy it from in the UK.
Gone are the days of plain fries and side salads, we have options! From vegan pies to desserts, to an entire vegan range at your local Costa. Being vegan and trying to eat out used to be bland and inconvenient but there are so many fantastic vegan options out there now.
Mowgli - A spacious but quirky little restaurant on the first floor of Birmingham New Street station. The vegan menu is printed separate to the main so you have all of your options in one place. If you like a chickpea curry with a kick, I personally recommend the Holy Chow.
BA-HA – Situated in the scenic Mailbox, BA-HA is a wholly vegan restaurant. It’s a little more upmarket, brilliant atmosphere and if you’re trying to wow your nonvegan friends, this is the place to go. There are dozens of wonderful vegan eats to choose from, but the spicy cauliflower wings are a must-try.
Pieminister – I have been here a few times and I am yet to be disappointed. They have a decent choice of vegan pies, sides and patties, topped with a glorious vegan gravy. I highly recommend the ‘Chooks Away!’ pie and the vegan pecan pie soft serve Sunday – that’s right, a vegan dessert with actual ice cream – you’re welcome.
Vegan ‘Grab and Go’ options:
Subway – Launched this year, and a new favourite for me, the Subway Meatless Meatball Marinara is definitely a must-try. The meatballs themselves taste like a decent veggie burger, the sauce is well seasoned but the cheese… hands down the best vegan cheese that I have ever tasted. The breads and sauces are all on display and clearly marked as to whether they are vegan or not and, since it’s Subway, you can choose all of your own accompaniments.
Greggs - If you are yet to be converted to vegan alternatives, then I implore you to try the Greggs vegan sausage roll. It’s less greasy than a normal sausage roll and much tastier. Most non-vegans that I have encouraged to try it have admitted to preferring it to the original. One of the hardest things to get right with vegan/vegetarian alternatives is texture, but the Greggs sausage roll well and truly nails it. So, naturally, I was excited by this year’s Veganuary release – the Vegan ‘Steak’ Bake – and I was not disappointed.
Boots – No, that’s not a typo. I have been pretty disappointed with the vegan options in meal deals from most major supermarkets. There are either limited options, or the vegan options aren’t part of the meal deals at all and must be bought separately. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only does Boots have a number of tasty vegan options (clearly labelled and often displayed on their own shelf) but they are all included in the meal deal. They are my go-to, super tasty and affordable, ‘grab and go’ lunch.
Other options for lunch which are available, but I am yet to try:
KFC Vegan Burger
McDonalds Veggie Dipper
Costa Vegan Smoky Ham & CheeZe Toastie
Whether you are committing to Veganuary or simply curious about the vegan diet as a whole, I hope that you have found this useful. And, if I have missed and good finds, drop me a comment as I am always eager to try new vegan eats.