UPDATED: 8 Omnivore Restaurants That Became 100% Vegan!
While many restaurants these days have vegetarian and vegan options, it’s not everyday that you hear about an omnivore restaurant transforming their entire business into a vegan one. This post celebrates 8 restaurants, cafes, pubs and dessert shops that did just that, and elaborates both on their reasons for doing so, as well as their delicious plant-based offerings!
It doesn’t get much better than delicious, traditionally made, and vegan pizza. Gigi Pizzeria in Sydney, Australia, made the announcement last year that their new and revamped menu would be free of any animal products.
Co-founder Marco Matino stated: “The change came about from being aware of how much produce we go through plus all the information I’ve collected about animal agriculture on many different levels.”
The new menu includes pizzas such as the “Cavolo,” which uses a cauliflower puree, artichokes, pine nuts, capers, currants, garlic and parsley, the “Melanzane,” which features two types of tomato, grilled eggplant, basil salsa and olive oil, and many more delicious options (including the photo header)!
Sweet news continues to come from Australia! This past spring Gelato Blue, a family-owned gelato shop in Newtown, Australia, announced that they were transitioning into a fully vegan gelato shop!
The switch finds the shop utilizing creamy coconut milk as the base, and the website states: “We positively decided to make our entire 25 artisan gelato range plant-based, dairy-free, and planet-friendly, so more people can enjoy our product. Our handmade gelato continues to tastes amazing with a smaller global footprint.”
The gelatos include salted Belgium chocolate, sesame halva, caramelized macadamia crunch and salted caramel Greek-style yoghurt, and sorbet options include peanut butter brownie, after dinner mint, and caramelized fig and cinnamon!
The Peacock, a pub in Nottingham, England, made the decision to update their menu this past September–which already included many vegan options–to be completely free of animal-based products!
Licensee of the space Michael Scholes stated: “Vegan food has come on leaps and bounds. I eat it a lot with friends. I don’t feel we’re excluding anyone. I am thrilled with the response. I thought ‘am I doing the right thing?’ But this has made me a lot more confident.”
The menu of this “proper, cosy British pub” includes seitan burgers, an all-day traditional breakfast plate, fish & chips, and a ‘not-dog’ with fried onions as well as vegan wines and beers.
Just a few months shy of its one-year anniversary, El Palote Panaderia, a Mexican restaurant and bakery, has transformed its menu–which used to include vegan options–to be 100% plant-based!
The couple behind the restaurant, Aurelio and Lily Arias, became vegans due to health concerns, and when explaining why they transformed their restaurant to be completely vegan, Lily stated: “We love you as clients, but we want to take care of you…And that [non-vegan] food is not good for your health.”
Some of the many options on El Palote’s menu includes tacos, tortas, flautas, enchiladas, tamales, fajitas, and barbecue sandwiches, and many of the dishes include “6 different styles of soy” and come with rice and beans!
In December 2016, London-based cafe The Fields Beneath began transitioning its menu from omnivore to vegetarian, and as of Sunday March 26 became completely plant-based! Owner Gavin Fernback stated:
“At The Fields Beneath, we’ve been open a little over four years and started transitioning to a vegan menu in December, cutting out meat first. ‘What’s wrong with dairy?’ comes up a lot but the aim is to cut out dairy completely by the end of April.”
The cafe, located at 52A Prince of Wales Road, serves some of London’s best coffee, and the menu also includes juices, baked goods, salads, sandwiches, and even delicious-looking mushroom/lentil vegan burgers!
Continuing our list in the United Kingdom, on April 2, London-based Italian pizzeria PickyWops also transitioned to become a fully vegan restaurant! On April 1, PickyWops announced on Facebook:
“Our cosy little pizza place will be also free from dairy, from meat and most importantly 100% CRUELTY FREE from tomorrow Sunday the 2nd of April!!! We believe that nothing can justify violence and we have to give our contribution to prove that there is an alternative way based on compassion, sustainable and in our case TASTIER!!!”
Located at 347 North End Road (Shopping Palace Unit 7), the menu includes multiple alternative and healthy dough bases (including spirulina!) and almond ricotta-stuffed crusts.
Another vegan transition that takes place in the U.K. (but this time in Manchester) is ice cream shop Ice Shack, launching its 100% vegan menu on April 4!
According to the shop’s website, “the vegan freezer (gluten, nut and dairy free) holds 22 flavours on rotation” with “32 total flavours” of ice cream and sorbet available.
The treats don’t end there and include truffles, raw chocolate, shortbreads, cakes, waffles, cookies doughnuts, milkshakes (soy, almond or oat milk) and hot drinks!
Open as of March this year, Sydney-based Mexican and Latin American restaurant Bad Hombres announced that it would become a fully vegan restaurant as of May 24! Co-owner Seán McManus stated of the decision:
“We have always had 60 per cent of our menu plant focused, and considering our best-selling item is our cauliflower, we thought why not give it a go. There seemed to be a hole in the market. You have popular vegan restaurants like Gigi’s Pizzeria offering pizza and Yulli’s which has Vietnamese, but there is nothing really available with plant-based Mexican- and Latin American-style food.”
Guests can now enjoy “eggplant, which is slow roasted under banana leaves,” and a “Japanese mushroom tostada with soy, sesame, pumpkin and lime.” The wine has never been an issue since it has “been vegan since day one.”
While we wanted to include La Blue Casa on this list, which is a Mexican restaurant in Arlington, Texas that was transformed after owners Gabriela Lopez and Raj Attur watched the documentary Cowspiracy, it seems to have closed down (hopefully temporarily).
Until we know more, these are 8 restaurants that we want to celebrate for making the switch to a 100% vegan menu–for the animals, for health, and for the environment!