The Rise of Vegan Butcher Shops and Delis
We know it may sound like an oxymoron, but vegan butcher shops and delis are real and becoming very popular. There have been so many popping up throughout the world, attracting vegans and non-vegans alike, that it seemed like a good time as any to list some of our favorites!
We know that this list will continue to grow as the success of those that have opened suggests that vegan butchers and delis are here to stay. Check out our list and find the vegan butcher shop or deli nearest to you!
YamChops is near and dear to my heart since it is North America’s first–and Canada’s only–plant-based butcher shop! It is also the only one on this list that I have visited in person and sampled from.
YamChops opened its doors in 2014 in Toronto and soon drew in a crowd ranging from locals, tourists, vegans, vegetarians, omnivores and even standard butchers! I sampled fishless fish tacos, Korean BBQ chick*n, Szechuan ‘beef’, creamy macaroni and potato salad, and a Caesar kale salad topped with YamChops’ signature coconut-based ‘bacon’ flakes, and was absolutely blown away by the delicious flavors of the hearty and filling meal I ate.
Earlier this year YamChops announced their plans to expand to over 50 locations throughout North America in the next four years, so you may soon see a YamChops in a city near you!
The Herbivorous Butcher had a very successful Kickstarter campaign and opening weekend, and has been the talk of the town ever since! With celebrity fans including Jon Stewart and Guy Fieri, a visit to this notorious plant-based butcher is on the wish list of most vegans.
Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and founded by siblings Aubry and Kale Walch, the menu includes teriyaki jerky, Korean ribs, maple glazed bacon, filet mignon, porterhouse steak, and some of the cheeses include cheddar, mozzarella, smoked Gouda, and garlic pepper Havarti.
There is good news for those living outside of Minnesota, since The Herbivorous Butcher has an online shop ready to ship their products directly to you!
The Butcher’s Son is a vegan deli located in Berkeley, California that offers meals as well as prepared vegan meats and cheeses for customers.
Also run by siblings, in this case Peter Fikaris and Christina Stobing, the deli’s name references the fact that the duo’s father and grandfather were butchers, and that the new generation has modernized old traditions in their own (plant-based) way.
The menu offers options such as the fried mozzarella and meatball sandwich on garlic bread, the Philly cheesesteak, the pineapple teriyaki melt, the pulled pork sandwich with spicy coleslaw, and in terms of meats and cheeses, customers can buy lemon rosemary chicken, smoked lox, cracked pepper turkey, oil cured feta, fresh dill havarti, almond ricotta, and a lot more directly from the deli!
North America is not the only place with vegan butcher shops: Dublin became home to Ireland’s first plant-based butcher restaurant in July of this year.
Owner Bart Sova and his team offer guests a menu with brunch, dinner and dessert options, including hazelnut tempeh skewers, sea weed chowders, hemp burgers, lentil and abourgine cutlets, and a full vegan Irish breakfast!
There is also a juice bar available and guests are welcome to bring their own beer to enjoy alongside Sova Food Vegan Butcher’s delicious meat-free options.
On September 3, 2016, Amala Living Foods became the first all-vegan deli in Nottingham U.K.
The space functions as a vegan deli and eco-living store with local produce, smoothies, juices, nut milks, as well as organic raw vegan foods.
The menu includes Rainbow rolls with a lime peanut dipping sauce, Asian slaw, tangy hemp oil Super Beetz salad, raw bounty choco cake, raw salted caramel cake, fresh vegan sausage rolls (pesto parmesan, cracked black pepper cheese, and cheesy jalapeno) as well as raspberry cheesecake brownies and oreo cake.
There are so many more vegan butcher shops and delis opening soon, that we wanted to make sure to mention some of them as well!
While Gusta Foods, based in Montreal, Canada, already sells its gourmet, high-quality and locally-made vegan cheese and mock deli meats to many stores and online, at the end of this year it will open up shop in Jean-Talon Market in Montreal!
Guests can expect a small dining area that “will showcase GUSTA products in a variety of gourmet comfort-food dishes: grilled-cheese sandwiches, smoked seitan and vegan poutines will be among the items on the menu, along with microbrewery beers and other locally-produced beverages.”
Atlas Meat-Free Deli has not opened yet, but is set to in early 2017 in Miami’s Little River District! Until then, you can find the company’s products at farmer’s markets and various restaurants in South Florida.
Latest Vegan News offered us a glimpse of what customers can expect, including “sliced meats and cheeses by the pound, fresh sausages, burgers (on pretzel buns, no less!), piled-high pastrami on ryes, rib tips, meatball subs, salads, et al. It’ll also host brunches, BBQs live music, and other events.”
As noted, it will have “all of the deliciousness, none of the cruelty.”
Monk’s Vegan Delicatessen and Kitchen is vegan company Monk’s Meats first brick-and-mortar location, set to open in Brooklyn in the spring of 2017!
“Inspired by traditional Brooklyn deli and butcher’s shops,” it will feature smoked seitans, house-cured sausages and steaks, burgers, cheeses, and pickles–all made in-house!
SGAiA Foods is an online butcher shop, aiming to be the first vegan butcher shop in the United Kingdom in 2018!
The company has a very loyal customer base, as many of their fans were the ones to let me know my list was incomplete without them! SGAiA specializes in “mheat,” which is “artisan made, small batch vegan meat made from wheat and soya protein,” available through their online store (alongside their cheezes) or in some independent stores across the U.K.
Co-owner Hilary Masin let me know that they are aiming to open the physical location in early 2018, and gave me a sneak peek of what customers can expect: “We would be selling our range of Mheats by weight, alongside deli-style charcuterie light lunches and take away food.”
So there you have it! These vegan butcher shops and delis (and those coming soon) are smashing stereotypes and proving that plant-based foods do not mean compromising on taste–or even familiarity!