Eat your greens! Where to eat vegan in Bucks & Oxon
Vegan curious? Get your plant-based fix in Bucks & Oxon at one of these nine brilliant foodie joints in honour of World Vegan Day on Sun (Nov 1).
Over the past few years, the food industry has seriously been upping its game when it comes to high quality, tasty vegan food with meat-free substitutes and experimental dishes that put veggies in the spotlight. If you’re thinking of taking the plant based plunge, or simply want to reduce your dairy and meat consumption (go on, it’s good for both you and the planet), then take your pick from these nine pubs, restaurants and specialty vegan takeaways in Bucks & Oxon (just remember to book with your household only if you’re Oxford-based as we head into Tier 2 on Saturday).
The Punter, Oxford
Sister restaurant to meat haven The Porterhouse Grill, you’ll find The Punter a few minutes walk from central Oxford, perched of the banks of the river Isis on Osney island. The quirky pub relaunched in summer 2020 with a fully veggie and vegan menu inspired by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours with produce sourced from local suppliers. The menu changes seasonally but expect sharing dishes like quinoa crusted tofu, plus inventive mains like Jerusalem artichoke lasagne, celeriac steak and vegan burgers (that are 50% off Mon – Thurs).
The Giggling Squid, Marlow, Beaconsfield, Henley, Jericho
Starting life in a tiny fisherman’s cottage in Brighton back in 2002, Giggling Squid began with a simple idea: to cook ‘simple, rustic, fresh Thai food’ and now has outposts across the country, including four in our area. The restaurant has a special evening vegan menu which includes a selection of stir fries and curries (the Massaman is mouthwatering), plus a very reasonable set tapas lunch for under £10.
Fego, Marlow, Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross
Influenced by South African hospitality and design, this buzzy mini café chain has three outposts in Bucks & Oxon, all of which offer a separate vegan menu to please your plant based needs (it’s all pretty low cal too, if you’re going PB for health reasons). For breakfast get your fix with a smashed avo or a Brazilian açaí bowl and for lunch choose from superfood salads, falafel wraps and meatless patty burgers with all the trimmings.
The Gardener’s Arms, Jericho
This longstanding Oxford pub (it’s been around for over 200 years) may look like your traditional friendly local at a glance, but instead of your usual pub grub, the kitchen cooks up a hearty menu of 100% veggie and vegan comfort food including mushroom medley pie, dirty fries (hello tofu rashers, vegan mozzarella and fried onions) and an excellent selection of calzones.
Happy Friday Kitchen, East Oxford
The city’s only 100% plant based restaurant, Happy Friday Kitchen landed on Oxford’s cool Cowley Road in 2017 with a Californian comfort food inspired menu and totally Instagrammable interiors (think hanging plants and pastel paints). On offer is a decent selection of burgers, pizzas, hotdogs but the real star of the show is the fully vegan milkshakes and desserts. Take your pick from PB+J (as the cool kids say), s’mores and salted caramel shakes, plus and a wicked selection of sundaes. I’ll have cookie dough balls, ta.
The Coconut Tree, Oxford
Serving good vibes, tasty cocktails and small sharing plates, this Sri Lankan restaurant isn’t strictly vegan but the menu offers plenty of options with half of the 20+ mains fully plant-based, plus even more vegetarian options. No brainer dishes include hot battered mushrooms (also GF), Parripu (red lentil dahl) and the Fat Sister (not an insult, but a pumpkin curry!). The staple Hopper – a coconut pancake with Sri Lankan condiments – is also a must-try.
Lata Lata, High Wycombe
Fancy lunch in an underpass? It’s a lot chicer than it sounds, promise! This stylish tapas joint wouldn’t look out of place in Hackney and majorly ups High Wycombe’s creds with its pretty pink, teal and industrial interiors. The menu offers meat and fish dishes, but for vegans the likes of handmade focaccia, roasted carrots, griddled spring onion with romesco and papa al pomadoro (Tuscan tomato soup to you and me) should tickle your tastebuds.
Fancy a takeaway?
V Stack, Oxford
If your perception of vegan grub is boring veg and rabbit food, this will definitely change your mind. Started as the side hustle of two sisters, V Stack started selling its burgers at Gloucester Green Market in central Oxford and began delivering to the local area during lockdown (pre-order by 5pm Thurs for Fri delivery or Fri by 5pm for Sat). Cauliflower is the headliner here with two proper dirty burger options (I mean that as a compliment) and must-try buff wings, a plant-based take on spicy chicken wings.
Began’s, High Wycombe
You might have seen Began’s popping up at Wycombe Market with a food stall (actually it’s a super-cute turquoise horse box – check it out here) and now you can get the vegan street food delivered to your doorstep every Friday. The menu changes weekly but you can expect dishes like smokey orzo jambalaya, moroccan veg stew, Caribbean curried lentils, plus there’s always an indulgent sweet option to add to your order – it would be rude not to, right?