If you have already confused veganism for another term for vegetarianism, then we really suggest you keep reading on. Veganism is a diet which excludes EVERY form of animal product and byproduct, relying on a solely plant-based diet. While veganism took its share of time to gain momentum in India, the concept is slowly and gradually coming to the fore with more and more people adapting it for lifestyle as well as environmental reasons. By Shubhanjana Das
It is no surprise that the food and hospitality industry took its time to not only grapple with the idea but to design their menus in a vegan-friendly manner. From a very narrow number of options on the menu to a plethora of vegan restaurants, India has come a long way (even though it still has a long way to go). Here is our compilation of the restaurants across India for those vegan couples who often find looking for date-night places a little difficult.
Hailed as the first vegan restaurants of India, Carrots in Bengaluru has a menu that doesn’t require you to go over it again and again and scrutinize every dish to eventually find one or two vegan options. They have a completely dairy and gluten-free menu, which has been gaining popularity among the local vegans like wildfire. For desserts, they serve guilt-free treats like their carrot cake, which is a mass-magnet. Burgers, wraps, salads, chaat, pasta, pizza, calzones, veganised Indian main course dishes, soups… Fill yourself to your heart’s content without any restrictions of wondering where the animal product is hidden in your food (we feel you). More than a restaurant, this is the place for the vegan community of Bangalore to come together and share ideas and their stories of veganism.
Pune’s pioneer in veganism, The Real Green Cafe is the OG vegan cafe in the place. Located in Koregaon Park, their ‘cheesy’ pizzas and desserts are definitely a conversation-starter. Try their ‘meatball’ pasta, range of BBQs, beverages hot and cold, smoothies, and juices. It is great for people who have recently made the shift to veganism and are still struggling to let go of the convenience of dairy. Guess what! The Real Green Cafe’s menu doesn’t even let you know that you’re ordering animal product-free dishes. Their open mics and interactive events are worth looking out for.
An alternative deli that has recently grabbed eyeballs, Smart Alec is Hyderabad’s largest vegan, cruelty-free and plant-based restaurant, which is also pet-friendly! What’s on offer? Strawberry Mousse, Vegan Pizzas, Gluten-free Peanut Butter choco chunk cookies and Oil-free Green salads — a spread that promotes healthy eating for both vegans and non-vegans. Vegan couples, you may even want to visit Hyderabad solely for Smart Alec as this is a sure shot haven for dedicated vegans.
Who said you need a meat spread and exotic seafood to make your foodgram look delicious? Kitchen Garden by Suzette, tucked in the bylanes of Bandra and in BKC, offers food that is fresh from the gardens, their nut milks made fresh in the kitchen, and everything that is served is a sensory treat! Post-workout, pre-workout, breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, pre-dinner, post-lunch, coffee date are all excuses for visiting Kitchen Garden by Suzette.
Splashed in earthy hues and a very enchanting decor, Wabi Sabi is one of Kolkata’s few restaurants where the vegans can dine guilt free. They have an in-house store which sells organic skin care and food products that are vegan and cruelty-free, wholly in line with their menu.
What do we like more than a delicious vegan spread? If it is in a place where we can kick our shoes away, put our feet up, and enjoy a good novel in our partner’s company while enjoying all the good vegan food that you can think of. The seitan (mock meat), tempeh, yam chips and desserts like banana split, tiramisu, and pina colada (among other options) at Bean Me Up in Goa add just the right condiments to the main course of Good Life and how!
A romantic hideout soaked in pastel colours, Rose Cafe boasts of one of the best vegan menus in the capital. Freshly cooked meals served with all the hospitality and care is just what a romantic date needs, doesn’t it? Take along your partner to taste their out-of-the-charts pasta, pizza, spaghetti and basically everything that makes life worth it, but vegan!