It’s sad but true: when a lot of people talk about “vegan food” or “vegan restaurants,” what they all too often mean is “vegan analogs of my favourite Western foods.” While there’s no disputing the tastiness of a good vegan burger done right, there are cultures all over the world who have been making food without animal products for millennia.
So let’s give them some love, shall we?
Numerous locations, but we like Lækjargata 8
Consistently one of the best places for Indian food (itself a super broad umbrella), they’ve got something for everybody here. Their expansive menu can be a little overwhelming, but you can’t go wrong by just ordering the vegan thali—a platter of many smaller portions of some of the best food you’ll ever taste. Round it off with a vegan masala chai and roll yourself happily home.
You’ve just trundled off the bus at Hlemmur after a long and harrowing journey into town. You’re tired, you’re cold, you’re hungry and you’re vegan. You want—nay, need—to eat now. What do you do? You walk like half a block from where you are to Noodle Station and order the vegetable bowl. You can even add some of your favourite extras for just a few coins more.
If you have a hankering for some good Syrian food sans animal products, then this is a great choice, especially for takeaway. Take your time savouring the falafel plate, or get the fully loaded falafel wrap up in your face. Friendly, affordable and consistently tasty, it’s absolutely a top pick, whether after a night of partying or for a quick lunch break.
Already a respectable Thai restaurant in its own right, Krua Thai goes one step further for those avoiding animal products: for literally any dish on their menu, you can substitute the meat with tofu. Is tofu Thai? We don’t know, but it tastes like whatever you cook it in, so it makes for a fine substitution in any of their sumptuous, tasty dishes.
You could be forgiven for having never heard of this Szechuan restaurant located just a few blocks south of Hlemmur. Heck, you might have even walked right past it numerous times without over noticing it. But Fine Restaurant is an absolute gem: cozy, reasonably priced, and consistently better than the more popular choices in town for Chinese food. We highly recommend their mapo tofu, which will make you forget about all your troubles, if only for a moment.
There are likely many places we’ve forgotten. All we ask is that when looking for vegan food, you explore beyond the boundaries of seitan burgers. You won’t regret it.
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