[photo: Olaf Protze / Getty Images]
Leave your preconceptions at the door, and banish any bad memories of ‘conceptual’ raw vegan desserts consumed at la-di-da London eateries right now.
When it comes to vegetarian food, Brighton just does it better. Yep, I’m calling it! There’s an authenticity about the seaside city’s affinity with us ‘cranks’ that you just don’t get anywhere else.
Whether you’re veggie, vegan or just v-curious, if you’re visiting Brighton check out this guide to getting the most (veggie) bang(ers) for your buck…
For Supplies: Infinity Foods
This eco-friendly co-operative run shop has been ‘proudly vegetarian’ since its inception in 1971. From locally sourced fruit and veg to raw Peruvian chocolate making kits, via bath oil and washing up liquid, if it’s natural, vegetarian, organic and free from GM ingredients and hydrogenated fats, it’s probably here. On the go? Pick up a slice of gluten-free vegan pizza or a tofu and avo sandwich. Oh, and the tea selection is second to none.
Visit Infinity Foods at: 25 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YA.
For Wine and Cake: Wai Kika Moo Kau
Wai Kika Moo Kau claims to serve the best selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes in the North Laines area. I can neither confirm nor deny, as I’ve never made it past the jaw-dropping array of cakes between door and main menu. The mind-boggling selection (made onsite, from locally sourced ingredients) changes daily, but is 100% vegan, largely gluten-free and includes the classic Banana Choc (pictured above) along with the much-feted Oreo Magic. Vegan cake that tastes like… cake? The dream is real, people. Don’t fancy tea? Grab a bottle of organic wine instead. Starbucks just got served.
Visit Wai Kika Moo Kau at: 11a Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL.
For Lunch: The Prince George
You might be veggie, but that doesn’t mean you don’t just want some good ol’ no frills pub grub from time to time, am I right? The Prince George has boasted an all-veggie menu for more than 20 years - and it’s good. So good I make regular 90 minute pilgrimages for the ginger beer-battered halloumi alone. Perched atop a teetering stack of skin-on chips and smothered in minty mushy peas and tangy tartar sauce, it’s gotta beat cod any day of the week. If you eat one thing, make it this (actually, if you do, you probably won’t be able to eat anything else all day anyway). The Sunday roast menu also wins rave reviews.
Visit The Prince George at: 5 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4EQ.
For Afternoon Tea: Terre a Terre
OK, slightly more frills here (if you understand every word on the menu - or manage to articulate any one item without gasping for air midway through - props to you), but this gourmet grub is worth its weight in gold. Love afternoon tea but sick of playing gelatine roulette? Terre a Terre is the place to go… Not only can you choose from veggie, vegan and gluten-free options, but, if you fancy getting straight to the good stuff, you can ditch the savouries altogether! And the cocktails? Heaven in a glass…
Visit Terre a Terre at: 71 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HQ.
For Bed and Brekkie: Hotel Pelirocco
Billed as Brighton’s sauciest boutique hotel, the Pelirocco offers a remarkable range of individually themed rooms, from the budget-friendly (keep an eye on those ubiquitous voucher sites for an even tastier deal…) to the mirror-ceilinged, plunge pool-equipped. Cool, quirky and paradoxically cosy, it’s got pretty much everything you could ask for in a hotel - from on-demand massages to hangover survival kits. But I’m easily pleased - they had me at veggie sausage. Breakfast is reason enough to stay here. Even if you don’t have it brought to you in bed - accompanied by a Bloody Mary.
Visit Hotel Pelirocco at: 10 Regency Square, Brighton, BN1 2FG.
Vegan? Seaspray B&B has all your breakfast-based bases covered - and, depending on when you go, you could bag a hot-tub garden suite from £99…