There is an assumption by some that with the absence of any meat or dairy, food becomes tasteless, bland and dull – but this doesn’t have to be the case.
As well as being a much healthier diet and kinder to the planet, vegan food can also be pretty delicious, as these Kent cafes and restaurants prove.
1) The Plant Base, Tunbridge Wells
True to its name, The Plant Base is a whole food kitchen using the freshest ingredients, straight from the earth and full of nutrition.
Everything is made from scratch including lunch bowls, where you get to choose your base, topping and sauce. Try out red quinoa, topped with super slaw, drizzled with almond lime.
Simple and stripped back, with white wash walls and chipboard benches, this cafe is the perfect place to sip on a fruit smoothie and watch the world go by.
2) Revival, Whitstable
Boasting colourful 60 décor and vintage posters, Revival also prides itself in having a veg-packed menu, which is 80% gluten free or vegan, and an entire range ofdairy free ice cream.
Try the banoffee sundae with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, chocolate banana sauce, caramel syrup and vegan whipped cream.
Tasty creations also include the peri peri tofumi, barbecue pulled jackfruit and three bean chilli.
Sadly, this cafe is closing at the end of November – but they will still be running their second cafe in The Horsebridge arts centre, also in Whitstable.
3) Stag Coffee, Ashford
This chic, independent coffee shop has a simple menu, with delicious food sourced from local producers, and a selection of vegan options.
The vegan breakfast includes sausage, scrambled tofu, spinach, hummus and toast, or you could opt for the fresh strawberry pancakes dripping with maple syrup.
For lunch, there is a hearty vegan burger with fresh salad and relish, served with crispy chips, and an option of dairy-free cheese.
4) The Wallflower Cafe, Herne Bay
This family-run vegan cafe focuses on clean, healthy food, with a menu which changes seasonally and uses locally sourced ingredients.
Dishes include an autumnal feta and vegetable frittata, yummy raw bars and a vegan Sunday roast, where you can also bring your own booze free of charge.
The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and even offers a takeaway option.
5) The Quills, Rochester
Situated in Rochester’s historic high street, The Quills has a whole menu devoted to veganism, including fajitas and all-time favourite – nachos.
The vegan platter features sweetcorn fritters, falafel and hummus, with sweet potato fries available as a side.
There are also a range of exotic-flavoured alcoholic drinks and four different dairy milk substitutes to enjoy with a frothy cappuccino or chai latte.
6) The Monument, Canterbury
The Monument is Canterbury’s only entirely vegan pub.
Absolutely everything on the menu is plant based including a choice of burgers stacked with cheese, onion rings and salsa; hotdogs and topped fries.
If you fancy something sweet there is a rich triple layer brownie or an indulgent sundae with popcorn, caramel shards, marshmallows and chocolate buttons.
7) The Bus Cafe, Margate
A converted 1980’s double decker bus, this cafe is a great spot to meet friends for lunch, and has a number of vegan options alongside meat and veggie.
The vegan breakfast mound includes beetroot, a potato and red onion rostie, and grilled halloumi.
Or if you’re feeling beany, you can have either smoky refried Heinz or zingy fresh broad beans on toasted sourdough with homemade salsa verde.
8) Vegan Antics, Gravesend
If you feel like you’ve been left out from having a fancy birthday cake because of your diet, Vegan Antics is the answer.
The bakery hand crafts delicious, dairy-free desserts. Sponge flavours include vanilla, chocolate orange, red velvet and coffee, which are then smothered in frosting in the colour of your choice, with piping and extra decoration as requested.
Or you could have a giant, chocolate chip cookie if you’d prefer – all vegan!
9) The Hop and Huffkin, Sandwich
This restaurant aims to bring the flair of Mediterranean cuisine and combine it with fresh, local produce, to create mouth-watering meals.
Inside the red brick building, a simple, rustic dining room welcomes you, with many dishes served on wooden boards.
Vegan options include an aubergine melanzane and aromatic vegetable tagine with couscous.
10) Beanos Vegetarian Cafe Bar, Folkestone
In the heart of Folkestone’s quirky creative quarter, Beano’s offers breakfast, lunch, snacks and cakes to eat in or take away, alongside freshly ground coffee and loose leaf herbal teas.
The vegan mega burger, made with seitan and topped with vegan cheese, fried onions, barbecue sauce, mayo and pickles, is a popular choice.
All the food is freshly made on the premises, and there is a delightful courtyard to hide away in when it’s warm.
11) Verreys, Broadstairs
Run by married couple, Phil and Debra Earl always dreamed of running a cafe serving delicious, nourishing food by the sea.
Whether you are after a meal or just a little nibble, Verreys has everything from bubble and squeak with vegan bacon to superfood salads, packed with goodness.
There is a breakfast, lighter lunch and a specials menu, all with meat and dairy free options.
12) Veg’n Out, Broadstairs
Traditional fish and chips has been a national favourite for what seems like forever.
While vegans often have to miss out on this tasty treat, Veg’n Out provides a unique, plant-based alternative.
The 100% vegan menu includes ‘vish’ made of soya protein, which is then wrapped in seaweed and fried in batter.
Substitute bacon, sausages and chicken is made in-house using seitan, produced from wheat gluten.
13) The Seaplane Works, Rochester
The Seaplane Works focuses on providing diners with healthy food with bags of flavour, using no grain and next to no sugar.
It caters to paleo and vegan diets, with dishes including thick blended soups to warm you up in the winter, and beautiful salads decorated with edible flowers.
Enjoy a cup of morning coffee and baked granola straight out of the oven for a delightful breakfast snack in this sunny yellow Rochester cafe.
14) The Lady Luck, Canterbury
A rock n’ roll pub decked out with retro memorabilia, The Lady Luck also has a selection of vegan dishes, freshly prepared in-house.
Several pub classics like sausage and mash, chilli dogs and burgers have been revamped into scrummy vegan delights.
The chefs even make their own vegan mayonnaise!
15) Kitch, Canterbury
Trying its best to use natural, wholesome ingredients, Kitch serves up a delicious, virtuous veggie soup of the day and pancakes with a mixed berry compote, banana, coconut and maple syrup.
All-day breakfast and brunch is served until 4pm in this simple but stylish cafe in the heart of the city centre.