Raise those forks in celebration if you follow a holistic lifestyle, minus the meat and dairy produce. As we mark World Vegan Day today, Gulf News tabloid! looks at seven vegan-friendly restaurants in the UAE that serve up a delicious choice of wholesome goodness for those who want to play their parts for the environment.
Life ‘N One
Tucked away in a sleepy neighbourhood of Jumeirah 1, Life ‘N One is a wellness haven that promotes a healthy lifestyle with meals that are vegan, gluten free, GMO free and free of refined sugar. Think chickpea omelette, pumpkin soup, avocado on toast and zucchini pasta. Kids get treated with waffles too, which are dairy, gluten and sugar free. The bonus is a whole range of desserts to choose from.
Our favourite picks: Sushi rice wraps, packed with edamame, avocado, cauliflower and the works. The tamari and sesame and cashew dressing is the perfect accompaniment.
Another not-so-hidden gem on Jumeirah Beach Road, Comptoir 102 runs a little boutique of treasured knick-knacks, with three separate seating areas to serve up different levels of privacy. Don’t be surprised on a weekend morning if you find the hipster crowd sipping away at their organic smoothies and tucking into some buckwheat pancakes (yum!)
Our favourite picks: While we are in love with their almond milk cappuccinos, their selection of smoothies, spread across two columns no less, are sips of unrivalled bliss. A personal favourite in Heaven on Earth, packed with bananas, dates, almond milk, raw cacao, crushed almonds and cinnamon.
What’s a vegan diet without some guilty pleasures? Those who are simply not willing to compromise on their pizza fix can get a load of Pinza’s low-carb vegan options. The dough is apparently 80 per cent water and 20 per cent flour, which is baked ‘at a fierce heat for five minutes’. But what really has us jumping with glee is the vegan menu, complete with a faux meat lover option for those who can’t do away with the illusion. The vegan apple maple option comes with fennel seeds and vegan mozzarella cheese.
Our favourite pick: The 13-inch Truffled Vegan, packed with tomato sauce, Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, caramelised onions and aromatic vegan truffle sauce. Worth every bite.
Super Natural Kitchen
A hidden gem indeed, tucked away in the glitzy countenance of Dubai Mall’s Galleries Lafayette, Super Natural Kitchen calls itself Dubai’s first 100 per cent raw, vegan, gluten free, sugar free and preservative free cafe. Phew! Using organic only, and preferably locally produced ingredients where possible, the restaurant also prides itself of being plastic-free and uses stainless steel straws and delivery containers that are plant-based. The mind boggles. The food is a taste apart — think crispy ‘not duck’ rolls and beetroot and zucchini lasagna.
Our favourite pick: The cheese board, hands down. A dairy-free offering that comes packed with nut-based cheeses, with fig and crackers. Who says the lacto brigade has all the fun?
The Hub 7
Boasting a vegan menu that serves up a cracking teppanyaki, this is one of the handful of reason why we would endure the rush hour traffic around Jumeirah Lakes Towers. From miso soup to vegan yakisoba, this is the perfect place to get your Japanese fix.
Our favourite pick: Live vegan teppanyaki. Enough said. The tiny library and board games are an added bonus.
A Lebanese restaurant that comes marked with clear vegan options is a treat for those who usually stare uncertainly at the inviting hummus Beiruti on the menu, wondering whether this comes with or without dairy. While your orders would largely be limited to the appetisers, you can’t fault the batata harra, moutabal and warak inab (stuffed grape leaves).
Our favourite pick: The moutabal is worth every creamy forkful, packing a smoky flavour that few can compare to. A must try.
The Raw Place
With several outlets across Abu Dhabi and Dubai, The Raw Place — as the name implies — offers a selection of superfood smoothies, cold-pressed juices and mouth-watering desserts. The plant-based grab-and-go concept makes for a perfect treat when pressed for time.
Our favourite pick: The red lentil soup is a bowl of hearty goodness.