Seven Restaurants for Seeing out Veganuary in Style
Vegans follow a plant-based diet, avoiding all animal foods.
Eleven Madison Park, New York, US
Last year, three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park – named the World’s Best Restaurant in 2017 – did what almost no other fine dining spot has done: it went completely vegan. Lauded chef Daniel Humm pointed to the unsustainability of the current food system as his motivation for the ground-breaking overhaul, an especially bold move for a restaurant that once served foie gras with maple syrup. These days, if you’ve got the account balance to indulge in its pricey menu, you’ll get the likes of picture-perfect grilled eggplant with shisho and coriander instead.
The Gate, London, UK
The Gate is one of the most established names in London’s vegan dining scene, having opened its first outpost back in 1989. Now, you can feast on its globe-trotting cuisine in four different locations across the city, including swanky Marylebone. The kitchen nails an array of fancied up comfort eats – think pulled king oyster mushrooms marinated in ginger and soy, or avocado and beetroot tartare with capers and shallot. But if you order just one thing? Make it the irresistible polenta chips; plant-based heaven on a plate.
KLE, Zurich, Switzerland
The vibe of a neighbourhood restaurant, but with food a cut above – that’s what you’ll get at KLE, in the west of Zurich. The light and bright space, all white panelled walls and lush greenery, serves artful plates of the freshest veggie produce, whether sea buckthorn, beetroot or collard greens. And while there’s no dairy, there’s no skimping on dessert either. Look forward to intriguing combinations such as dark chocolate with chilli and vanilla.
Balwoo Gongyang, Seoul, South Korea
This Michelin-starred restaurant in the South Korean capital serves up elegant versions of traditional plant-based temple food, from juksang (porridge) to grilled tofu. Dishes like these are part of a rich culinary tradition stretching back a whopping 1,700 years – proof that veganism isn’t just a passing trend. The menu changes with the seasons, but come during winter and you can expect warming dishes such as deep-fried mushrooms with chilli sauce or soybean paste stew.
Opa, Tel Aviv, Israel
In this intimate restaurant near Tel Aviv’s spice market, chef Shirel Berger cooks beautiful and seasonal vegetable- and fruit-based dishes that you’d never have dreamed of: smoked carrot with almond miso, say, or star fruit with almond, Thai chilli and dill. Some of the combinations sound unusual, but every bite of the tasting menu is crafted to perfection. It’s just the place to discover some less-familiar flavours too, whether that’s lion’s mane mushrooms or guajillo, a sweet and tangy pepper.
Seven Swans, Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt might be famous for Würstchen and Rippchen but this city also can do some great vegan food. Enter Seven Swans, a Michelin-starred restaurant steps from the winding Main river. In a serene, window-lined space you’ll feast on colourful dishes so pretty you wouldn’t be surprised to see them displayed in the city’s popular Städel Museum. The produce is organic, often from the restaurant’s own farm, and the name comes partly from the fact that the building, reportedly Frankfurt’s narrowest, is seven stories high.
Crossroads, Los Angeles, US
When it comes to cool vegan eating, it’s hard to look past California. And when it comes to Californian brunches, vegan or otherwise, it’s hard to look past Crossroads. Since 2013 this spot has served, delicious, upmarket and completely plant-based versions of comforting classics off Melrose Ave. That means breakfast ‘sausage’ sandwiches, bagels with almond cream and carrot lox, or even brownie sundaes with fudge sauce. Even if you’re not a full-time vegan, you won’t miss the meat, fish or dairy in a meal here.
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