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Why We’re All Turning Vegan

August 2017Words by Mr Ben Olsen

Baja To-Fish Tacos at Club Mexicana. Photograph courtesy of Club Mexicana

Call it a collective rally of the conscience: this year has seen veganism diversify, with a creative wave of new restaurant concepts matching an increased appetite for plant-based cooking. Interest had already spiked – last year, the Vegan Society revealed that, over the last decade, there has been a 360 per cent rise in the number of vegans in the UK, while Google Trends showed a 90 per cent increase in searches containing the word “vegan” – proof that cleaner living and sustainability have been added to our menu requirements. A far cry from the militant movement of old, today’s pushers of vegan food are resonating with a conscientious new audience, with jackfruit, seitan and tofurkey entering our vocabulary as vegan cuisine goes mainstream.

Signalling its ascent, this weekend sees the launch of the London street-food market Kerb’s first-ever Livin’ on the Veg festival, a celebration of the capital’s brightest vegan chefs that’s following hot on the heels of the monthly Hackney Downs Vegan Market. As further proof that the city’s vegan scene is one of its most innovative, here are five London establishments sure to help you turn over a new leaf.    

Heirloom Tomato Lasagne at Essence Cuisine. Photograph courtesy of Essence Cuisine