We heard Norwich was a friendly vegan city that would welcome us with open arms with its historic charms, methodical approach to the shop till you drop as well as just supplying us with ample amounts of tasty vegan food. To our delight, it was all of that and more.
Let me dive straight in. During our time in Norwich (which actually is not too far from our home county) we embarked on our mini expedition of seeking out new and exciting vegan cafes and restaurants. In the two days that we were visiting, it would be impossible to see everything, but we went away with a new love for Norwich. I’ve always said, you like a place if you say you could live there, and true to the words, I believe we could. The locals were friendly, the atmosphere lively and of course the choice of vegan options overwhelming!
We began every adventure by just exploring with no agenda and we came across vegan restaurants without the need of google maps or directions, purely a vegan hunch if you like. I was luckily well informed from my Instagram friends on recommendations on where I should visit, thanks guys!
After admiring and diverting into the range of quirky shops, we found ourselves at our first vegan café, “Tofurei”. A small but elegant café offering entirely vegan cakes, brownies, herbals teas and coffees as well as their amazingly delicious soy sausages. The café presented itself well in the corner of the archaic Norwich lanes which you would think would be missed but, sight, smell and tastes in the air were the beacon to us finding this little gem. Ample seating outside, although equally there was seating inside. It’s actually hard to believe everything was made from tofu! Staff were very friendly and also were eager for you to try as many of their samples as possible. Don’t mind if I do!
The Tipsy Vegan
From lunch to dinner, we found ourselves dining to the place we walked past earlier that day, which was, “The Tipsy Vegan”. Curiously named as we saw no tipsy vegans, but we went on the assumption that it was possible to end up that way with their extensive vegan cocktails menu and their bar straight ahead from when you enter the venue. No surprise, the place was packed! This was mid-week and so heavily advised to book in advance. Luckily, we did and were waited on excellently throughout our meals. I do believe a blog should be about honesty, and as much as the tipsy vegan possessed fine hospitality and good all-round service, some parts were left open for improvement. We couldn’t fault their tofu fish and chips. However, the mexican burritos with rice, and vegan chilli was tasty, but with more filling then the four hand sized burritos, fair to say this left us wanting more. For dessert, I ordered the vegan donuts with chocolate and caramel dips but found they were lacking imagination and could have done with some more oomph! However my husband ordered the caramel chocolate tart, which was divine. It was so good that you would want to find an excuse to go back the next day to have it again!
The next day we visited “Loving hut” for lunch. A chinese vegan “buffet” which served a lunch menu until 4pm. It was a small venue but not too crowed. Our first encounter was the lack of credit/debit card facility, it was cash only. The range of food was good, although it seemed to be that good that the owner was struggling that day with the high demand, thus we were not able to taste all their dishes. However, what was available to us was tasty, and best of all vegan. It didn’t taste oily as what I can remember “normal” chinese food tasted like back in my “omnivore days”, it tasted authentic and healthy. Loving hut, although not a restaurant per se, was a lovely little vegan food outlet. Would I go back there? Yes, most certainly! Just be prepared for not all the dishes to be available. I can end this on a positive and say, there is a reason none of the food was left, it was bloody delicious.
River Green Café
Our final and favourite restaurant we dined in was at the River Green Café in Trowse, just on the outskirts of the city. A lovely, quaint café, but more suited to a restaurant denomination for its excellent range of starters, mains and desserts, along with an exceptionally positive vibe throughout the establishment. River Green boasted exceptional starters which were both quick to immerge and quick to be eaten. The fried flat-breads with accompanying dips was light, tasty and enough to prepare for the next meal.
For our main meal, we ambitiously went for a vegan pizza which was directly from one planet pizza. If you are a vegan and remember what a “normal” pizza was like before going Vegan, well this is it, but better. Most vegan pizzas we have tasted always have a very thin base and can be extremely oily, but with One Planet Pizza, they resembled how pizzas should be, with a deep pan base. It’s fair to say these guys know their pizzas! 😉 We opted for a pizza each which in hindsight was ambitious, along with all the toppings they could offer. Meat alternatives, fresh vegetable toppings, vegan scheese, the lot. To date this is the best vegan pizza we’ve tasted!
After being blessed in the restaurant with this scrumptious but very filling pizza, we put our forks down, gave each other a nod at the satisfaction factor and waited 5 minutes to allow some area of our stomach to become available. We then proceeded with an espresso dessert and myself a mango and coconut panna cotta dessert.
Pictures tell a thousand words. Just look at that..
Presentation was amazing, taste was incredible, and throughout the entire eating experience we had to keep reminding ourselves that this was all vegan. Tell me again how deprived vegans are of tasty food? Not by a long shot.
That about wraps it up for now, a big thank you to all the cafes and restaurants we visited and ate at, your input made our Norwich visit all that little more special.