Whether for health or ethical reasons, going vegan doesn’t have to be as tough as you think…
In this day and age, with more people becoming conscious of health and nutrition, we’re increasingly thinking about what’s on our plate. With pro-vegan campaigns reaching all over the world, veganism has never been more popular.
In a nutshell, veganism is a way of living that aims to minimise harm to animals through diet and lifestyle. That means no meat, no eggs, no dairy and no animal by-products, such as honey or even prawn crackers.
While a plant-based diet may sound difficult to keep up, you’d be surprised at how much there still is for vegans to eat – especially now that restaurants are adding more options to their menus.
Here are the best spots to eat vegan in Dubai…
This 100 per cent raw, vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free restaurant deserves to be first on this list. With all that you’d be surprised at how good the food tastes!
Try the smoked ‘salmon’ made of papaya (AED 69), or our favourite, lasagne (AED 46) made with spirals of beetroot and zucchini, or the Portobello burger (AED 52).
If you want to indulge your sweet tooth, great desserts are always available (the menu is ever-changing), including various flavours of cheesecake (AED 38), carrot cake (AED 39), toffee apple pie with cream (AED 41), and a rich chocolate brownie (AED 38).
11am-9pm. Galleries Lafayette, Dubai Mall. www.snkitchen.com
The Hub 7
Vegan cuisine from around the world, with extensive menus covering Japanese and Filipino meat and dairy-free options.
We adore the mushroom-topped Mario sushi roll and the vegetable adobo is pretty good too. Dishes start from just AED 7, but for the vegan who wants to go large, have your teppanyaki cooked live for AED 55. Big into bubble tea? The entire range is dairy-free (even the milk teas) and they’re just AED 15 each. Add mango or lychee popping boba for AED 3.
Comfortable couches, books and board games encourage day-long lounging.
12pm-11.30pm daily. Lake level, Cluster M. 04 369 7649
Our verdict? Hands-down the best vegan pizza joint in Dubai. We ordered the cheese-less El Padrino pizza, customized with vegan cheese, smoked vegan sausages, mushrooms, basil and chilli flakes on top. So good, it was gone in seconds. Made from a crunchy dough base made up of 80 per cent water and 20 per cent flour, Pinza’s pizzas are healthy, light and delicious.
Pinza is our prince of delivery, but you can now dine in at the new Dar Wasl mall outlet.
From AED 25, Business Bay, Dar Wasl Mall & JVC. pinza.com
For Asian food, Hanoi Naturally is a great option. The vegetarian dishes on the menu are egg- and dairy-free, so you can enjoy tofu pho bowls (AED 32), green papaya salad (AED 30) and braised aubergine stew (AED 35), guilt-free.
The café does offer egg noodles in some dishes, so be sure to swap those for rice noodles instead.
12pm-10pm daily, Cluster C, JLT. 04 431 3099.
Life ‘N One
This hidden gem, tucked away behind Jumeirah Centre, not only has a café with great food, but offers fitness classes, workshops and more! The pet-friendly little eatery serves up healthy vegan dishes that are all made with home-grown organic produce. Try the Açai (AED 54), the Orange Ade juice, and the sushi bowl – yum.
8.30am-6.30pm weekdays, 7pm Friday and Saturday. 04 343 6676. Jumeirah 1. Behind Magrudys and the Jumeirah Centre.
The Raw Place
OK, vegans have to work like everyone else. When you’re in need of immediate sustenance, call The Raw Place and they’ve got you covered with an at-desk delivery (they do dine in too).
Cold-pressed juices, salads, healthy cakes and smoothies will plant power you through the day. Lait de Coconut was a creamy slug of goodness (AED 25), while Lemonerry Cheesecake (AED 25) was a sweet afternoon treat without the guilt. Order a tangy Avo-qua Bowl (AED 45) and tuck into a pile of quinoa laced with superfood goji berries and pumpkin seeds, topped with a creamy avocado dressing.
7am-12.30am daily. Jumeirah Beach Road. 04 330 0277. www.therawplace.com
Wild & The Moon
Wild and the Moon is probably the most vegan a café can possibly get. All their food is local, plant-based, ethically sourced and raw, with no processed ingredients, no dairy, no gluten and no chemicals.
From organic cold-press juices and salads to crackers and coffees, chefs and nutritionists have created everything on the menu. It’s virtuous AND tasty, if a little pricey.
You heard it here first – Wild and the Moon is opening soon at Gate Avenue, DIFC.
8am-8pm weekdays; 10pm Friday and Saturday at Alserkal Avenue. wildandthemoon.com
We know, Kababji Grill sounds like the least vegan restaurant ever, but the Lebanese eatery has a vegan menu filled with tasty, healthy dishes.
Not many restaurants serve vegan humus (from AED 13.75), so we were glad to find out that Kabaji does – and it’s really good too! We also love the Quinoa Tabbouleh salad (AED 29.50) crafted by nutritionist Sawsan Wazzan Jabri.
Locations around Dubai, including Al Ghurair Centre, Business Bay, Dubai Marina, Mall of the Emirates, Mirdif and Motor City. kababji.com
This Italian café makes it easy for people following plant-based diets by offering them a separate menu. Fresh soups, bruschetta and pasta are all guaranteed vegan. Read our (non-vegan) review to find out more about the chain’s newest branch.
Find your nearest Carluccio’s here: facebook.com/carlucciosme
Because who doesn’t love a good pizza? Another one of our favourites in the city, Freedom Pizza not only offers vegan cheese and vegan sausages, but they do vegan ice cream sandwiches too! The restaurant also serves gluten-free bases, farm-fresh veggies, and the pizzas, which start from AED 25, are so tasty. Win!
Check to see if they deliver to you: freedompizza.ae