World Vegetarian Day is today, 1st October. Springing to life in 1977, the annual event was launched by the North American Vegetarian Society.
More than just a day to swap the pepperoni on your pizza with tofu, it’s a day devoted to spreading awareness about the environment, health, and animal welfare.
Whether you’re a die-hard carnivore or a meat-free Monday fan, why not take advantage of the day to plunge into a vegetarian feast at these plant-based restaurants?
Taking its vegetarian game beyond hummus and mouttabal, XVA Cafe dishes out a wealth of creative Middle Eastern veggie fare. The restaurant and cafe’s menu is infused with signature Arabian and Mediterranean flavors, packed with a variety of light bites and wholesome mains. With winter around the corner, pencil in a sun-kissed day out at XVA Cafe.
Located in a charming courtyard shaded under an overhanging tree, a game of chess and a Turkish coffee is all you need to make it a perfect afternoon. Unwind after an early morning trek around Bastikiya with breakfast. For a veggie version of classic meat dishes, tuck into the beetroot kebab (AED 50) and quinoa and zucchini kofta (AED 45). A meal at the cafe is incomplete without indulging in a handful of its zesty zaatar-dusted sweet potato fries (AED 25). Take your sweet tooth on a joyride with a bite of the divine rose and saffron cheesecake (AED 30). For a vegan sweet treat, try the lemon sorbet (AED 20).
Find XVA Cafe in the XVA Art Hotel, in the Bastikiya district of Mankhool. Open 7am-10pm daily. 04 353 5383
Amongst Few Cafe
Amongst Few Cafe serves up cool kid vibes alongside even cooler veggie dishes. An offshoot of a homegrown streetwear brand, everything here is served up with a side of swag. Decked out in touches of greenery and urban minimalism, the menu is loaded with personality…and vegetables!
Its sushi platter (AED 40) is a rainbow of three vegetarian rolls and a Japanese cucumber salad. Don’t leave without tucking into the deconstructed sushi bowl (AED 60) – an amazing combination of Japanese rice, wakame, (brown seaweed) Far East-style slaw, avocado and grilled pak choi, served with tofu…or if you must, teriyaki salmon. It’s a true flavour bomb.
If you’ve got the sniffles, score some major probiotic points with its miso noodle soup (AED 45). For an oldie but definite goldie, steal a bite of its picture-perfect avocado and eggs on sourdough (AED 55). It’s not a party without some shots – so get fired up with a ginger or wheatgrass shot (AED 10 and 13). For a sip of something taller, check out the cold-pressed juice and smoothie menu.
Amongst Few Cafe is in Palm Strip Mall in Jumeirah 1. 8am-11pm daily. 056 2167 976.
Bored of the only veggie options on a menu being mushroom risotto and a boring salad? So is new Business Bay outlet Cuisinero Uno’s chef, John Buenaventura. Fusing Emirati, Mediterranean, and Spanish flavours – he’s launched an innovative tapas menu tailored for Dubai’s palate. The restaurant and lounge offers a vegetarian tapas menu that’s guaranteed to blow your socks off. Think pseudo-carpaccio with dehydrated watermelon and creme fraiche (AED 38), burrata and tomatoes with olive crumbs and espresso oil (AED 41), charred leeks smothered with shimeji mushrooms, truffle paste, hazelnuts and brown butter (AED 38), and Earl Grey tea and orange sorbet (AED 22).
While Cuisinero Uno currently boasts a veggie-friendly menu, it’s busy cooking up future plans for a paleo breakfast and vegan tapas menu. The menu at this hopping joint will apparently change every month, too. What a fantastic time to be alive (and hungry)!
Inside the The Steigenberger Hotel in Business Bay. Open 11am-midnight (2am Thursday and Friday). 04 431 7816.
Super Natural Kitchen
Super Natural Kitchen is the stuff of fantasy. Duck rolls, lasagne, smoked salmon, California sushi rolls, a cheese board…and it’s all vegan? Don’t pinch yourself – you’re not dreaming. Cosied up at Dubai Mall’s Galleries Lafayette, this charming little bistro is where to scratch your vegan itch. Equipped with a collection of cutting-edge kitchen toys, the chefs at Super Natural Kitchen whip up a brilliant feast every day. Sourcing specialty ingredients from all over the world, you can also stock up on exotic ingredients you simply can’t find at your local supermarket.
Being vegan isn’t enough for Super Natural Kitchen, it’s gone the extra mile and decided to be raw and organic too – but this commitment to quality comes with a higher than average price tag for its food. The menu’s even got cruelty-free versions of classic desserts. Be sure to chow down on the cheesecake, banoffee pie, and toffee apple pie with cream (from AED 38). If you’re on a liquid diet, try a power-packed potion from the eatery’s juice and smoothie menu (from AED 38).
Head to Galleries Lafayette in Dubai Mall. Opens 10am-8.30pm every day. 050 2429 408.
Upgrade your weekly curry night with a trip to Mumbai export, Spice Klub. Using molecular gastronomy as its secret weapon, the restaurant serves up Indian street food with an innovative twist.
Don’t leave without trying the deconstructed dhokla (Gujarati rice and split pea cakes), deconstructed vada pao (potato patty in a bun), and bubbling kulfi (flash frozen Indian ice cream). Taking traditional Indian recipes and injecting them with a dose of modern flare, Spice Klub’s creations are totally worth writing home about (or Snapchatting about).
Spice Klub is on Kuwait Street in Mankhool. Noon to 3.30pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm every day. 04 448 9590. Two can eat for AED 150. Here’s our full review of Spice Klub with a breakdown of prices.
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