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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats

TOP PLACES TO EAT VEGAN IN THE UK (FAST FOOD EDITION)

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Sometimes, you need tasty food, and you need it fast. Sometimes you don't have time (or data) to check the reviews and menus of places you've not heard of. Sometimes you just want familiarity - the kind of food you can get anywhere, any time.

Luckily, the UK now has plenty of choice when it comes to fast food chains serving plant-based alternatives. Wherever you go in the UK, you can be sure to find some of these tasty treats from worldwide brands you know and love.


Here we list our favourite fast food chains, catering for a plant-based diet, across the UK.


1st: LEON

We know, it's not what you automatically think of when you imagine fast food, but LEON's range of plant-based hot and tasty dishes has really blown us away this year. We are slightly obsessed with their vegan me*tballs, served with brown rice and a rich tomato sauce, and their burgers and wraps never let us down either.

LEON's ethos is based around good quality food, fresh ingredients, and hearty meals served quickly and this is very much what you'll find in their vegan meals too. The great thing about LEON is that if you want something a bit more indulgent you can choose lattice fries or delicious vegan mac and cheese bites on the side - and their garlic aioli dip is naturally vegan too.

If you've got a sweet tooth, LEON have several vegan dessert options including a soft and chewy double chocolate cookie, and some of the most incredible vegan milkshakes we've ever tasted. Thick and creamy with a slightly nutty flavour, these milkshakes come in five flavours (we've almost tried them all!) and they are incredibly indulgent - perfect for a really satisfying treat.



2nd: Burger King

Burger King are undoubtedly among the market leaders in vegan fast food in the UK. Working with the Vegetarian Butcher, they serve plant-based version of three popular products: the Whopper, the Royale, and those famous nuggets. As of January 2023, they've also added plant-based bacon as an option in their burgers!

All three products are so convincing that we've been known to check there hasn't been a mistake! The Royale and the nuggets are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside; the Royale comes with creamy vegan mayo and crisp lettuce, while the nuggets are served with sweet chilli sauce.

Burger King are clear that the Plant-Based Whopper isn't for those observing a strict vegan diet as it is cooked on the same grill as their meat burgers. If you are okay with that, you will discover a burger that tastes almost identical to the Original Whopper, albeit slightly less greasy.

If that's not enough to tempt you, Burger King's legendary fries are certified vegan too...



3rd: Subway

As massive Subway fans we were really excited when they increased their vegan menu this year. Vegan options have long been on the menu at UK branches of Subway through the Veggie Delite and Veggie Pattie options, but recently it became much, much more exciting.

Replicating fan favourites from the original menu, UK subways now carry T.L.C. (Tastes Like Chicken), Plant-Based Teriyaki Steak, and Meatless Meatball Marinara options so you can recreate your old favourites. Created by the Vegetarian Butcher, these are virtually indistinguishable from their meaty counterparts: and even better, you can add slices of Vegan Cheeze which is amazing when toasted.

Once you've added all your favourite salad items to your sandwich, you have a massive choice of sauces too; our favourites are the vegan garlic mayo and sweet onion sauce. If you fancy something on the side you're in luck: there is a good range of plant-based sides, and an INCREDIBLE double chocolate cookie if you've got a sweet tooth.



4th: Greggs

You can't get more British than a hot pasty or sausage roll - even better if you're eating it in the rain!

Greggs haven't held back since they got into the plant-based game, with their super successful vegan sausage roll gaining them favour among the meat-free community. The original sausage roll, with flaky pastry surrounding a soft and herby vegan sausage, is a firm favourite and a staple to their menu.

Nowadays though, there is so much more to a visit to Greggs. During the festive season you can get your hands on the Vegan Festive Bake, which includes plant-based turkey, stuffing, cranberries and a creamy sauce. Throughout the year you can try the Quorn Vegan Ham and Cheeze Baguette and the Vegan Sausage, Beans and Cheeze Melt (we love baked beans in the UK!) Their original glazed ring doughnut is vegan too, the perfect sweet treat to grab on the go!



5th: McDonalds

McDonalds were pretty slow in rolling out a vegan menu, with their McPlant only emerging throughout the UK in 2022. Taking their time paid off though, they got it very right with this vegan hamburger complete with plant-based cheese and sauces. Honestly, this plant-based hamburger is so good that we really don't think most meat eaters would know the difference.

McDonalds fries are safe for vegans to eat too, with a couple of drinks on their menu also approved. They do have some more vegan items on their menu, with the veggie goujons (made of split peas, peppers and red pesto in a crispy breaded coating) featuring on their own as a four piece dipper meal, in the Spicy Veggie wrap meal and in the Vegetable Deluxe burger too. If you don't like imitation meat products then these may be for you - for us they feel pretty retro though, bringing back memories of a time when veggie fingers were the only things in the freezer aisle!


Which is your favourite vegan fast food chain in the UK? Are there any new places or old favourites that we've missed? Leave us a comment to let us know (and others who might be visiting too!)


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Where should I stay?

The UK is full of options for hotels, B&Bs, hostels, caravans and apartments. When it comes to somewhere to stay in London, it can be hard to know where to start.


If you're looking for a lively and well-equipped hostel, I have stayed at Generator London, and really liked its convenient location. The staff are friendly and the bar is really fun at night too!


If you'd prefer the comforts of a hotel, London House Hotel has a rare 10/10 rating across the board, with its convenient location, cleanliness, friendliness, security and value for money all really impressing the people who have stayed there.


Tours & Experiences

There is so much to see in the UK, but if you want to get out of London we recommend a trip to Cambridge a historic city with stunning architecture that won't take you too long to reach. There are some amazing day tours to Oxford and Cambridge that include return travel to central London, making your trip that little bit easier. Or if that's not quite for you, why not try one of the top-rated Viator tours below?


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