Week one of Spring term is always crazy – it’s exam week, Christmas and New Year have only just gone by and moving back up to York after the break leaves everyone a little flustered!
After exams, I spent a bit of time doing some retail therapy in Leeds. With Leeds only being 25 minutes away on the train, and trains running regularly throughout the night, its so easy to pop over there with absolutely no hassle! It means that a night out somewhere a bit different is never off the cards, and gives you shopping options if you cant find exactly what you need in York.
We had some lunch at a cute vegan/vegetarian restaurant called Roots and Fruits. I went for the Jerk Jackfruit, whilst my housemate went for the Beanball Sub (pictured above). It was here I got inspiration for this post!
This year, one of my New Year resolutions was to complete Veganuary. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it basically means that I don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy or any animal products, for a whole month! It seems daunting, but luckily in York there are many amazing an accommodating places. Here are a few of my faves…
- Campus food outlets – How could I not put the trusty campus food outlets at the top of this list? Since Veganuary started, I have been overwhelmed at the ease it is to find Vegan food on campus. I always knew it was super easy to find a vegetarian option, but these are often loaded with cheese!
In the library cafe and at the college bars and cafes, I love going for either the Refried Bean and Avocado Wrap, or the Falafel and Tahini Baguette. I don’t drink hot drinks, but they all also offer soya milk as an alternative for cow’s milk. I will then follow this with a completely vegan chocolate cake, if I’m feeling like I want to treat myself. The YUSU shop, the bars and the library cafe also stock a few other brands of sandwiches, one being Urban Eat, whom I know offer a few different salads and sandwiches that are vegan, which I am yet to try.
The YUSU owned bars/restaurants, e.g. Courtyard in Derwent College, offer a few different vegetarian options, for example the Veggie Burger, Brie and Sundried tomato salad, or the Feta and couscous salad. I’ve also found it really easy to sub out non-vegan things from dishes on the menu, for example having a salad minus the cheese, or a sundried tomato Panini minus the cheese. If you explain to the bar staff about your dietary requirements, I’ve always found them very accommodating.
- Goji Café, Deli and Restaurant – This café/restaurant is located right near the Minster on Goodramgate. Most of their food is vegan, and they sell the most amazing vegan cakes and tarts! They offer breakfast and lunch every day of the week, and sometimes have special evening events, so look out for those. My favourite dish is the Spicy Quinoa and Sweet Potato Burger!
- El Piano– El Piano is a plant based and gluten free restaurant open for lunch and dinner. The menu is AMAZING and they offer so much choice and flexibility. They also offer some inventive desserts, which I haven’t personally tried but would love to! I usually go for the build your own plate, and I love the Thai Aubergines with rice, falafel and houmous! (They also deliver to your house through Deliveroo, which is also a perk of being in York)
- Bicis y Mas – Bicis y Mas translated to Bikes and More, and is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant, nestled inside a bike shop. Sounds a bit strange at first, but its actually great! Up until 3.30 in the afternoon they’re a little café, then after 5pm they become a place of relaxation, offering sharing platters and beer! This restaurant is great because the menu constantly changes! My favourite main (before veganuary) was the Haloumi salad!
- Ambiente Tapas – Whilst this restaurant isn’t specifically vegan or vegetarian, they offer many different dishes that don’t contain meat or dairy. They have a whole vegetable section on their menu. A few of my favourites include Rosti de Chirivía, Patatas Bravas, and Judías Verdes. Tapas is great too because you order a few different dishes off the menu, and get a taste of everything!
Whilst there are so many nice vegan/vegetarian places to eat, if thats not your thing, then don’t worry! There is an abundance of non-veggie specific places to eat. From chain resturants (e.g Wagamama, Pizza Express, Yo Sushi!, Bella Italia) to smaller pubs and mini cafes where you can enjoy amazing home cooked food!
University can seem scary enough, without having to worry whether you’re going to be able to eat whilst your there, so I hope this post has helped to settle your worries about vegetarianism and veganism in York. Be rest assured, everywhere is super nice and accommodating and you have nothing to worry about!