11th August 2023

The Best Vegetarian and Vegan Pub Food Options – Embracing the Plant-based Revolution

The rising trend of plant-based diets is impossible to ignore. According to the Vegan Society, there are an estimated 1.5 million vegans in the UK, and many more adopt vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyles. As a pub owner, tenant, manager, or chef, it’s crucial to cater to this growing demographic by offering exciting vegetarian and vegan food options on your menu. We’ve curated a list of top-notch plant-based dishes that can inject variety, flavour, and inclusivity into your pub fare.

Understanding the Importance of Vegetarian and Vegan Menu Options

Why should pub owners invest time and resources into expanding their vegetarian and vegan offerings? The answer is simple: inclusivity is good for business. Broadening your menu to cater to different dietary preferences and restrictions can significantly increase your customer base. It shows patrons you are receptive, flexible, and mindful of changing dietary trends. Today’s consumers, particularly younger generations, are becoming more conscious of their dietary choices. Whether driven by health concerns, animal welfare considerations, or environmental sustainability, a growing number of individuals are shifting towards plant-based diets.

In a competitive hospitality market, standing out is crucial. Offering a menu that caters to various dietary preferences can provide a competitive edge. Diners often choose restaurants or pubs based on the variety and uniqueness of their menu. An extensive range of vegetarian and vegan options can attract more customers, boost your pub’s visibility, and position your establishment as a forward-thinking, environmentally conscious business.

Kick-off with Exciting Starters

Starters set the tone for the entire dining experience. They should be flavourful, engaging, and inviting enough to stir anticipation for the main course.

Breaded Halloumi Sticks: These golden-brown delights are perfect for vegetarians. Served with a tangy tomato dip or sweet chilli sauce.

Falafel: A classic Middle Eastern dish, these crispy chickpea patties are packed with herbs and spices. Served with a cool tahini sauce or a vibrant tzatziki dip, they’re a tasty vegan starter that packs a punch.

Bruschetta: This Italian classic is a wonderful vegan option. Fresh, ripe tomatoes finely chopped with garlic, basil and drizzled with a generous amount of olive oil, served on toasted bread – it’s simplicity at its best.

Vegetable Fritters: A mixture of grated vegetables, herbs and flour, these fritters are lightly fried until crispy. Serve them with a variety of dips, like vegan aioli or a fresh cucumber yoghurt dip, for a colourful and engaging starter.

vegetarian food options pub

Dive into Hearty Main Courses

The main course should be hearty and satisfying, leaving a memorable taste.

Tofu Dishes: Tofu is incredibly versatile and can be cooked in a myriad of ways. From crispy tofu stir-fry with an assortment of vegetables to smoked tofu steaks with a rich vegan gravy, the options are endless.

Mushroom Burger: A thick, grilled Portobello mushroom can serve as an excellent vegan patty. Top it with caramelised onions, fresh lettuce, and a slice of vegan cheese for a burger that even meat-eaters will love.

Seitan Burger: Seitan, also known as wheat meat, has a hearty texture that’s very similar to beef. A well-seasoned seitan patty, along with all the classic burger accompaniments, can make for an indulgent vegan burger experience.

Veggie Lasagna: Layers of pasta sheets filled with roasted vegetables, rich tomato sauce, and a creamy vegan béchamel. Topped with vegan cheese and baked until golden, this dish is comfort food at its best.

vegan burger

Wrap up with Indulgent Desserts

Desserts are the perfect finale for any meal. They should be sweet, indulgent and leave you with a smile.

Vegan Ice Creams: From classic vanilla to more exotic flavours like mango or coconut, vegan ice creams are a treat to the taste buds.

Fruit Platter: A beautifully arranged platter of seasonal fruits can be a refreshing and healthy end to a meal. To elevate the experience, serve with a side of vegan dark chocolate dipping sauce.

Vegan Pastry Apple Pie and Vegan Custard: A classic British dessert with a vegan twist. The delightful pastry crust filled with sweet, cinnamon-spiced apples and served with warm vegan custard is the perfect comforting dessert to end a meal at your pub.

vegan ice cream

Making Your Pub a Plant-based Haven

Ensuring your menu has a generous spread of plant-based options can transform your pub into an inclusive dining space. It’s not just about satisfying different dietary needs but offering creative, flavour-packed food that’s a joy to eat.

Highlight your vegetarian and vegan dishes in your menu and marketing efforts. Keep innovating and experimenting with flavours and ingredients to keep your menu fresh and exciting.

Now, it’s over to you to bring these vibrant and tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes to life in your pub. If you’re a Trust Inns tenant, remember, we’re always here to assist and guide you through the development of your pub’s menu, ensuring that it meets the demands and expectations of your diverse patrons.

For those not yet a part of the Trust Inns family, but intrigued by the prospect of bringing your community together over a pint and a plate of food, why not consider becoming the face of your local pub? Take a look at our pubs to let and explore the opportunity of shaping your exciting food offering. Who knows, perhaps you’ll soon be deciding on the perfect range of vegetarian and vegan options for your very own pub.

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