The closure of ‘Be The Change’ earlier in 2023 was a sad day for vegan diners in and around Worcestershire. However, the historic city of Worcester actually has an impressive array of vegan dining options, from designated vegan kitchens to popular restaurants with a fully stocked separate vegan menu. If you’re looking for a plant-based blowout near you, fear not – we’ve compiled a list of some of the best vegan eateries in the region.
Reishi Plant Kitchen, The Lamb & Flag, The Tything
Located just above the widely loved Lamb & Flag pub on the historic Tything road in the city centre, Reishi Plant Kitchen opened in March 2023, and is already a roaring success. The main menu and the bar menu are one hundred per cent cruelty-free and vegan, rustled up by Alexandra and Richard.
The main menu includes ‘Steak’ Au Poivre, a plant-based fillet served with creamy peppercorn sauce, onion rings, field mushrooms, vine tomatoes, triple-cooked roast potatoes, and house salad, and the Beer Battered ‘Fish’ and Chips. In this twist on a British classic, you can expect beer-battered banana blossom on a bed of chips, with the house salad and homemade tartar sauce.
Just in time for the festive season, Reishi Plant Kitchen have put out an impressive vegan party menu, with starters including a Carrot and Miso Soup, and Garlic ‘Parmesan’ Mushrooms. There are four main courses to choose from, and a varied dessert menu (both for the Christmas party and the regular menu). Vegans everywhere are often stuck with a singular scoop of sorbet, if anything, for dessert in a normal restaurant, but this is not to be feared at Reishi. The kitchen is very accommodating, offering gluten-free options and children’s meals, and they offer take-away options with payment upon collection.
Food can be ordered at the bar, Wednesday through to Sunday, or you can book a table in the restaurant by visiting their website, here.
Little Bento Box, The Gallery
When Chloe and Kieran began their business of producing delicious vegan sushi without harmful plastic packaging, their kitchen first operated from a gorgeous little trailer. Since finding a permanent location in the oldest operational indoor market in the UK, The Gallery, the trailer is reserved exclusively for catering events.
Their lovely restaurant offers bar seating for a casual dining experience, but also has tables on the landing for a more intimate setting. They offer a take-out setting, and while the age of the building prevents wheelchair access, they are happy to bring food down the stairs to ensure everyone can access their food fresh. They also cater to allergies and offer plenty of gluten-free options.
Little Bento Box hosts an impressive vegan menu, with sushi burritos including the Teriyaki Taters (garlicky sweet potato, cucumber, red pepper, sweetcorn, sesame and teriyaki), and the Sans Quack (mock duck, cucumber, beetroot, pickled carrot, spring onion and hoisin). They also offer sushi bowls, wherein you can choose your own toppings and sauces, Inari pockets, gyozas, and a range of sides.
There really was a gap in the market for environmentally friendly, and delicious vegan sushi, and Chloe and Kieran have absolutely nailed it. All their packaging is 100% home compostable, except for their repurposed sauce jars, and they offer a 5% discount when you bring your own packaging! They donate 100% of their tops to an animal charity of their choice, so they are a fantastic independent business to support.
Ego, Manor Farm, Malvern Road
Moving on to non-exclusive vegan eateries, Ego is a brilliantly inclusive dining venue with a permanently available vegan menu. Many vegan diners find themselves with a singular main course option available in a standard restaurant, and so we’re thrilled to see venues like Ego step up and offer a full catering experience.
Main meals at Ego include a Linguine Verdure with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and Neapolitan sauce, and Courgette & Sweetcorn Fritters. Homemade, these spiced fritters come with carrot, raisin and orange salad, red pepper tapenade, hummus and toasted dukka. Dessert options include a Warm Frangipane and Raspberry Tart, served with vegan vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis, or a Fresh Fruit Salad with strawberries, raspberries, apples, and oranges for a lighter choice.
From Monday to Saturday, until 5:30 pm, diners can secure two courses from the Prix Fixe Menu for £18.95, or three courses for £22.95. Gluten-free options are readily available, so the restaurant caters for any and all dietary requirements. To book a table for dining, visit their website, here.
Anarkali, The Tything
If you’re in the mood for South Asian cuisine, look no further than Indian restaurant Anarkali, located on the Tything. This lovely restaurant and takeaway provides quality, authentic Indian food, with a real focus on bringing the flavours to all. They have a wide range of dietary-inclusive menus, and 90% of their products are gluten-free, including their breads!
The vegan and vegetarian menu includes a huge range of dishes, from the Bengali Butternut Squash & Chickpeas (squash roasted in tandoori, cooked with dried red chillies & medium spiced chana, fried garlic and five spices), to the Achari (fresh courgette, mushroom and spinach bhuna, with fresh mango and homemade pickle).
They also offer vegan-friendly starters and sides, including the tandoori-roasted pepper stuffed with vegetables, and the classic veggie samosa. For some of the best vegan curries out there, which are jam-packed with vegetables and flavours, and aren’t too oily in the way that most vegan curries tend to be, head to Anarkali. To book a table, head over to their website, here.
Starseed Coffee and Kitchen, Mealcheapen Street
Looking for a cake and a cuppa after a long day of hitting the shops? The brand new Starseed café on Mealcheapen Street is the perfect place to stop off after a trip to the charity shops! A plant-based café offering coffee, cakes, and light bites, Starseed is the city’s newest vegan venture. Owner Noel founded ‘Dutty Vegan’, offering vegan fast food in his café in Market Hall, The Shambles. We’re thrilled to see the grand return of ‘Dutty Vegan’ in pop-ups at Noel’s new venue, offering a full menu of plant-powered street food.
The café caters to all dietary requirements, with lots of gluten-free sweet treats. Starseed Coffee and Kitchen is a one-stop shop for all your catering needs. We’re delighted to see a vegan café finding its feet, right in the city centre, and we wish Noel the best of luck with his newest venture!
Lots of the city’s restaurants cater to a vegan diet too – honourable mentions include Ask Italian, with their large vegan menu, including the delicious Folded Garlic Bread with Mozzarisella, and the yummy No’Duja Vegana pizza, topped with sauteed mushrooms, balsamic red onions, red pepper pearls and grated courgette. We also recommend The Botanist for its impressive Vegan Board, with bang bang cauliflower, giant couscous, houmous with roasted chickpeas, vegan meatballs in marinara sauce and crispy mushrooms. Chesters, one of the longest-standing restaurants in the city, is also jam-packed with Mexican vegan options, and are happy to make nearly any dish on their menu vegan-friendly! A special mention must go to their Crispy Cauliflower Wrap, which is an absolute fan-favourite!
We hope that this list has a little something for every vegetarian and vegan in Worcester and the surrounding areas, and we look forward to seeing more vegan outlets opening up in the city soon!