Food & Drink's Editors review how super Selly Oak's new Sainsbury's super-store isWritten by Lydia Waller & Emily Calder on 27th December 2018
Review: A Vegan Fresher’s Guide to Birmingham
Beth Sadler sets out to help anyone vegan in Birmingham with her top four plant-based eateries
Coming to the second largest populated city in the country can be an extremely nerve-wracking experience – especially if you are a plant based foodie like myself. Since my journey as a fresher and a vegan both began in Birmingham, I understand the fret of how to find your way around a city that offers such an extensive selection of food. However, with a year’s worth of hummus, falafel, and all things soya behind me, I have developed a list of the best places to head to if you are looking to fill a vegan tum.
- Three Three’s
Top of the list and my all-time favourite place in the Midlands, Three Three’s appeals to vegans and non-vegans alike. With a warm and cosy interior, the aesthetics create the perfect surroundings to curl up and tuck into the best vegan brownie of your life. Whilst the savoury options are a delight of their own, this is the destination for a sweet tooth like me who is looking for a vegan cake that isn’t made with ‘all natural ingredients’. The ‘Brownie Cupcake’ is a chocolate based cake filled with gooey warm sauce and topped with chocolate buttercream and chunky pieces of brownie. After sampling this with non-vegan friends, they were shocked at how it could be egg and dairy free and still taste so good. With cakes, ice-cream, milkshakes, and a luxuriously rich vegan hot chocolate, Three Three’s is equipped to satisfy your sickly sweet needs. If all this is not enough, they also host yoga mornings and open mic sessions!
- Café Soya
Venture a little further out and you will hit Chinatown – a prime location for tasty tofu goodness. Just by the name you can tell that Café Soya is aimed at vegans like me with an agenda for Asian cuisine. Be prepared for mock-meat paradise, as this café has a replacement for every traditional Asian dish you can imagine. Chicken substitutes are a familiar face to all vegans, but the option to try vegan fish and even vegan prawn toast makes Café Soya unique. Although the hoisin ‘duck’ pancakes are my particular favourite, I can assure you that if all you miss from those pre-vegan days is a Chicken Chow Mein, this restaurant is the answer.
“Even the health fanatic veggies are in seventh heaven with a ‘chickpea tuna’ salad that leaves you praising the plant based gods for chickpeas once more
- Fressh Food
If you fancy a shopping trip into The Bullring, Fressh is the place to cure those midday hunger pains. With a menu varying from breakfast burritos, to burgers and brownies, there is definitely something for every kind of vegan. Even the health fanatic veggies are in seventh heaven with a ‘chickpea tuna’ salad that leaves you praising the plant based gods for chickpeas once more. If, like me, one thing you can never get right is vegan cheese, order their vegan mac and prepare to be impressed. Just five mins away from the centre off City Arcade, Fressh is a must.
- Falafel Munch
Extremely popular among the older veggie students but unbeknown to you ‘vegan fresh,’ Falafel Munch takes that all familiar combination of chickpea to another level. Bagging a wrap and a freshly pressed juice for only a fiver, this little takeaway is perfect for the student crowd. With each order made fresh to taste, the only flaw can be that Selly Oak is a little far from The Vale. But, trust me, this little eatery is worth the walk.
If you start with these places, you can be sure of two things: a lot of over eating and perhaps a slightly smaller bank balance. But never will your fellow freshers say again – ‘vegans just eat greens.’