Pizza Punks

After reading that they had a deal on for Veganuary, Sam and I decided to pop into Pizza Punks for lunch today.

Pizza Punks charge a standard £10 for their build-your-own pizzas, which includes unlimited toppings. As someone who loves adding extra toppings to her pizza (come at me all-the-veggies), this is a big pro for me.

As well as not charging more for extra toppings, Pizza Punks have kept us vegetarians and vegans in mind when creating their menu, with a dairy-free cheese and a choice of vegan "meats".


I ordered vegan sausage, caramelised red onion, mushroom, sweetcorn, olives and chilli flakes, while Sam chose vegan haggis, sweetcorn, red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. We both ordered the sourdough as our pizza base, but there's also a gluten-free base on the menu.

My pizza looks very brown compared to Sam's much more colourful order, but I promise you it was delicious! The cheese was lovely and creamy with a subtle flavour which didn't overpower the taste of the toppings. I've tried vegan cheese in other restaurants which has the consistency of a cheese sauce, but the Pizza Punks vegan cheese is much firmer and more "cheesy". It still didn't have the stringy effect which some dairy cheeses have, but I'm yet to find any vegan cheese that does!

The sausage was crumbled up over the top of the pizza and gave it a slightly spicy flavour. I know some people don't like imitation meats but I personally really like when a restaurant offers them - I think it shows the kitchen is going the extra mile to provide more choice for vegetarians and vegans (which, even if they're not your cup of tea, can only be a good thing!). I've also never seen vegan haggis being offered on a pizza before, so I was really impressed with Pizza Punks for thinking outside of the box!


The restaurant itself is really nice with bare brick walls, quirky decor and neon lights. While cooler than some other pizza chains, Pizza Punks doesn't feel pretentious or hipster - the staff were friendly, the service was quick and there was a mix of different customers (including an extended family with children and a baby).

While there are other pizza places in Glasgow offering their standard margarita pizza at a cheaper price, the usual requirement to pay more for toppings can quickly add up and be just as expensive, if not more (depending on how toppings-happy you are!). The unusual addition of vegan cheese and meats also sets Pizza Punks apart and gives them extra points against their competitors - any place that makes a special effort to offer meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans the same quality of experience gets a huge thumbs up from me!

By the way, if you visit Pizza Punks before the end of the month, their deal for Veganuary is a vegan pizza and a Freakshake with vegan chocolate brownie for only £10!

Vegan Burd Breakfast Club

I was up bright and early this morning to head out for the very first Vegan Burd Breakfast Club. Set up by the brilliant vegan blogger and chocolate-maker extraordinaire, Adele (AKA Vegan Burd on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook), to bring together Glasgow's best vegan breakfast food and the people who love to eat it.


The club kicked off this morning at Rose and Grants, a cafe in the Trongate area of Glasgow, which is perhaps most famously known for the vegan square sausage on the menu!

A £10 ticket for the event bought every guest a full Scottish breakfast - including toast, fried mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, a potato scone, baked beans and a vegan square sausage - a hot drink and one of Adele's incredible chocolate bars. You might have spotted online (or in the bloomin' Metro!) that Adele makes vegan versions of childhood favourite chocolate bars, including her 'Yer Bound Tae', 'Rollaz' and 'A Wafer A Break'.

By the way, you can choose which bar you want and I obviously choose the 'A Wafer A PB Break' because if there's anything which can make vegan chocolate even better it's peanut butter.


The event was a really fun way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday morning - and to meet other vegans who appreciate breakfast food as much as I do.

Also, special mention to going out for a meal with people who completely understand and don't make fun of your fervent need to take a photograph of your food before you eat it!

If you'd like to come along to the next Vegan Burd Breakfast Club - in Bloc on Sunday 11th February - then head over to the events page to snap up your ticket before it sells out.

Thanks again to Adele for setting up the Vegan Burd Breakfast Club and for being such a lovely host!

Best vegan options at chain restaurants

Whether you're already vegan, are taking part in Veganuary or just fancy trying something different, I've rounded up some of the best vegan food being served up by chain restaurants across the UK to help making eating out easier.

By the way, for those who don't know, Veganuary (pronounced 'vee-gan-uary') is a charity which encourages people to go vegan for the month of January and throughout the rest of the year. With information, guides and recipes on their website, Veganuary aims to help make the change to a vegan diet as easy and tasty as possible. If you're taking part then you're in good company - more than 115,000 people across the world have already registered to take part this year, and Veganuary expect the final figure to exceed 150,000!

Anyway, back to the vegan food...

Zizzi


A personal favourite of mine, Italian food chain Zizzi have an entirely separate vegan food menu (as well as a gluten-free menu), which includes a selection of different pizzas topped with a creamy vegan mozzarella alternative, Mozzarisella, and a mouth-watering sticky chocolate and praline torte.

For Veganuary, Zizzi have launched a new vegan pizza, the Arcobaleno, which is topped with beetroot, sun-dried tomatoes, chilli, purple basil and avocado.

If you fancy giving their vegan menu a whirl (and I really think you should), Zizzi are offering 2-4-1 on all vegan mains all day Sunday to Thursday until 31st January 2018.

Handmade Burger Company


If you're fed up of menus packed with chicken and beef burgers and only one lousy veggie burger, then get your butt to Handmade Burger Company. The burger chain have six - count 'em, six - vegan burgers to choose from on their menu: Cajun vegetable and bean; falafel; veg-mex; sweet potato and bean; Thai vegetable and the veggie stack (order it without the cheese).

As well as free refills on the fizzy drinks machine, Handmade Burger Company serve soya milkshakes in vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, banana and peanut butter flavours.

Handmade Burger Company have also teamed up with Veganuary to offer 2-4-1 vegan mains for the month, so you have the perfect excuse to go more than once to try all of those vegan burger options...

Las Iguanas



The last place to offer 2-4-1 vegan mains for Veganuary is Latin American chain Las Iguanas. With original vegan dishes including coconut and chilli squash tacos and creamy tembleque pudding, Las Iguanas is the perfect opportunity to try something new this month, even if you're on a tight budget.

Also, heads up, Las Iguanas also do 2-4-1 cocktails all day, every day - even on bank holidays! If you're in Scotland, then all cocktails are £4.25.

Pizza Hut


I hadn't been to Pizza Hut since I was a teenager but I rushed in last month to try their new vegan cheese - yes, vegan cheese in Pizza Hut, what a time to ditch dairy! Pizza Hut's pan, all American thin and flatbread crusts are vegan, so pick one then load it up with Violife's award-winning cheese alternative and all of the veggies your heart desires.

Don't forget that Pizza Hut have unlimited refills on fizzy drinks and an unlimited salad bar. The salad bar even includes 'bacon' bits, which are, bizarrely, 100% vegan - I would love to see all the 'I love bacon' Twitter trolls choke on their pizza after finding that out!

All Bar One



All Bar One have launched a new vegan menu for Veganuary - but will be offering it until 28th February 2018, so you have an extra month to try it out. Highlights include seasonal mushroom tempura with a toasted sesame and miso dip; a superfood quinoa bowl packed with kale, quinoa, chickpeas, spiced cauliflower, carrot, mint, coriander, pomegranate, pineapple, omega seeds and ginger dressing; and a coconut and vanilla rice pudding with a blueberry compote.

If you want to make a real night of it, All Bar One also offer a selection of vegan wines, so, go on, treat yourself...

Costa


If you're in a rush and need something quick, then, don't worry, even chain coffee shops are getting in on the cruelty-free act. As well as soya, Costa have recently added coconut milk to their menu.

If you fancy something to go with your coconut and vanilla latte, try their new paradise slice - a vegan cake with a desiccated coconut base with sultanas, apricot and cranberries, topped with chocolate, raspberries and pistachios.

Starbucks


If you're more of a Starbucks fan then don't worry - they've also added a bunch of vegan options to their menu recently! Starbucks now offer oat milk, as well as almond, coconut and soya. They have breakfast and lunch covered too, with a five grain oatmeal pot with soya and coconut cream, linseed, quinoa, red and wild rice and cinnamon; a BBQ wrap with jackfruit and carrot and sweetcorn slaw; and a dark chocolate and hazelnut bar.

Pret


Of course I couldn't talk about vegan options in coffee shops without mentioning Pret. While their three entirely veggie Prets are only in London*, they keep their fridges stocked with brilliant veggie and vegan options up and down the country. Start your day with creamy coconut porridge or the acai and almond butter breakfast bowl. Then brighten up your lunch hour with a baguette, wrap or flat bread packed with a selection of fillings, including butternut squash dhansak; avocado, olives and tomatoes; and avocado and chipotle chickpeas. And, no matter the time of the day, there's always room for a vegan chocolate and salted caramel brownie.

* Can the next veggie Pret be in Glasgow, pretty please, Pret?!

YO! Sushi


With their tofu katsu curry voted 'Best Vegan Curry' by PETA, it should be no surprise that YO! Sushi serve up a bellyful of great vegan options. Highlights include vegetable gyoza (crunchy vegetable and soya filled dumplings with soy vinegar dipping sauce); vegetable tempura (assorted vegetables and nori in a crispy tempura batter with a sesame vinegar sauce); and vegetable Yakisoba (Yakisoba noodles in a tangy sauce served with fresh, crunchy vegetables).

YO! Sushi have also recently added three new vegan options to their menu - green gyoza (spinch and vegetable dumplings); agedashi tofu (hot tofu with daikon, ginger, spring onion and Ponzu sauce); and spicy cauliflower (crispy cauliflower marinated in spices, red chilli and spring onions).

Wagamama


With a menu of fresh dishes which could be custom ordered to suit your dietary requirements, Wagamama has always made an effort with vegetarian and vegan diners - but the launch of their first exclusively vegetarian and vegan menu has made eating there even better. Now, instead of having to worry about being the picky eater asking for changes, you can simply choose from the selection of mains, sides and desserts - and even vegan beer and wine!

JD Wetherspoons


I thought I'd end here because chances are, whether it's dinner and pre-drinks with friends or going out with colleagues after work, you're probably going to be in a Wetherspoons sometime soon. Thankfully eating vegan in Wetherspoons is just as cheap and cheerful as you'd expect, with options including five bean chilli, teriyaki noodles or - my personal favourite - sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry.

I hope you've found that helpful! Are there any chain restaurants with great vegan options which I've missed?
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