I’ve lived in Norwich for six years now, after studying at UEA and falling in love with the city. It’s a beautiful place, with so much history and culture and a vast array of pubs, restaurants and shops. You’ll find old city walls, cobbled lane ways, cute boutiques, pop up eateries and of course, its famous market – the largest open-air market in the country. You are never short of options when it comes to dining out in Norwich. From vegan pop-up stalls to veggie-friendly restaurants, I’ve compiled a list below of places that are either completely vegan/ veggie or offer great meat-free options… Enjoy!
**PS. The restaurants below are exclusive to Norwich and are all based in or close to the city centre. I’ve also written a post on ‘How to eat vegan at chain restaurants‘ which covers UK-wide restaurants and cafes.
Restaurants & Cafes
THE BELGIAN MONK
Tucked along the cobbled streets of Pottergate, this Belgian restaurant’s menu is unbelievably big! They offer meat/ fish dishes, vegetarian dishes and purely vegan dishes. I’m usually suspicious of large menus… they can’t cook THAT many dishes perfectly… can they?! Well, we’ve not been disappointed so far (and I’ve worked my way through a large portion of their menu!). Food is reasonably priced and they even have a ‘two for £12’ deal on weekdays from 12-3pm and 5.30-7pm which is a real bargain. They have many Belgian classics on their meat/fish menu but the choices are a little more worldly on the vegan menu. Options include ‘Salt and pepper tofu with a peanut dipping sauce’, ‘Wild mushroom and cashew nut Belgian beer pie’ and ‘Harissa roasted cauliflower, tomato, aubergine, chickpea, sprouting broccoli and courgette with lemongrass and ginger quinoa’. They even have vegan desserts including fig, orange and cardamom cheesecake and a warm chocolate fudge slice!
This 100% vegan and veggie restaurant is situated above Norwich’s well-loved Rainbow Wholefoods Store. It’s a cute, fairly small restaurant with lovely wooden beams lining the ceiling and a homely atmosphere. They have a small courtyard with outdoor seating too, which is great for summer snacking. Wild Thyme offers freshly pressed juices alongside a good collection of starters, mains and desserts. A lot of the options include (dairy) cheese, but this can easily be swapped out for a vegan alternative. Mains include ‘slow baked celeriac with rosemary roasted potatoes, chestnut stuffing, red onion gravy and kale’, ‘rainbow veg & rice noodle salad with marinated tofu, edamame, bean sprouts, mushrooms and peanut/lime dressing’ and ‘avocado & lemon linguine’.
RIVER GREEN CAFE
River Green is based just outside the city (in Trowse) and almost all the dishes are vegan, or can be veganised. This vegetarian restaurant offers lunch and dinner and often hosts special dinners with musicians or guest speakers at a set price. They have recently given their menu a makeover and there is a great selection of appetisers, starters, mains and desserts. Starters include ‘Mediterranean spiced pine nut, raisin and shallot brik pastries with Za’atar, tahina and salad leaves’ and ‘Seasonal vegetable pakora with local spiced carrot chutney, poppadom and cucumber raita’ (delicious!). For mains I’ve tried the pithivier (pie), a veggie burger from the specials board and the ‘Slider Burger Triplet’ – falafel in pitta, cashew in seeded bun, mushroom in ciabatta, salad, coleslaw, salsa and tahina. All very tasty!!
Frank’s is a popular hangout at all times of the day – opening until midnight Tuesday to Thursday and 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays. They serve breakfast, brunch, mains, nibbles and platters which you can wash down with a selection of teas, coffees, juices or fancy cocktails (I highly recommend the Apple Crumble & Custard cocktail!). Their breakfast and brunch options are limited on the vegan front; the only vegan dish is ‘avocado on sourdough with cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds’. Lots of the nibbles are vegan and they do a couple of vegan platters including a Mezze Platter (Roasted beetroot with dill, aubergine chermoula, Moroccan carrot salad, labneh with pistachio, oregano & green olive dressing, crispy pitta strips, salad & guindillas). Their menu changes regularly, but there’s always at least one vegan option on the mains too.
The Workshop on Earlham Road has a large selection of tapas alongside some freshly made pizzas. They don’t have a website and their menu is (rather strangely) attached to the till – and there’s just one. So, I would advise taking a photo of the menu whilst ordering a drink, before sitting down, so that you can look at the menu on your phone when at your table. There’s lots of veggie options and lots that can be veganised – you’ll need to speak to the servers though. The pizzas can also be made without the cheese.
This quirky restaurant and bar is tucked down St Benedicts street and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as gigs in the evenings in their basement bar. There’s nothing vegan on the breakfast menu apart from an avocado salad but there’s a few more options in the evening. For tapas, there’s half a grilled aubergine (skip the feta), bread and oils, olives, potatas bravas (although check they are not fried in butter), tabbouleh salad and zesty cabbage salad. For mains there’s a warm butternut squash salad with spinach, cranberry and pine nuts and is clearly labelled as vegan on their menu.
Supposedly offering the best vegan roast dinner in Norwich, the Temple Bar sits just before the Earlham Road roundabout, next to the Kofra coffee shop. They are often very busy on Sundays, so expect to wait a while for your roast (about an hour!) but I’m told the wait is very much worth it. I still haven’t got around to eating here, which is a pretty poor effort considering I only live 10 minutes walk away….
This dog-friendly pub halfway along Earlham Road changes its menu regularly but always has one option on the menu for vegans, as well as gluten-free beer. Examples of vegan mains include vegetable and chickpea tagine with herbed couscous and a veg stack burger (no aioli).
At the top of Unthank Road you’ll find this B&B and restaurant with a lovely dining area and spectacular beer garden. Perfect for summer evenings, you can dine al fresco, or simply enjoy an afternoon beer on one of their benches or swing chairs. There’s a large outdoor grill for BBQs, herb garden and even a couple of ping pong tables! Vegan mains include red lentil and aubergine dahl with herb salad and polenta chips, a veggie burger with beetroot and onion salsa, and a superfood salad. There’s a couple of vegan starters and even a vegan pud.
MR POSTLES APOTHECARY
This bar and restaurant has recently added a few veggie dishes to their menu, including a vegan parcel (sweet potato wrapped in butternut squash). They also have falafels with hummus, sweet potato bravas and baked avocado, although you’ll need to double check with your server that these are vegan as it doesn’t say on the website. They also have vegan chilli loaded skin on fries which sound pretty epic, a falafel burger, and the vegan chilli as a main with mushroom rice and homemade bread.
Aside from the obvious chain restaurants like Pizza Express, there are some great independent pizzerias in Norwich…
I recently wrote a review of Donelli’s after we visited for the first time. There’s plenty of places to get pizza in Norwich (Pizza Express/ Zizzi’s etc) but this was my first trip to a ‘proper’ pizzeria. Here the toppings are simple, the pizzas are cheap and the wine is served by the litre – what more could you want!? The pizzas pictured are the Verona (mozzarella, cherry tomatoes & rocket) and Florence (mozzarella, prosciutto ham, rocket & Parmigiano Reggiano). These options obviously aren’t vegan (pic was taken when I was vegetarian), but the Napoli is (tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh basil & oregano) and they are happy to mix and match vegan ingredients if you fancy creating your own.
Sticking with pizza…. Brick is a brand new addition to Norwich and is found nestled between the Sir Garnet pub and the Norwich Market, right in the centre of the High Street. Offering handcrafted traditional wood oven fired pizzas in a cosy brick-walled restaurant, they even have a dedicated vegan pizza. For £10, you’ll get a freshly made pizza topped with vegan cheese, basil, onions, olives, peppers and mushrooms. YUM. You can also ‘donate a brick’ – for £4 you can write your name on a brick in the restaurant and they will use the donation to provide a pizza to someone in need. Great idea 🙂
Located behind the Earlham Road Co-op, the Greengrocers is a wholefoods shop selling fresh fruit and veg, organic products, homemade pastries and local treats. They sell meat and fish but also have a good selection of tofu, vegan cheeses and spreads. On one half of the shop, there is a small cafe serving breakfast and lunch with vegan options available. There are also gluten free cakes and occasionally vegan ones too, if you just fancy something small. Their vegan sausage rolls are particularly good and they have just started ‘pizza nights’ on Fridays which offers a homemade sourdough pizza (vegan options available) and drink for just £10!
THE LAM THAI
Ethnic food is always a good idea when on the hunt for a vegan meal out. There’s usually tonnes of vegan and veggie options in Thai/ Indian/ Chinese restaurants and many are now incorporating the ingredient ‘mock duck’, a meat substitute made from gluten which sits fantastically well in a curry! The Lam Thai is at the end of St Giles Street, five minutes walk from the city’s high street. The service is always impeccable and the food is fabulous. There’s twelve (!) vegetarian options; only one isn’t vegan (or technically vegetarian), which can easily be adapted by scrapping the fish sauce.
The Lam Thai is now closed but has been replaced with Bangladeshi restaurant ‘St Giles Spice’ who offer a range of curries with either vegetables or tofu.
Sticking with the Thai theme, there’s also The Sugarhut. Just between London Street and Castle Meadow, this restaurant is next to a vegetarian Indian restaurant called Namaste (see below). Most curries offered can be made up with tofu instead of meat and there’s also four separate stir fried tofu dishes to choose from. There’s two veggie starters; spring rolls and tempura vegetables. We went for the tempura, which was lovely and came with two dipping sauces.
As I mentioned above, this Indian restaurant is completely meat-free! All dishes are vegetarian and most are also vegan. There’s a large selection of nibbles, starters, and breads and a huge selection of different curries. The restaurant is alcohol free but you can bring your own if you want to. For a lunchtime bargain, on weekdays from 12-3pm there is a two for one offer on starters and mains. I haven’t actually been to Namaste myself yet, but I’ve heard great things – it’s on my to-do list!
This Turkish restaurant is situated on St Stephens Road and has a few vegan options, all clearly marked on their menu. There’s the usual houmous (normal and roasted red pepper), olives and bread but also falafels, Coban salad (Tomatoes, onions, cucumber and chopped parsley), Kisir (Eastern Anatolian salad made with bulgur, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and garlic), Ezme (freshly mashed tomato, peppers with onion and green herbs), lentil kofte balls and stuffed vine leaves. For mains there’s Imam Bayildi (aubergine stuffed with fried Turkish peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes and baked in tomato sauce) and for dessert, vegan Baklava!
The Japanese delicacy of raw fish definitely isn’t what you think of first when someone says ‘vegan’, but it turns out many veggie options can be veganised (if they aren’t already vegan). Shiki have advised me that they can do a vegan version of nearly all the vegetarian dishes, including their vegetable shiki bento and vegetable sushi, you just need to let the staff know that you’re vegan when ordering.
This Asian restaurant is another new(ish) addition to Norwich – Ciscoes has a HUGE menu mostly focusing on Japanese dishes. For smaller dishes, there’s sushi (which can be veganised) or Asian tapas including vegan options such as Wasabi Balls (potato cake seasoned with wasabi and coriander, served with a sweet chilli sauce), tempura vegetables and Agadashi tofu (soft tofu crispy fried, with dashi stock, grated mooli, ginger and spring onion). For larger dishes, there’s crispy tofu with stir-fried veg and rice, crispy noodles with mixed Asian mushrooms, vegetable or tofu curry, tofu teppanyaki (traditional Japanese style of hot-plate grilling) plus a bunch of different sides. Most dishes are made to order, so just let your server know you are vegan when ordering. Ciscoes have told me they even have a vegan dessert which isn’t on the menu yet – banana cooked with sugar and coconut milk and served with toasted sesame seeds… YUM.
Taking the place of what used to be The Last Brasserie and little sister to the The Last Wine Bar, Blue Joanna offers a completely different feel to its predecessor. Found along the student-friendly Unthank road, Blue Joanna offers Asian style street food, funky cocktails, vinyl records and live music nights.. as well as its resident blue piano from which the bar takes its name! Vegan options include Korean Blue Taco (2 soft blue corn tortillas, salsa roja, pickled cucumber, Asian slaw, soy lime dressing) with tofu. There’s also crispy tofu balls with shitake mushrooms & hijiki seaweed, grilled aubergine with miso, ginger & garlic, hand-cut fries, sweet potato fries (skip the mayo), Japanese rice, seasonal greens (skip the XO sauce) & crispy shallots, wakame & cucumber salad, mixed leaf salad with Ponzu citrus dressing and sesame dressed broccoli. There’s sorbet or panko banana for dessert (without the ice cream).
Smaller Restaurants & Food Stalls
THE GLUTEN FREE SHOP & CAFE
A fairly new addition to Norwich, this cafe and shop can be found at Timberhill and is 100% gluten free! They also have a hefty selection for vegans – vegan cake is delivered every Wednesday, the soup is always vegan and if you ask for an egg free roll and dairy free cheese, they can even do you a cheese & pickle sandwich. There’s a selection of vegan pies which can be served with lentil chips and salad, or as a ploughmans, and there’s a vegan hot chocolate too… including marshmallows and whipped cream!! The extensive gluten free shop upstairs is also full of veggie and vegan options including cheeses, ice creams, chocolate and biscuits.
Also found on Timberhill is this new bakery, boasting fresh bread made from scratch every day using 100% natural ingredients and no nasty additives! In their open kitchen, they create a selection of breads and cakes thanks to their artisan French bread oven. They offer vegan cakes, including a chocolate brownie (with organic dark chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup, raw coconut oil, pistachios), three vegan sourdough toasties (hummus & beetroot/ avocado & sun dried tomato/ roasted butternut and vegan green pesto), one or two soups and one breakfast option of avocado on toast. Their organic fairtrade coffee can also be served with either soya or oat milk.
THE GREENHOUSE CAFE
A stone’s throw away from Norwich’s Chapelfield shopping centre is The Greenhouse Cafe, a vegetarian and vegan cafe. Doubling up as a wholefoods and bookshop, there are always vegan options on the menu and a lot is also gluten-free. There’s soup, savory pastries, salads and sandwiches. You can also treat yourself to a glass of vegan wine in this 100% organic cafe.
THE LOVING HUT
The Loving Hut is a worldwide chain of organic vegan buffet style restaurants and pop-ups. It was years before I knew this place existed as it’s a little tucked away. Just at the end of Castle Meadow, this tiny restaurant has no seating (aside from a wide windowsill); just a small island in the centre that you can use as a table whilst standing. The buffet has a selection of Asian style dishes; noodles, crispy chilli ‘beef’, stir-frys etc, or you can order from a menu with Western options like burgers, hot dogs and ‘fish’ and chips. You can eat in or take away – the dishes are changed regularly but are always delicious. It’s also super affordable at £3.80 for a small plate, £4 for medium, £4.50 for large or £5.50 for all you can eat! To read more about The Loving Hut, see their website.
MOORISH FALAFEL BAR
Nestled halfway along one of the lane-ways (Lower Goat Lane), Moorish is a long time favourite with Norwich locals and visitors alike. Sitting in TripAdvisor’s Top 10 of all Norwich eateries, this cute little falafel bar offers warm, crispy, homemade falafels with delicious salads and pittas, topped with signature sauces. For those with a sweeter tooth, they also have a selection of locally sourced artisan vegan cakes – yum! They often have deals on, eg. the salad and lemonade below was a summer deal costing £5.50. You can sit in (upstairs), outside or take a box away which is slightly cheaper.
The Bia Kitchen is a brand new addition to Norwich’s famous market. I first discovered this vegan diner when they came to the Norwich Vegan Christmas Market as a pop-up food stall. They are now settled into Row B (stall 55) on the market from Monday – Saturday from 10-4pm. Completely vegan, they have a handful of different lunch options including their (now somewhat famous) pulled ‘pork’ burger with red cabbage on a garlic toasted bun. Made from jackfruit, this burger is SO FREAKIN’ GOOD! It was the first time having jackfruit and I wasn’t disappointed. Other options include their breakfast bun with scrambled tofu and sausage patty on ciabatta with ‘bacon’ mayonnaise, meatball sub and ‘lamb’ kofte kebab. Their menu changes weekly so see their Facebook page for what’s on offer.
Also on the Norwich Market (Row F, Stall 125) is a little place called Kind Food. I discovered this place by accident, after spotting a sign saying ‘VEGAN!’ whilst walking between stalls. Of course, I had to go and check it out! The stall is completely gluten free and dairy (milk) free but a few items still have egg in – although speaking to the owner, they are actually transitioning to 100% vegan pastry etc soon and expanding their vegan range, including opening a shop just outside of Norwich. There were vegan cakes, pies and a good selection of chocolates too. I’m planning to pick up one of their vegan crumbles next time i’m in the city.
A very exciting new arrival to the Norwich Lanes – 2016 saw the opening of the UK’s first shop-based micro soya “dairy”. Sadly the opening was just after I left to travel full time, so it will be a while before I get to sample their goods myself! They offer a range of drinks, snacks and foods to go, including sandwiches, cakes, pies and ‘soysage’ rolls. They also offer a great meal deal which includes a sandwich (options have included vegan smoked salmon, ham & cheese, cheese & pickle etc), drink (including their fresh soya milk), crisps, chocolate or nakd bar for just £5! Their deli counter offers ‘soysages’, burgers and a range of fresh tofu. The highlight is the fresh soya milk; opt for the natural non-flavoured, just-beans-and-water variety or try something a little more adventurous. They change up their flavours all the time but options so far have included chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana! They also stock vegan pizzas and the full range of Tyne cashew cheese which is, in my humble opinion, the BEST vegan cheese out there!
THE NORWICH VEGAN POP UP
Although not a restaurant or cafe, if you are lucky enough to be in Norwich on the last Saturday of every month, you can head over to the vegan pop-up between 11-2pm. Within the Quakers Building on Upper Goat Lane, you’ll find an array of tempting vegan snacks including cakes, chocolates, pizza, sausage rolls, cheesy garlic bread, healthier wraps, fresh juice and free tea and coffee. The pop up stalls change regularly and it’s not just food for sale, so refer to their Facebook page to see what goodies will be there.
The Kinder Kafe is run by charity The Missing Kind who mission is to ”support dedicated individuals, empowering them to make their difference; to people, planet and animals, without boundary”. The run a number of ‘kindness’ projects including the Thank You Project where unpaid carers can be nominated to enjoy a two day retreat. The cafe sells a range of vegan and vegetarian food including cakes, sandwiches, sausage rolls and salads. They also offer non-dairy milks for hot drinks, including a vegan hot chocolate.
Coffee & Cake
MILK & MOSS
Milk & Moss is a pop-up cafe that takes over Platform 12 (a piano cocktail bar) on St Benedicts Street. They are there Tues – Sat 9am-4pm and serve a range of coffees (soya milk available) and a good selection of vegan (and mostly gluten free) cakes, sandwiches and bagels. It’s a quirky little spot, and great for a cosy coffee and cake stop!
CUPCAKE AND CO
After a successful year on the Norwich market, Cupcake & Co now offers vegan and gluten free cupcakes from a new shop on Upper St Giles Street. There’s usually a good selection of vegan options and they also stock soya and almond milk for coffees to accompany your cakes. They even have a vegan hot chocolate!
BIDDY’S TEA ROOM
This independent, vintage-inspired tea room has a quirky, Alice in Wonderland feel and is sat along one of the Norwich Lanes. Biddy’s offer traditional afternoon tea, a selection of teas, coffees, cakes, sandwiches and soups. Although the majority of the food is not vegan friendly, they do have a few vegan cakes on offer each day, courtesy of the Deerly Beloved vegan bakery!
You can also find Deerly Beloved’s cakes in the Waterstones cafe, St Benedicts food store, the Little Shop of Vegans the Green Grocers (Earlham Road), the University of East Anglia’s cafe ‘UNIO’ and SportsPark. They are the only 100% vegan bakery in Norwich and also create wedding cakes, celebration cakes and novelty cakes to order!
THE LITTLE SHOP OF VEGANS
Not a cafe or restaurant, but still stocking some yummy goods, The Little Shop of Vegans is a one-stop vegan shop. Based in Magdalen Street, the shop is open seven days a week selling everything from food (refrigerated/ shelved/ ready meals/ snacks) to vegan gifts (including books, perfume and bath bits) and vegan clothing.
Norwich also has a huge selection of chain restaurants; I’ve written a similar post on how to eat vegan in UK chain restaurants.
You are definitely spoilt for choice here 🙂 Please SHARE if you have found it useful – others might too!
DID I MISS SOMETHING??
I plan to add to this list as I discover new vegan eateries. If you know a place in Norwich that offers great vegan options and I haven’t included it above, please let me know so I can add it to the list!