Conscious Living: Best places to eat plant-based

Each month, Aksara Inamdar of to Woke Souls shines a light on conscious eating, sustainable living and wellbeing. Here, she reveals some of the best places to feast on delicious plant-based dishes in our area

Illustration by Catherine Bell (41880988)
Illustration by Catherine Bell (41880988)

This year's events have unfolded in such an unpredictable way that it can feel a tad overwhelming to even begin to think about the festive season this autumn. With some of us starting to feel the desire to plan ahead, others are feeling reluctant and uncertain as to what may continue to unfold in the coming months.

Whatever your position may be, whether you are seeking a cosy spot to catch up with friends or considering a hidden gem to host a family or work gathering, I share with you my favourite plant-based eats in and around Cambridge (aside from my absolute favourite dumplings at Zhonghua Traditional Snacks

Cafe Foy, Quayside

Expect: Simple and pocket-friendly, yet visually and orally pleasing plates in a bistro setting with the option to dine outdoors beneath the heat lamps and alongside the River Cam.

My Recommendation: The impressive Falafel Flatbread is far from your average falafel dish; the flavours are incredible, and the Foy D*g is hands-down the best I’ve ever had. Their Iced Chocolate with soy milk is absolutely on point.

Forum House, Great Shelford

Expect: Classic Chinese food with ample vegan options, in a spacious, dimly-lit, quintessential setting with a wooden Lazy Susan in the centre of every large round table - perfect for sharing.

My Recommendation: The Salt & Pepper Tofu and Vegetable Lettuce Wraps to start, followed by the Tofu in Satay, or Tofu in Black Bean, paired with rice or Vegetable Singapore Vermicelli Noodles.

Maurizio Dining, Mill Road

Expect: Fresh, authentic Italian food, house-made pizza and hand-picked wines, alongside the warmth and laughter which fills the space coming from your hosts and owners, Maurizio and Sweet.

My Recommendation: I am obsessed with the Original Bruschetta, Veganara Pizza & Spaghetti Arrabbiata with Maurizio’s homemade tomato sauce and chilli relish. You can also opt for a sprinkling of vegan cheese.

Restaurant 22, Chesterton Road

Expect: Thoughtful food prepared with seasonal produce within a quaint Victorian heritage house.

My Recommendation: The weekly changing tasting menu, which is heavily inspired by the season’s offerings. With all of the dishes being freshly prepared each day, a vegan version is available with advance notice.

Thanh Binh, Magdalene Street

Expect: Innovative vegan dishes with an authentic flavour, in a classic and sophisticated setting, a stone’s throw from the River Cam. You can also BYO.

My Recommendation: The fresh passion fruit juice is incredible. Bánh Xèo Chay to start, a filled rice flour pancake, followed by the Gà Nấu Nấm Chay, mock chicken in a mushroom sauce, or the Vịt Cà Ri Chay, slow-cooked mock duck & fried tofu in a coconut curry.

Thrive, Norfolk Street

Expect: Flavoursome comfort food and avant-garde sweet treats, in a light and airy setting comprising two floors along with a hatch that serves the terrace area.

My Recommendation: Both Beer Battered Tofish and Provencal Battered Oyster Mushrooms are incredible, as are the homemade Jaffa Cakes, in addition to the Rose and Chocolate Cake.

The Architect, Castle Street

Expect: Hearty and flavoursome comfort food in a retro town-centre gastro-pub.

My Recommendation: The Banana Blossom F*sh & Chips. I always opt for the beer batter to coat my banana blossom, along with the Architect Slaw and Rustic Tartare Sauce (all of which are vegan).

Vegan Vice, East Road

Expect: The best plant-based burgers in Cambridge, packed full of protein, served in an upbeat, tropical setting with cosy festival vibes.

My Recommendation: The Truffle Loaded Fries, Peanut BBQ Viceburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, and any of the Strips. The shakes are thick and creamy - my personal favourite is the Salted Caramel & Pretzel.

Beyond Cambridge

For extra special venues just on the outskirts of Cambridge, be sure to check out: Provenance Kitchen, The Willow Tree (explore their Tipi, Garden, and Dome dining experiences), and Tuddenham Mill (explore al fresco dining in their Secret Garden).

Meet Aksara

Aksara Inamdar (41880986)
Aksara Inamdar (41880986)

Aksara Inamdar is an advocate for the conscious living movement and founder of to Woke Souls. As a creative writer, entrepreneur, and soon to be podcaster, she is passionate about making a real difference by using her platforms to inform, inspire and motivate others to live a more enlightened and fulfilled life.

to Woke Souls is a leading resource and community for sustainability, slow living and self-love. The site features insights from our city’s most purpose-led, inspired individuals and serves an engaged readership of people seeking to better care for themselves, their communities and the planet.

Find out more about Aksara and to Woke Souls at / @towokesouls

Illustration by Catherine Bell

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