10 Indies To Check Out In National Vegetarian Week
Eating more vegetarian food is a great way to do your bit to help the planet, and National Vegetarian Week is a great opportunity to explore some delicious veggie food at home and out and about across the county.
We’ve compiled a top 10 of our go to places to get an awesome veggie fix this week, and beyond!
If you’re looking to try some new dishes at home, check out the Cultivate online shop which is open from 4 pm Thursday til 10 am Tuesday every week full of awesome local, organic and seasonal produce.
Cultivate is Oxford’s Local Food Cooperative supplying local, organic, fresh fruit and veg to the people of Oxford via their Summertown Farmer’s market stall, and online click & collect and delivery services. Less than 1% of the food consumed in the county is actually produced here and they’re looking to change that by working closely with local growers, farmers and producers to help create a more sustainable food chain in the county. Shopping with Cultivate not only means you’re getting a wide variety of fresh, tasty, and organic produce, but you’re also helping them create a better food system for Oxford. Better for everyone who eats food, better for everyone who grows food, and better for the planet.
If you fancy dining out this week, The Handle Bar always has a great selection of veggie options, and their brunch menu is 90% veggie (their avocado toast is the best in town!)
The Handle Bar is a quirky Cafe on St Michael Street with bikes hanging off the ceiling, wooden floors and beams, large bright windows and a cosy atmosphere.
Ingredients are carefully sourced from local independent suppliers. Their menu changes with the seasons and they work with a handful of local suppliers to ensure that all food and drink is ethically sourced. Coffee beans are supplied by The Missing Bean and fridges are stocked with local craft beers.
The Folly Restaurant is an gorgeous place to enjoy a special dinner, and their vegan menu is totally delicious. Rianna and I tried the Vegan Tasting Menu last year which was fantastic!
The Folly is one of Oxford’s few independent, family owned restaurants. They offer an excellent dining experience in a unique location as well as providing wonderfully unusual experiences such as their Cruise and Dine package, cocktail masterclasses and Mad Hatters Tea Parties. The Folly strives to be a sustainable business and offer a constantly evolving seasonal menu to take advantage of the freshest local produce and to reduce ‘food miles’ as much as possible. They have active programs to reduce their energy consumption and dispose of their waste in the most environmentally sensitive manner. The Folly try to be a fair and considerate employer, paying a living wage rather than the minimum wage, and offering opportunities for development to all their staff.
Nicole Crawford set up The Cosmic Cake Company in 2017 to specialise in raw vegan cakes. Always made with 100% natural plant based-ingredients, she creates desserts that are nutritionally rich without compromising on taste. Nature does it better! Her yummy treats are made without dairy, gluten or refined sugar. She loves to make special celebration cakes, as well as supplying to cafes around Oxford. Look out for her at local markets, like The Artisan Distillery Markets, or riding across the city on her delivery bike!
Silvie is always a winner when it comes to local, seasonal vegetarian food. Their menu is ever changing and includes mouth watering dishes such as; Roast fennel salad with apple + radicchio, Roast cauliflower and North Aston salad with carrot hummus + spiced nut crumble, and Mushrooms, Savoy cabbage, fried egg + Parmesan on sourdough. Yum!
Silvie is a family run café in East Oxford. They create a simple menu that strives to combine & celebrate flavour, season, tradition & creativity with a sense of community. It offers a simple and fresh approach; a friendly, no-frills, laid back escape that is a home from home.
Silvie serves breakfast and lunch daily, and also hosts events, workshops, classes and exhibitions. The café also retails and supports local producers, as well as supporting community organisations and groups.
Opened in September 2013, 2 North Parade is a neighbourhood produce store run by Peter Slade and Victoria Borondo.
The team work closely with local farmers, producers and suppliers who focus on the quality, integrity and provenance of their produce. Fresh seasonal produce and the best artisan foods are at the heart of their range. They provide recipe ideas and guide you through the changing seasonal stock.
Fiona Cranston makes delicious home made, locally sourced pickled fruit & vegetables alongside free range pickled eggs. Great store cupboard essentials for veggies! All her ingredients are sourced locally from farms and markets around Oxfordshire, so she pickles what is in season and available locally. There is no single use plastic used across the business, and she uses fresh herbs and spices in all her pickles. Alongside the tasty pickles, Fiona also holds Supper Clubs, as well as serving pickled street food out of her pickle van!
Another great indie to dine out at is The Perch in Binsey, which offers an awesome seasonal Vegan Menu, including local produce from Medley Manor Farm.
The Perch is one of Oxford’s oldest pubs, offering fabulous food and drinks to locals and tourists alike seeking relaxing refreshment after a stroll along the River Thames, across beautiful Port Meadow.
This is such a great spot for afternoon drinks or a leisurely meal. The large garden is a beautiful place in the summer and the cosy bar and large open fire provide a great hideaway in the winter.
Edamame is a small, family run eatery in the heart of Oxford that serves truly authentic and freshly prepared Japanese home-cooking (and sushi) in an informal and inviting setting, including a substantial vegetarian offer. They operate three different menus that follow a weekly schedule so their food and its preparation can be as fresh as possible.
During 20 years, Edamame has received numerous local, national and international commendations. In 2017 and 2018 Edamame was approved by the Japanese Government as Oxford’s only authentic Japanese restaurant!
Offering delicious food at inexpensive prices with friendly and efficient service, they hope their guests will return for more. It is a small premises so they do not take reservations. It is strongly recommended that people check Edamame’s website to be sure of their unusual opening hours and of which menu will be on prior to a visit.
If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate in boho style, check out The Oxford Yurt, best described as a hidden wild oasis, a place where you can really unwind away from the hustle and bustle of modern life without needing to travel too far. Where all your needs are catered for including delicious vegetarian food cooked on site, unique accommodation and entertainment organised.
The Oxford Yurt specialise in group celebrations, in particular alternative Hen Weekends, big birthdays and company away days. With three independent and stylish accommodation venues, 2 atmospheric Yurts, and a contemporary Geodome, each including their own fun wooden cabins and outdoor lounge/bar areas.
This adult sleepover with its campfires, amber sunsets and star-studded night skies, provides a stage for a wonderfully relaxed weekend, full of the type of warmth, freedom and attention to detail that enables you to savour the moment and connect with those around you.
I hope this gives you some veggie inspiration for National Vegetarian Week which runs from 13th to 19th May 2019. Eating veggie doesn’t mean you have to make massive lifestyle changes. Even simple swaps make a positive impact on the planet. To find out more, check out the National Vegetarian Week website.
We love finding new indies across Oxfordshire so if you have any tips for your favourite veggie friendly places, please do let us know! To unearth more exciting foodie indies, check out our Independent Oxford directory, full of wonderful indies sourcing the best local and seasonable food and drink.