Veganism, the global food phenomenon that intertwines health and ethical practice, is finding its way in India. From cafés to dabbawalas, here are vegan food places that make cruelty-free food accessible.
Bodhi Greens, Dharamshala
Main Street, Dharamkot
Started in 2017, at Bodhi Greens, you get an extensive menu comprising Buddha bowls, vegan local thalis, quick-bites like momos and pancakes, raw desserts and green smoothies. “Dharamshala is a micro cosmopolitan town, where we get to serve people from all over the globe. These travellers help create a vibe of music, art and amazing conversations. It’s not just about great food, but an experience that lasts a long time,” says owner, Varun Sharma, 23. Apart from the food, the helpful staff, friendly owner, books around the café, and the lovely local atmosphere make it a must-visit.
Terrassen Café, Hyderabad
Road No 4, Banjara Hills, Near Animal Care Clinic
Food is not treated with love and respect generally, as everything is commoditised. That’s the reason I wanted to bring in a unique, vegan and healthy menu comprising only honest, unpretentious food,” says Dhanesh Sharma, who started this café three years ago. This place is all about slow-cooked, gluten-free, nutritious food. The menu has cakes, shakes, savoury dishes, and more — all at pocket-friendly prices. Apart from its vegan fare, the café hosts author meet-ups, art workshops and poetry sessions.
The Real Green Café, Pune
Shop No 17, First Floor, The Hub, North Main Road, Koregaon Park
Aishwarya Viswanath, who switched to a vegan diet way back in 2011, wanted to inspire more people to eat mindfully. She then quit her corporate job to open Pune’s first 100% vegan café three years later. Sample her café’s vegan coffees, shakes, spaghetti with meat balls, pizzas, and the newest addition, American-style cheesecakes. “We serve fresh, slow-cooked and wholesome food, as opposed to fast and processed food,” says Aishwarya. “I want the customers to experience an abundance of healthier alternatives without missing out on anything when they turn vegan.”
No 607, First Floor, 80 Feet Road, 6th Block, Koramangala
This was the first vegan restaurant in Bengaluru, opened in February, 2013. “We were inspired by the idea of bringing in a wide range of delicious vegan food and breaking all the myths about veganism,” says co-owner Susmitha Subbaraju. You’ll be spoilt for choice with their mock meats, desserts (from chocolate mousse to vegan rasmalai), cakes, creamy pastas, ice creams, and more. Sign up for their special events: recipe workshops, meditation classes, talk sessions.
Imagine Café, Mumbai
G-61, R-Galleria, Runwal Greens, Mulund
Mumbai’s first-ever vegan café opened its doors this May, thanks to two passionate vegans Ritwik Roy (29) and Vidhi Shah (25). Their menu involves plant-based versions of Indian, American, Mexican and more cuisines. Try their cheesy quiches, baked mac and cheese and mozzarella sticks. Coming up next: “We’re working on our in-house cheese and butter production that we not only plan to serve at the café, but also deliver to people’s homes. This will definitely encourage more people towards vegan food,” says Vidhi.
CHECK IN: Eateries with a vegan-friendly menu
Greenr Café, Sector-15, Gurugram
A pleasant ambience, a menu that’s 80% vegan and a work-friendly set-up, this café ticks all the boxes!
Bread & Chocolate, Auroville, Puducherry
Interact with like-minded people at this café and bakery that serves vegan versions of cakes, cookies, truffles and savoury dishes like tartines and scramble bowls.
Farmers’ Café, Bandra (W), Mumbai
Opt for soy milk coffee, scrambled tofu, vegan pizzas, and more, while chilling with friends at this trendy Pali Hill food spot.
Roadhouse Café, Greater Kailash 1, Delhi
This Italian restaurant has a separate menu for vegans that includes artisanal pizzas, desserts, and milkshakes.