Veganuary might be over but vegan food isn't just for January. Whether you're vegan, thinking of becoming vegan or just interested in how varied and creative vegan food can be then you're in luck. The vegan food scene in London has never been better - whether its a quick desk lunch from Pret, street food or a vegan junk food fix. Here are my top picks from this year so far - vegan lunches definitely do not mean going hungry picking at a sad salad:
1. Indonesian Street Food from Makatcha Eats - £8
A regular at Kerb, Makatcha Eats serves up Indonesian rendang curries and offers a vegan option (alongside two meat options). The mushroom and chickpea curry served on rice with peanut sauce and pickles was the perfect winter warmer on a freezing winter day and my first taste of Indonesian cooking. For the time I was eating this I definitely felt like I was somewhere warmer and less grey and vegetables can definitely pack a huge flavour punch.
2. Vegan Doner from What The Pitta - £8.50-£9
What The Pitta specialise in vegan doner kebabs - either in a wrap or a box. They operate from a stall on Shoreditch High Street but I discovered them via Ubereats on a rainy day when browsing vegan options and was intrigued at how a food with a dubious reputation could both be made vegan and be appealing to sober people during daylight hours - turns out these kebabs are much more inspired by traditional Turkish ones than end-of-drunken-night-out offerings. The box comes packed with vegan "meat", cous cous, salad and loads of sriracha-drizzled hummus - the perfect antidote to a rainy day.
3. Vegan Nachos from Club Mexicana - from £6
Club Mexicana has been on my list for a long time - the street food stall (which is now in residence at Pamela) makes fully vegan Mexican food and has received glowing reviews from vegans and omnivores alike. I visited the Kerb Camden stall at lunchtime and opted for the nachos which were the best I've ever had - the portion is probably meant to be shared alongside other foods but the joy of being a grown-up is giving yourself permission to eat crips for lunch sometimes.
4. Temple of Seitan (/Temple of Hackney) - from £6
The street food favourite now has a permanent residence on Morning Lane, opposite the big Tesco, in Hackney. I arrived at 12pm on a rainy Wednesday and ended up sixth in the queue - keep up with their Twitter if you're planning a visit as some days they sell out. I tried the seitan strip sub and the mac & cheese - definitely not my usual food choices but the buzz, ingenuity and queue had me intrigued. The food is super tasty, salty, indulgent and everything you want from a fast food fix - the mac & cheese was the winner for me, super creamy but totally dairy free. Temple of Seitan are still relative newbies and I can't wait to see where they go in defying perceptions of what "vegan food" is.