If 2019 has taught us anything, it's that veganism is more than just a passing fad. As more and more plant-based and veg-focused eateries open in the UAE, we've compiled a list of must-visit health-conscious, cruelty-free spots.
This wellness centre, vegan cafe and concept shop in Dubai is a haven for healthy folk. The cosy eatery is located in the garden, and has a Balinese feel to it. The menu offers all sorts of dairy, chemical, gluten, additive-free dishes, as well as fresh juices and alkalised water that you can have unlimited refills of for a mere Dh2. The chickpea omelette comes highly recommended.
Little Erth by Nabz & G
Formally known as Urth by Nabz & G, Little Erth is a tiny, quaint eatery in Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ Cluster J. Run by certified chef Nabih and raw food advocate Ghalia, the cafe offers a menu that encompasses plenty of tasty but healthy and very filling options, from the Buddha burger to butternut squash curry stew and a paella. Most of the dishes are also gluten-free, and the menu is predominantly vegan. Strangely, there are a couple of fish dishes on there, too.
Abu Dhabi's gluten, dairy-free and fully vegan restaurant serves out of its kitchen in the tennis complex at Zayed Sports City. You can try out the menu and eat in, order for delivery or sign up for a full meal plan. Some of the best dishes include the tofu tikka masala with cauliflower rice and a pad Thai. There are also plenty of snacks, smoothies, energy bites and breakfast items.
Super Natural Kitchen
This is Dubai’s only 100 per cent raw, plant-based, gluten and sugar-free joint and you’ll find it in Galeries Lafayette at The Dubai Mall. Diners and meat-eaters might be sceptical, but it’s incredible what the chefs here can do with raw, fresh ingredients, and how much flavour they can infuse into each and every dish. In particular, the lasagne – which is made of spiralised beetroot and courgette layered with a "cheesy" white sauce, chunky sundried tomato spread and parsley oil – is a real treat.
The Raw Place
Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are home to various branches of The Raw Place. You'll find venues on Jumeirah Beach Road, at Al Muneera Beach Plaza and in the capital's World Trade Centre Souk. This is a cafe you go to when you want to detox. It's all about the juices, nut mylks, smoothies and superfoods. You can pick up food to take home with you and enrol on to a juice cleanse, too.
Wild & The Moon
Straight from the heart of Paris comes vegan spot Wild & The Moon, which boasts two locations in Dubai, with another in DIFC on its way. It’s best known for its cold-press juices and smoothies, but there are a few great dishes on the menu, too. Hot vegan stews, breakfast bowls and a chocolate pudding to die for are just a few examples.
Bloom Vegan Kitchen
This is the newest eatery on our list, but it's not one you can physically visit. Bloom Vegan Kitchen recently opened as a delivery-only spot, operating out of Shakespeare and Co cafes across the Emirates. This means people in Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai and Sharjah can tuck into one of the great grilled cheese sandwiches or cauliflower tacos. Founder Heloise Lambert has plans to branch out to bricks-and-mortar soon.