It’s official. I have an addiction to my lesser-known Instagram account, @linsvmaud. I originally started it when I first transitioned to plant-based food because I felt a bit overwhelmed and craved meal inspiration from others who had done the same thing. Since Maud appeared on the scene (the name I’ve given to my new friend Ulcerative Colitis), I’m now following a mix of vegan accounts, plus gut-health/healthy living and eco-friendly types.
The problem with linsvmaud is that I end up thinking about food ALL THE TIME. What I want to try making, where I want to eat out. It’s a dangerous pastime but hey, what’s life without enjoying the food we eat. With that in mind I hooked up with Mr D on Friday night at the monthly ‘Vegan Vibes’ takeover of Greenwich Market and boy, did I fill my boots (I think I’m still full).
The first Friday of every month from April to September, some epic vegan street food stalls takeover the canopied part of Greenwich Market. We went last year and it just makes life so easy when you can go round every stall knowing you can eat everything they have to offer but it does make it that much harder to choose. Throw in a couple of places to buy drinks plus a live band and it’s basically the perfect Friday night before a short Uber drive home (because it was FREEZING on Friday night and I really had eaten too much to be bothered with train navigation).
So! Let’s get started shall we? You can literally find a vegan version of EVERYTHING these days and Vegan Vibes offers a great selection. That doesn’t mean that it’s healthy dear friends. Just putting that out there – people think they’ll go plant-based and lose loads of weight. Only if you’re willing to cook, if you eat processed or junk food it ain’t gonna happen. My first pitstop was the amazing Shakey Shakey Vegan, purveyors of excellent “fish and chips” where tofu is substituted for the fish. Not that you’d know. As I’d sampled this before, I decided to go for their jumbo battered “prawns” instead with tartare sauce. A great little appetiser as I meandered around the market and waited for Pete.
My next choice took me to the stall of Daun’s Deli, a relatively newbie to the vegan street food scene and specialising in Scandi fare. There’s little that I miss these days but as someone who used to eat Philadelphia cream cheese straight from the tub with a spoon and lived on salmon and cream cheese bagels for quite a while, there is a gaping hole in my life. I’ve finally found a replacement “cream cheese” that I love and let me tell you, people are doing amazing recreations of smoked salmon these days, mainly by smoking carrot. I KNOW it sounds weird but it’s astonishing. Pop it all in a bagel with some dill and lemon juice and I swear down you’d never know the difference.
I was determined to save a bit for Pete to try but he was late, so he lost out. By the time he arrived I’d circled the 15 or so stalls a fair few times and narrowed it down to a few options for the main event. We decided to share a Philli Cheese Steak Sandwich from Jake’s Vegan Steaks with thyme fries. I’ve never tried this before despite having seen them at a number of events but oh my goodness this was melt in the mouth tenderness. Again, I’d love to give this to an ardent meat-eater without telling them. Gooey, messy, sautéed “steak” pieces smothered in melty cheese sauce. No wonder I started feeling like a giant rubber ball inside.
It wasn’t the final assault though. Last but by no means least I picked up a couple of Kimchini balls from Club Cultured, by way of an after dinner mint. Like Arancini, but better. Spicy, creamy, hot, melty. I don’t really know what’s in them but it was bloody delicious. We had one each although next time I’m going solo so I can have them both.
And then I realised that the top button on my jeans was just about to pop off and it was time to head off like a stuffed Christmas turkey into the night. With an almond croissant and salted-caramel cookie from Arapina Bakery for breakfast on Saturday, of course.
What do you think? Have you been to Vegan Vibes or tried any vegan street food? Would you?