All Reviews by Niels Van Och
C/ Roger de Flor 216, Eixample, Barcelona, Spain
Lunch with locals
If you want to experience a meal like the locals, this the the place to go!
My girlfriend had a quick lunch here during our trip to the city, and we weren't disappointed. The restaurant has a fixed four course menu, with about three options per course. The dishes were very tasty (with especially nice herbal flavourings) and came in reasonable portions, we definately didn't leave hungry. This might not be the best place for vegans though, because the menu is fixed.
The staff was very friendly and helpful, and the dishes followed each other very quickly. You could easily have a quick lunch here if you were in a hurry. The meal also included free water and bread, a rarity in Spain. On that note, this place is very, very cheap: the menu was 9 euro for the four courses (and the water and bread), which is incredible value for money.
One more note: being a local place, the menu was only available in Catalan, but the staff was quite helpful in translating the options we couldn't figure out ourselves.
52 St Giles High Street, London, England
I went to this place for lunch with my girlfriend, and first of all: we were very welcome there. Definately not a gay-exclusive cafe.
The food was nothing special, but quite nice. My girlfriend has a slice of quiche, which came with a choice of three salads (out of about eight). I had a jacket potato, which -refreshingly- wasn't served with any sauce, but with some cheese strips and sunflower seeds (one of three options). Very nice.
We didn't have anything else there, but there was a wide drink selection (mostly cocktails and such), and the desserts looked good too.
The price was very reasonable, especially considering the location.
All in all, a nice place for a nice bite.
250 Camden High St, Camden, North West London, England
Lovely place, nice staff
My girlfriend and I had lunch here on a trip to London, and were delighted with this lovely little cafe.
The menu is limited, but the food is high quality. Vegetarian and vegan options, in a buffet with salads. The buffet comes in three sizes, and is available for take away as well.
Inspiral also has a juice bar. I tried a 'Ginger Ninja', which came with a nice chat and tasted quite nice. Furthermore, there is a vegan ice cream stand (ice cream made with cashews). We didn't order any, but got a free sample of some mocha and strawberry ice cream. It was different, but quite nice. Finally, there was dessert: my girlfriend had a slice of peanut butter pie, and she's still talking about it.
The price was quite reasonable: the menu was pretty cheap, the juice was the right price. Only the dessert was a bit expensive, but worth it.
A few notes: Inspiral has free Internet access (ask for a password at the counter), and features regular music performances, mostly electronic. The windows overlook the waterside, which is a nice view.
73 Great Georges Street, Dublin, Ireland
Good for a small lunch
I had lunch with my father here during our trip to Dublin, and we weren't disappointed. We had two tortilla dishes which were well-done and quite creative, and my vegetable smoothie was tasty.
It should be noted that most of the dishes looked relatively small, so if you're looking for a big meal, other places might be more suitable. But for a snack in between or a light lunch, this place is recommendable.
C/Cardenal Casañas 7, Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, Spain
5 cows for juice, 3 cows for the rest
My girlfriend and I went here on the second day of our five-day trip to Barcelona, and we came back twice!
The first time we came for dinner, and it was alright. I had the Indian-style menu of the day, which was nice and reasonably authentic. My girlfriend had a salad which was unfortunately loaded with tapenade, which made the dish too salty and greasy.
The rest of the menu was a decent selection, but keep in mind this is a cafeteria-style restaurant, so no fancy cuisine is to be expected. That said, the dishes on the menu were original and creative recipes, which is always a big plus in our book.
The interior was nicely decorated with a lot of vibrant colours, but the restaurant part had a bit of a noise problem. With some people in the low-ceilinged room, the chatter bounced off the walls and it was hard to hear each other.
The juice-bar part of the enterprise is a whole other story however. With our lunch we also ordered a juice and a milkshake, and these were just fenomenally great! A lot of choices and some creative options, with the possibility of creating your own juice. We actually came back for more twice in the next days of our trip, because the thought of a juiceless day just seemed wrong. Definately try one of these if you're in town, and if you happen to catch a meal there, you won't be disappointed either!
Santa Maria 10, Bilbao, Spain
Best sushi I've ever had
I went to La Camelia while in Bilbao for a conference, joined by a non-vegetarian colleague. We were both impressed with the quality and variety of the sushi we were presented with.
We both had the menu, which consisted of a miso soup (which was not bad, but a little bland), a seaweed salad (which was very nice) and six maki rolls. The rolls had six different fillings, and the menu listed around fifteen different ones in total. All were extremely tasty and original.
The speed with which we were served was also commendable, as was the price (11 euros per person).
29 rue Du Bourg Tibourg, Paris, France
Decent, but the magic is gone
While I agree with other posters that this restaurant should definately not be serving foie gras and that it used to be much better, I'd like to share a little about the actual vegetarian options here.
We dined here recently and found it ok, but not much more. Our entrees were a bruschetta of green asparagus and a terrine of mushrooms with fig chutney. It was tasty and plentiful, but nothing special. We both had the vegetarian burger (bun and seitan burger with rösti on top), which was excellent. But unfortunately it was served with just a heap of rocket salad with dressing, which just won't cut it. Desserts were quite good though.
The service was friendly and speedy, and prices were quite reasonable (especially for Paris).
All in all a decent place to visit, but not great.
Leopoldsplein 44, Hasselt, Belgium
The place for veggies in Hasselt
An awesome restaurant, and one that has saved me many times when eating out in Hasselt. The menu is half macrobiotic, half vegetarian, and all of it is organic. Note that in the following I will only be talking about the vegetarian part, as I've never tried anything else.
The food is just great. The dishes a la carte are all excellent and the daily menus are always interesting and tasty. The menu mainly consists of pasta dishes and salads, with some extras like falafel. The daily dishes vary a bit more.
There is also a wide selection of drinks, ranging from fruit juices to bio-beers. The pre-dinner drinks are especially great.
The dessert selection is also quite good, and varies from day to day.
The prices are average: not especially cheap, but not expensive for the quality you are getting.
The staff is lovely: my girlfriend and I have followed a few cooking classes there, and they are just great people!
When you are in Hasselt, definately check this out! If you're a vegetarian, it's the only place to go, and it's good enough to convert non-veggies. I agree with the above poster: this deserves five cows!
Fernandez del Campo 7, Vizcaya, Bilbao, Spain
Tasty, quick and well-priced
I went to Garibolo together with a non-vegetarian colleague while in Bilbao for a conference, and we were both pleasantly surprised.
The restaurant offers either a la carte eating or a four course menu, the latter of which is very well priced: we paid 22.5 euros per person for a large salad, soup, main course and dessert, with bread and water included.
The food was served very promptly, we did not have to wait longer than a few minutes between courses. The quality of the food was quite good: the salad had a lovely dressing and some nicely roasted eggplant, the soup was a nicely creamy gazpacho, the main dishes were hearty but not too oily, and the desserts were very tasty.
All in all a very good experience!
Carrer Escudellers 42, Barcelona, Spain
A bit overhyped
My girlfriend and I ate here on our trip to Spain, but were somewhat disappointed, especially given the high reviews we saw here.
We knew what to expect: vegan junk food with a lot of mock meats. And the food was quite decent really. Nothing special, but a good solid bit of comfort food for a reasonable price.
What bothered us was the rest of the place. The servers didn't seem too friendly, and when our order of entrees was forgotten (an honest mistake), it was handled with a bit too much nonchalance.
We also had a milkshake each, which was really just soy milk with some flavouring. Very much not worth the price, or even the name milkshake really.
A quick note for tourists: the menu is in Spanish, but if you ask, there is a secret English menu you can obtain.
83 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, Ireland
Friendly, tasty and lots
I dined here with my father on our trip to Dublin, and we were pleasantly surprised!
The setup is simple: there are about four dishes cooked for the day, you choose the size of your plate and it's filled. And I mean filled! I had a medium plate and my father a big one, and we both had to leave some food behind. That's the first time I've seen that happen to my father, so that should be an indication of the portions. Don't try the big plate unless you're starved!
The food was basic, but very well made. Nothing special, but definately dishes everyone can agree with. And the prices are very, very low, especially considering the portions.
9 Rue la Cerisaie, Paris, France
Simple, but good
Grand Appetit serves simple, macrobiotic food in a cafeteria-style decor. A word of warning: the staff only speaks French, so don't go if you don't speak it.
The food is quite simple, but good and very healthy. This is definately a strict macrobiotic place with very little salt and sugar. The menu did not offer an overly wide selection, but it was ok.
The ambiance and service was a little lacking to be honest. The place is very simple, and service is minimal: you get your own cutlery and order at the counter. The single restroom is Turkish style (pretty much a hole in the floor), which honestly should be a thing of the past.
The price is decent: not expensive, and you get good value for your money.
All in all, a nice place if you want a cheap, simple meal, but don't go here if you want a real restaurant experience. You can do better in Paris.
3 Amor de Dios, Madrid, Spain
We visited this restaurant mostly because of the mention of the free caraffe of water, but it turned out to be excellent in every way. In our fout-day trip we came back a second time, and would have eaten there a third time if it wasn't closed on Sundays.
The menu is limited to a daily choice with five courses:
- A choice of two soups
- A salad
- A choice of a vegetarian main course, a macrobiotic main course or a combined main course. Each option has three different dishes on a single plate.
- A choice of dessert (about 8 choices if I remember correctly).
- A choice of tea or coffee.
The food was all excellent with decent portions. We were even given the option of having seconds.
The price is very, very reasonable: we paid about 10 euros per person for lunch, which includes the five courses and free water. For dinner, the price was about 15 euros per person.
The staff was very nice. Their English was not always too great, but there was always someone around to help.
We didn't buy anything in the store, but it looked like a typical small vegetarian store, with most of the things you'd expect there.
All in all very much worth a visit if you're in Madrid!
Lombardenvest 78, Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium
I ate here with my girlfriend on a daytrip to Antwerp. We were in kind of a hurry, but the awesomeness of this place calmed us right down, and we ended up enjoying a delicious meal. It looks very colourful, and has people to match!
My girlfriend had the veggie cheeseburger, and the owner (a bit of an eccentric man, but very nice) enthousiastically suggested she try some of the mango salsa he had just made on it. This turned out to be an excellent suggestion! I had the Mexican vegan burger, which had falafel and guacamole. Both burgers had very nice bread and great heaps of vegetables between them.
To drink I had a homemade ice tea which was simply the best I ever had! Very tasty and with a whole lot of fresh mint in it. My girlfriend had a very nice juice.
After we were finished eating, the owner offered us a vegan cookie to try. It was made with red lentils and ginger. It was so nice we ended up taking some home, together with more juice (I was feeling generous :)).
Lombardia is not very cheaply priced, but you certainly get value for your money. In the end we payed about 40 euros for two burgers, two fresh drinks and a large drink and three cookies to take home. If you're in Antwerp, give it a try. It deserves five stars!
92 Boulevard de Beaumarchais, Paris, France
Worthy addition to the chain
This is the second Loving Hut we've been to, and it definately lived up to our expectations!
We started off with some vegetable rolls and the 'delights of the seven seas', which were both delightful.
As a main course my girlfriend had a noodle soup (pho) with tofu and seitan, and I had a vegetarian spaghetti Bolognese. This was a good choice, and it's not a dish that's easy to make interesting.
Our desserts were a piece of chocolate cake and a piece of cheesecake, both of which were very, very good.
The service was very nice, and when we asked what was in the cheesecake, the waitress went to fetch the spread that was the main ingredient.
The prices were very reasonable, as is the custom in Loving Hut.
Also noteworthy is the free water that is served with the food.
Reservations are recommended.
Vlamingenstraat 55, Leuven, Belgium
Best vegetarian food in Leuven
My girlfriend and I dined here once, and enjoyed it thoroughly!
The service system is somewhat unusual: you collect your cutlery yourself, and you can choose to fill a caraffe with (free) tap water. The rest of the food (except dessert) is served at the table though.
The menu was limited: a plate of the day which consists of about six small dishes, an oven dish, or a few salads were the only main courses. However, the plate of the day was definately worth it.
There were three possibilities for first courses, including a soup of the day, and a few desserts. Try one of the homemade pies!
The price is quite reasonable: for a soup, main course and dessert, I paid 17 euros, and it was an excellent meal.
As a final note: the restaurant also provides take-away food (in reusable containers) and a catering service.
Definately a place worth visiting if you're in Leuven!
12-14 Heddon Street, London, England
Great concept, great food!
My girlfriend and I had lunch here, and enjoyed everything: the food, the concept and the interior.
Firstly, the food. There was a choice of about forty dishes, all clearly labeled and marked as vegan, non-dairy, etc. The dishes were quite inventive, with not a lot of mock meat to be found. Not all dishes were equally good, but with such a wide selection, one's bound to find a few that are not to one's taste.
There was also a nice selection of drinks, with freshly made juice, hot drinks, and a choice of organic cow milk, soy milk and almond milk.
The price was quite reasonable: 1.8 pounds for 100g of food at lunch, 2 pounds at dinner. We ate for around 14 pounds, and had quite full plates.
The service was excellent: the cashiers were very friendly, the cooks who refilled the dishes looked clean and were very prompt, and there were a few people who explained the concept and did some general tidying.
Some final notes: Tibits is child-friendly, with a children's lounge and free drinks for small children. The interior is nice and vibrant, and the location is great: just off Regent's Street (in the main shopping area), but very quiet. And according to my girlfriend, it had the first clean toilets she found in all of London.
When you are in London, give this place a try. You'll love it!