For burger bites >>
Jumping Bean, Durham
Sometimes, you just need a burger. You just do. And that’s absolutely ok in our book. Finding a good plant-based patty isn’t hard these days – most North East foodie joints offer them – but finding a great one can be tricky, depending on where you are. If you’re Durham-bound, you need to check out Jumping Bean. Burger bites include pulled jackfruit with BBQ sauce and vegan slaw, “fakey bacon cheez” burgers with crispy onion rings and Mexican and Indian-style patties, topped with three-bean chilli and mango chutney. Pair ‘em with big portions of dirty fries and a Oreo and peanut butter milkshake or two and you’re winning.
For American-style junk food >>
Grumpy Panda, Gateshead
Allow Grumpy Panda to take you on a flavour-packed journey across the pond. It’s the North East’s only vegan American-style diner, ran by a family of vegans and known and loved for its lip-smackingly-good dishes, inspired by those found in USA’s deep south, border and beyond. Everything from towering “cheezburgers” and Philly “Cheezstake” sandwiches, to tofu and jackfruit burritos and tacos, deep-fried cauliflower wings with dairy-free buffalo sauce and ranch dip for dunking and mean meat-free hot “dawgs”. For something sweet, try the fluffy Biscoff pancakes, drizzled in vegan chocolate sauce. Who’s counting calories anyway?
For brekkie moments >>
The Good Apple Cafe, Sunderland
For meat and dairy-free fry-ups, then look no further than The Good Apple Cafe – Sunderland’s celebrated vegan hang-out. Big brekkies include avo on toast, homemade veggie sausages, grilled mushrooms, garlicky grilled mushrooms, hash browns and baked beans. Plates so good, you’d never think they were vegan. There’s also scrambled tofu on toast, vegan wraps, toasties and bagels (the roast veggie and hummus option is delish) if you’re in the mood for brunchy options, as well as daily specials like vegan quiche, falafel and salad and homemade soup.
For on-the-go fuel >>
Hungry Vegan, Newcastle
If you think speedy plant-based grub stops at falafel and tofu, then think again! The folks at Hungry Vegan, based in one of STACK’s cool containers, serve up a wide range of quick treats to enjoy, from freshly-made subs and salads, to hot-from-the-oven pastries, pasties (try their ‘cheeze’ and onion creation – it’s up there with Greggs’ vegan sausage roll), gooey, just-baked cookies, cupcakes and more. All 100% vegan, 100% of the time. A great lunchtime stop-off.
For home comforts >>
The Waiting Room, Stockton
It may be an award-winning veggie restaurant first and foremost, but The Waiting Room’s vegan options are too good not to mention. The menus change depending on the season, but our spring picks include roast garlic, herb and butterbean pâté, puy lentil enchiladas (you can ask for vegan cheese) and cashew, carrot and apple loaf with onion gravy, spring greens and balsamic roast beetroot. In other words, a mighty good take on a plant-based Sunday dinner. As we head into summer, look out for cauliflower and almond gratin and puy chilli and rice. Yum.