Alejandra Toro Written by
from Colombia

MSc Nutrition and Behaviour

Hello there, my name is Alejandra. I’m a postgraduate student from Colombia. Nowadays, it’s common to be vegetarian, vegan or simply to look for healthier choices when eating out. I’m personally interested in this topic and it is one of the reasons I’m studying Nutrition and Behaviour. When it comes to food, I do try to know best. Bournemouth is a great place to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants of all kinds and it is also easy to find alternatives in most restaurants, so you’ll have no excuse not to go out.

First things first

When you are at BU, most of the main venues have vegan or vegetarian options. Firstly, there is Dylan’s Café, where you can find pretty fulfilling and loaded dishes. If you are looking for a more balanced option, the restaurant in the Fusion Building is a great option, as they always have a vegetarian menu and their salad bar is really good. I usually don’t like ordering salads when eating out because sometimes they can be boring. However, I like them at Fusion because they offer a wide variety of greens, roasted vegetables, potatoes, legumes, seeds and nuts, cheese, dressings and much more. There is also a reducetarian society at BU, where people share links about interesting events, restaurants, recipes and sometimes even cook together (last time it was hummus night).

For the sweet tooth

It’s really common to crave sweet foods and want a nice brownie or an ice-cream when summer approaches (or anytime). A great place to fulfill your desires without feeling guilty or bad is Bora-Bora. This lovely truck by the pier offers a wide variety of vegan desserts. My favourites are the waffles, but if you go you should also definitely try the pancakes, the coconut and strawberry ice creams and their homemade cakes. Make sure to enter their contests as well, as last time I won tickets for a vegan festival in London.

The classical

Mad Cucumber is a very well-known restaurant situated in the Triangle. What’s different about this place? For starters, it has been in Bournemouth for a long time, not only because of their food but also because of the great ambience it has. You can choose from breakfast, lunch or dinner, and they have all sorts of savoury and sweet options. In general, the food is more homemade and balanced, including soups, wraps, main dishes, curry, stroganoff, beans, pasta, and special dishes. I pick this option when I’m feeling like eating comfort food that’s also going to be good for me.

The new discoveries

Bournemouth is a young city with new restaurants opening all the time. One of them is Café Thrive, which is a combination of salads, sandwiches, burgers and amazing desserts.  What I like the most about this restaurant is that their dishes are based on innovative ingredients like cashew cheese, meat-free sausages, seitan and jackfruit. The burgers are their speciality; they are big and tasty and include words like “chicken” and “meaty”. Finally, for dessert lovers, you might have heard about Booja Booja ice creams, which are cashew-based, soya-free and sweetened with agave. Café Thrive is the place to try these, or other vegan ice creams, waffles, brownies, smoothies and much more.

Dirty Vegans is a new “vegan fast food” restaurant located in the centre of Boscombe. As the name implies, it’s the place to go if you fancy something heavy and dirty that will satisfy your hunger. They offer big burgers full of flavour and every single ingredient is vegan, from the buns, to the patties, to the hot dogs and the loaded fries, with all sorts of condiments.

More options everywhere

Many restaurants have vegan and vegetarian options in their menus. Some examples are: Pizza Express, Chopatti, Café Boscanova, Forno, Conto Lounge and Las Iguanas, but there are lots of ethnic restaurants. Remember to always ask for a vegetarian or vegan menu! Most places will have an exclusive menu hidden behind the counter. Most importantly, keep yourself updated about any new restaurants opening up, and go out and explore all that Bournemouth has to offer.