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Abu Dhabi Vegans: Not as Hard as You’d Think


Vegan opportunities in Abu Dhabi

One of our Teen Writers, Carolina Beirne, is a year 11 student at Brighton College Abu Dhabi and has the low down on how to eat out if your a vegan.

Being a vegan in Abu Dhabi is easier said than done, with limited selections due to a variety of reasons, including: language barriers, religious views and just restaurant selections.

Veganism is the philosophy of not eating any animal products, meaning meat, chicken or dairy. However, as you can imagine, this diet change can make going to new restaurants difficult, as vegan options and menus are hard to come by – but if you’re resilient and willing to hunt, there are numerous, ‘diamond in the rough’ places that have very good vegan food for the same price – if not cheaper than other meat and dairy alternatives.

One in particular is The Cheesecake Factory. Although very much known for comfort food, with a wide range of meals both for you and potential non-vegan counterparts. One of my favourite dishes is the Korean Fried Cauliflower.

If you love sweet and sour, teriyaki flavours, its perfect! It tastes very similar to chicken and the taste of cauliflower in undetectable. It is also a very affordable appetiser, perfect as an individual portion, or to share in a group.

However, I don’t know if the yoghurt-like sauce is vegan, but personally I don’t eat it, the cauliflower is delicious on its own!

Another honourable mention is their veggie burger. The patty is delicious, and the texture is perfect – it’s of a burger-like consistency, but it doesn’t feel or taste like fake meat. This is a viable option due to the fact that because of their, ‘Skinnylicious’ menu you can pair it with a salad, or with fries if you prefer – but I’m not sure if the fries are cooked in vegetable oil, and you’ll have to be careful with salad dressings.

However, to completely veganize the burger, you have to remove several things. There’s no information available, but there might be egg in the patty, so it’s best to proceed with caution, as there is a change of potential traces of honey and egg in the bun. Furthermore, you have to ask for no cheese and mayo – which is a fairly easy fix.

Unfortunately, there is a shortage of vegan desserts, as a vegan cheesecake option could perhaps change the game for the Cheesecake Factory for vegans everywhere. Yet, Cheesecake Factory is one of my favourite restaurants, for both the food and the prices.

Vegan choices in Abu Dhabi

There are many amazing restaurants and cafés in Abu Dhabi that can satisfy the sweet tooth without breaking the bank (or your veganism!)

One in particular is Tawa Bakery. Located in Al Muneera Plaza, Al Raha Beach, Tawa Bakery not only has an extensive savoury, vegan menu – but the desserts are divine! Whether you avoid dairy, gluten, flour or sugar, this restaurant supplies delicious desserts for every dietary need. Their vegan brownies are amazing, and taste exactly like regular, full dairy desserts you can find anywhere! They also offer a vegan version of the popular dessert legaymat as well as chocolate donuts and brownies.

Another restaurant deserving of a mention is lana’s Café, which has a full vegan menu full of delicious options! They’re very active in the vegan community, and do so much to ensure all dietary needs are met! It’s a strong recommendation.

For the vegans who love to brunch, the Nolu’s Detox Brunch is almost entirely vegan. Though the selection is a bit small, there is a wide range of a-la-carte dishes to try, with fresh juices as palette cleansers in between courses.

A good quote to describe this brunch is, “simple, wholesome food that satisfies healthy cravings.” You are left feeling full and satisfied, but not overly so and bloated – as one may often feel after leaving generic brunches.

If you’re more partial to a High Tea, the Park Hyatt offers one with vegan options, “The Library” restaurant, complete with vegan scones, cakes, sandwiches and beverages.

In conclusion, being a vegan in Abu Dhabi can be a challenge, but overtime you learn the ins and outs. One method that has really helped me gain an awareness of where to go and the best way to manage going out to eat is being associated with other vegans in the area.

The best way to do this is to join the Abu Dhabi Vegans Facebook group, where all the knowledgeable member share information all around the city! Personally, though there can be associated struggles, it’s really not that difficult to be vegan in Abu Dhabi – and its totally worth it!

Yalla Teen advises readers on where to eat vegan in Abu Dhabi


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