You spent a long afternoon enjoying your favorite Broadway shows around the theater district (aka the West End) or your legs are aching from walking around the gorgeous British museums or shopping nearby and you just want to sit down for sweet treat to refuel and catch your breath. That describes my day. Yet there are countless numbers of shops. Where do you go? How do you know what's good? I'm here to guide your way today and keep you on your budget of under £5.
In support of #Veganuary , I decided to check out nearby pastry shops that also serve delicious vegan options. My first stop was Crosstown Donuts on 4 Broadwick St, which is only one of many locations all over London.
The entire front row were vegan donut options. There were so many to choose from, but I'm also bias to chocolate so I had to order one Dark Chocolate Truffle donut and one Maple Bacon & Banana donut. Each donut is under our £5 budget. If you're on the go in the morning, it's a great stop for a quick breakfast too. It's a healthier alternative to your typical donuts too because it is made with plant-based ingredients, coconut oil, and I noticed chia seeds throughout the entirety of the dough.
How did they fair in my palate? The dark chocolate truffle donut didn't just have chocolate icing on top, but it was a mildly sweet chocolate that was within the dough itself, so each bite left you with a satisfying mouthful of chocolate goodness. The maple bacon & banana donut had a mild banana flavor which made it less intimidating to try since "banana ______" makes people think of a strong banana bread type of taste. It wasn't so in this case. It was a perfect amount of banana. Since the donut is sweet, the contrasting savory maple bacon (or rather, the taste and texture were closer to a jerky, and I am a die hard jerky fan) was a well thought out combination. I shall be back again soon!
My next stop was Cutter & Squidge on 20 Brewer St and they have one other locations in Bank. It's a very cute establishment. The kind of place you picture when you want to go for high tea with your girlfriends. They have a selection of vegan pastries and cakes that all look so elegant and colorful. Like I said before, Each pastry stuck with our budget of under £5. Surprisingly, it is cheaper to purchase the pastries for takeaway instead of eating in. I'm bias to chocolate, so I had to choose the chocolate velvet loaf and my other choice was the strawberry loaf.
The loaves were light inside but had a bit of a hard crust on the strawberry loaf. The mousse on top of each, as you can see, were absolutely light and beautiful. If you're looking for a sweeter taste, go for the chocolate velvet. If you prefer the lightly sweet taste, go for the strawberry loaf.
My third and final stop was Lola's Cupcakes in the Leicester Square Station and they have several other shops. By 1pm, they had run out of a couple of flavors I had a hankering for so, the only ones I had left to choose were the vegan pistachio & cherry cupcake and the passionfruit cupcake. Each cupcake stayed within our £5 budget.
Thankfully, these were still great choice! I had vegan cupcakes before and they tend to be very dense and overly sweet to compensate for the substitutions of dairy. These cupcakes, on the contrary, had a light and fluffy texture that you would expect from a dairy-filled cupcake. The thick icing looks intimidating, but beautiful. You may expect to bite into an overly sweet dessert where you end up scraping off the rest of the icing because it's just too much. But with Lola's cupcakes, I kept going back for one bite after another because it wasn't overly sweet. The passionfruit flavor really came through. The pistachio & cherry flavors were well balanced and the added crunchy texture of the pistachio is another plus.
London, you've outdone yourself with the vegan pastries! Europe is known for some of the best creations of pastries in the world, and London has taken vegan sweets to another level. I can't wait to try out some more shops soon that I can share with you, and I hope you try them out yourself, too. Don't just take my word for it.
Want to contact me? Shoot me an email for weekly tips on cheap eats around London or DM me on Instagram. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!
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