Something that can be difficult when switching to a plant-based diet is eating out, however this seems to be changing fast, with the benefits of raw food becoming more widely renowned and so many restaurants incorporating raw options onto their menus. This being said, it’s now easier and more delicious than ever to include some RAWesome goodness into your life wherever you are.
With some health spots now completely embracing the raw movement, the options for a fully raw meal have not just become a whole lot more abundant but extremely exciting, however it did make this list seriously tough to compile!
These five options are some of my ultimate favourite destinations when I’m in need of some raw, yummy goodness – enjoy!
Why I love it: This beautiful raw hang-out (well all 3 of them – including Selfridges) is honestly my idea of health foodie heaven. A common misconception is that raw food lacks variety, but Tanya’s removes all presumptions with an admirable assortment of dishes – there really is something for everyone. I love how Tanya takes traditionally unhealthy foods such as mayonnaise and nachos and gives them a healthy twist and a flavour that is genuinely better than the original. Each café is uniquely atmospheric and I now cannot walk past one without popping in for an energising ‘Ironman’ smoothie. Plus, if you want to give raw ‘cooking’ a try (and I strongly recommend that you do), Tanya now has her very own ‘Uncook Book,’ which features a plethora of stunning raw recipes.
My top picks: I’m a sucker for a green juice and Tanya’s most definitely has me covered with their divine ‘Alkaliser’ juice. Combining kale, spinach, cucumber, apple and lemon to create a totally delicious flavoursome fusion that I love. The Beetroot ‘Risotto’ is also to die for and the Pad Thai holds the crown for the zingiest sauce ever! Not only does everything on the ever-changing menu taste amazing, it also looks striking too. To me, visually appealing food always tastes so much better. You know what they say: “you taste with your eyes first!”
WILD FOOD CAFÉ
Why I love it: Don’t even get me started on the desserts in this place – they are just pure paradise! Standing as one of the most vibrant health spots in town, the Wild Food Café does not disappoint on any level. From classics like guacamole to more unusual combinations like the creamiest cashew aioli and raw sundried tomato and seaweed crackers, pretty much all bases are covered in this colourful café. I love that their kale chips are dehydrated rather than baked, as this means you can get even more goodness from these perfectly crispy greens.
My top picks: I strongly urge you to try out the dehydrated almond and butternut squash pizza and the Shiitake ‘burger’ – although having said that, I have so much faith in the Wild Food Café that I would pretty much let them serve me whatever they fancied! The raw desserts are a total must-try too; the chocolate tart and the lemon tart are equally as indulgent and so delicious that well, I wouldn’t resist having one in and one to take out!
Why I love it: Nama is just genius! Providing health lovers with combinations that are just a delight to the taste buds and are truly unique. I definitely never thought I would see the words ‘raw vegan cheese board’ but Nama make it possible and also totally delicious! Their innovative menus are constantly pushing the boundaries of raw food and with an interior so wonderfully welcoming, it really doesn’t disappoint. A brilliant thing about Nama is the fact that, if you simply removed a few words from the menu (probiotic, for example), you’d momentarily believe you were in a standard unhealthy restaurant – it’s honestly so amazing how they can take any food and create a healthy version of it!
My top picks: Whilst the tapas selection enables healthy eating to be undeniably sociable, my personal go-to dish is usually the Thai Coconut Curry – you definitely wouldn’t think what’s on your plate is good for you! For dessert it has to be between the chocolate heaven smoothie, which is insanely rich and creamy, and the fermented blueberry cheesecake, which is so moreish and literally melts in your mouth.
Why I love it: Don’t be fooled by the name – this hip health destination offers more than just juice. They provide a wide range of lunch options, sweet treats, salads, smoothies and pretty much everything that you could ask for! With a name like Juice Baby, it’s expected that they do juice well – and well, they really do! Plus the inside is extremely cozy – I love being able to sip on my juice on a comfy sofa!
My top picks: I’m always spoilt for choice with green juices (there’s three delicious variations) and I have also recently discovered their ‘Immunity’ juice, a mix of beetroot, pineapple and cayenne pepper, which holds such gorgeous complex flavours. Their sweet treats are just a dream for a chocoholic like me; it’s hard not to fall in love with the chocolate crispy cakes and the sticky toffee balls (yes you heard right) are incredible too!
LIMEWOOD – RAW AND CURED
Why I love it: The Limewood hotel is located in the idyllic New Forest, Hampshire so the atmosphere is already relaxing and calm before you even view the Raw and Cured menu. The philosophy of the menu is ‘Quality, Seasonable and Sustainable,’ which is something that definitely gets the thumbs up from me! The creative raw chefs are constantly coming up with new ideas for the ever-changing menu and the care and hard work that goes into each dish is clearly reflected in the taste. The most wonderful thing is that you can enjoy a spa-day (I recently did for my birthday!) and indulge in gorgeous food without it having to compromise on your health!
My top picks: The menu changes from season to season, but something I couldn’t get enough of during my stay was the superfood salad including a fiery seasoning made from nuts, kale and spirulina. There are so many different flavours to it and it really does just hit the spot! The raw picnic board is a great sharing option that includes the crunchiest dehydrated vegetable crisps ever. As for drinks, the ‘Gingerade’ is the perfect remedy for when you’re not feeling your best while the ‘Green Queen’ smoothie provides you with a brilliant dose of your daily greens.
There you have it! If you haven’t had a chance to check out these amazing spots then I urge you to do so. Steering well away from the plate of iceberg lettuce which was once the only option for any of us trying to include even a small amount of raw food into our meal, we can now be confident in knowing that raw vegan options are not only being included in restaurants we love but are becoming mainstream restaurants within their own right; this is so refreshing and allows me to really enjoy eating out again when I’m in the mood for something ultimately RAWesome! Because it’s RAWesome week, I give you full permission to treat yourself to a meal out or two… Here’s to enjoying and embracing this wonderfully ever-growing movement and celebration of raw food!
Words by Naturally Sassy
Image: Juice Baby