We spent two weeks in London, which sounds like a long time but it went really, really fast. Almost everyday, we discovered vegan treats we’d never come across before. It got to the point where we could no longer buy every new and interesting thing we saw, we had to exercise some willpower to save our budget and waistlines. One of our best finds, in my opinion, was the Rock ‘n’ Roll cones by Tofutti. In Canada, we have a similar treat called Drumsticks made by Nestlé. As an omni kid, I loved eating these in the summer. It was a cold and rainy day when we found the Tofutti cones at the Holland & Barrett near Camden market, selling for about £4.00 GBP ($5.86 USD) for a box of four, but we enjoyed them all the same. This was only one of many sweet things we found in London. Those London vegans sure are lucky!
You can find Holland & Barrett stores all over London. Most of them have half an aisle dedicated to snacks and treats. At many of them, we found a selection of flapjacks, a popular British snack made with oats and a sugary syrup. We tried one by Blackfriars Bakery and found it to be sweet, moist and filling. Blackfriars has a line of flapjacks and keeps things simple for vegans by adding cute green stickers to identify which ones we can eat. In addition to their original flapjack, their other vegan flavours include fruit, apricot, date & walnut, and apple & sultana. A great snack for around £1.00 GBP ($1.46 USD).
At Holland & Barrett, we also found Lyme Regis’s Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Marzipan Bars. We tried both the original and orange flavour. I adore these! Vegan dark chocolate bars may be easy to come by but it’s rare to find a vegan bar filled with something as soft and yummy as orange marzipan. They’re also really cheap here, £0.79 GBP ($1.16 USD), which made it hard impossible to resist trying both flavours.
Health food stores are always a great place to find vegan goodies but in a city like London there are a lot of vegan offerings in normal supermarkets. Tesco seems to be the leading chain and we found they usually stocked some vegan treats in their gluten free section. At Tesco, we found Dairy Free white chocolate and dark chocolate buttons, Nakd bars by Natural Balance Foods, more Marzipan bars and Fruitus Bites. We really liked the Diary Free Buttons, which were sold in small bags perfectly sized to subdue chocolate cravings. The Nakd bars were made from nuts and dates and tasted similar to Lara Bars. They made for great snacks, which we often took with us on a day of running around the city. The Fruitus Bites, chewy candies made from real fruit, were okay but not as exciting as some of the other treats we found. All of these sweet snacks are affordable, ringing in at around £1.00-£1.50 GBP each ($1.46-$2.20 USD).
We visited the Whole Foods in Soho and picked up some raw chocolate. This was our first time trying the raw stuff. We bought three bars, looking for a variety of flavours and textures to compare and contrast. My favourite of the three was the Conscious Chocolate Lucuma Gold bar for £2.99 GBP ($4.38 USD). It had a really smooth texture and a caramel toffee flavour. While I don’t think the creators were aiming for that with the lucuma flavour, that’s what I tasted. The Ombar Superfood Chocolate, priced at £1.99 GBP ($2.91 USD), was quite dark and somewhat bitter, with only a few cashew and coconut pieces mixed in. It had a waxy texture and melted easily. I was most excited about trying Shazzie’s Naked Chocolate Orange and Anise bar, and even shelled out £4.29 GBP ($6.28 USD). Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The texture was crumbly. I could taste the orange flavour but the star anise was lost in the overall bitter taste. Let this be a reminder that raw chocolate isn’t the same as normal chocolate. With raw chocolate, there’s a stronger focus on the power of the ingredients. I don’t think you should expect the same flavours and textures from raw chocolate, which has lead me to decide I’ll stick with the regular stuff for now.
London was full of vegan firsts and even one lifetime first. We had our first slice of Tiramisu pie at inSpiral Lounge, near Camden market. It was blissful and totally worth the £3.40 GBP ($4.98 USD). We shared the slice and wound up having a little fork fight over the last bite. This was only one of many delicious looking pies at inSpiral Lounge. We had intended to go back and try their peanut butter cheesecake and some of their cashew ice cream. Sadly, the rest of this sweet city kept us entrained (and full). We didn’t have a spare moment to return.
At Greenlands Health Food Shop in Greenwich Market, we found some Whizzers speckled eggs and Booja-Booja Italian hazelnut truffles. I was soooo excited when I spotted the speckled eggs! And only £0.79 GBP ($1.15 USD)!!! They are the vegan answer for anyone who misses Cadbury mini eggs. I was delighted to find they tasted just the way I remember. Booja-Booja has a whole line of amazing raw chocolate creations. They were very decadent. Melt in your mouth goodness. You can buy them in bigger boxes but this little box, for £1.35 GBP ($1.96 USD), was just right for us.
Now that you’ve read all about the things we ate in London, here are some pictures of sweet finds that we couldn’t make room for …
Thankfully, we found Booja-Booja ice cream and Fry’s Peppermint Bars in Ireland. Reviews of these and many more treats to come.