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Best Vegan Restaurants in Durham Amazing Plant-Based Food

Durham’s got a surprisingly vibrant vegan scene. If you’re looking for amazing plant-based eats, this city won’t disappoint. Whether you’re craving gourmet meals, comfort food, or something totally unique, Durham’s vegan restaurants have it all. Craving spicy flavours, classic pub grub, or innovative takes on plant-based cuisine? Get ready to explore the best vegan restaurants in Durham.

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Explore the Best Vegan Restaurants in Durham

1. Zen

Zen

We were pleasantly surprised by the attention Zen gives to their vegan offerings. Often, pan-Asian restaurants have limited plant-based options, but Zen caters thoughtfully to vegan diners with a dedicated menu. Expect an enticing range of curries, stir-fries, and noodle dishes overflowing with flavour. Their focus is bold rather than subtle, with a noticeable emphasis on spice and aromatics. If you love fragrant dishes with a kick, this is the place for you.

The ambience sets a unique tone for Durham. The interior’s “urban jungle” décor and heated garden area offer a cool, relaxed vibe. The prices are excellent for the quality and generous portion sizes. If you’re seeking a flavourful vegan meal with an intimate atmosphere, Zen is a solid choice. It also just so happens to rank as one of our picks in the best restaurants in Durham.

  • Best for: Spicy, aromatic vegan flavours
  • Dish to Order: Vegan Taste of Zen set menu
  • Address: 42-45 Saddler Street, Durham DH1 3NU
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Price: £££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://www.zendurham.co.uk/

2. Tango

Tango

While primarily known for its meaty burgers, Tango does offer some interesting plant-based options worth checking out if you’re in search of a casual spot for vegan fare in Durham. Their vegan menu isn’t extensive, but it hits the spot when you’re craving a satisfying plant-based meal. Expect twists on comfort food classics like burgers, “chicken” strips, and loaded fries with plenty of flavour and generous portions.

The atmosphere at Tango has a lively, modern feel with an edgy, urban vibe. It’s a place to gather with friends or family for a fun, informal meal. Service was friendly during our visit, and we found the prices reasonable considering the size of the dishes. If you’re seeking a dedicated vegan restaurant with refined, complex flavours, Tango might not be your top choice. However, for those nights when you want a casual, satisfying vegan burger in a relaxed atmosphere, Tango will be a good fit.

  • Best for: Casual vegan comfort food
  • Dish to Order: The Vegan BBQ “Chicken” Burger
  • Address: 39 Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://www.tangodurham.co.uk/

3. Cosy Club

Cosy Club

Cosy Club’s biggest draw is undoubtedly its atmosphere. With its ornate décor, quirky touches, and a stunning river view from the terrace, it’s a place that instantly charms. Their vegan menu offers a good variety of mains, catering to familiar comfort food cravings with choices like burgers, curries, and pasta. While we found the flavours enjoyable, the portion sizes were surprisingly small for the price point, leaving us wanting more.

Unfortunately, the service during our visit didn’t live up to the lovely setting. Wait times were excessive, and the staff, while friendly, seemed quite disorganised. If you’re seeking a leisurely and picturesque vegan meal and have plenty of time to enjoy the ambience, Cosy Club might satisfy. To it’s credit, it also caters for coeliacs and gluten-free diners. However, if consistently excellent food, attentive service, and better value for money are what you prioritise, you might have better vegan options in Durham.

  • Best for: Vegan dining with ambience
  • Dish to Order: Vegan Fish & Chips
  • Address: The Riverwalk, Milburngate, Durham DH1 4SL
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Price: £££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://cosyclub.co.uk/location/durham/

4. Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay throws a vibrant party for vegan diners seeking bold Caribbean flavours and a lively, feel-good atmosphere. The colours, decor, and upbeat music immediately transport you to a tropical island. Their vegan menu hits the right notes, offering hearty curries, jerk “chicken,” and a range of vibrant side dishes, perfect for a relaxed and flavourful meal. We found the portions generous and the prices fair, making it a good choice for those looking for value-for-money vegan restaurants in Durham.

While the ambience certainly delivers, the service during our visit left something to be desired. Our server was friendly, but wait times were longer than expected, even though the restaurant wasn’t completely full. If you’re the kind of diner who values attentive service, the inconsistent pace could impact your experience.

Despite this, if you’re looking for a fun night out with a buzzing vibe and tasty vegan food, Turtle Bay is a great option in Durham. Just be prepared for a leisurely pace and enjoy the island atmosphere while you wait!

  • Best for: Flavourful vegan food, lively atmosphere
  • Dish to order: Vegan Motherclucker burger
  • Address: The Riverwalk, Milburngate, Durham, DH1 4SL
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://turtlebay.co.uk/restaurants/durham

5. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

While Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill is renowned for its meat-centric menu, it’s important to be aware of the limited vegan options if that’s your priority. Expect classic dishes that may or may not be easily adaptable for plant-based dining. Don’t expect innovative vegan creations; this is a place primarily catering to lovers of steaks and traditional fare.

That said, the elegant setting within the Hotel Indigo and cathedral views create a sophisticated atmosphere for a special occasion. If you do find vegetarian options that can be modified and are seeking a more upscale dining experience for a celebratory meal, it’s worth considering. However, if your heart is set on the best vegan menu in Durham with creative dishes, this likely won’t be your first choice of vegan-friendly places to eat in Durham.

6. Lazeez Falafel Salad Bar

Lazeez Falafel Salad Bar

If you’re looking for a fresh and flavourful vegan restaurant in Durham and food that won’t break the bank, Lazeez Falafel Salad Bar must be on your list. This hidden gem offers some of the best falafels in the city – perfectly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and brimming with herby goodness. They take their falafel seriously, and it shows! Go beyond the basics with a vast selection of tasty toppings and sauces to customise your falafel wrap or salad bowl. The portions are generous, delivering a fantastic value for your money.

While Lazeez is primarily a takeaway spot, its focus on delicious, wholesome food and friendly service make it a winner. If you’re searching for affordable vegan eats that prioritise freshness and flavour, this might be your new favourite spot for a casual, satisfying meal in Durham. Craving a quick lunch or a healthy bite on the go? Lazeez won’t disappoint—it’s one of the tastiest Vegan cafes Durham has to offer!

  • Best for: Quick, tasty vegan eats
  • Dish to Order: Falafel wrap with all the fixings!
  • Address: 26 Riverwalk, Durham, DH1 4SL
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Price: £

7. Akarsu

Akarsu

If you’re seeking the vibrant flavours of Turkish cuisine with excellent vegetarian (and adaptable vegan) options, Akarsu is worth exploring. While their charcoal-grilled meats are at the heart of the menu, they offer a good selection of mezze, salads, and vegetable-based dishes for plant-based diners. Expect fresh ingredients, classic Turkish flavours infused with fragrant spices, and a warm, inviting atmosphere. While they might not have a dedicated vegan menu, they cater well to vegetarian requests. With a little discussion with your server, you can easily craft a satisfying and flavourful meal featuring dips like hummus and baba ghanoush, grilled vegetables, and classic Turkish sides.

The riverside location and friendly service create a lovely setting for casual dinners and group celebrations alike. If you’re up for customising a delicious meat-free Turkish feast with friends and aren’t seeking an exclusively vegan restaurant, Akarsu is one of the more unusual vegan options in Durham.

  • Best for: Flavourful vegetarian Turkish food
  • Dish to Order: Vegetarian mezze platter (ask about vegan swaps)
  • Address: 21 Silver St, Durham DH1 3RB
  • Rating: 3.5/5 (for vegan diners)
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://www.akarsuturkishrestaurantdurham.co.uk/

8. Ask Italian

Ask Italian

Ask Italian is a solid choice when you need a familiar and accessible vegan option in Durham. Their dedicated vegan menu covers all the Italian basics – think pasta dishes, pizzas, salads, and even some desserts. While you won’t find groundbreaking flavour combinations or dishes pushing the boundaries of plant-based cuisine, it’s a dependable stop when you’re craving those comfort food favorites. If you’re with a group where some want vegan options while others don’t, Ask Italian is a lifesaver with its accommodating menu. It is also one of the best places for pizza in Durham!

The atmosphere is casual and modern, and while some reviews mention uneven service, ours was pleasant and efficient. Prices sit firmly in the mid-range, so be aware that the value might not equal the most innovative flavour combinations when compared to some of the smaller, independent vegan spots around the city. If you prioritize a reliable and easy option for classic Italian staples with vegan versions, Ask Italian could fit the bill. However, if you’re hunting for cutting-edge vegan cuisine or a restaurant with a truly unique ambience, Durham offers more exciting choices.

9. Chapters

Chapters

If you’re a vegetarian with a hankering for a classic afternoon tea experience, Chapters Tea Rooms is a delightful option in Durham. This charming spot exudes a quaint tearoom atmosphere with cosy corners and vintage touches, making it ideal for a leisurely catch-up with friends. Their wide selection of loose-leaf teas and focus on traditional afternoon tea treats are sure to impress. They offer finger sandwiches, scones, and a variety of pastries, crafted with fresh ingredients and an eye for detail. Do note that dedicated vegan afternoon tea options appear limited, so check in advance if that’s your priority.

While the ambience certainly delivers and vegetarians can indulge in a lovely afternoon tea, fully plant-based diners will likely find more extensive options at other specialised cafes around Durham. If you’re seeking innovative vegan dishes or cutting-edge cuisine, Chapters might not be your top choice. However, its commitment to the traditional tea experience could make it a delightful spot for vegetarians desiring a cosy atmosphere and a touch of classic charm.

  • Best for: Vegetarian afternoon tea
  • Dish to Order: Vegetarian afternoon tea (consult with server about possible vegan swaps)
  • Address: 62 Elvet Bridge, Durham DH1 3AG
  • Rating: 2.5/5 (for vegan diners)
  • Price: £££
  • For table reservations, please visit: http://www.chapterstearooms.co.uk/

10. Coarse

Coarse

Coarse brings a fresh and unique dining concept to Durham with its focus on tasting menus. This modern spot embraces seasonal ingredients and culinary creativity, offering diners a multi-course adventure that showcases the best of what’s fresh and local. While their website highlights a commitment to quality and there’s an enticing vegetarian tasting menu, there’s limited information available online about fully vegan options. If you have strict dietary requirements, we recommend reaching out to the restaurant in advance of your visit to explore potential adaptations to their dishes.

Coarse offers a new approach for adventurous diners seeking a relaxed but elevated dining experience in Durham. Their commitment to locally sourced ingredients, along with positive buzz about the quality of the tasting menu concept, makes them an interesting spot to explore. It’s worth noting that, should they expand their menu to include dedicated vegan options, this could easily become a top choice for plant-based diners. However, without confirmed vegan offerings, we currently recommend them primarily for their innovative approach to seasonal cuisine in a contemporary setting, encouraging those interested in a more specialised dining experience to enquire directly before booking.

  • Best for: Adventurous diners, tasting menus
  • Dish to Order: Consult with restaurant about potential vegan options
  • Address: Reform Place, North Road, Durham, DH1 4RZ
  • Rating: 3/5 (potential for higher rating with more vegan options)
  • Price: £££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://www.coarse.restaurant/

11. Fat Hippo

Fat Hippo

If you’re craving bold vegan burgers and a side of fun, Fat Hippo is a solid choice! Forget subtle flavours – this place is about over-the-top, fully-loaded veggie burgers that satisfy those comfort food cravings in a big way. Their dedicated vegan menu takes all the excess of their very popular signature burgers and gives it a plant-based spin, so you won’t feel left out of the indulgence. Expect toppings galore, playful flavour combinations, and creations that demand two hands and a serious appetite. The atmosphere is lively, with a casual American diner vibe, so come prepared to let loose and have some fun with your meal!

While the food delivers on flavour and creative combinations, be warned that the service can be inconsistent. We experienced a bit of a wait, even though it wasn’t overly busy, and some reviewers mention similar experiences. If you’re short on time or have a low tolerance for disorganised service, it might throw a wrench in your enjoyment. However, if you’ve got time to spare and want a playful atmosphere to match your playful vegan burger, Fat Hippo won’t leave you disappointed. If you’re in a hurry, consider their takeaway option, so you can still enjoy those epic burgers on your own schedule! A burger joint may not be top of the list of where to get vegan food in Durham, but Fat Hippo delivers some great vegan burger options.

  • Best for: Flavourful vegan burgers, casual atmosphere
  • Dish to Order: The Candyman (vegan patty, biscoff spread, peanut butter)
  • Address: 36 Saddler Street, Durham, DH1 3NU
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://fathippo.co.uk/

12. Flat White Kitchen

Flat White Kitchen

Flat White Kitchen delivers on its promise of quality coffee and tasty vegan eats, making it a great choice for a relaxed breakfast or brunch in Durham. If you’re searching for well-crafted vegan dishes alongside expertly made coffee, this is your spot. The menu offers up creative vegan twists on brunch classics, along with bowls and other satisfying options. Expect a vibrant, modern atmosphere that’s buzzing on weekend mornings and prepare yourself for the possibility of a waitlist!

While Flat White Kitchen excels in their vegan food options and coffee, the service could be a bit of a mixed bag. Our visit was pleasant, but it’s worth noting that others have experienced slowness during peak times. Flat White Kitchen is a fantastic spot for indulging in a leisurely meal with excellent coffee. We recommend visiting during a weekday if possible, to beat any potential crowds and ensure a smooth and relaxed experience. If you prioritize attentive service as highly as delicious coffee and crave a truly indulgent breakfast or brunch, Flat White Kitchen is a fantastic option. If you’re seeking a quick bite on the go, however, be aware that service might not be as speedy – plan your visit with a little extra time to spare so you can truly enjoy the experience.

  • Best for: Vegan breakfasts, quality coffee
  • Dish to Order: Veggie full breakfast
  • Address: 40 Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://flatwhitekitchen.com/

13. Fusion (Ramside Hall)

Fusion (Ramside Hall)

Fusion, nestled within the luxurious Ramside Hall Hotel, offers a beautiful setting and an exploration of pan-Asian flavours. Expect dishes inspired by a variety of Asian cuisines, from the vibrant spices of Thai curries to delicate Japanese sushi rolls, making it an appealing choice for those seeking variety in a sophisticated atmosphere. While traditional recipes are the core of their menu, there might be potential for adaptable dishes or even surprise vegan creations. If you have strict dietary requirements, we recommend contacting the restaurant in advance so they can tailor options for your visit, ensuring a satisfying and enjoyable experience.

Fusion sets itself apart with its upscale ambience and stunning views overlooking the golf course – ideal for a special occasion or a more elegant dining experience in Durham. Its focus on fresh flavours, diverse pan-Asian influences, and customisable approach make it a good option for those seeking a beautiful setting and willing to inquire about vegan options with the staff in advance. While dedicated vegan specialists on our list might offer greater innovation and more extensive vegan menus compared to Fusion’s broader culinary focus, its potential for personalised dining within a refined setting still earns it a place worth exploring.

  • Best for: Upscale pan-Asian dining, beautiful setting, potential for customised vegan dishes
  • Dish to Order: Consult with restaurant about potential vegan options
  • Address: Ramside Hall Hotel, Carrville, Durham DH1 1TD
  • Rating: 3.5/5 (for vegan diners)
  • Price: ££££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://www.ramsidehallhotel.co.uk/dining/fusion/

14. Head of Steam Durham

Head of Steam Durham

If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, Head of Steam Durham is a must-visit. Their vast selection of taps and bottles offers a journey through local breweries and exciting international finds, guaranteed to please any beer aficionado. While their menu focuses on classic pub fare, don’t dismiss the potential for vegan-friendly adaptations. Think customisable burgers, loaded fries, and other casual snack options that can be creatively tailored for plant-based eaters. It’s a testament to their welcoming atmosphere that you can enjoy a perfectly poured pint and simple vegan-friendly dishes with both vegan and meat-eating friends alike. It is an ideal choice for somewhere to get vegan food in Durham, but which also serves some great beer too!

The bustling atmosphere is a key part of the Head of Steam experience. Their rooftop terrace is a popular hangout on sunny days, and the bar can get packed during peak hours – be prepared for a bit of a wait for service during those times. While Head of Steam delivers on the beer front and the potential for simple vegan bites, it might not be the top pick for dedicated vegan diners seeking innovative, extensive plant-based meals. However, as a part of Durham’s craft beer scene, it’s a fun spot to meet up and indulge in a drink or two with a side of casual vegan-friendly food. If your group prioritizes a diverse selection of craft beers and a lively pub atmosphere, Head of Steam won’t disappoint.

  • Best for: Craft beer, lively atmosphere, casual vegan-adaptable dishes
  • Dish to Order: Consult with server about potential vegan versions of pub snacks
  • Address: 1a N Rd, Durham DH1 4SL
  • Rating: 3/5 (for vegan diners)
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://www.theheadofsteam.co.uk/bars/durham

15. Holi and Bhang

Holi and Bhang

Holi and Bhang invites diners to discover the heart and soul of authentic Indian cuisine. Their focus on traditional recipes and spice-laden flavours makes their dedicated vegan menu shine. Dishes sing with vibrant aromas, teasing the palate with complex layers of heat and savoury notes. From creamy lentil dals to tangy vegetable curries and sizzling tandoori-inspired plates, it’s clear that Holi and Bhang doesn’t compromise when it comes to crafting flavourful vegan offerings. The setting adds to the charm – a cosy room with dimmed lighting and exposed brick details creates a welcoming space that complements the richness of the food.

For those who prioritise authentic flavours and exploration of regional Indian dishes with thoughtfully curated vegan options, Holi and Bhang deliver. The occasional inconsistency in service is easily outweighed by the quality and care put into their dishes. If you’re seeking a flavourful escape and a true taste of India, this vegan restaurant in Durham gem won’t disappoint.

  • Best for: Authentic Indian cuisine, dedicated vegan menu
  • Dish to Order: Saag Bhaji (spinach curry), Vegetable Biryani
  • Address: 1 Elvet Bridge, Durham DH1 3AF
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Price: £££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://holiandbhang.co.uk/

16. Lebaneat

Lebaneat

Lebaneat brings the fresh, vibrant flavours of Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine to Durham, making it a haven for vegan diners. Their dedication to plant-based dishes is immediately evident from the menu, offering a dazzling array of mezze, vibrant salads, and spiced grilled specialties. We found the hummus especially delightful, creamy and flavourful, with just the right balance of tang and warmth. Expect a menu that invites you to sample, share, and discover new favourite plant-based creations with every visit.

The atmosphere inside Lebaneat is buzzing with energy. It’s a popular spot, making reservations a smart move, particularly on weekends when it can get quite lively and a bit disorganised. However, the warmth of the staff and the enticing aromas wafting from the kitchen more than make up for any occasional service hiccups. Lebaneat excels at showcasing the versatility and deliciousness of vegan Lebanese fare. Dishes burst with colour and complexity – think smoky baba ghanoush, perfectly crisp falafel, and salads overflowing with fresh herbs and tangy dressings. With generous portions and reasonable prices, this spot offers an abundance of flavourful, authentic dishes ideal for sharing. If you’re searching for a lively dining experience with a focus on delicious and creative vegan fare, Lebaneat is a must-try in Durham.

  • Best for: Flavourful Lebanese & Mediterranean food, vegan-friendly
  • Dish to order: Hummus, falafel, mixed mezze
  • Address: 47 North Bailey, Durham DH1 3ET
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://www.lebaneat.co.uk/

17. Rudy’s Pizza Durham

Rudy’s Pizza Durham

If you’re a fan of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, Rudy’s is worth a visit. They take pride in their soft, chewy crusts with just the right amount of char, cooked in scorching wood-fired ovens and topped with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Their dough is the star of the show, with a delightful texture that could serve as the perfect base for creative plant-based combinations. Think tangy tomato sauce, a medley of roasted vegetables, bursts of fresh herbs, and perhaps a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a hint of cheese-like flavour. The relaxed atmosphere and reasonable prices make Rudy’s a solid contender for casual gatherings where adaptable vegan diners are happy to get creative with their toppings.

Though their commitment to Neapolitan authenticity might limit some truly vegan-focused innovations, Rudy’s earns a place on our list for the quality of their pizza bases and fresh toppings. It’s a place where those willing to forego traditional cheese, experiment with flavours, and perhaps even bring their own favourite vegan substitutes can still enjoy the art of a beautifully crafted pizza. While it might not be the top pick for strict vegans craving elaborate plant-based creations, those open to a bit of customisation and the simple pleasures of a quality crust will find delicious pizza in Durham at Rudy’s.

  • Best for: Neapolitan pizza, fresh toppings, adaptable for vegans
  • Dish to order: Marinara pizza (ask to remove cheese) add your own favorite toppings
  • Address: 44 Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU
  • Rating: 3/5 (for vegan diners)
  • Price: £
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://www.rudyspizza.co.uk/

Best Vegan Restaurants in Durham – FAQ

What is the best vegan restaurant in Durham?

This depends entirely on your preferences! Durham offers a fantastic range of vegan restaurants. For casual eats, Lazeez is a local favourite. For fine dining with pan-Asian flavours, try Fusion. Head to Holi and Bhang for authentic Indian cuisine and Lebaneat for Mediterranean and Lebanese flavours.

What is the most expensive vegan restaurant in Durham?

Fusion, located within the luxurious Ramside Hall Hotel, is likely the most expensive vegan restaurant in Durham. Their focus is on an upscale dining experience with customisable dishes tailored to your preferences.

What is the best plant-based restaurant in Durham?

Again, this depends on your taste! Plant-based encompasses both vegetarian and vegan options. Many restaurants in Durham cater to both, such as Akarsu (Turkish), Chapters (afternoon tea), and Marco Pierre White (with adaptable dishes).

Which UK city has the most vegan restaurants per capita?

Brighton takes the lead as the most vegan-friendly UK city! It boasts the highest number of vegan restaurants relative to its population size.