A vegan’s guide to Bournemouth

Read Time:   |  1st October 2018

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The beautiful coastal town of Bournemouth is best known for sandy beaches and salty sea air. However, this slice of seaside is also building a reputation as a paradise for vegan food lovers. Fleurie Forbes-Martin takes you on a guided tour.

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Published on 1 Oct 2018


Where to eat

I’ve done my best to curate a guide to some of the best independently-owned vegan spots across Bournemouth. As a summer holiday hot-spot for tourists, each winter sees a variety of new eateries, bars and cafés open up in preparation, many of which have an offering for plant lovers.

While I couldn’t squeeze all of what’s on offer into one article, these are some of the places I adore most. I hope you’ll be motivated to visit, knowing there’s plenty more to discover in town!

Stable Pizza

Address: Westover Road, Bournemouth BH1 2BU

Price guide: £10-£20

Stable opened its doors in what used to be an old and unloved tourist information centre in Bournemouth’s town centre. Everything about this small-but-growing British brand feels authentically local and they know exactly what they’re about – perfect pizza and craft cider!

They have a dedicated vegan menu and having tried everything on it, I can vouch for its tastiness. The space is also super versatile and I’ve been there for meetings, birthdays, dinners and more. A great spot to know about and they always have great offers on.

Find out more here.

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Ojo Rojo

Address: 106 Commercial Road, The Triangle,
Bournemouth BH2 5LR

Price guide: £5-£30 (depending on how hungry you are for mains versus tapas)

Directly translated as “red eye”, Ojo Rojo offers visitors a Mexican-inspired exploration of the senses. Founded by the owner of one of the slickest cocktail bars in town, Smokin’ Aces, Ojo Rojo became my favourite eatery in town after the first visit.

They have a fantastic street food inspired vegan menu (suitable for heat lovers and haters alike), designed with sharing in mind. And if you want to indulge in an after-dinner tipple, they’re also experts in the lesser known and underrated cousin of tequila, mezcal. Service is always incredible and their vegan dishes are wonderfully creative.

Find out more here.

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Urban Reef

Address: The Overstrand, Undercliff Drive, Boscombe BH5 1BN

Price guide: £10-£30

The location of Urban Reef is the closest you can get to the lapping waves before having an actual picnic. It is my favourite within a small, but lovingly nurtured, group of restaurants known as the Urban Guild.

All about nourishing, sharing and embracing, it’s the perfect setting for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the sunshine (all of which can be ordered off of the dedicated vegan menu) and they work with as much local and seasonal produce as they can, so you know it’s fresh.

Whether you want to watch the surfers (on webcam too), stroke friendly dogs or take a moment to sip a latte and breathe, Urban Reef will feel like your home from home.

Find out more here.

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South Coast Roast

Address: 24 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth BH2 6EJ

Price guide: £3-£10

I have a special warm place in my heart for South Coast Roast as they hosted our launch of CRACK+CIDER (www.crackandcider.com) in February, and an underground talk from Earthling Ed! This cosy but oh-so-cool café roasts their own coffee a 10 minute walk away.

I take a lot of my home decor inspiration from this place and their mostly-vegan menu offers a variety of essentials, including the best avo on toast around. The team are incredibly friendly and will welcome you like a regular even if they’ve never met you before.

It’s great for people watching in the morning, as Bomo’s coolest folk drop by to order their joe. It’s also worth checking their Instagram in advance of a visit as they also host a variety of different vegan supper clubs.

Find out more here.

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Mad Cucumber

Address: 7 The Triangle, Bournemouth BH2 5RY

Price guide: £2-£10

Mad Cucumber was one of the first 100% vegan hospitality experiences to open its doors in Bournemouth. As natural masters of plants, they have crafted a menu of insatiable melt-in-the-mouthiness, available six days a week.

Made from scratch, their vegan menu has everything from naughty to nice, depending on your disposition. The highlights for me are the ‘full English’ style vegan breakfast (the best of the best), the peanut butter and aubergine stew, pesto pasta and the Macaroni Cheeze from the specials board.

With a chilled-but-welcoming lounge feel to it, this is a vegan eatery that you can (and should) take non-vegan friends to for flavourful inspiration.

Find out more here.

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Lollipop Gelato

Address: Unit 6, The Triangle, 63 Commercial Road, Bournemouth BH2 5RH

Price guide: £2-£8

It’s the wonderful Sicilians behind the counter of Bournemouth’s first ‘gelato lab’ that make this pit-stop so sweet. With what appears to be giant washing machines (actually ice cream machines!) out of view, you might be mistaken for thinking Lollipop is like any other ice cream parlour.

But their gelato-making qualifications hung proudly on the wall will tell you otherwise! Although not totally vegan, Lollipop always has a number of delicious vegan flavours on offer at any one time and they’re deceivingly creamy.

Depending on your taste buds, you can enjoy the likes of coconut, pistachio, hazelnut, chocolate or something more exotic like watermelon. All without a hint of dairy in sight, and service with a smile. They also make a cracking Italian coffee. Not to be missed!

Find out more here.

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Sunrise Organics

Address: 9 St Michael’s Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5DP

Price guide: £1-£40

Open from 10-6, this fun and friendly vegan health food store is a fantastic place to visit on your tour. Squirrelled away at the top of town, Sunrise Organics is the best ethical and cruelty-free shopping experience in town.

Owners Liz and Mark ensure there’s always a selection of locally grown organic vegetables, fresh sourdough bakes and vegan naughties in stock. After collaborating with local organic kitchen Sweet Greens, they also run raw food classes with Heidi (check their Facebook page for these).

Second to their selection of vegan products, Liz also posts lovely, bubbly walkthroughs of the shop on social to help promote it, which always puts a smile on my face. Lovely people, lovely shop, lovely food.

Find out more here.

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Cosy Club

Address: 34 Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth BH1 1LG

Price guide: £2-£13

I know that Cosy Clubs are not unique to Bournemouth, nor are they independent anymore, but the success of both the Lounges and Cosy Clubs across the UK are due (in large part) to their ‘local community’ feel and this Cosy Club is no different.

The setting is a fabulously romantic and cosy space, which was previously an old department store. It’s got quite a bit of the Great Gatsby feel about it, with deep rouge on the walls, waistcoated bartenders and a mixture of eclectic lighting fixtures. They have a dedicated vegan menu which has brunch, tapas, sandwiches, mains, sides and puddings to choose from.

They also make one of my favourite burgers anywhere – the Thai Veggie Burger. Cocktails are not a requirement, but recommended here – but they have vegan Prosecco if you prefer bubbles!

Find out more here.

By day, Fleurie is the Marketing Manager for the aptly named brand and communications agency, Salad. She adopted a completely vegan lifestyle a year ago, following a hard-hitting epiphany in a chicken restaurant. Since then, she has dedicated her words and pictures to inspiring others through Instagram @southcoastfm, and reviewing restaurants for the Dorset Foodie Family.

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