Georgian bakeries and restaurants are quite common in Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Unfortunately Georgian food is usually not very vegan-friendly, it is rich in animal products, most famous are the meat dishes, and the use of cheese and butter.
Madliani Puri, a small bakery, has however several vegan options which are too good not to share! The place itself is kind of interesting. It is a small room with a large round oven (called t’one, or tone) where the bread is made by sticking the dough to the side.
You order at the small window. There are some breads on display, but behind the window they were not so easy to photograph (does nobody think of the bloggers!)
They offer several stuffed breads for ‘Pist’, the Orthodox fast, see this earlier blogpost. The available vegan ‘gvezeli’ are stuffed with either potatoes, with cabbage or with mushrooms. The breads are really nice and fluffy, the stuffing is tasty and goes great with the bread! They also sell several drinks, like a tarragon lemonade, coffee and tea.
Type of place: Georgian Bakery
Completely vegan: no
Website (Russian) : https://www.facebook.com/madliani.puri
Address: Marshala Tymoshenka St, 14, Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000 (This is not clear from the website)
Vollpension is a bakery, where you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner. But it is more than that. They call themselves a “generational coffee house”, a social enterprise to bring generations together. Their reasoning: in busy cities nowadays there is not a lot of room for meaningful conversations between people, especially between generations. Quite some seniors in big cities in Austria (and other places) are lonely, and have a low income since it is harder for older people to find jobs. Vollpension is a social initiative to bring young and old together, to provide jobs and a social network to older people. About 60% of the employees at Vollpension are over 55. The idea of visiting Vollpension is like going to your grandparents, for a cup of tea and a piece of pie.
I love this initiative and I am not alone! For brunch Vollpension was super busy! If you plan to go, maybe reserve in advance to guarantee a spot. The idea of “grandmothers kitchen table” is also present in the interior. Mismatched cups, comfy chairs, cozy-kitchy furnitures and decorations…very welcoming! In the back pies are being baked by the seniors according to family recipes. They have actually published a book with recipes and stories from the bakers (only in German I believe)
We went for brunch on Sunday morning and as mentioned before, it was very busy. There was place on the terrace but it was a bit chilly. Fortunately there was still place at the ‘kitchen table’, a large table where several groups of people could sit. There is a vegan breakfast option; the ‘Kerndlfresser’, and a vegan bircher muesli. (These options are clearly marked on the menu ) Additionally there is soy milk for coffee and there are some vegan cakes! When I was there I believe there was no vegan option for the lunch or dinner, but the menu changes of course.
The Kerndlfresser consists of two slices of bread, from a Wiener bakery, oven-roasted veggies, carrot spread, a fruit salad and some raw veggies, all sprinkled with sunflower seeds. The veggies, aubergine, potato, zucchini, and cauli flower, are nice. I really liked the carrot spread, it also had pumpkin which gave an additional sweetness. The fruit salad consisted of melon and pine-apple, and was the least interesting part in my opinion. The bircher muesli is huge! The muesli itself is mixed with berries, then a grated apple layer, topped with some strawberries.
There are several cakes on the menu, but none are vegan. However, there were some more cakes available, among which a vegan lemon cake! It is very nice, so very fluffy and soft!
I really like this social initiative, and Vollpension is such a welcoming place! It is great to see that it is so successful. The food served at brunch was great! It would be nice if they could add some vegan options for the lunch, but after a brunch that size you won’t be hungry for a while anyway 🙂 Oh just one note, like several other places in Vienna, you can only pay with cash here!
From B12 in Kyiv to By Chloe in New York. Let’s talk about another vegan bakery today! Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I was in New York lately. I had visited NYC before, and I was happy to visit again. The energy from the city is just great! While I was there for my day job, of course I took some time to check out some cool vegan places. So let’s get to it!
By Chloe is from completely vegan, certified kosher (US locations) and they offer gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free options. There are several locations in the US and in the UK. I visited one of the New York locations, and to get a good idea of their food I went a few times (#struggles)
By Chloe serves breakfast/brunch (oats, pancakes, etc), lunch (sandwiches, burgers, salads, …), warm drinks, juices, smoothies, cakes, and more! Some of the items are pre-made and pre-packaged, such as the salads and juices. All the food is prepared from scratch, including sauces and patties. By Chloe use organic local-sourced ingredients (when possible), with an accent on whole foods and healthy ingredients. They do take-out and delivery as well.
The interior is cute and welcoming. The location I visited was quite spacious (for New York:)) and initially it was not very busy. I do have to mention that the music was very loud. This might be a New York thing, I noticed it in other eateries as well but it kinda didn’t match the nice chill vibe that by Chloe has going on. During lunch time it got very busy. It was great to see a completely vegan place being so successful!
I tried the daily pancakes with a coffee (and I got a piece of banana bread for later, it was a lot but it was also very, very tasty) The pancakes were very soft and fluffy, topped with chocolate sauce, matcha powder and some strawberries. They were served with syrup and coconut butter to the side. The pancakes were served on a styrofoam plate which was a bit inconvenient for cutting. The utensils available were plastic. On their web site they do mention eco-friendly packaging, so I guess it is bio-degradable?
I went back a few days later to try one of their sandwiches and the ‘air-baked’ sweet fries. The pesto ‘meatball’ sandwich was great, the fries were alright but very soft. Personally I am more into crispy fries. Unfortunately it is all served in loads of wrapping paper, which soaked up the (tasty) sauce, so it was not possible to make a nice picture 😦 Think of the bloggers people!! It is a shame, because I got some pretty delicious and cool-looking beet ketchup on the fries. It makes for a messy eating experience. Again, I was eating in the cafe itself, so it was also very unnecessary to use so much paper even if it is eco-friendly. In this case though,since it was very busy it is possible that the person that served me thought I wanted take-out.
In summary: the food is good, I especially liked the sandwiches and the cakes. Can recommend !
Type of place: Vegan bakery / fast-casual lunch
Completely vegan: yes !
Website ( English ) : https://eatbychloe.com/
Did I already mention that Kyiv is a good place for vegans? Somehow people are surprised by this, but I had a lot of great vegan food in Kyiv ! This is partially due to religious reasons as I explained in a previous blogpost but also because veganism is on the rise in general.
B12 is a vegan bakery, with a small shop attached. They sell for example vegan nut cheese and products like peanut butter and super foods. It is a bit tricky to find. It is in a basement, in the historic centre of Kyiv.
The place itself is quite small and a bit cave like, with exposed stone walls. The interior is a bit hipster, with wooden furniture. Also there are e.g. card games and some books. The atmosphere is chill and quiet, with relaxed music. The menu card is partially in English as well, which is also nice.
They serve a variety of hot drinks, such as coffee, and cold drinks like milk shakes, lemonades etc. Now the nice thing is of course the pastries!
We tried the Oreo cake and a cinnamon roll. The cake is chocolaty, of course, and very nicely fluffy. It reminded me a bit of the cake at Veganopolis. Pretty intense, but not as heavy as some chocolate cakes are. I personally preferred the cinnamon roll, which was so good, sticky and sugary as it should be!
For drinks we had an almond latte and a piña colada milk shake. The coffee was strangely a bit lukewarm, so maybe it was made with cold milk? The piña colada milk shake was nice, though I personally prefer other more traditional flavours!
Think of Paris, think of croissants. Interestingly, the croissant actually originates from Austria*. Croissants are made of layers of thin dough with butter. It would seem that creating a vegan version would not be complex, seeing as there is a lot of vegan butter available nowadays. However, vegan croissants don’t seem to be very widely available. While Cloudcakes does occasionally have them, they were out of croissants when I visited!
Last time I was in Paris, I visited the VG Pâtisserie and found a lot vegan croissants! Mission accomplished!
This bakery is 100% vegan, and they have everything from croissants to macarons to gingerbread men ! During the week there is a breakfast menu, which is quite common in Parisian cafes. There are also several gluten-free options.
VG Pâtisserie has a few tables to sit down for some breakfast or a coffee with a delicious pastry. When we were there most customers took their baked goods to go. (With the door not closing properly this had the annoying side-effect of having to stand up and close the door a lot…)
Since coming across a place like this doesn’t happen that often we went a bit crazy with the sweets. Choosing is hard when all options look so great! We had a croissant, a pain au chocolat, a pain au chocolat with praline and a “cronut”.
The croissants were a bit less fluffy and a bit drier than their buttery counter parts. However, they did not have the same unpleasant after taste some butter croissants have. We also tried a few macarons and a tarte aux citron. The macarons are great! I wonder how they are made. “Normal” macarons are made with egg-whites, and I have seen some recipes for a vegan version which uses aquafaba ( Chickpea brine )
This bakery is a bit more expensive then most standard bakeries, but they have a lot of great pastries and cakes. So, money well-spent, in my opinion!
This small bakery is fully vegan! It is open during the week for the whole day, and on Sunday for brunch. We went on a Saturday morning, lured by the promise of vegan croissants! And our hotel was nearby, which may or may not have been a coincidence. We actually arrived a bit before it opened, because I misread the opening times. That turned out to be a good thing since the place filled up quickly. By the time we left there was a queue and no more spots to sit.
Unfortunately Cloudcakes was out of vegan croissants the day we visited. No biggie, there were enough great breakfast dishes left. We got pancakes and chocolate- banana toast. The food was very good, and filling. The perfect start to day full of museum visits and walking!
We both had a big coffee as well, they use soy milk by default for milky coffees & teas but I believe there’s other milk alternatives available as well.
They also do take-away for both the food and the coffee. We got some muffins for later. They unfortunately got damaged in transport, so no photos (we had a red velvet and a tiramisu cupcake, which can be seen below) The taste was still sublime!
We returned on Sunday for lunch, but there was actually no lunch, just brunch. Since we were a bit late there was not much food left. Also there was also no space to sit so we got some muffins for takeaway. Unfortunate but understandable, the place is very popular.
In Venice and just want to grab a coffee or a quick lunch? Go to Farini! Farini is a chain of ‘fast-food’ bakeries with locations both in Venice and Milan. They offer pizza, salads, focaccias, other types of breads and sweet pastries. Additionally they serve drinks, and they have soy milk as well if you want to get a soy cappuccino. It was possible to sit in the bakery itself, but it was very crowded so we decided on take-away when we visited.
We went there specifically for the focaccia, and there was a nice selection of vegan and non-vegan ones. While traditionally focaccias have vegan dough, I did ask the server to be sure, because experience has taught me that sometimes the most basic and innocent food items might hide dairy or eggs in them. The bakers were nearby, in fact you can see them make your food, and they assured me that the focaccia dough contains no animal products. There were several vegan options and we choose one with onions and one with olives. They were quickly heated and cut (with scissors!) into smaller pieces.
Both focaccias we tried were very nice, a bit salty though, but that might just be due to the olives. For me personally it was not off-putting. If I lived nearby I would probably be a frequent visitor of Farini 🙂