Vegan [Food] Survival Guide to Portsmouth

Aug 01, 2019

People choose veganism for a number of reasons including health, religious affiliation, animal rights activism, environmental impact and more. It’s been really fun to see the growth of this group since I decided to become vegan in 2017.  It does take some time to re-learn many of the favorite “comfort food” recipes without animal products but, overall, the transition isn’t that tough. In my opinion, the trickiest thing about being a vegan is that many restaurants aren’t particularly ‘vegan friendly’. More often than not, the only vegan choice on a menu is the garden salad with olive oil and vinegar as the dressing. It’s no wonder that most non-vegans assume we eat lettuce and carrots all day. The fun fact is that there are approximately 300000 species of edible plants on the planet and we only eat about 200 of them. Even without animal-products, there is plenty to eat.

All that said, there are a few establishments that are making it easier for vegans to grab a bite to eat outside of their own kitchens. Here are my top recommendations:

*UPDATED 9/22/20*

Elephantine Bakery – You’re probably wondering how a bakery specializing in buttery French pastry ended up on a vegan food list. Their extraordinary falafel is the answer. Crunchy pickled veggies, perfectly crisp falafel, and hummus in a freshly housemade pita.

Green Room Portsmouth – Organic juices, Instagram-worthy smoothies and bowls, sandwiches and salads abound at this recent Portsmouth expansion. Plus, they have vegan CocoWhip soft-serve, the perfect pick-me-up on a warm day.

Green Elephant – Whenever people meet me for lunch, I take them here. It’s a great Asian-inspired lunch and dinner spot located in Portwalk. This is one of the few places where most of the items on the menu are vegan! Definitely try the veggie dumplings and, if it’s chilly outside, the Tofu Tikka Masala is a great way to warm up.

Native Coffee – Technically, Native is located in Rye but I’m including it on the list here because it’s close and worth adding. In my opinion, they have the best avo toast in town… hands down. I’m pretty sure it’s the truffle oil that puts it over the top.

White Heron – Located on Islington Street in Portsmouth’s West End. Their vegan scones and/or muffins are to die for. If you’re looking for lunch, their vegan sweet potato burrito is hearty and delicious.

The Fresh Press –  This is one of the few spots in town where everything is vegan and everything is organic! It’s a Win/Win. Insider tip: Add vanilla protein powder to the Skinny Scout smoothie for the perfect mid-afternoon snack. TFP is over on Fleet St.

Juicery Portsmouth – The Juicery has been a staple in town for a while now. They are located on Hanover. Our favorite after-treat snack is the vegan chocolate mousse. You’re welcome.

Dos Amigos – Dos Amigos just moved to Portwalk Place. If you make it there, try the mushroom chorizo burrito or the vegan breakfast burrito. They have become some of my lunch break staples.

Durbar Square – This little spot located on Market Street is my cold weather go-to. If you haven’t been there, you must. Oh, and while you’re there, try the veggie momos and the lentil dal soup.

Thai 5 – Asian restaurants are almost always on a vegan’s list and Thai 5 definitely should be. Dine-in or take out, you won’t be disappointed. My favorite dishes are the Crispy Spring Rolls and Jay Drunken Noodle.

The Health Food Store – When all else fails, head to the Portsmouth Health Food Store. That’s where I go when I just want some chips and hummus or a coconut water. That said, they do have a small kitchen out back where you can order food. Insider tip: Back by the kitchen, they often have their house-made everything hummus. It is… everything.

Honorary Mention: Laney and Lu – I need to add Laney and Lu to the list even though they are in Exeter. Trust me, it’s worth the drive. Anytime I have any reason to be in the area, I stop there. They have a rather large menu that rotates seasonally. Everything I’ve had thus far looks and tastes amazing. The Nori Roll and Stuffed Avocado are some of my favorites but I’m also dying to try the jackfruit tacos.

Have any other suggestions to add to the list! Feel free to email me at [email protected]. I’m all ears.