While dining in a Toby Carvery or Wetherspoons may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they certainly seem to be coming up trumps when it comes to catering for vegans. It was great to hear that Harvester had launched a full vegan breakfast on its menu which set it miles apart from other chains. While some offer partial breakfasts, they seem to get the sausage part all wrong by serving Quorn which are vegetarian on account of having egg in them. As I’ve debated many times, a simple switch to Linda McCartney’s bangers (or Hooba’s, if I’m being greedy) would mean many breakfasts offered by cafes and restaurants would be SFV.
There’s nothing better than a cooked brunch you haven’t had to slave over yourself so we took ourselves off to a local Harvester to see what the Hipster breakfast was like.
I kinda took umbrage at its name, suggesting that us vegans are incredibly trendy folk who have adopted eating ethically alongside a plaid shirt and some clear lens glasses. There needs to be a move away referring to veganism as a fad or diet and an acknowledgement this is a serious lifestyle choice. Anyway, mini-rant over with. I’m sure the marketing team at Harvester didn’t have any ill will when they were coming up for a name for this plate of grub.
£4.99 is not a bad price for breakfast, especially when we’ve paid more historically for brunches in local places. The proof, however, is in the eating and this Hipster Breakfast was an assembly job of sorts for the kitchen team at Harvester.
Nothing plated was freshly prepared here: the sausages and hash browns are frozen, the beans likely from a tin, etc. You can help yourself to the ‘unlimited’ buffet that’s also available, although for things like the cereal and bread you may have to ask for more information as we can’t presume these will be SFV. The margarine is labelled, so if you fancy a crumpet you’ll at least get some spread for it.
It was also good to see soya milk out for use in the teas and coffees. It’s amazing to find some chains will go to the trouble of creating specialist vegan menus with vegan cheese-topped pizza and then forget to buy in some Oatly to make a cappuccino for you afterwards. Yes PizzaExpress, I’m talking about you!
The Hipster Breakfast was actually pretty decent. The tomatoes could have done with a little more grilling and the hash browns were a little more anaemic than I’d have personally liked but it was good value for money. For such a simple switch to be made by all chains of this ilk would make such a huge difference to vegans across the country. I honestly don’t understand why Wetherspoons are still serving up Quorn, to be honest.
It would be nice to see other vegan breakfasts pop up on the menu for those with a smaller appetites, like a sausage sandwich or Avocado Toast (I can’t believe I’ve said that but I had a craving for it the other day!). These alternatives are certainly easier on the arteries than Harvester’s Chicken, Bacon and Waffles or the Steak and Eggs you’ll see amongst the choices but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Fair play to Harvester for leading the pack on the vegan breakfast front and we’ll likely pop back in again because of their convenient locations and purse friendly prices.
Thanks for reading,