TOP 11 VEGAN FRIENDLY FOOD PLACES IN PUNE YOU’VE GOT TO TRY!!
It’s not an easy ride being Vegan. From being probed about the alleged health benefits to being asked constantly where they get their protein from, vegans have had to deal with far more than finding the perfect risotto in town. And that’s where we step in.
What’s the fuss about vegan diet?
According to the UN reports, a vegan diet is considered the most sustainable diet for the planet right now. A single vegan meal saves about 3000 gallons of water, 16 pounds of grains, could save the equivalent of driving 1,160 miles in carbon footprint, reduces global warming, saves a human life from hunger and an animal from slaughter.
With so many celebrities, athletes and body builders being vocal about compassion for animals and the health benefits of a vegan diet, we ask you – “Won’t you at least try one meal?”
Enjoy our list of cafes that serve delicious vegan dishes in Pune city!
1. The Real Green café
Sitting pretty on the 1st floor of a mall, in one of the popular (and vegan-friendly) lanes of Koregaon Park, you approve of this all-vegan café instantly by one look at the exhaustive menu. The founder, Aishwarya Vishwanath (a talented baker and accountant), started the café with a passion to change the common misperception that vegan food is not tasty and accessible. You’ll find most dishes here made with vegan cheese (a healthier alternative than regular cheese), vegan yogurts and a wide variety of chocolate laden desserts. This cute, compact café makes an impression with its unique décor of graffiti (with colourful chalks) on a tall blackboard pillar with scribbles such as “Veganism is magic”, “Eat like you give a damn”, “Revenge of the veggies”. Try their lip-smacking Key Lime smoothie and Vegan Cheese Pizza.
A spa cuisine café, that believes in using natural neem wood cutlery and copper glasses, grows their own organic vegetables in the backyard garden and abhors any use of refined oil, sugars or preservatives in the kitchen. Started by Sonal Barmecha, the all-white interiors make this café a popular place to lunch and are a packed house on weekends. Authentic, healthy food being the prime focus – vegan food options flow fluently in the pages of the menu. The dishes aren’t marked vegan specifically and it is recommended that you check with the server before ordering. They’ve recently added new vegan desserts on the menu, which include Sorbets, Popsicle, Dark chocolate slab and a dessert smoothie bowl.
3. One.O.Eight café
This place was a “find”. Started by Bree Bhosale and her husband Rajan, the café is a packed house on a Saturday afternoon with the indoor and outdoor seating falling short for the number of people walking in. They have a wide variety of food options for vegans (including gluten free and sugar free) and believe in serving healthy and balanced meals, with most of the ingredients sourced that are organic and local. We also loved that they serve almond, cashew and coconut milk options for the exquisite organic coffees, milkshakes and smoothies. Spoilt for choice, much?
4. Granny’s Bowl
This is a new all-vegan café in Pune- Dhole Patil Road, where they serve healthy, happy meals with a thoughtful menu that is freshly curated daily. Started by Jaya Rai, a passionate foodie, who plans to bridge the gap for accessible healthy vegan food in Pune, with a fun menu that will have you coming back every day to try a different cuisine. Expect an interesting variety of good-smelling, lip-smacking delicacies like waffles, burgers, vegan cheese, vegan meat-ball stew, gnocchi, raw desserts, tiramisu and lots more!
5. Back to basics
Is your sweet tooth keeping you from trying vegan? Back to basics is a one-stop destination for all your sweet vegan cravings whichever way you like it – gluten-free, keto or fat-free, you’ll find it all here! Started by a Anuradha Sawhney, ex-PETA head and author to one of India’s first cookbook’s “The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!”, this is a food delivery service pampering you with delectable, luscious cakes and desserts, healthy breads, tarts and quiches. Chocolate cheesecake and organic juice – cranberry bread is an absolute must try! They also take orders for catering for small groups and parties in Pune city.
6. Malaka Spice
The first thing that hits you when you enter this place is the smell – the kind that makes you so hungry, even if you may not be. It’s a trap! The restaurant has a huge indoor and outdoor seating and can easily seat upto 300 people at a go. The vegetarian section of the menu has a lot of exciting vegan options to choose from including Vegan Sushi, Burmese Curry Noodles (all the curries are made using coconut milk). The staff is efficient and knowledgeable and if asked nicely, will help you order the right vegan dish. Be sure to come here with a reservation on the weekends.
While Dario’s was principally always a vegetarian Italian café, they recently introduced a good number of vegan dishes in the menu – all of which look very interesting. Founded by Dario Dezio, a talented chef from Sicily, Italy, the restaurant/café/bar has an enormous indoor and outdoor seating with an attentive, courteous staff. Except for the Pizza section, you’ll find ample options in each category for vegan food and most of it looks absolutely delectable. The Seitan Risotto and Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake are an absolute must-try!
8. The Yogi Tree
Basic and tranquil, The Yogi Tree is tucked away in a quiet corner in the same lane as its overpowering (and not very vegan-savvy) neighbor, The German Bakery. This café offers a different experience with no pretentious crowds and no glamorous quirks, something we’re all too used to. The smiling, courteous staff is happy to point out all the vegan dishes on the menu and customize a non-vegan dish to make it vegan as well. There’s Soya milk for the smoothies, Hummus, Tofu aplenty and Soya granules cooked creatively to make Kheema, Biryani and other dishes. If you relish a quiet place for lunch, this is your place to go.
If you crave your daily fix of curd or buttermilk while maintaining a vegan diet, Chetran’s Soya dahee/ lassi is a brilliant alternative. The taste is unbelievably similar to (and better than) dairy curd at a fraction of the cost (a packet of 250 grams of Soya dahee costs just Rs.10). Chetran’s was set up with the objective of providing healthy protein to the Indian consumer at a competitive cost. Using state-of-the-art equipment from Japan, they also manufacture Soya milk, Tofu, Soya snax, Amrakhand and soya-based chutneys, all of which are available at supermarkets and kirana stores across Pune city.
As the name suggests, this café serves only vegan. You’ll find all your favourite go-to dishes like Shahi Paneer roll, “Meaty” biryani, Kebabs, Bhurji roll, Kheema pav and the likes, all veganised. With immense enthusiasm for bringing veganism to the masses, Pradeep Taneja started this café to serve delicious food that is guilt-free, pocket friendly, healthy and 100% cholesterol free.
11. Gourmade with love
This is a food delivery service started by Sonia Patodia, to help people plan their meals depending on the person’s health goals, with the support of a nutritionist on board. Health being the primary focus, there is an option for vegan meals and the menu can be customized as per preference for those who like it gluten free or soy free, keeping the best ingredients in mind.
We did not include:
- Places that offer only 1-2 dishes that are accidentally vegan (ex. Hummus or potato fries!). Our idea is to promote enterprises that are congenial to the vegan folk and have a variety of dishes (including dessert) that suit their ethical taste buds.
- Indian cuisine and Chinese restaurants for the simple reason that they can be easily customized and most dishes are already vegan. We really hope you enjoy our exhaustive list of vegan cafes in Pune.
This post has been written by a committed vegan and animal lover, Monica Chopra living in Mumbai.