The start of a new year, and the month of Veganuary, sees many people exploring plant-based diets. Experienced vegans might also be looking to ring the changes with some new ideas to try.
So, where should you head if you’re looking for vegan-friendly food and drink during a visit to the Folkestone and Hythe district, or if you are lucky enough to live here already?
The ever-popular Vegan Vibes takes place throughout the year, every third Sunday of the month.
Browse and buy local, vegan food, drink and gifts. Stalls vary each week so you’ll always find something different.
For a Sunday treat, No Meat, Two Veg’s vegan junk food will sort you out. Hythe-based baking duo The Vegan Habit are Vegan Vibes’ regulars, offering cakes and savoury treats as well as a selection of hummus and dips. Folkestone’s own Valentin from Valentin’s Bakery serves a fully vegan menu on market days – be sure to get there early as the vegan doughnuts and pizzas are always a sell-out.
Pick up some artisan Kombucha (sparkling fermented tea), made in small-batches by Zak’s Kombucha in nearby Wye – enjoy a glass or two at Zak’s bar or buy to take some home.
And if you’re looking for a gift for yourself or a loved one (Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it), take a look at Handmaidens’ soaps – they are not only vegan-friendly but they look and smell delicious and last for ages.
Find out more about Vegan Vibes on social media and keep up to date with dates and what to expect each week.
While in Guildhall Street
Guildhall Street is becoming a destination for those looking for ethical, sustainable and alternative choices. Combine your visit to Vegan Vibes with a stop-off at Re:stock’s plastic-free pantry – refill all your cleaning products, stock up on refillable foods and grab one of their coffee or vegan hot chocolates while you shop.
Down the street at number 19, Pan Asian street food outlet The Bao Baron recently moved from its former base on Folkestone Harbour Arm to its new, bricks and mortar home. Named by The Guardian as one of Folkestone’s best new restaurants, it specialises in bao buns and ramen, you’ll find a good selection of vegan, diary-free and gluten-free options. Choose from dishes like oyster mushroom satay, pickled ginger and crispy shallot bao, or beetroot and celeriac ramen.
Local, ethical hub shopping
The Kent Food Hubs online marketplace is an ethical shopping experience offering local, seasonal and traceable products. It was founded by Beckie Alves two years ago as a Community Interest Company (CIC).
The concept is simple – place an order by Sunday and collect it from The Quarterhouse in Folkestone on Tuesdays. Delivery is also available.
All producers are handpicked to ensure and guarantee their sustainability credentials and the range is extensive (bread, juices, fruit and veg, oils and vinegars and much more) to get as close to the experience of a weekly shop as possible and to help people to shop locally without having to visit multiple shops. Seasonal eats and ideas can be viewed on their website – for January it’s parsnips, beetroots and sprouts.
Where to meet, eat and drink
It’s fair to say that you won’t go hungry if you’re looking for vegan-friendly places to meet, eat and drink in the Folkestone and Hythe district, there’s plenty of choice.
Here’s a small selection of ideas.
Dr Legumes is an exclusively plant-based restaurant, located on Folkestone Harbour Arm. You’ll find a huge selection of imaginative and beautifully-presented vegan dishes here in a relaxed setting by the sea – what could be better?
Planet Earth Kitchen on Rendezvous Street is the only fully vegan café in the town centre, serving from breakfast right through to dinner.
Bar Folklore is open early till late on The Old High Street, Folkestone’s colourful shopping hotspot. All the cakes here are vegan, perfect with a coffee, hot chocolate or even alongside one of their mouth-watering cocktails! Look out for the Banksy artwork on the wall right next to it. Also on The Old High Street, just up the hill, is Folkestone Wholefoods, an Aladdin’s cave of sustainable goodies, including many vegan-friendly items. Look out for their Folkestone Baycon Oak Smoked Pancetta, made locally as the name suggests!
Gourmet Kitchen on Sandgate Road, Folkestone is a bistro-style café and grocery. Its extensive menu features a good selection of vegan choices.
Hop along the coast to Sandgate, where you can try Roka Pizza on the High Street. Our tip…finish your meal with a vegan Biscoff waffle…need we say more!
When in Hythe, there’s vegan cafe Root, which opened in 2021 in the height of the pandemic – you can read our interview with founder Eady Timms here.