Vegan food isn't all about quinoa wrapped in quinoa, served with a side of quinoa. Oh no. It's easy enough to embrace a plant-based diet without missing out on some guilty pleasures. Especially if you live in Cardiff.

For all the classic 'junk food' dishes - think burgers, hot dogs, pizza - there's a restaurant willing to add a vegan twist. In fact, the demand for vegan junk food in Cardiff is so high, some plucky entrepreneurs opened up a dedicated house of vegan junk (bless you, Greazy Vegan). While that might be the only place that's full to the rafters with hedonistic vegan delights, Cardiff certainly isn't lacking in restaurants offering up dishes that'll put your digestive system to the test.

With that in mind, we've put together a list of our seven favourite vegan junk dishes. Dig in.

Starting out as a mere pop-up venture, the Greazy Vegan quickly became one of the hottest food spots in Cardiff. And what do all successful pop-ups do? That's right - they invested in their own future by moving into a brick-and-mortar store (facing the castle, no less!).

Now, as we mentioned above - the Greazy Vegan is full to the brim with vegan junk food, so it's hard to pick just one thing from their menu. However, to keep this feature as varied as possible, we've decided to give the thumbs up to the incredible hot wings from their 'chickun' range. They might make your nose run like Usain Bolt, but thanks to the accompanying ranch sauce, the pain won't last too long.

Read more about The Greazy Vegan

If you're into locally-sourced and ethically-produced vegan street food, then you'll love the Lazy Leek. Based in the Kings Road Yard in Pontcanna - this restaurant offers up everything from plant-based burgers (the Beetmaster General is incredible) to 'Cauli Wings'. But if you ask us, it's their dirty fries that really puts them up there on the Mount Rushmore of vegan joints in Cardiff.

Hand-cut, triple-cooked chips covered in Portabello mushrooms, fake mozzarella, BBQ sauce and pickled chillies? You'll sleep well after devouring this dish.

Read more about The Lazy Leek

Roath isn't exactly short of visually stunning businesses, but if you're asking for our top pick, then Blanche Bakery might just take the cake. Much like the Greazy Vegan, this project had rather humble beginnings - but soon enough, this wonderful cottage industry evolved into a fully-operational shop on MacKintosh Place - equipped with the sort of decor you'd expect to find on every influencer's Instagram page.

From cruelty-free cupcakes and cookies to cakes the size of your face, Blanche Bakery is a dream come true for vegans in Cardiff.

Our recommendation? The doughnuts - specifically the 'French Toast' variety. It features a cinnamon and vanilla glaze, topped with fresh berries and powdered sugar. If we had the metabolism, we'd eat one every day.

Read more about Blanche Bakery

Anna Loka was Cardiff's first-ever 100% vegan restaurant, but with their tireless work ethic, they've managed to blaze a trail for others to follow. And we thank them for that.

While the majority of their menu could be considered 'wholesome' - and certainly not on the junk food end of the spectrum - who doesn't like a good kebab on a night out? It's the sort of thing that lines the stomach, or buys you some extra time when you need it later in the night.

Anna Loka's take on the doner features thinly sliced seitan, Spanish olives, pickled tofu, coleslaw, tomatoes, cornichons, rocket and garlic mayo. And if that wan't enough, it's also served with muhammara, nachos and a side salad. It's overwhelming in all the right ways.

Read more about Anna Loka

Steen the Chef, based in Windsor Place, is all about providing value for money. That's not to say that it's cheap and that you 'get what you pay for' - oh no. Think good-quality food at a price that's not going to put you in the red. It's refreshing, really, because in any other restaurant you'd be paying double.

If that piqued your interest, wait until you hear our double-whammy recommendation. First, you'll want to dive into their gigantic vegan burgers, which come with triple-cooked chips and a salad. That's a no-brainer. But we're begging you - save some space, because for dessert you'll wanna devour one of their vegan flapjacks. We know flapjacks aren't typically classed as 'junk food' but they're not exactly great for you either. Especially when you eat five in a row.

Read more about Steen the Chef

So we've dealt with late night dishes, delicious desserts, and colossal lunches, but what about the jewel on top of the junk food crown? That's right, breakfast and brunch! Wild Thing - based in Grangetown - is a relative newcomer to the plant-based revolution currently taking over Cardiff, but with their socially-focussed mindset and menu items such as 'Pay What You Can' soup, we're rooting for them pretty hard.

As with a few of the restaurants we've featured here, finding 'junk' on the menu is difficult, but we're pretty sure that starting your day with pancakes is pretty indulgent, even if they are made of oat flour, and topped with ginger baked apple, coyo, maple and date syrup, and nutty granola.

Perhaps healthy junk food is the future?

Read more about Wild Thing

Published -29th June 2019