*NB* This blog post was written pre-COVID-19 and I put the publication on pause, so the experience you have when eating there might be a little different now! But I took the time to write it so I wanted to share it 🙂 Please do consider supporting small, local businesses where you can, but if you do find yourself in Wetherspoons and you’re getting hungry, here’s what you might be able to expect…
Wetherspoons were surprisingly one of the earlier adopters among chains to offer reasonable vegan options (or at least, reasonable compared to everything else they serve). In fact, I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to get round to posting about their menu! Over the years Wetherspoons has been a good fall back for a cheap, filling meal, with vegan options for every time of day. I’m keen to back and try their vegan breakfast, complete with newly veganised Heinz low sugar beans, but recently we popped in for a quick dinner while my Dad was in town.
My Dad likes to order vegan food when we’re out together (even though he’s very very far from leading a vegan lifestyle) so he decided to give Wetherspoons’ new vegan burger a go. The burger features a protein-packed patty from Meatless Farm, in a soft vegan sourdough bun, with salad. At first he said it tasted like coffee grounds – not a rave review – which he later refined to ‘burnt bits off a grill’. Many Wetherspoons employees testify to the fact that that the veggie and vegan stuff has to be cooked completely separately from meat in their kitchens, so at least you know it’s not been contaminated with animal fat. The patty itself isn’t as ‘meaty’ in flavour as some others on the market, but the texture is there, and after finishing the burger, Dad conceded that although a bit dry, the burger wasn’t bad at all.
The gourmet burger is an upgraded version of their regular vegan burger, served with a handful of little extras at not much of an extra cost. Coming in unbelievably at just under 1500 calories, as much as I liked the sound of it I just couldn’t justify consuming 3/4 of my daily calories in this one meal. My sister, being a little less health-conscious than I, didn’t need much persuading to choose it. The pile of onion rings on the side were nice and crisp, and the smashed avocado and salsa in the burger helped make it a bit less dry than the regular version.
I ordered the ‘gourmet’ pizza, as opposed to the regular pizza (11 inches vs 8 inches but nothing else to differentiate them). I’d had a pizza from Franco Manca only 2 days previously and I can honestly say I preferred this one! It was just a simple tomato base on soft dough, with the right amount of toppings. The generous spread of sauce kept it from being dry, and the veggies on top – mostly mushroom, onion, and aubergine – were cooked to a nice texture. Nothing to blow you away but a perfectly decent pizza at a very reasonable price, and I felt really satisfied with my meal. It was just the right size for me that I didn’t feel too bloated but didn’t need to eat anything else for the rest of the evening.
Yes, we know the food is pretty much all microwaved. But when a meal for three with drinks comes to under £20, would you really expect otherwise? Dad was very impressed with his unlimited cups of tea for under £2, and I also loved being able to get a great value kombucha with my meal, included in their main and a soft drink offer. They also sell a vegan curry, and an apple crumble, both of which I’ve had before and are actually pretty tasty. We ordered our meal using the app which is very straightforward and means you don’t have to leave your table. The food came quickly, with good service, and when other chains are offering similar quality food but for three times the price, I hate to say it but I really don’t mind eating at Wetherspoons at all!