Unity Diner in Spitalfields is your all American foodie haven, but it's entirely vegan. That means meatless hotdogs and burgers, cheeseless mozarella sticks and so on.
Sometimes vegan food is just too healthy. Too good for you. But there are times when you want to be bad. You want to clog your arteries with grease and salt. You just want to indulge. And that’s where Unity Diner comes in.
On the surface, Unity Diner is your all American diner. Burgers, hotdogs, milkshakes and cheesy chips rule the menu. But it’s all 100% vegan. You won’t find animal products anywhere in the restaurant.
And it isn’t like the old vegan days when your veggie patty tasted like dirt and nuts. These guys will have you shouting “I can’t believe it’s not… (insert animal product)” all night long. We were constantly surprised – often forgetting we weren’t actually eating meat, fish and cheese.
The mozzarella sticks were so damn good. We still can’t believe we weren’t eating cheese. It had the exact same consistency and taste of melted cheese. As did the mac and cheese. They added a few bits of cauliflower and broccoli to make sure it’s not only about the ‘can’t believe it’s not cheese, cheese’.
You’re eating a lot of oil and grease but you’re not actually pumping all the dairy into your body – so it’s not as unhealthy as it tastes. That’s a massive win. They even managed to make a vegan battered fish and chips. True vegans will have tried this, but we hadn’t. It was a marvellous discovery. It tasted exactly like giant portion of cod. The massive portion of mushy peas was just the icing on the cake here.
The burgers are just as special. They’re perhaps not as good as the real thing but oh how they come close to it. But most guests in the room seemed to be all about the vegan dogs.
The meatless hotdogs come out like a piece of artwork on a big wooden board, smothered in all kinds of sauces and crispy onions. Unity Diner doesn’t miss a beat with their vegan alternatives – especially here.
But you can easily get overexcited here. Vegans rarely get so much choice at greasy spoons like this. We added a gargantuan pile of cheesy loaded chips to the mix. This comes with three kinds of fake cheese, vegan doner kebab, jalapeños, fresh herbs and crispy onions. It is mushy and crunchy heaven on a platter.
End it all with their long list of vegan desserts and some cocktails and you’re sorted. They even manage to create a whisky sour without egg. Even all the beer and wine are vegan and ethically sourced.
And ethics is a big part of the Unity Diner ethos. They don’t just not serve meat and dairy. They go so many steps further. First off, their profits go directly towards animal rights campaigning work (Surge), including the development of a brand-new sanctuary for rescued animals here in the UK.
The produce is as organic, locally sourced and sustainable as it gets too. Even the staff uniforms and merchandise are ethically made – no sweatshops.
Food waste is also donated to animals who have been rescued from slaughter. This is a truly guilt-free restaurants.
You won’t find yourself missing the meat and dairy at Unity Diner. They show you why it isn’t a necessity. And how you can really eat delicious trashy food without any of the usual guilt you get from eating out at all the takeaway joints around the City.
60 Wentworth Street, Spitalfields E1 7AL