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"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Young Vegans Pie Shop, London.

Young Vegans Pie Shop Camden Town.

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

May 2019.

I’ve always been a committed meat eater, for the most part. I do like me a bit of chicken, some crispy pork, a delicious steak, cooked medium rare if you will. When I was in Beijing I went crazy for duck, while take me to a Lebanese restaurant and I’ll be going straight for the lamb, my favourite meat of all.

I have had the occasional spell of going veggie. Just for a week or so, to rebalance the system. But I always went back to meat, and of course enjoyed it all the more for having had a break. “Have you ever tried a 100% vegan meal?” my friend Baddi asked me one afternoon. We were wandering through Camden Town exploring the second hand record stores and bookshops. “Uh….” 

I had not. Thus we found ourselves approaching the pretty red brick facade of Young Vegans, a pie shop that is…. as Baddi excitedly explained… 100% vegan. Always up for trying new things, I followed him inside and joined the considerable line of people.

Young Vegans Pie Shop London.

Young Vegans Pie Shop. Camden Town, London.

As you may have gathered, Baddi is a vegan. Don’t worry, he’s not the humourless, self-righteous type who’s forever lecturing everyone on what terrible human beings they are. I’ve met plenty of those over the years and, quite frankly, cannot bear to be in their company. Rather, Baddi wanted to guide me towards a new culinary experience. One, he hoped, that might surprise me a little.

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

Young Vegans Pie Shop Camden Town London

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

Launched in 2015 by an Italian couple, Marco and Carla, Young Vegans took London by storm. In order to show people that vegan cooking can be so much more than salads, the pair began whipping up a range of comfort food dishes. Such as English breakfasts, pie and mash, pizza, mud pie and chocolate chip cookies.

Young Vegans Pie Shop Camden Town.

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

The store’s handmade pies were front and centre that afternoon. They certainly looked good; clearly fresh and in an array of tantalising flavours. In fact, I found it tricky to choose. Should I go for Chicken Katsu Curry? Or perhaps Cheesy Meat and Potato?

100% Vegan Pie and Mash Camden Town

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

Moreover, there’s a mind-boggling creation called The All Day Vegan Breakfast that’s made of sausage patty, scrambled tofu, caramelised onions and smokey baked beans. Confused about where all this meat is coming from? The substitute, Baddi explained with a smirk, is actually seitan, a form of wheat gluten.

A busy afternoon at Young Vegan's Pie Shop in Camden Town

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

Eventually our turn came around and both Baddi and I went for the Vegan Steak & Ale Pie. His with peas and a side of creamy macaroni cheese. Mine with a good old fashioned dollop of mash, topped with sprinkled parsley. Both with some deliciously deep brown, flavourful gravy.

Camden Town, London.

Pie and Mash Young Vegans London

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

So what did I think of my first vegan meal? It was… solid. Everything was well cooked and bursting with flavour. Furthermore, I can honestly say that I might not have noticed that I was eating a vegan pie. You know, if someone had tricked me into it.

However, as much as I enjoyed it, I don’t think it rivals my very favourite London Pie and Mash establishments. I’m talking the sublime A. Cooke’s Traditional Pie and Mash, and the similarly excellent Harrington’s in Tooting.

Chocolate Chips Cookie Young Vegans Pie Shop

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

After polishing off my last spoonful of mash, I headed back to the counter for a chocolate chip cookie. Somewhat pricy at £2 a pop, but hey, it was absolutely delicious, make no mistake. No seitan substitute here.

While researching for this article I was sad to see that Young Vegans had an awful time during the pandemic. Their tiny little store, located at 60 Camden Lock Place, could only seat 4-6 people. Exactly the kind of joint, unfortunately, that folk began avoiding. Consequently, the shop closed in the summer of 2020. But fear not, insisted Carla and Marco, Young Vegans “will focus on expanding our online store”. 

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

Young Vegans Pie Shop closed.

Young Vegans Pie Shop.

And that, as far as I can see, is how Young Vegans continue to operate. Now UK residents can get all their dishes, which have dramatically expanded since my visit, delivered to their door. And they offer free shipping for orders over £40. For more info, head to their website.

Young Vegans Online Pie Shop.

For more on my home city, why not delve through my many travel reports from across London.

Or maybe search further afield with my articles from all around England.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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34 Comments

  • Sheree

    Love creating vegan meals which myfriends don’t realise are vegan.

    September 12, 2021 - 9:53 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Why doesn’t that surprise me Sheree! Seems you are multitalented in the kitchen. Thanks for reading!

      September 12, 2021 - 10:01 am Reply
      • Sheree

        😎

        September 12, 2021 - 10:20 am
  • NattyTravels

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m not vegan but, I’d say about 80% of my diet is vegetarian and I’m always on the look out for new things.

    September 12, 2021 - 10:51 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Glad you appreciated this Natty! I would have no qualms with trying a fully vegan meal, should another opportunity arise. Thanks for reading!

      September 12, 2021 - 10:57 am Reply
  • Little Miss Traveller

    So interesting, I’m a meat lover like you but happy to go without some days both at home and in restaurants. Back in December when we visited Gibraltar I had lunch in my first ever Vegan restaurant and was very impressed with the texture, flavour and appearance of the dishes so would happily go to the Young Vegans Pie Shop or elsewhere without issue. Did you watch the tennis last night? It was unbelievable and so uplifting. Marion

    September 12, 2021 - 11:16 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Great to hear Marion, I think Vegan food has undergone something of a revolution over the last ten years or so. I didn’t watch the match but followed her progress through the tournament. A simply astonishing achievement! Have a great Sunday.

      September 12, 2021 - 11:24 am Reply
  • kagould17

    Nothing like a good pie, I always say. I am not sold on the whole meat substitute thing though. As our kids are all vegetarian, verging on vegan, we eat a lot of vegetarian meals, dedicated to vegetables. I have had some good vegan meals but always found the meat and cheese substitutes lacking. Guess it is because I am old. I remember ordering a salad once when dining with business acquaintances and one friend quipped, “that’s not food, that’s what food eats”. So I am between the two camps, I guess. Thanks for sharing. Glad this place survived on line. Cheers. Allan

    September 12, 2021 - 2:41 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I had to laugh at the “that’s what food eats” line. Interesting to hear that you’ve eaten more than your fair share of vegetarian and vegan dishes. I can well imagine that the more you eat the more its “deficiencies” (for want of a better word) become more pronounced. Thanks for swinging by!

      September 12, 2021 - 3:42 pm Reply
  • Memo

    I’m so appreciative of your willingness to sacrifice for your readers. And I’m glad your meal had taste. Too many vegans seem to relish in their suffering (pardon the pun). I enjoy vegetables but I like them honest. Just make them taste good. Don’t try to make them taste like meat. Vegan cookies? Now that I can get into.

    September 12, 2021 - 3:45 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Memo, I was curious to hear your response to this article, as one of the most committed foodies I know. Not sure when my next Vegan meal will come from, but I’d give it a whirl again if the chance came along.

      September 12, 2021 - 4:56 pm Reply
  • thehungrytravellers.blog

    When it comes to any debate about meat eating/vegetarianism/vegan, I declare myself to be a devout Turk when it comes to diet. The ordinary Turkish menu has plenty of vegetarian options, plenty of vegan options, but a Turk would look you in the eye and ask earnestly…..”why would you choose to not eat something!?!” I subscribe.

    September 12, 2021 - 5:02 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ha ha I hear you Phil, I thought you might say something along those lines. And you’ve now reminded us of the food in Turkey. Ahhhh…. good times.

      September 12, 2021 - 8:11 pm Reply
  • wetanddustyroads

    Here in South Africa, it’s difficult not eating meat (and I’m not complaining)! I mean, when we have our ‘braai’s’ (bbq), 80% of the meal is consisting of meat. For a few years now, there’s a drive called “Meatless Mondays”. So, after indulging in all kinds of meat prepared over the fire during weekends, we have a veggie meal on a Monday night (but not every Monday 😉). I would not be hesitant to try a vegan pie … but I think you will find me more often with a meat pie!

    September 12, 2021 - 5:33 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Well I was secretly wondering what the King and Queen of Braai might think of a vegan pie. We used to do something along the lines of Meatless Monday and really enjoyed it. These days we usually go veggie once or twice a week. Thanks for reading!

      September 12, 2021 - 8:14 pm Reply
  • Marie

    hmmmmm… not convinced! I LOVE meat pies – especially English pies … first thing I look for whenever in England!!

    September 12, 2021 - 8:11 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I LOVE meat pies too! I guess sometimes you don’t know till you’ve tried. I quite liked the meal but then I haven’t been particularly moved to try it again. Thanks for reading!

      September 12, 2021 - 8:15 pm Reply
  • travelling_han

    Looks like a nice place- I’m trying to eat less meat so will have to check it out when I’m in London next 🙂

    September 12, 2021 - 10:30 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Han!

      September 12, 2021 - 10:46 pm Reply
  • rkrontheroad

    As a vegetarian/pescatarian, having chosen not to eat meat, I’m not crazy about fake meat that tries to taste like meat. That said, the choices at this little place sound pretty enticing. Good for you for giving it a try. I hope they can make it with their online store.

    September 12, 2021 - 10:47 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Appreciate you catching up with my off-the-tourist-track London series Ruth. Hope all is well with you and that you’re enjoying the fall.

      September 12, 2021 - 10:50 pm Reply
      • rkrontheroad

        My pleasure!

        September 12, 2021 - 11:24 pm
  • Lyssy In The City

    The only suggestion for vegan pie is an ice cream pie with some cashew milk ice cream 🙂

    September 13, 2021 - 2:55 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Sounds good to me!

      September 13, 2021 - 6:06 am Reply
  • Rebecca

    I’m neither vegan nor vegetarian, but I will admit that sometimes, I do crave a lighter, veggie-inspired meal, which has led me to having dishes like cauliflower tacos and “chikin” burgers, and they’ve proven tasty. This vegan pie shop does sound delightful, and I’d be keen on trying out their savory pies, hearty and rich, which I crave sometimes. I hope this store continues to operate despite COVID-19!

    September 13, 2021 - 5:38 am Reply
    • Leighton

      I love the sound of Cauliflower Tacos!

      September 13, 2021 - 6:08 am Reply
  • salsaworldtraveler

    I am a confirmed omnivore. I’ve tried cutting down on meat a bit and substituting more fruit and veggies. Indian food has many delicious vegetarian options although I’m not sure it is vegan.

    September 13, 2021 - 5:45 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Agree, Indian food is great for veggie options and you still get those rich, delicious sauces. The longest I’ve ever gone without meat is about a week, which I managed without “too” much drama.

      September 13, 2021 - 6:11 am Reply
  • ourcrossings

    If you’ve been a lifelong omnivore, going vegan or eating vegan dishes probably seems really intimidating as without meat, dairy, and other animal products, you’re often left with a plate full of plants — but most home cooks know what a wonderful opportunity that can be.

    September 13, 2021 - 11:59 am Reply
    • Leighton

      I can totally appreciate the opportunity and challenge to surprise in the kitchen. Are you guys vegan?

      September 13, 2021 - 1:14 pm Reply
  • grandmisadventures

    Good for them for making such a name for themselves in such a tough culinary niche. To have such delicious food that even a usual meat eater enjoys it says a lot about the place. Added to my ever growing list of spots 🙂

    September 13, 2021 - 5:58 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for catching up with my explorations around Camden Town!

      September 13, 2021 - 6:16 pm Reply
  • Christie

    I would always try something new, but I’m not a vegan at heart, so you wouldn’t see me eating such on a long term🙂 I have a friend whose boys are vegan, and she loves cooking. I am amazed at how many combinations she can do, all her dishes look fantastic!

    September 13, 2021 - 6:46 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      I certainly couldn’t do it long term either. Thanks for reading Christie, and for contributing to the thread!

      September 13, 2021 - 6:58 pm Reply

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