Paradise for vegans as foodie market returns to St Albans
- Credit: Becky Alexander
It’s so heart-warming to see people out and about again! Outdoor eating and markets work so well for the moment we are in, and we had a happy couple of hours exploring the Vegan Market in St Albans on Sunday.
There was so much variety to enjoy, from hot foods and salads to cakes and bakes, taking inspiration from all around the world.
The plant-based tapas stall was very popular – you choose three or four dishes (£12-15) to make up your tapas plate, such as paella balls, patatas bravas, tofish in tempura batter, cayenne jackfruit bites and smoky cheese sticks. Add a smoky mayo and dream of sunny
days in Spain!
Little Panjandrum Food company had a nice range of dahls and chickpea curries, but I couldn’t resist buying lunch from Mel’s Tropical Kitchen – the displays of salads were so eye-catching.
They had a large simmering pot of lentil, tomato, chickpea, pepper and carrot which they were slicing plantain into, so I chose that and was offered falafel, slaws, courgette and greens and all sorts of delicious sauces and herbs to go with it. For £7 this was a wonderful lunch, packed with flavour and variety. I wish we had this stall in St Albans every weekend.
Greek music and aromatic smoke from the souvlaki stall was drawing a long queue – their
tofu and pepper skewers looked delicious, so hopefully I will try those next time.
Huns had one of the longest queues, but people were happy to hang out and chat and to wait for the BBQ fillet and burgers, made, I think, with seitan. My eldest chose a crispy taco bowl filled with rice, chilli beans and salad from The Grizzly Vegan Mexican stall, which looked very
colourful and appealing. She would have liked some more variety in the bean mixture and perhaps some avocado. The edible taco bowl itself was a great idea.
I love that the market has curated the stalls so there isn’t too much overlap – the range of
cakes and bakes was really great, with so many options.
The London Feelgood Company sold roast mushroom frittata and vegan ‘sausage’ rolls alongside their sweet bakes – the lemon, coconut and blueberry cake and fruit forest granola bars looked good too.
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I chose a huge slice of carrot cake from Daniele’s which was full of chunky walnuts and had three layers with thick frosting and coated in nuts. Delicious. You do need to be fairly speedy, as although the market does stay open until 4, Daniele’s cakes were mostly sold out by then.
I was also impressed by the Sweet Tooth display with their pretty rose and pistachio cake and zebra cake, which I hadn’t seen before. It was a marble cake swirled into a heart, and as you cut through, you saw the stripes – so pretty.
I hadn’t seen sesame halva cakes before – Sesame Kingdom were selling them by the slice and you could choose chocolate, coffee and sugar-free options. Sesame is a wonderful source of zinc, magnesium and selenium, if you need a good excuse to buy. I hadn’t seen
Artizan Fudge before either, and their lime and coconut, pina colada and peanut butter fudges sounded appealing, though I was eating cake at the time so didn’t feel I should buy those too.
You could also buy Nortie sweets, Turkish delight, olives, as well as a whole range of vegan sweets and popcorn from Rock Pop Candy. And if moonshine is your thing, O'Donnell’s were
selling Tough Nut and Wild Rose flavours.
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I love that we have different markets coming to St Albans – this one was hugely popular, and I felt drew a younger age group to the city centre. My family, who vary in their eating preferences, all found something delicious to eat.
We ate lunch listening to a singer by the Clock Tower, and felt very happy to be out and about eating things that we hadn’t cooked, while also not adding to animal cruelty. The next Vegan Market is booked for Sunday July 4 from 10.30am-4pm - see you there!