Red Veg was a vegetarian fast-food café and takeaway, specialising in veggie burgers, veggie hot dogs, chips and falafel wraps. As a testament to their tasty food, this café is always busy, and it seems to attract a range of different customers, including many non-vegetarians. It is situated on Gardener Street in Brighton, which is a bustling and colourful street, packed with interesting and unusual shops and cafés. Further down the street there is a vegetarian shoe shop called Vegetarian Shoes, and Lick (a popular independent frozen yoghurt shop) is two doors away.
The interior of the café is small and cosy, with wipe-clean tables and chairs, and stools facing out onto the street. Posters advertising music and events cover the walls, and music plays in the background. You make your order at the till and then sit down (if you are fortunate enough to find a table) and wait for it to be brought over. Alternatively you can opt for takeaway. The food is presented in the typical fast-food restaurant style, with the cardboard cartons and greaseproof wrapping paper. The chips are the french-fry kind like those you might expect to find in a McDonalds or Burger King.
Generally the café is clean and modern; however I wouldn’t recommend using their toilet facilities unless you are really desperate! The toilet is located down a narrow staircase, and is very small and shabby, and in need of a thorough clean (or at least it was when I visited). I would recommend using the facilities in Marks and Spencers instead (about a 10 minute walk away).
The food definitely makes Red Veg worth a visit. Their menu currently offers a choice of six different burgers, including a Hickory smoked Veg Burger, a Mushroom Veg Burger with Swiss cheese, a Mexican burger with jalapeños & guacamole and a Spinach Burger with spinach, tahini & pesto. I usually opt for the standard RedVeg burger with cheese, as I’ve always found this to be delicious! My partner is a big fan of the smoked burger. Last year I brought my vegetarian parents here, and they loved the food as much as I do.
There were once two branches of this successful café, but unfortunately the original Red Veg branch in Dean Street, Soho was commandeered and closed down by Crossrail as part of the development at Tottenham Court Road. Sadly, the company has yet to receive any compensation and is currently unable to find or fund a new branch in London. This will be a great loss to the many Londoners who use to enjoy their food.
UPDATE 4TH APRIL 2011
I am sad to announce that Red Veg in Brighton has now closed down. According to their Facebook page, Sunday 3rd April was their last day of trading. No reasons for the closure have been given.