The Tipsy Vegan in Norwich

Sunday, 29 October 2017

If you didn’t already know, I used to live in Norwich. I haven’t lived there long term for over eight years now, but I still visit my mum there and it seems like every time I go back, there are exciting new vegan places to try! It was my mum who sent me a link to The Tipsy Vegan as a potential place to try out for lunch when Chris and I were last in town, and after browsing the menu I couldn’t resist giving it a go. We were going at a good time too, because after being open for evening meals about three months, they were only recently opening their doors for lunch too.

The Tipsy Vegan serves good, wholesome comfort food ranging from mouth-watering sandwiches and ribs to carbonara, and offers an incredibly impressive range of bespoke cocktails and mocktails that compliment the restaurant’s speak easy vibe well. Fun, retro music adds a great, cheerful but laidback atmosphere and even the drinks are served in vintage-style crystal glasses!

Given the nice list of cocktails, I couldn’t resist trying one (even though it wasn’t exactly cocktail hour) and opted for the Black Gin Smash, which uses infused gin, beetroot and activated charcoal to give it a distinctive black look. The subtle beetroot and pleasant earthy combination of this and the charcoal was delicious, and it was an easy to drink but nonetheless grown-up tasting cocktail that was beautifully presented with a beetroot garnish. Had we gone in the evening, I definitely would’ve had to try a few more, since unlike most places they serve things like aquafaba and soya milk in their drinks, making everything vegan!

For my lunch, I chose the pepper steak sandwich, served with parmesan dusted chips, coleslaw and smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce. Don’t worry, ‘pepper’ steak just refers to the seasoning and isn’t a trick – it is indeed a kind of meat substitute and not made out of a bell pepper as I’d been suspicious of! This was honestly one of the most incredible vegan meals I’ve had since going vegan over two years ago now – the ‘steak’ was just the right kind of meaty without tasting or feeling too much like meat, and the sauce was out of this world. Every bite left me wanting more, and the chips were perfectly cooked and seasoned to boot.

Chris chose the half rack of barbeque ‘ribs’, served with coleslaw, potato salad and a corn cob and it was just as delectable as the steak sandwich. The ribs were filling (Chris said he wouldn’t have needed the full rack, although being a glutton I would probably go for full next time…) and the sauce was spot on with a mix of spicy, sweet and barbeque-y flavours. The potato salad and the coleslaw were also so nice that they actually made me forget about my usual dislike of mayonnaise!

I can never say no to desserts when I visit a vegan restaurant, especially when the menu is obviously created by and for vegans. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve seen enough raw cheesecakes and sorbets to last me a lifetime. Luckily, The Tipsy Vegan’s comfort food extends to the dessert menu, and I got to try one of their caramel chocolate tarts. Served with vanilla ice cream, this incredible tart is rich, creamy, and best of all has a gooey, caramel filling! I love the chocolate tarts that I’ve had at other restaurants and at places like Zizzi’s, but this one was by far better than them and was sweet without being too sweet, and wonderfully luxurious and comforting.

My first impressions of The Tipsy Vegan couldn’t be better – the service was wonderful, the food was amazing and the selection on the menu is exactly what more vegan places should aspire to. I can’t wait to visit again in the evening one day; the food is certainly comforting but isn’t overly stodgy and doesn’t just rely on burgers and hot dogs, and it isn’t ‘healthy’ and light like vegan food so often is either. It strikes a balance somewhere in between and fills a gap in the market that I think has long needed filling. The décor feels special and unique, but laidback enough to kick back, relax and enjoy your vegan cocktails and treats in style and know you’ll be looked after well by the staff.

If you’re ever in Norwich, I can’t recommend this place enough! Follow them on Instagram for more tasty foodporn, and grab an extra steak sandwich for me when you go...


  1. That all looks delicious - the 'steak' and the cockatil especially! I'm looking at Norwich as a potential plce to study for my MA next September so it's good to know there are plenty of vegan options in the city.

    - Sarah

    1. Doesn't it though! I definitely recommend it, Norwich has moved on miles in the past 10 years and the university is a good one - best of luck on your decision!

  2. This all looks so delicious! I love the sound of the Black Gin Smash, I'm with anything that contains gin tbh but this sounds like a nice change from the usual cocktails :) xx


    1. I'm the same, if it has gin I'm game ahaha.


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