Our vision is simple; we want a vegan world. A world where food production does not decimate forests, pollute rivers and oceans, exacerbate climate change, and drive wild animal populations to extinction.” Veganuary.com

A new year equals new goals and resolutions for some. Dry January, where participants abstain from drinking alcohol is always a popular challenge but in more recent years people have been trying Veganuary. The Veganuary challenge is to eat only a plant-based diet for the first month of the year. 

What is Veganuary? Veganuary, a non-profit organisation, encourages people worldwide to try a vegan diet for January (and beyond). The campaign supports people and businesses to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people. 

These days it’s much easier to dine out as a vegan as most cafes and restaurants offer plant-based options on their menus. No one said it will be easy going green but if you need some extra inspiration, here’s five Abu Dhabi venues that are offering Veganuary options or have vegan dishes on their regular menu.

Cafe 302 – This downtown venue located in the Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana hotel is once again offering its annual a la carte Veganuary menu. Highlights include roasted butternut squash soup, cauliflower steak with arugula pesto, spaghetti with vegan meatballs and a pumpkin cheesecake. Healthy fresh juices and virgin mulled wine are perfect accompaniments. There’s also a vegan breakfast menu, superfood bowls and the very instagrammable vegan quinoa, beet and white bean burger.

Alongside all the vegan dishes Cafe 302 are also offering Veganuary promotions with different giveaways each week until the end of the month. Diners can enjoy a free vegan dessert (week 1), 35% cashback (Week 2), 20% off and a chance to win a 1-night stay (week 3) and 50% off and a sustainable giveaway (week 4) – full details of the promotion are available at the cafe.

Cafe 302, Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Street, Abu Dhabi. Website: www.rotana.com/arjaanhotelapartments/united arab emirates/abu dhabi/almahaarjaanbyrotana/dining

Black Tap Abu Dhabi – The New York burger joint is offering an indulgent month long vegan menu available throughout January. Joining their regular vegan burger, and new for 2022, is the limited-edition vegan truffle shroom burger. A black bean and mushroom patty served in a vegan potato roll with loads of toppings including vegan parmesan.

Other vegan friendly dishes include guac & chips, crispy brussel sprouts, craft salads and the plant-based Impossible mince chilli tacos. Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy the vegan chocolate Black ‘N White CakeShake® which has all the wow factor of the restaurant’s popular towering shakes but without the dairy. 

Black Tap, Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island. Abu Dhabi. Website: blacktapme.com

Sanderson’s – The colourful, modern cafe offers diners plate after plate of well-presented, healthy colourful food that’s good for the soul. Vegan choices include the Acai Bowl with blueberry and acai, granola, fresh fruits and berries, the Pitaya Bowl that combines strawberry and pitaya with tropical fruits and berries and a savoury option of broccoli and bean tabbouleh. 

Mains include the mushroom burger with truffle tofu mayo served in a spinach bun with sweet potato fries and a vegan quesadilla with smashed avo in a super seed wrap. Also available is The Good Dog, a vegan hotdog with poached, roasted and seeded whole carrot, lemon spinach and tofu in a beetroot bun served with veg chips. 

Sanderson’s, Al Seef Village, Abu Dhabi. Website: wearesandersons.com/al-seef-abu-dhabi

Wild & The Moon – You can find the popular vegan cafe Wild & The Moon inside the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation at Qasr Al Hosn. The guys behind Wild & The Moon are vegan pioneers in this region. All their products are homemade, 100% plant-based and made from organic and ethically sourced fruits, vegetables, herbs, and superfoods.

The menu provides diners with a healthy selection of cold-pressed juices, vitality shots, nut mylks, smoothies, all-day breakfast, salad bowls, soups, desserts, super bowls and snacks such as granola, kale chips and bars. This really is the perfect place for anyone participating in Veganuary but also for those doing a New Year’s detox. My personal favourites are the delicious smoothies and their vegan banana bread.

Wild & The Moon, Cultural Foundation, Qasr Al Hosn, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street, Abu Dhabi. Website: www.wildandthemoon.ae

Jones The Grocer – Plant based and vegan options just got sexy according to popular Australian cafe, Jones The Grocer. Their new Body and Soul menu is all about clean, feelgood food with both sweet and savoury options on offer. Dishes include such delights as a plant-based omelette, broad bean and avocado guacamole and a rather tasty looking vegan chocolate fondant. All dishes are made with locally sourced produce and available until 31st March.

Visit jonesthegrocer.com to find your nearest location

All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2022. All rights reserved. Featured image and all photos used with courtesy of the respective venues.