Life’s all about enjoying the lentil things, and in our pursuit of healthiness this New Year we decided to take a tour of 21 Kent foodie hotspots, sharing the healthiest and tastiest vegan and plant-based morsels so you can try them for yourself!

Great British Life: Life on High Cafe. Photo: Katie WilliamsLife on High Cafe. Photo: Katie Williams

Life on High Café, Sevenoaks

Menu Highlights: Their new winter warmer Laksa

Shh... don’t tell BUT their amazing chef team includes chef director Carl Williams who was a finalist in Kent Life Chef of the Year 2021!

This pro-plant cafe works with fresh, seasonal produce from local suppliers. They offer some meat on their menus but reverse the norm highlighting where there is meat instead of what’s veg or vegan! They are fans of keeping dishes simple and true to what they are.

Great British Life: The Potting Shed Photo: Josh Cameron, FMC The Potting Shed Photo: Josh Cameron, FMC

The Potting Shed, Langley

Menu Highlights: Spiced cauliflower, lentil and spinach pie served with seasonal vegetables and gravy.

Shh... don’t tell BUT whether joining them to eat, drink or sleep, this Scandinavian-inspired bar and restaurant is an idyllic place to enjoy special moments with friends and family.

Discover new seasonal highlights on the menu to tingle tastebuds. There’s a variety of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options on offer, meaning no diners will be disappointed!

Great British Life: Sweet treats Photo: Goupie ChocolateSweet treats Photo: Goupie Chocolate

Goupie Chocolate

Menu Highlights: Heavenly chocolate-covered marshmallows and hot chocolates

Shh... don’t tell BUT Goupie groupies can find products online, in independent stores across the UK and they regularly appear at tastings around the county!

This chocolate confectionary manufacturer produces devilishly moreish gluten-free, vegan chocolate treats. Their range includes sumptuous hot chocolates inspired by the menu they used to run at their chocolate house in Tunbridge Wells, Dips & Dabs, divine Goupie chocolate confections and special gifts!

Great British Life: Buddha Bowl with frittata from the Wallflower Cafe. Photo: Katie WhorlowBuddha Bowl with frittata from the Wallflower Cafe. Photo: Katie Whorlow

The Wallflower Café, Herne Bay

Menu Highlights: The Buddha Bowl

Shh...don’t tell BUT The Wallflower offers private catering for events and hosts themed pop-up nights throughout the year.

This plant-based/vegan café is family-run, female-led and staffed by an all-vegan team. They offer a mix of quality locally roasted coffee, kombucha, hand-blended herbal teas and recognisable dishes from around the world. For them, Veganuary is the perfect time for non-vegans to discover the pleasures of eating a plant-based diet and how it helps to care for animals.

Great British Life: Vegan breakfast Photo: Kitch CafeVegan breakfast Photo: Kitch Cafe

Kitch, Canterbury

Menu Highlights: Vegan breakfast with turmeric tofu scramble

Shh...don’t tell BUT Kitch is planning to extend its Friday and Saturday opening hours in 2024 to deliver even more nutritious deliciousness.

Kitch has been treating Canterbury residents to vegan food for over 10 years, offering signature dishes packed with fresh ingredients, plant-based proteins and local produce. The menu is designed to achieve the perfect balance between taste and goodness showcasing just how delicious and varied vegan food can be.

The Wishful Thinker, Lenham near Maidstone

Menu Highlights: Vegan bread and butter pudding with vanilla ice cream

Shh... don’t tell BUT The Wishful Thinker is the newest addition to the Elite Pubs Family.

Nestled in the Lenham countryside, this sleepover foodie pub is the perfect place to experience extravagant live events, delectable seasonal menus and cocktails to die for. Make a night of it with a stay in one of the exquisite bedrooms designed with guests in mind. I: @thewishfulthinkerlenham

Lady Luck, Canterbury

Menu Highlights: Homemade vegan mushroom and ale pies

Shh...don’t tell BUT Lady Luck’s chefs love creating new vegan dishes for customers to try and Veganuary is the perfect time for the vegan-curious to visit.

This rock and roll bar strives to be a friendly, welcoming venue. They serve classic pub food and inventive monthly specials but what sets their menu apart is the large choice of vegan and vegetarian options. Walk-ins are welcome, but booking is advised.

Great British Life: The Ferry House Inn. Photo: Chris Blackledge PhotographyThe Ferry House Inn. Photo: Chris Blackledge Photography

The Ferry House Inn, Isle of Sheppey

Menu Highlights: Carrot N’duja Ravioli

Shh don’t tell BUT this dish is recommended by head chef James Pilcher for its phenomenal taste and minimal food waste.

Recently awarded a 2AA Rosette for culinary excellence, their menus showcase rare and heritage produce grown in their Kitchen Garden. Their dedicated vegan menu is available to pre-order 72 hours in advance, enabling customers to enjoy a delicious and unique dining experience.

Great British Life: Innovative dishes at Dr Legumes Photo: Dr Legumes CICInnovative dishes at Dr Legumes Photo: Dr Legumes CIC

Dr Legumes, Folkestone

Menu Highlights: The Dr Legumes cooked breakfast and Good Mood Food Plate

Shh... don’t tell BUT as a CIC, the restaurant also offers workshops and engaging events around plant-based food education.

Blending seasonal and exotic produce, Dr Legumes adheres to its motto of Life Made Better. They deliver a fully plant-based dining experience serving an array of brunch and casual dinner options. Veganuary is the perfect chance for curious customers to explore their culinary delights.

Great British Life: Artisan vegan scotch eggs Photo: Be Kind Cafe / Retreat Animal Rescue CentreArtisan vegan scotch eggs Photo: Be Kind Cafe / Retreat Animal Rescue Centre

Be Kind Café at The Retreat Animal Rescue Centre, High Halden

Menu Highlights: Welsh Veggs - artisan vegan scotch eggs created by the café's Welsh chef Neil.

Shh... don’t tell BUT founder Billy H Thompson adores Veganuary because, after the gluttony of Christmas, it’s great to eat good, easy and kind foods.

Known as one of Kent’s best-kept secrets, Be Kind Cafe's knowledgeable chefs provide great food and can explain the need for a cruelty-free menu. The menu features popular vegan homemade British food and daily specials including French and Italian cuisine.

Great British Life: Gourmet vegan pizza Photo: Quex Barn Pizza Gourmet vegan pizza Photo: Quex Barn Pizza

Quex Barn Pizza, Birchington

Menu Highlights: The ‘Radicchio’ with red chicory, vegan blue cheese, walnuts and vegan honey.

Shh don’t tell BUT their unique ‘direct dough’ method results in light, crispy, irresistible pizza.

Offering gourmet vegan pizzas, this venue stands for its commitment to crafting exceptional pizza, calzones and sandwiches using authentic Italian flavours and locally sourced, fresh ingredients. They accept walk-ins, reservations and take-out. During busy times, it’s best to book to avoid missing out!

Great British Life: A wide choice of bakes Photo: Orchard Lane Coffee House A wide choice of bakes Photo: Orchard Lane Coffee House

Orchard Lane Coffee House, Sandgate

Menu Highlights: The kanelbullar from Swedish baker Malin (Bygga Bo) in Deal.

Shh... don’t tell BUT when they opened seven years ago, eating plant-based food was still a relatively new concept to most and they aimed to show off what they could do without using animal products.

This speciality coffee shop offers an entirely plant-based menu which includes fresh-baked Swedish buns, cakes and ever-updating sandwich and toastie options. Their Docker Bakery Cruffins are a must-try!

Great British Life: Food with a view Photo: The Bus Cafe Food with a view Photo: The Bus Cafe

The Bus Café, Margate

Menu Highlights: The Vegan Hangover

Shh... don’t tell BUT the team loves highlighting interesting recipes that aren’t just meat-orientated and helping more individuals understand the impact the meat industry has on climate change and animal welfare.

This award-winning café situated on a 1980s double-decker bus offers fresh, healthy alternatives to a traditional breakfast, using homemade, locally sourced ingredients. It’s advisable to book on the weekends, as the bus can get very busy!

Wild Souls Kitchen, Ashford

Menu Highlights: Vegetable souvlaki wrap made with vegan tzatziki.

Shh...don’t tell BUT when the restaurant first opened its doors in 2022, it aimed to provide customers with a stellar experience, for a great price, without compromising on the quality of its ingredients.

This gourmet burger and street food restaurant offers tasty vegan and gluten-free dishes as well as meat options. They can be found at Coachworks in Dover Place. Customers can dine in or order takeaway. I: @wildsoulskitchen_ashford

The Herbalist, Maidstone

Menu Highlights: Shiitake Mushroom Burger, sheese, pickled red cabbage, salad, chips, coconut chilli yoghurt

Shh...don’t tell BUT this is the only place in Kent where you can enjoy real tank beer delivered directly from the brewer (and even better that beer is Staropramen)!

A place for culinary discovery, complete with a buzzing stage kitchen and lively interior, The Herbalist is inspired by botanical pioneers, Culpeper and Banks. Their seasonal menus celebrate local produce and offer a variety of delicious veggie and vegan options.

Great British Life: Delica Pumpkin Orzotto Photo: The Woolpack InnDelica Pumpkin Orzotto Photo: The Woolpack Inn

The Woolpack Inn, Warehorne

Menu Highlights: Delica Pumpkin Orzotto

Shh... don’t tell BUT The Woolpack’s new head chef, Christopher Davis, is vegan himself and is planning some incredible new dishes for the menu over the coming months.

This 16th-century Inn is packed with quirky charm and serves heartwarming traditional British cuisine. They offer a variety of seasonal menus using local Kentish produce and dedicated vegan offerings. Those seeking an overnight break can rest in one of five characterful guest bedrooms.

Notorious BRG, Maidstone

Menu Highlights: The Vegan Mac Daddy

Shh... don’t tell BUT ever-conscious about reducing their carbon footprint, the Notorious restaurant is powered by green energy and their food containers are made from recycled waste sugar cane.

At Notorious, they believe that vegan options should be just as good as the meat ones and not just an afterthought. Their whole menu is available in vegan alternatives from their Notorious veg burger to their vegan ‘duck’ fries.

Funky Feast, across the South East and London

Menu Highlights: mid-Eastern cuisine platters for all dietary requirements

Shh... don’t tell BUT company founder, Eric Allangba, was a finalist in the Chef of the Year Awards 2023.

Enjoy a Michelin-esque dining experience at home with catering services from chef patron Eric Allangba. Discover tastes that will enrich your soul and will make your event a hit. The team will cater for any event from birthday parties to small dinners and wedding receptions.

Café Nucleus, Rochester

Menu Highlights: Chocolate mirrored torte with vegan vanilla ice cream

Shh... don’t tell BUT Café Nucleus is famous for its magnificent Mediterranean-themed garden. As it’s heated and covered, it remains the perfect place to escape even in winter.

Enjoy a unique dining experience in this award-winning artsy European-style café. Whether soaking up the buzz of the ground floor café, eating alfresco or dining like royalty at afternoon tea in the boardroom, there are a host of delicacies to discover.

Haven Kitchen & Bar, Tunbridge Wells

Menu Highlights: Hoisin pancakes sharing plate

Shh... don’t tell BUT Haven’s weekend brunch (served Saturday to Sunday from 10am to 2pm) is the perfect revival kit after a night out or a long week at work!

This vegan kitchen and cocktail bar is the perfect place to kick back. They’ve been providing excellent quality vegetarian food since 2017 and present menus that are constantly evolving with the seasons and the whacky whims of their kitchen team.

Cocomee, Folkestone

Menu Highlights: Cocomee Malaysian Vegetable Curry

Shh... don’t tell BUT their cocktails are made using Southeast Asian fragrant and exotic ingredients like floral-perfumed yuzu citrus for a refreshing taste that makes an impact.

This family-run restaurant serves lovingly created, warming pan-Asian family favourites. They offer specially crafted menus for vegans and vegetarians, ensuring ample choice and that at the end of a long week, you’ve got a place you can go to relax with loved ones.