6 Vegetarian and Vegan Hotspots in Ghent
Ghent is a wonderful place to live for vegetarians and vegans. The city is a pioneer when it comes to meat-free restaurants and was the first to introduce Thursday Veggie Day (Donderdag Veggiedag) and other animal and environmentally friendly initiatives. We’ve already guided you through the veggie side of Brussels, Leuven and Antwerp, and now we’re about to prove that Ghent is definitely second to none!
Nowadays, most restaurants in Ghent also offer vegetarian and even vegan options, and if not there are plenty of vegan places to go. There were times when vegetarians and vegans were always difficult to grab a bite with, but those days are over. These six hotspots don’t cover all healthy deliciousness the city has to offer, but if you’re not that familiar with the plantbased kitchen yet these places will definitely make you want to try new things. Convinced vegetarians and vegans, on the other hand, will discover foods they haven’t tasted before. Let’s go!
Close to the Ghent South Shopping Center, but a bit hidden in the Brabantdam, you’ll find Lokaal. Everything about this place feels like home. The lovely host and chef, Arno, cooks the most delicious vegetarian meals for you in his little eat- and teahouse. It's only the size of a living room, so there’s a lot of interaction between costumers and host. As he is truly passionate about his job, it is a pleasure to listen to Arno. He’s always happy to give some more information about the vegetarian/vegan kitchen and share his view on what it means to live ecologically.
Arno listens to what nature has to say: in Lokaal (what’s in a name?) you only eat locally harvested products, and therefore the menu is always depending on the season. Unlike many vegan restaurants, the dishes are not expensive. The portions aren't too large either, so you’ll have some space left for dessert! As we already mentioned above, the place is also a teahouse. You can find a large number of teas here, possibly accompanied by a piece of Madam Bakster’s vegan cakes.
Opening times may vary, so it’s always a good idea to check the Facebook page first. You can find the weekly menu on it as well, if you’re not one for surprises.
Brabantdam 100. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:30-21:00.
The newest member of the plantbased kitchen in Ghent is Madam Bakster. From now on, you'll be able to taste her sweet goods in her first coffee house in the Brabantdam, on top of ordering them online.
The founder of Madam Bakster, Laura, became Student Entrepreneur of Ghent in 2016. She converted to the vegan side after years of counting calories. She thinks life would be sad if you’d have to cut all kinds of desserts and sweets out of your diet, just to stay fit and healthy. That’s why she blessed our taste buds and bodies with her vegan treats.
This coffee house truly sells the best vegan pies in town. Whether you just crave cake without unhealthy fats or refined sugar, or you’re a vegan with a sweet tooth: the Guiltfree Bakery is here for you! Her products are original, heavenly sweet and a pleasure to look at as well. Madam Bakster offers the full package! But wait, there's more: she also has vegan chocolate bars and popcorn, as well as cupcakes and granola. The struggle to find vegan treats is over, thanks to this new kid in town!
Brabantdam 142. Open Wednesday-Sunday from 10:00-18:00.
For those who are seeking more of a restaurant feel: head to the Jean Baptist Guinardstraat and you won’t be disappointed. Opened only for lunch, coffee and drinks on weekdays from 11.30 until 14.00, this place isn't for those who are running late.
Pacha Mama reveals their daily vegetarian menu for the next day on their Facebook every night. The menu always consists of at least six different kinds of veggie preparations, so you won’t leave hungry if you don’t really like one of them. The cosy interior really makes you feel at home, and if the weather permits you can even have lunch outside.
Unlike restaurants with fixed menus, you’ll never have the same meal twice over here. That surprise makes us want to have lunch at Pacha Mama every day: we’d never get bored!
Jan-Baptist Guinardstraat 9. Open Monday-Friday from 11:30-14:00.
Moor&Moor is situated close to the Korenmarkt and the most popular shopping street in Ghent, the Veldstraat. This grocery store is a walhalla for vegetarians and vegans. The place has five key values: they work with pure, local, organic, meat-free and ecological products.
You name it, they have it. The options are endless: soybean spaghetti, vegan mayo, vegan cheese, kale chips and vegetarian caviar are only a few specialities you won't immediately find somewhere else. If you’re looking for something special, chances are they’ll have it. Aside from an amazing supply of various foods and drinks, Moor&Moor has some cosy tables where you can enjoy breakfast and lunch inside the store, or on the terrace when it’s sunny. They also serve coffee (a must-try!), tea and mostly vegan pastry.
Not everything they sell is suitable for vegans, but on the menu all things vegan are indicated and the staff is always there to help you out. Watch out: paying cash is not possible, so make sure to have a bank card with you.
Jakobijnenstraat 7. Open Monday-Sunday 9:00-18:00, Friday 9:00-19:00.
Fulfilled your needs at Moor&Moor? Go grab lunch or dinner at Le Botaniste, it’s literally a one-minute walk from there! This incredibly beautiful food and wine bar serves plantbased and organic food. Their slogan, ‘let food be the medicine’, suits the pharmacy-like interior perfectly.
It’s very hard to decide which healthy dish you’re going to eat. You can either have a starter first or only have one of these when you’re not that hungry: think about vegan sushi, spring rolls, red beet caviar, green pea mint hummus and seaweed tartare. See, you won’t get out of this place unsatisfied. Their large bowls are heavenly as well and for those saying vegan food doesn't fill your belly properly: you’ve never been more wrong. Picky eaters come to the right place, as you can even put together your own yummy DIY bowl.
If you’re still craving some healthy treats afterwards, you can stuff your face with their heavenly desserts such as quinoa peanut butter cookies, omega 3 brownies and chia seed pudding. Wine lovers, behold! Le Botaniste offers you a selection of organic wines. The staff is really helpful and always there to give you some background on their products.
Hoornstraat 13. Open Monday-Saturday from 11:30-21:00.
This cozy place is situated in the Baudelostraat. Even though Barbiet does not solely serve vegetarian and vegan food, it really had to be included in this list. You can have breakfast, brunch and lunch here. Get there in time though, as they close at 3 pm.
The dishes are mostly vegetarian and if they’re vegan, it’s mentioned on the menu. Quite a few of them are non-traditional: shakshuka, falafel, curries… Having them makes us feel like we’re on a journey to a place far away. Don’t leave here without having one of their specialty drinks: they are simply delicious. Try one of the homemade juices, or enjoy a spicy chai latte with cake.
The mouth speaks what the heart is full of, and it has to be said: these people know what they’re doing. Barbiet offers healthy comfort food at honest prices and tickles taste buds we didn’t even know we had.
Baudelostraat 3. Open Tuesday-Thursday from 8:00-15:00, Friday from 8:00-18:00, Saturday from 9:00-18:00.