Photographs by Kata Szabo

The definitive grading of Greggs’ vegan menu

Vegan food reviewer Gem Stokes, along with her partner and photographer Kata, give us the lowdown on Greggs’ Roman Road vegan options.

After all the buzz about Greggs adding more plant-based options for Veganuary, Kata and I had to check it out. We visited one of two Greggs on Roman Road to sample the menu.

Vegan steak bake

Greggs vegan steak bake

The vegan steak bake was mushier than what I remember of the original classic. Nonetheless, the plant-based pasty had incredible flavour: deceptively beefy and salty chunks of fake meat in gravy, hugged by a beautiful golden layer of crispy lattice pastry. At £1.55 it was not as affordable as the vegan sausage role, but it was very filling. Overall, the vegan steak bake is an incredible, original concept only comparable to (though not quite as good as) Morrison’s vegan pasty.

  • Taste – 3/3
  • Texture – 1/2
  • Price – 1/2
  • Presentation – 2/2
  • Concept – 1/1

Total: 8/10

Vegan sausage roll

Greggs vegan sausage roll

I partly based my review on previous vegan sausage rolls I’ve consumed from Greggs, as this one had clearly been sitting there a long time, and was cold. Nonetheless, the pastry was flaky and golden with a decadent spiced sausage interior, somehow far from being dry. Incredibly, this plant-based pasty is only £1, and its buttery tiger-stripe pastry wins a full score for presentation. Recent news reports detail these vegan sausage rolls did so well that Greggs is rolling out a shared £7m bonus unsurprising considering this is the best vegan sausage roll on the market right now. 

  • Taste – 3/3
  • Texture – 2/2
  • Price – 2/2
  • Presentation – 2/2
  • Concept – 1/1

Total: 10/10

Vegan glazed donut

Greggs vegan glazed donut

The last menu item we sampled – the veganised version of a traditional iced ring donut – was underwhelming. The taste was average and the donut quite dry, somewhat countered by the sickly sweet sugar and vanilla undertones. Nonetheless, the donut was quickly consumed, enjoyably so when considering these cakes were a bargain at two for a quid. This donut would definitely be better washed down with an oat milk latte, but unfortunately Greggs does not yet offer vegan hot drinks or plant milks (sort it out, Greggs!). Generally there are definitely better vegan donuts out there, but this iced ring treat was cheap and cheerful.

  • Taste – 1/3
  • Texture – 1/2
  • Price – 2/2
  • Presentation – 1/2
  • Concept – 0/1

Total: 5/10

Overall, the new menu items appear to be a hit, with sausage rolls and steak bakes selling out completely. The steak bake was a pleasant surprise to me, but remains unbeaten by the king of pastries – the Greggs vegan sausage roll. 

Although the iced donut was something of an anti-climax, it serves as a splash in the wave of the plant-based movement, especially considering its affordability. 

Greggs is doing it right, something I hope other companies follow, and not just for Veganuary.

If you enjoyed this, you might like our review of vegan lifestyle cafe MȮTHER.

 


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Gem Stokes

Gem is an English Literature student at Queen Mary University London with a passion for concerts, queer literature and all things vegan. Her two missions in life are to become a respected journalist and to find the perfect vegan cookie.

Gem Stokes has 6 posts and counting. See all posts by Gem Stokes

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