Guest Review: Pret's New Vegan Stuff

Pret A Manger has an exciting new veggie range and Plumes has kindly reviewed some of the vegan breakfast and lunch options for us:

I have always found Pret pretty good for vegan lunch time options with them usually having one or two options, and in the past few months one of their monthly chef's specials have been vegan so I was very excited to read the news on their website that they were expanding their vegetarian and vegan range:

Their campaign "Not Just for Veggies" ( is aimed at increasing the amount of veggie options people choose whether they are vegetarian or not. As well as increasing their vegetarian options and improving their labelling they will be turning one of their stores in Soho completely vegetarian in order to challenge their chefs to come up with exciting vegetarian and vegan options. It seems like the tides are definitely turning!

There are two Pret stores on the road I work in so plenty of opportunity to try out their new offerings. The labelling has improved greatly with the vegetarian options marked very clearly as you can see in the photo. There is also a vegan symbol on the relevant products. On the website you can also filter by vegan product if you're looking up what you fancy before you go into a store.

Starting off with the breakfast options I tried the Five Grain Porridge. The website describes this as "Made with organic British quinoa, amaranth, flax seeds, whole oats and organic coconut water. It's naturally creamy (never gloopy), dairy free and made with no gluten ingredients". The porridge pots in the store are clearly labelled with a dairy free/gluten free sticker on them. The porridge has a slightly nutty flavour due to the different grains in it.

When I make porridge at home I use unsweetened coconut or almond milk and don't feel the need to add sugar but the Pret porridge tasted more neutral so I added some brown sugar to it. I'd definitely eat this again when I haven't had time to have breakfast at home although I was disappointed this only seemed available in one of the two Pret stores I regularly visit.

Next up we have the Acai Breakfast Bowl, this is described as "Delicious layers of fresh banana, gluten-free granola and acai berry puree, topped with shredded apple and juicy pomegranate seeds". This is definitely lighter breakfast option than the porridge.

I enjoyed the mix of all the different ingredients and the different textures were interesting, but I did find the combination of the acai, apple and pomegranate a bit sharp for me. I also noticed afterwards that the acai had stained my lips and I had to give them a little scrub to get it off!

I had the Dairy-Free Bircher with my lunch but would have this as a breakfast option as well. Pret describes this as "Using our gluten-free granola and dairy-free coconut yogurt, this twist on a bircher muesli is a delicious 'free from' choice." I have also tried their Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt Pot in the past ("Dairy-free coconut yogurt topped with sugar coated pecan nuts, toasted coconut shavings and cacao nibs") and I must say I prefer the Bircher.

It is sweeter and more flavourful than the plain coconut yogurt and I found the cacao nibs were a bit too bitter for me. The positive thing is that Pret have changed the recipe for this product as formerly the pecan nuts were honey coated rather than sugar coated making the product non-vegan.

Moving onto the lunch options I started off with the Channa Chaat Flat Bread - "Our Indian-inspired spicy chunky chickpeas with a dollop of mango compote, coconut yogurt, sliced red peppers, aromatic coriander and a handful of baby spinach". I really enjoyed this flat bread and would say it was my favourite lunch option. I'm not great with heat, but this was nicely spiced.

The addition of the mango compote also balanced out the spice and I think its a great idea to utilise the coconut yogurt from the breakfast options. I regularly make crushed chickpea sandwiches at home so am used to packing them full so I was a bit disappointed with the amount of chickpea that was in this flat bread and there seemed to be more spinach in there than if I was making this at home but overall this is a great lunch option.

Next we have the Red Tapenade & Avo Superbowl "This vegan SuperBowl has bags of flavour. On top of our grain mix is baby kale, avocado, roasted pepper & cherry tomato tapenade, baby plum tomatoes, mixed seeds and a wedge of lemon." This option is great if you don't fancy a sandwich. The grains were nutty and the avocado was lovely and soft.

I love peppers, so the tapenade really hit the spot. I am not a fan of raw tomatoes so I gave these to my colleague. I probably wouldn't get this again due to the tomatoes, or if I did I would need to get something else to replace them!

The Avocado and Chipotle Chickpea Salad Wrap is featured as a "Chef's Special" which change every month. "A vegan salad wrap with the flavours of South America: creamy avocado covered with chipotle chickpeas, charred corn and black bean salsa and topped with fresh coriander and Pret's salad mix."

I've tried this before when it has previously featured as a Chef's Special and it doesn't disappoint on a second tasting. This wrap is jam-packed with flavour and the charred corn and black bean salsa is a nice addition.

Another salad option is the Mushroom & Avocado Sushi Salad "Inspired by the Hawaiian poke (pronounced poh-kay). this salad is a combination of our sticky rice, pickled cabbage, miso marinated mushrooms, avocado and edamame". I enjoyed this salad as it was something a bit different from the other options. I love anything pickled so I really enjoyed the pickled cabbage in this dish. The mushrooms were gorgeous with the miso marinade and the sesame coated rice and edamame added some body to the dish.

I know that avocado dishes saw the the biggest increase in sales in Pret in 2015 but I feel like the avocado has just been plonked in this dish. I think it would be better served with something like marinated tofu although I appreciate Pret might think that wouldn't be something non-veggies would go for. As this was a large piece of avocado I think it would have been better if it was cut into smaller pieces and seasoned with some salt and pepper.

The other vegan sandwich option is the Super Greens & Reds - "Slices of avocado, covered with our tapenade made of roasted red peppers & cherry tomatoes. We add crunchy red pepper, toasted almonds and a generous handful of baby kale. This has been a staple of Pret's for a while now and started life as Super Greens before they added the tapenade. This is a well thought out sandwich with ingredients giving different textures and flavours which go together well. This is something I would definitely pick up when I was on the go.

There are also three vegan soups which I haven't had the change to try yet - Roasted Pumpkin, Pea & Mint and Vegetable Tagine, I think at least one of these is available on a daily basis.

As you can see Pret have really upped their game with at least six vegan options for lunch, although it would be nice if they were to include a hot sandwich option. They are definitely leading the way and hopefully this leads to the competition providing more vegan options too!

Have you tried any of Pret's vegan options? What did you think?

Plumes x

You can read Plumes' regular vegan blog over at

Thanks Plumes!

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