London has seen hundreds of vegan restaurants and cafés pop up as veganism gained popularity over recent years, but Shoreditch’s latest addition is a special one − a completely non-profit restaurant.
I went down to Unity Diner to see if it was worth the hype, and let me tell you: it truly was.
Unity Diner, opened by vegan activist Ed Winters (known online as Earthling Ed), donates all the profits made from their delicious food to Winters’ animal rights organisation Surge.
The restaurant has a blue exterior, which really stands out next to Hoxton Market’s dull buildings. Inside, it looks quaint and simple, with vegan art on the wall–the most noticeable one being a painting of several animals on a blue background, with a neon sign saying “the future is VEGAN”. I already know you’re going to see that all over Instagram.
The food was delicious too. I ordered the Surge Burger (and replaced the ranch mayo with hot buffalo sauce because no meal is a real meal without hot sauce), with a side of onion rings.
I nearly cried when I first tasted my food.
The burger was amazing. It didn’t fall apart at any time, as most vegan burgers do, and the flavours worked really well together. I was also surprised to be able to taste every single ingredient, which I loved. It was genuinely the best vegan burger I have ever had.
The onion rings were perfect, and also surprisingly massive. Despite being typically unhealthy dishes, both the onion rings and the Surge Burger tasted like real food.
The meal was affordable, and would have been worth it even if it had been more expensive. The bill included a 12.5% service charge, which goes to their really kind and friendly front of house and kitchen staff.
The work the people at Unity Diner do is incredible. Everything they do is to free animals from oppression and violence, and it’s clear that they are all passionate about it. As explained in a post on the restaurant’s Instagram page, another one of their main aims is to “show the non-vegan public how awesome vegan food is”, and their entire menu is made of mouth-watering vegan versions of popular foods such as chicken wings, mac and cheese, burgers, and more.
There is a lovely feeling of union and belonging in the restaurant, which perfectly explains the choice of name. I recommend it for everyone; vegan or non-vegan.
You can visit Unity Diner for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks any day of the week at 5 Hoxton Market (closest tube station: Old Street).