Saturday, 1 May 2010

What Is The Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Southsea and Portsmouth? Southsea Vegetarian Restaurant Cafe and Takeaway Guide

This is a much needed guide to vegetarian food that tastes good and is worth eating.  Everyone has a different opinion of course, but Southsea and Portsmouth have so many eating establishments to choose from it's hard to know what to go for and when.  It can be tough eating out as a vegetarian as some places only offer a token veggie dish and you can almost guarantee it will contain the one ingredient you don't like.  For me it's red peppers, I don't enjoy them at all so red pepper quiche being my only choice when I'm hungry can put a complete dampener on the day.  For my husband it's mushrooms - he does not like them in any way shape or form, so as you can imagine, eating out with us can be a right pain in the rump steak.  I'm only recommending places that are family friendly, value for money and the food has to be superb or I won't go back there again.

They are also the best places to eat in town for meat and fish eaters too, so they all make a good choice when dining with non-veggie friends and family.

Please feel free to add your comments.

 So, in no particular order:

Sopranos, for the best Italian in Southsea Portsmouth, head to Sopranos where you will always receive a warm welcome from friendly staff headed by the lovely Sandy and Tommy and the most amazing pasta and pizza dishes ever. Children and babies are always made to feel welcome. It's very popular here though both at lunch times and in the evenings, especially at weekends, so ring ahead and book a table to avoid disappointment.

 There are too many scrummy vegetarian food options to mention, but my personal favourite is the Primavera Penne – £7.65
chunks of aubergine, courgette and onion with a handful
of rocket, all dressed in Napolitana tomato sauce washed down with a Peroni beer. Mm, mmm!

Join their Facebook group for the latest offers and exclusive deals:!/group.php?gid=5029484286&ref=ts

Spice Merchants, Osborne Road Southsea, have won an award for their healthy creations.

They have the usual vegetarian food options of curry such as veg bhuna, veg khorma, veg tikka masala etc. But they use good fresh ingredients and nice fresh veg instead of the usual sad veggie curry slop which usually consists of some left over potatoes and whizzened grey peas. They have a great selection of side dishes and their breads and popaddoms are always cooked to perfection. They also do a home delivery service, which is fast and handy. I recommend their vegetable dhansak, slightly sour and cooked with lentils served with egg fried rice Indian style.

Jaipur, used to be uncompetitive and overpriced, so even though the food they had to offer was a break from the usual run of Indian style cookery, they never got a look in. Now they have lowered their prices, they offer excellent value and their contemporary cooking is simply delicious. Their vegetarian honey  Manchurian curry is divine, you'll be going back for more as there are so many different veg curries to choose from. They offer home delivery as well as in dining. A great spot for watching Albert Road drift by and enjoying very good vegetarian Indian food.

Hong Kong Tea Bar - don't overlook this Portsmouth jewel by thinking it's just some generic cafe. They have a wide array of authentic dishes. Not many of which are vegetarian, but if you ask them, they will create food that is out of this world! Try the aubergine in garlic sauce on ho fun noodles, make sure you tell them you want no meat in it though as this dish traditionally has little pieces of pork in it. Eek! Ho fun noodles are flat fried rice noodles. Yummers. Or ask for aubergine in egg sauce if you like eggs, the egg sauce is made with egg whites and tastes really delicate and delicious. Have this with crispy noodles, naughty, but oh so nice. And if it's a protein hit you are after then, ask for fried tofu in garlic sauce with crispy noodles and Chinese veg. Of course you can always have plain bolied rice if you want to be healthy, but I belive eating out is a treat, so always choose something that I can't cook at home myself.

Caroles Cafe - if it's the perfect vegetarian breakfast you are looking for then come to Carole's on Albert Rd next to Somerfield. They do an awesome veggie deluxe breakfast with perfectly cooked fried eggs, bubble and squeak, fried bread or toast, mushrooms, beans and the best builders tea all served up with a twinkle and a smile. There's not a lot of room in there so it's a bit of a pain with a pram, but they do breakfast to go and you can be home in minutes with a piping hot plate of sustenance in front of you. It's the home made bubble and squeak that makes their breakfast special. No rubbery Quorn sausages there!

Chez Choi/Noble House both on Osborne Rd Southsea, do a superb selection of mock meat dishes using fried gluten. They can even recreate mock duck and pancakes and do a really good Kung Po mock chicken dish. The restaurants are both great to eat in, good friendly service, but again with young children it's easier to order take away and collect. Food is ready in around 15 mins from phonecall to collection where as delivery is about 45 mins.

The cafe at The Lodge Arts Centre in Victoria Park, central Portsmouth has a great selection of vegetarian light bites and purse friendly meals. From a veggie bacon sandwich to a heart warming vegetable curry and rice. All served in pleasant surroundings, you can dine indoors and enjoy the artistic talents or outside to take in the park's natural beauty. It's easy to forget about this little city gem, just as it's easy to forget you're slap bang in the middle of the city when you're nestled within this lovely park. A great place for children as they can run around to their heart's content, while you sit back and relax amid the lush green surroundings.

Costa, the coffee is overpriced but it's jolly good and they also offer soya milk options for vegans. The cafes are always busy but the staff are friendly and they seem to be accepting of breast feeding mums. There is a Costa in Palmerston Rd, Commercial Rd and at Gunwharf Quays. My personal favourite is hazlenut latte and the mushroom and emmental flat bread. The perfect veggie light lunch when you've had a hard day on your feet.

Starbucks serve great coffee, which is ethically sourced. They're a bit thin on veggie options but the cheese and marmite pannini always hits the spot.  My teenage daughter is mad for them!

•Magick Bean Southsea is a great little cafe for popping into on Albert Rd. They do amazing milk shakes and have a good selection of veggie sandwiches and jacket potatoes. They make a mean cheese and baked bean toastie and serve great coffee with an array of flavoured syrups to choose from. Try one of their super hot chocolates (minus the marshmallows of course) or give a super milkshake a whirl with maltesers or mars bars whiizzed up in them for an indulgent treat. She also makes great home made soup and delicious home made cakes. They are alsovery accomadating of breast feeding Mums.

•Porters on Albert Rd, is a great spot during the day for parents. They open at 12 and start serving food around 12.30. They are normally fairly quiet during the day and have plenty of room for prams and babies always enjoy people watching through their big windows. They have high chairs and a modest baby change table but best of all they serve hearty pub grub with some great vegetarian options.
 They make a wholesome cheese and bean burrito with homemade thick cut wedges, a really tasty falafel burger served with chunky chips and a yummy veggie lasagne. There is always plenty of fresh side salad and little extras which make for a satisfying plateful of food for even the hungriest of veggiebums!

Sakura is the new Japanese restaurant on Albert Rd, which has been an instant hit for all who dine there. The majority of the menu is fish based, but there are some great vegetarian food choices here. I had some veggie dumplings, some veg udon noodles and some perfectly cooked mixed vegetable tempura. Japanese cuisine is so clean tasting and a real treat, there is a little space for prams at quiet times. They offer takeaway but no home delivery as yet.

La Tasca in Gunwharf Quays offers true mediterranean tasty al fresco eating. Their mezze has plenty of Spanish vegetarian options, go there on a sunny day, sit outside with a chilled glass of wine and you will feel like you're on holiday again!

Waitrose Marmion Rd, Southsea is not a place to eat, but they deserve a mention for the incredibly sustaining sushi-like vegetarian sandwich wraps you can buy there. Two wraps made of eggs containing spinach, mushrooms, rice like two great big huge pieces of sushi are available for your eating pleasure in amongst the sandwich and sushi section. One of these will keep you going for hours and they are super healthy, much better than the usual veggie sandwich option of cheese, cheese or what else? Oh yeah, cheese. Team it with a rejuvenating Purdey's and you're good to go! It's a brilliant place to shop with friendly staff and lots of vegetarian food to choose from as well as the freshest fruit and vegetables in Southsea.


  1. Thanks for this,coming over from Germany to visit and need good tips.Pubs with good typically Sunday lunch as a veggie option would be handy too.Nicely written,lots of prams involved and as my daughter is now 15, have no problems in that direction anymore.

  2. I have looked at Soprano's Italian restaurant, as I am coming for a weekend in Portsmouth. I am disappointed to say that much of the "V" for vegetarian options are totally unsuitable for vegetarians. Why? Because they include parmesan cheese, which is never safe, as it is made from rennet from a slaughtered calf's stomach. If they use a vegetarian alternative, then they should say so, but I don't think they do.

  3. have you looked at smile cafe marmion rd southsea they cater well for vegetarians vegans and meat eaters for breakfast and lunches

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