Wednesday 18 April 2018

Lunch at Junk It Up - Vegan Fast Food, Newcastle upon Tyne

I'm going to be totally honest here, as a vegan, I've been getting a little tired of the only vegan offerings out there being burgers or pizzas... they can move over because we have a new contender, vegan fried "chicken"! Seriously, I don't think anything can come close to the satisfaction you get when biting into a piece of crispy (fake) chicken, and it is something I'll admit I've missed a little since turning vegan. 

You can only imagine my excitement when Junk It Up started advertising for the opening of their 100% vegan junk food restaurant in my home town of Newcastle upon Tyne, featuring fried (fake) chicken! Junk It Up is based in Byker, which is only a short metro ride out of the centre of Newcastle, so is pretty easily accessible if you're visiting Newcastle. The interior of the restaurant is just like you'd imagine a diner, with benches and stools to sit on and enjoy your food, with napkins, ketchup and mustard located around the restaurant. 

This was my second visit to Junk It Up, the first being soon after it opened in December 2017. Despite being relatively new to the 'vegan scene', they have successfully amassed a loyal following across the North East, with everyone raving about the amazing food and how great it is to have another addition to what is a relatively small selection of 100% vegan restaurants in the North East of England (relative to somewhere like London, for instance). 

I first went to Junk It Up in January 2018 with my friend who is, as she puts it, 95% vegan. We enjoyed a few pieces of their "Southern Fried Fricken" and chips, along with garlic mayo dips. On this more recent visit I was with my boyfriend, who actually suggested we go somewhere vegan for lunch (he isn't vegan!) and straight away I knew I should take advantage of this rare opportunity and head to Junk It Up again! 

This time I chose something else of the menu, with my boyfriend and I getting a "Fricken Classic Burger with Cheese" each, as well as the "'Peperoni' Pizza Fries" to share between us. We went around 2pm, so missed the lunchtime rush and were lucky enough to be the only people in there! On my other visit we also visited "off-peak", so I can't talk about what it's like when the restaurant is busy with people. 

Our order totalled just over £19, which is pretty reasonable for two people with a main each and a side. The food didn't take long to come at all, I think we were waiting around 10 minutes, which being the only people in there obviously helped with!

The burgers contained their trademark "Fricken", along with salad and vegan cheese and they were totally delicious! My Boyfriend commented that "this might be the best vegan thing I've ever had" and trust me that is as good a compliment as it gets!! We both thoroughly enjoyed our burgers and could not fault them, we did choose to add a little of the mustard available around the restaurant to our burgers purely because we enjoy mustard! 

Next up the fries, these were fries topped with pizza sauce, vegan "mozzarella" and little pieces of "vegan" pepperoni. These were really tasty too, although our personal preference would have been a little more of the cheese and less of the pizza sauce. 

The "meat" was made up of soya-protein, and it had a texture so similar to real chicken that my boyfriend joked it was real chicken and they were tricking us (I can assure you they weren't!). 

All in all I can highly suggest you make a trip to Junk It Up, whilst the prices are a little higher than you would pay at your typical fast food takeaway, I truly believe it's worth the extra to support a smaller business that offers awesome vegan options! (Plus they often have vegan cakes available!).

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