Veganism and vegetarian diets are growing in popularity all of the time with individuals deciding to make a more conscious effort to eat less animal products due to concerns of animal welfare and our almost irreversible damage to the planet.
Due to this increase, it’s also easier than ever to live a vegan lifestyle due to cafes, restaurants offering vegan dishes and vegan alternatives being sold in supermarkets in recent years. It’s more accessible than ever and this is bound to keep improving.
Aberdeen, I’d say, are later to the scene but we do now have a few vegan options to choose from, one being Bonobo Cafe.
Bonobo Cafe is a 100% vegan cafe situated at 73-75 Skene Street in Aberdeen City Centre. They pride themselves for being a workers’ co-operative where employees have the option of becoming a joint owner of the business and decisions are made by offering each a vote in a democratic decision-making process, including how profits should be used, whether that means going back into the business, the employees or used to support the local community.
It’s quite a compact little cafe with limited seating but we managed to get a seat easily on a Saturday afternoon. To avoid annoyance, Bonobo suggests arriving slightly earlier than you want to dine as they are unable to take reservations.
The decor portrays an earthy and natural feel, just like the vegan food would suggest the company is. It’s a dog-friendly cafe too so feel free to bring along your pup while you enjoy a sweet treat.
Throughout the week, Bonobo also holds different events like yoga classes which any information about can be found over at their Facebook page.
The Drinks at Bonobo Cafe
We began our Bonobo experience by each ordering a coffee. Holly was excited by the Tumeric Latte whilst I opted for a Regular Latte, both creamed with oat milk. Tumeric Lattes aren’t really for me but Holly swore by this one. This spiced taste gave her latte that little kick she loves. My standard latte was just as good if so a little too creamy as oat milk is pretty ‘milky’ and I’m usually a skimmed milk kind of girl. But, it was enjoyable and exactly what our tired souls needed.
To quench our thirst, we also picked up bottles of Kombucha to sip. I went Equinox Kombucha in Raspberry and Elderflower and Holly opted for Clever Kombucha in Lime and Sea Salt.
This was my first time ever trying kombucha. Over the years, I’ve heard great things but I’d always been sceptical to try some out myself because, to be honest, the sound of fermented tea seems terrifying.
Was it terrifying though? No, it was delicious and refreshing. The Raspberry and Elderflower Equinox Kombucha was fruity yet floral with a subtle alcoholic flavouring. It’s fizzy, crisp and a nice way to feel like you’re having something naughty when you aren’t.
The Clever Kombucha comes in the most aesthetic bottle that gave me apothecary vibes. It’s a brand that is brewed in Glasgow which makes this choice even better. I love supporting local, Scottish brands. The drink itself is flavoured with organic limes and smoked sea salt. The citrus of the lime is invigorating but the smoked sea salt keeps the drink muted without being overly sour and sickly sweet.
Would I have kombucha again? It’s a huge yes from me.
The Food at Bonobo Cafe
Bonobo offers a range of vegan dishes, including Breakfast options, such as Breakfast Bowls of porridge oats, seasonal house granola, thick whipped coconut cream and compote and Tofu Benny, organic smoked tofu with rashers of seitan bacon, sauteed spinach and hollandaise sauce in a toasted bagel, as well as their Sandwiches and Wraps menu which includes their Mediterranean Melt with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, fresh basil, red onion and a mix of mozzarella and cheddar ‘cheese’ and the Salt and Pepper Tofu Wrap with tofu covered in golden breadcrumbs, pickled veggie salad and a sticky soy sauce. How good does that all sound?!
On this occasion, we went for the Bonobo Mac from their Lunch menu. I’ve made vegan mac and cheese before and it came out horribly so I was nervous yet excited to try out their version so I could redeem my hopes in the vegan version of this classic.
The macaroni pasta is mixed with Bonobo’s special creamy squash and ‘cheese’ sauce, served with a mixed leaves salad, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs, garlic olive oil and black sesame seeds.
Now this is a must-try dish. It’s creamy, hearty and just like the real deal. I’m usually a ketchup on my mac and cheese individual, but the breadcrumbs, tomatoes and olive oil made a lovely change. It was incredibly moreish but oh so filling, which was a pleasant surprise after our initial thoughts as bowls arrived – don’t be deceived by how small the bowls may appear, they are deep!
I will definitely be back for the Bonobo Mac soon and I’d also love to try our more of their options – it all sounds wonderful. Next on my hit list is the Tofu Benny. Yum!
Bonobo Cafe is a cute, quaint cafe that I think is a brilliant shout for a sustainable yet tasty meal that will leave you feeling like you have just eaten the real dairy or meat substitute. And further to that, the staff are friendly, the location is convenient and you’re doing your bit for our environment and the animals.
Why not also check out another vegan post, The Vegan Burger You Need to Try at Brewdog?