Celebratory gatherings over the festive season usually means pigs in blankets, legs of ham and roasted turkey drenched in gravy, but if you're looking for a meal that will suit your dietary needs and that of your loved ones, here are some that don’t compromise on flavour.
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You’d never guess that a high-tech food laboratory is hidden behind Canes’ antique wooden door, but this plant-based fine dining restaurant in Bangkok is full of surprises.
Its chefs and food scientists are passionate about zero waste and sustainability, so expect local, fermented ingredients other chefs may discard, as well as uncommon superfoods such as duckweed, a native nutrient-dense waterlily-like plant.
Canes serves full vegan tasting menus paired with mocktails, with playful dishes that are rich in both texture and flavour – think vegan, halal caviar and lentil pâté served on handmade ceramics. Book ahead to dine on what Canes calls a “non-traditional Christmas dinner with vegan gravy” on December 25th.
Canes, Culinary Lab & Fine Dining Restaurant, 164/20 Chaeng Wattana-Parkkred 33, Bangkok, 11120, Thailand
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Broccoli Revolution, Bangkok
Known for its cold-pressed juices and vibrant superfood bowls, Broccoli Revolution’s collection of plant-based cafes in Bangkok is also socially and environmentally conscious, supporting local farmers and sending bottle caps to Precious Plastic to be transformed into bowls and plant pots.
In celebration of the festive season from 25 to 31 December, expect vegan, halal dishes such as Christmas Wellington or cauliflower steak with broccoli, carrots and cranberry sauce, followed by cinnamon pumpkin Bundt cake.
Top off the meal with mint caffe lattes with your favourite nut milk or try the suitably festive vegan cashew nut eggnog topped with a cinnamon stick and dried star anise – Thai rum optional.
1031 Ploenchit Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok, 10330, Thailand
6th floor, Open House, Central Embassy Bangkok, 10330, Thailand
Carrots The Vegan Bistro, Bangkok
This bistro prides itself on creating distinct celebratory dishes for special occasions, from hot cross buns at Easter to heart-shaped pizzas on Valentine’s Day and thali platters for Diwali.
At Christmas, this means spiced stollen packed with bourbon-soaked cranberries and almond marzipan-filled raisins, gluten-free mince pies filled with bourbon-soaked apricots, cranberries and raisins in star-shaped pastry, mulled wine or a gingerbread or mocha mint latte.
Against a backdrop of twinkling festive lights, diners can also celebrate the season with a four-course meal including vegetable Wellington (gluten-free option available), served alongside roasted baby carrots, asparagus and potatoes with gravy.
55 Sukhumvit Street, Noble Ora, 822/231 Thong Lor Road, Bangkok, 10110, Thailand
Credit: Chez Céline
Chez Céline, Playa del Carmen
On the east coast of Mexico lies a quaint French bakery and café Chez Céline, where locals visit to play pétanque, and dine on freshly baked bread, vegan patisseries and desserts, as well as classic French crêpes.
At Christmas, the festive feast includes sparkling wine or a Kir Royal cocktail, along with canapés, a bread basket, turkey roast and traditional yule log. Holding the gravy can make the roast gluten-free, while plant-based mains such as a vegan ratatouille are available.
Finish with a sweet treat of gluten-free Baileys yule log, vegan chocolate, caramel and banana yule log made with a hint of rum, or a chocolate and pecan yule log.
5ta Avenida con calle 34, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
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The Hungry Tapir, Kuala Lumpur
If you’re looking for a vegan restaurant in KL to enjoy a celebratory alcoholic drink with dinner, look no further than The Hungry Tapir.
Sporting pink neon lights on bare brick walls, Swiss cheese plant murals and mismatched vintage lampshades hanging from industrial pipes, this restaurant’s contemporary look contributes to its vibrant atmosphere. On 25 December, tuck into a multi-course dinner of nut roast, gravy, roasted vegetables and a festive dessert.
On top of offering inclusive options to diners, The Hungry Tapir is also socially conscious. They support the non-profit organisation The Lost Food Project which redistributes surplus food to soup kitchens to reduce food waste and feed communities.
First floor, 135 Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, 50000, Malaysia