I got back from Zagreb on Sunday and whilst I have a shit tonne of travel posts up my sleeve I had to share this bit of Brighton news with you ASAP!
Are you ready?
Wait for it...
Iydea opened their new Western Road location yesterday and they don't close at 5:30pm! Yep, that's right, Brighton FINALLY has a cafe-style establishment where you can eat a great vegan meal, chat over coffee and cake or relax with a glass of vegan friendly wine after you finish work. Crazy right?! We've been waiting for this for a long time!
The new location is light, bright & airy with seating on both the ground and first floors. I have to admit that one of my reasons for visiting Iydea less than I'd like to is that it's always SO rammed. I love that it's busy, it should be, the food's delicious, but now I feel like I could rock up there on a Saturday lunchtime with a small group of friends and have some hope of finding seats together.
The format is very similar to the one at the Kensington Gardens branch except the menu is on the wall behind the counter which I love. It's great because you can see what there is and start deciding what to have before you reach the counter, if you're indecisive like me this is especially great as I'm sure I've held up the queue at their first location on more than one occasion um-ing, ah-ing and always choosing the lasagne!
If you haven't eaten at Iydea before you choose a main, two sides and one topping. The main courses are warm, hearty, healthy veggie fare and they always have at least four vegan options. Sides range from roasted potatoes to steamed greens and the selection of salads is varied and very vegan leaning. Toppings include my favourite, beetroot chutney, as well as hummus, salsas and seeds.
Their menu of juices, hot drinks and alcohol is varied and incredibly vegan friendly. Every wine and beer is listed as vegan and there are VO's for every hot drink. I would love to see a green juice on here one day but that's just because my friend Randi got me hooked on them in Seattle and now I'm craving them which is weird because I totally didn't think I was a green juice kinda grrrl, anyway, I digress! This menu also got me excited for winter, that raspberry hot chocolate is calling my name. It's actually cold enough here right now that I could go for a hot chocolate but I refuse to because IT'S SUMMER DAMNIT!
Predictably I went for my favourite, the Roast Veg Lasagne, I loooove this lasagne and I think it's rad that a restaurant that does serve cheese has thought outside the box enough to make their lasagne vegan. Other vegan options on offer yesterday were Sausages & Basil Gravy, Nutty Vegetable Crumble, Gumbo Roti and Thai Green Curry.
I picked some steamed greens and carrot salad for my sides and topped it all off with their delicious beetroot chutney. It was a delicious meal, I sometimes worry that I'm picking wrong when it comes to picking sides that actually go with the main I chose but this time I definitely got it right.
This plate of food cost £7.15 which is at the higher end of their price scale which ranges from £5.85 to £7.20. If this doesn't look like enough food you can pay an extra £1.50 to "go large" as I often do and have four sides and two toppings.
If this wasn't already an awesome enough experience I was given a 25% off voucher if I come back and eat there again before July 10th. I will definitely be making use of this and I think I'll try that delicious vegetable crumble for a change.
Iydea Western Road is open from 9:30 - 5:30 Sunday & Monday, 9:30 - 9 Tuesday to Thursday and 9:30 - 10 Friday and Saturday. Last orders for food are an hour before closing.
I can't wait to go back to this new veg dining spot and I even have high hopes that when other veg places in the city see how successful their opening hours are they might considering opening a little later too. We shall see!