Vegan food on the go

Although the availability of vegan food in supermarkets and restaurants is improving all the time, being able to just 'grab a sandwich' is an area where there's certainly room for improvement as far as vegan products are concerned.

Here's a guide to where vegans can get food on the go. (Last updated October 09.)

High Street places with vegan sandwiches, wraps, salads, etc.

Boots: usually have at least one vegan sandwich, "Bugsy" (houmous, carrot, beetroot, spinach). Branches in London seem to have more vegan sandwiches from the same range.

Caffe Nero: penne pasta with roasted red peppers

Camden Food Co (railway stations): avocado salad sandwich

Holland and Barrett: larger Holland and Barrett stores have a selection of pasties, sausage rolls and sandwiches, both their own brand products and the Cranks range.

Marks & Spencer/Simply Food: vegetable samosa, about five different types of salad. Beware the sandwiches as some appear to be vegan but use spread which contains milk or include otherwise non-vegan ingredients as 'extras' in what would otherwise be a vegan sandwich or wrap.

Pret a Manger: chunky houmous salad, five bean cassoulet soup (plus airports only: houmous and roasted red peppers, mezze salad)

Sainsbury's (city centre): Basics tomato and herb pasta, Tomato and basil pasta, Orzo and sunbaked tomato salad, falafel and couscous salad, 3 bean salad, roasted vegetable couscous (but not the 'be good to yourself' couscous with chargrilled vegetables which may be stocked next to it)

Somerfield (city centre): vegetable samosa

Starbucks: falafel panini

Subway: Their breads and wrap are vegan (apart from the ones with 'cheese' and 'honey' in their names), apparently they will fill said bread with vegetables and salad items on request.

Tesco (city centre): Italian pasta salad, spicy couscous

Whistlestop: some branches have a falafel sandwich and falafel/houmous/couscous meals which appear to be vegan

WHSmiths: FooGo houmous and carrot sandwich (with red pepper and spinach)

Other places which may have vegan options

Independent sandwich shops sometimes offer a houmous sandwich of some sort.

Vegetarian wholefoods shops often have a deli counter or fridge with vegan pasties, pies or wraps.

Traditional cafes often have jacket potato and baked beans on the menu.

McDonald's and Burger King fries are vegan in the UK (not that I'm suggesting a portion of fries constitutes a lunch, but better than nothing if you're absolutely stuck).

Railway stations

WHSmith, M&S food, Camden food co., some branches of Whistlestop. Don't expect to find food on board the train, unless you don't mind living on ready salted crisps for the duration of your journey.

Motorway services

Could be better. Possible vegan options are M&S Simply Food (generally your best bet), jacket potato and beans or chips and peas from the restaurants, Burger King or McDonald's fries, snacks such as fruit, nuts and crisps. I have yet to find a vegan main dish in the restaurants (with the possible exception of spuds and beans) or a vegan sandwich or wrap anywhere in a service station! Along similar lines, Shell petrol stations have a couple of items in their re:fresh food range which appear to be suitable for vegans.

Beware...

Vegetable pasties may or may not be suitable for vegans, for instance Greggs glaze theirs with milk.

Seemingly vegan sandwiches or wraps with fillings such as 'avocado and spinach', 'houmous and beetroot' or 'roasted butternut squash' *coughM&SBootsandCranksrespectivelycough* can contain non-vegan ingredients such as mayonnaise, margarine which contains milk, or honey.

Burger King's veggie bean burger is not suitable for vegans even if ordered without the cheese and mayonnaise as it contains non-vegan (but vegetarian) E920.