Vegan Food in Canterbury – GBK

GBK Canterbury – Gourmet Burger Kitchen

GBK is a national chain of burger restaurants with four branches across Kent. Research reveals it has a history of alienating customers with crass anti-vegetarian advertising (unbeknown to the author at the time of his visit). Is it a reasonable destination for a vegan?  Whilst a burger emporium may not be the restaurant of choice for all, it can be a necessary compromise. It’s not simply a issue of being in a mixed group of vegans,vegetarians and carnivores. There is also the question of is it useful or desirable for vegans to support or encourage food outlets that have vegan option(s)? Whilst there is a reasonable availability of vegan food in Canterbury compared to other local towns. Many restaurants still don’t offer vegan main dishes outside of the usual clichés such as  salad or soup.

Vegan Food In Canterbury

Leaving the philosophical aspects of meat free menus to one side, as vegan burgers go GBK deserves a creditable mention.  Although I found the name Dippy Hippy burger patronising, the taste was excellent. To quote the menu the Dippy Hippy is

..pan-fried bean patty, beetroot & mint hummus, avocado, piquillo pepper, salad, relish, sourdough bun.

The taste experience is rich with a depth of flavour, beetroot, mint, fried bean and avocado distinct and complimentary. Unfortunately this was the only vegan burger on the menu. Vegetarian options included, Californian (pan-fried bean patty with cheese and avocado), Falafel (spinach & kale falafels, beetroot & mint hummus) and Johnny Be Goat (grilled field mushroom,  goat’s cheese). For brevity we’ve only summarised the ingredients, see menu for full details.

Vegan food
GBK – Vegan food in Canterbury

Aside the fries there’s not much else to interest diners committed to a plant based diet. Olives to start and perhaps char grilled corn (without the butter) as a side. Amongst the non-alcoholic drinks the refillable Elderflower was very pleasant. But nearly £6 for a 500ml of Budvar seems a little steep (perhaps I don’t get out enough). Service was good, atmosphere OK given that it was freshers week. Get the GBK app if you plan to go, we picked up a 25% student discount!.

Final Thoughts

Reading of GBK’s ‘tongue in cheek’ denigration of vegetarianism in their 2016 advertising campaign has taken the enthusiasm from this review. I can’t fault the food, I just don’t want to go back. Perhaps the naming of the vegan option as Dippy Hippy makes a little more sense now. Other purveyors of vegan food in Canterbury are available  If you have a view one way or another let us know.

Location & More Information

Outlets nationwide, Kent restaurants in Bluewater, Maidstone, Bromley as well as:  9A St Peter Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2BE. GBK is open from 12 noon to at least 10pm seven days a week. Details for information purposes only, please see the GBK website for more details. For more restaurants in Kent visit Kent Restaurant Reviews.

The City Arms Inn – Canterbury Pubs

Canterbury Pubs and Canterbury Lager

A quick endorsement for both the City Arms Inn and Canterbury Lager. Having been forced to seek shelter from the heatwave on Thursday afternoon, I drifted into Butchery Lane. One of the old cobbled pathways linking The Parade and Burgate in the centre of Canterbury. Ducking down behind the Jack Wills store I found myself standing outside of the City Arms, trying to remember why its name was so familiar to me. Then It struck me, this was one of the Canterbury pubs that made it onto Buster’s top ten Kent pub rankings.

Golding Hops!

Although Buster has his critics in the fields of music and fashion, his epicurean credentials are beyond compare, I went in. Passing the small external seating area I came across a pleasant wooded interior, not traditionally Kentish but inspired in that general direction. Looking for reliable and trusted names on the pumps I was surprised to find a selection of local craft beers. Many brewed locally with Kentish ingredients. Momentarily stunned by both the heat and the range of choice available I selected a lager. This literally goes against the grain as I am typically an ale drinker. Canterbury Lager visually fulfilled all the immediate prerequisites of a cool, light refreshing drink. However upon the first taste I was transported to a foreign land, the cliche’ of fizzy, mass produced, warm weather session lagers fell away. There was a taste here unrecognisable; cold and refreshing yes, pilsner grain yes but also hops, Goldings hops… (lengthy extended pretentious description removed by the editor, available on request)!

Big City Burger

This was simultaneously a light refreshing beer but one with the depth and quality of flavour associated with East Kent hop varieties. I have enjoyed lager before, particularly in warm weather environment, but this is a lager for all seasons. There is no need to stress that The City Arms is an emporium serving a range of quality food and drinks. IIRC Buster recommended the Big City Burger, still available here for under £10. A big city burger with a pint of Canterbury Lager will set you back less than £15. Perhaps an essential experience for Canterbury residents and visitors alike (vegetarian alternatives available). Lunch can be pre ordered, 01227 458081 between 11am-noon. No food orders after 4pm.

Canterbury Pubs

Canterbury is still a place with a wide range of, pubs, inns and bars catering for almost all tastes. Historic buildings are ten a penny in this area and good food and drink can be found elsewhere. However the nonintrusive attention and professional service offered by the knowledgable bar staff is second to none. It’s well worth a visit and my experience fully endorses Buster’s five star rating.

Canterbury Pubs City Arms Review
City Arms Inn Canterbury


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