When I was at university we had 3 milkshake shops within walking distance of our house. They frequently became my lunch, not healthy at all I know, but I was not the healthiest being at university. Since becoming vegan I have been on the hunt for the ultimate vegan milkshake which has been a challenge, but I’ve found my favourite. Guess what? It’s within walking distance of my current house. Must not revert back to bad habits!
So without further ado here are four places that do vegan milkshakes in and around London.
Shakeaway is a well known milkshake bar company that started off by blending chocolate bars with ice cream. Since then they’ve added fruit shakes, smoothies and fit and even healthy shakes with kale, avocado, kiwi and all sorts of other choices. However, here we’re comparing traditional milkshakes. Shakeaway offers dairy free shakes using soya ice cream and soya milk, so I ordered an Oreo one.
Taste: When you go to the supermarket you’ll find a range of soya milk. Some are sweetened and others aren’t and you can really taste the difference. Now if you’re a fan of the natural non-sweetened soya milk, then you may like Shakeaway’s vegan shakes. For me the soya ice cream and milk that they used overpowered the sweetness of the Oreo. You could really tell that you were having a soya milkshake.
Texture: The texture wasn’t thick like I would expect a milkshake to be. It was a little on the watery side – I prefer milkshakes with a thicker texture.
Overall rating: I would rate Shakeaway 3/10 for vegan milkshakes. They have a range of biscuits, sweets and non-dairy chocolate that you can add to shake up your vegan milkshake, however, I can’t imagine that any of those will easily mask the soya taste.
You can find out more about Shakeaway here.
Cookies and Scream, Camden
I’d heard a lot of good things about Cookies and Scream in Camden, so my expectations were high. Every product they sell is dairy, wheat, egg and gluten free, meaning you’re in vegan heaven. I had intended to order their cookie dough Thick ‘Scream’ Shake but they had run out, so I ordered the Chiquita shake (with peanut butter cookie) instead. They make the base and then blend in the peanut butter cookie, toffee sauce, salted caramel mix or what ever you have chosen.
Taste: The Chiquita shake was creamy and thick, as advertised. The peanut butter cookie had been blended into the shake to perfection and every now and then you’d come across a chunk. I only finished three quarters of the shake because it was so sweet but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Texture: In the name it states that it’s a thick shake and it’s exactly that. When I say thick, I do mean thick. I mean…you’ll feel like a bit of a hoover until it melts a little, but that’s ok.
Overall rating: I would rate Cookies and Scream 8/10 for vegan milkshakes. It may have been sweet but it tasted damn good and there’s a reason so many people rave about it. I’ll be returning to try and get my hands on a Cookie Dough shake.
The Canvas Cafe, Spitalfields
I found the Canvas Cafe’s vegan freakshakes through Instagram. They make their own ice cream from coconut milk and bananas, which is blended with almond milk to make their milkshakes.They then add whipped coconut milk and place raw, vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free homemade cake on top. You’d think that’s it, but no, to top it off they add a variety of sauces, such as homemade vegan nutella, cranberry sauce or raspberry sauce. Yum.
Taste: There was a lot going on with this milkshake, but somehow I didn’t find that it quite came together. For me it was the perfect sweetness and the presentation was very impressive but it didn’t hit the spot when it came to taste as there were too many flavours and nothing stood out.
Texture: As the homemade ice cream was mixed with almond milk I found the milkshake fairly watery. The piece of cake sunk to the bottom and I found it at the end but it had got soggy.
Overall rating: If I was rating it on presentation alone then I’d give it a 9/10 as the freakshakes are a work of art, however, as this is about taste, it gets a 6/10.
I’d still recommend visiting Canvas Cafe as they offer a lot of vegan food and it’s just round the corner from Brick Lane which is a great area to wander around. Find out more about Canvas Cafe here.
Handmade Burger Co (chain)
Handmade Burger Co are known for their burgers with 3 vegan options on their menu. They also serve vegan milkshakes – score! I warn you, these milkshakes are huge and come in an American style metal cup. You have the choice of Oreo, peanut butter, vanilla, strawberry or banana. I chose Oreo and, oh my, it did not disappoint.
Taste: When I first tried Handmade Burger Co’s milkshake I had to double-check that it was vegan. It is creamy like regular milkshakes and packed full with Oreos so you’ll continuously encounter chunks that add to the deliciousness.
Texture: Put simply, it’s a thick milkshake, but not so thick that you can’t suck it up the straw. It was just right. Be warned though – it is so big that you may not be able to finish your burger and fries.
Overall rating: The Oreo shake at Handmade Burger Co is – no arguments please – the ultimate vegan milkshake. Unsurprisingly, it therefore gets 10/10. I would even rate it above any milkshake I had before I became vegan.
Handmade Burger Co is a chain restaurant with a number or locations outside of London. You can find out more about Handmade Burger Co here.
Do you have any other vegan milkshake recommendations? Comment below.