In the Sheffield vegan and vegetarian community there has been a lot of talk about the new cafe on the block – ALT. Found in Crookes’ ever expanding cool cafe scene, ALT. offers up comforting, delicious food in the most welcoming of atmospheres. Perfect for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, this 100% vegan menu has so much to offer that I’m sure everyone will be satisfied. We’ve been twice in a week and are itching to try more!
The owners of popular cafe Joni made the decision earlier this year to change the branding to ALT. and go completely vegan. Although, as explained in a brave and honest post by owner James on Instagram, he received some negative feedback about this move. Obviously not everyone likes change, but it is a shame to hear that not everyone has greeted this new direction with an open mind. We, personally, have been shouting all good things about ALT. and will continue to do so.
Now onto the exciting bit, the food!
Dinner Menu at ALT.
Our first visit was a Friday evening, for which we booked a table which I think is advisable. They have the evening menu available on Friday and Saturday nights currently. When you walk into ALT., you are welcomed by a cosy room with only a handful of tables – there is seating for around 15 people. As we walked in, we were greeted with a huge smile and we immediately felt welcome. This is huge for me as I hate it when people don’t acknowledge you when you walk into a restaurant or cafe!
We sat down and agonised through the menu as we just wanted to try it all! Is there anything more exciting as a vegan or vegetarian than going out to eat and being able to choose ANYTHING on the menu?!
Currently, the menu consists of small plates, sharing platters, burgers, sides and main dishes like creamy mushroom linguine or Mexican bean chilli. I thought the wild mushroom linguine with tofu cheese, chives and garlic bread sounded insanely delicious. However, as it was our first visit we opted for the ‘All The Small Things’ sharing board, which has a selection of all of the above. That way we didn’t have to choose! The linguine will wait until next time.
We cracked open the wine (BYOB – vegan booze preferably!) and relaxed.
Here we have it. It was glorious! The board may vary depending on the night you visit, but this evening we had: mini poppadoms, deep fried mushrooms, spring rolls, hummus, olives, toasted pitta bread, onion bhaji, chutney, creamy mushrooms, lentil dahl, Mexican bean chilli and garlic bread. We were just a tiny bit full after finishing this off.
We particularly loved the dahl, spring rolls and bean chilli. Everything was so flavoursome and once you finished eating one part there was something equally exciting and tasty to go at.
Whilst we had dinner we got chatting to the owner’s brother, Liam, who explained to us the move from Joni to ALT. and was just so friendly and lovely, it really made the evening getting to know at least a little part of the story behind this fantastic venture. Liam runs his own cafe, Gaard in Kelham Island. We’ll be checking that out soon!
We finished the evening with a chocolate and peanut butter doughnut, supplied by Elly Joy who can often be found at Peddler Market. Delicious!
Brunching – Vegan Style
Not satisfied with just one helping of ALT. food, we were soon back for more. This weekend we stopped by for brunch and enjoyed an equally lovely and tasty meal.
The breakfast menu has your Full English style food, pastries, avocado on toast. For brunch/lunch you can grab a toasted sandwich, or something more substantial if you’re hungry like a burger, wrap or main meal. We went for the ALT. classic burger and the Thali Cafe Bhaji wrap.
The Bhaji wrap was tasty, but I think I perhaps chose the wrong thing on the menu and I’m eager to try the toasted sandwiches or mushrooms on toast next time. I personally enjoyed our evening food a little more than this, but that is not to say it wasn’t nice!
The burger however, blew our minds. It was almost creepy levels of meatiness! The patty looked like a medium rare beef burger. It has cheese and gherkins and a pretzel bun and it was SO good. It was one of those moments where you’re like… hold on, how is this vegan? Meat substitutes aren’t for everyone, I know, but if they are your jam, I urge you to try the burgers at ALT.
Truly a thing of beauty.
We had some quality coffee with our brunch, made with Minor Figures oat milk. To round of this meal, because we are greedy as hell, we grabbed some chocolate and Biscoff cookie sandwiches to take away.
Overall, two fantastic meals, great customer service, reasonable prices and something a little different offered on the vegan scene. You definitely do not have to be vegan to enjoy ALT., this is simply a fantastic cafe cooking delicious food, with passion. Go and try it for yourself!
Review of ALT Sheffield, 170 Crookes, Sheffield, S10 1UH.