Basement Bar Crowned Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant in Britain Award! This is the remarkable achievement of Down the Hatch, a restaurant located in Liverpool, at the prestigious 2023 British Restaurant Awards. Surpassing other renowned establishments from Bournemouth and Cambridge, Down the Hatch has been recognized as the pinnacle of vegan-friendly dining in the United Kingdom. The owners and staff were absolutely elated and taken aback by this unexpected triumph, viewing it as an incredible opportunity to showcase their dedication to providing exceptional vegan cuisine. With a diverse menu filled with both indulgent “junk food” options and wholesome alternatives, Down the Hatch has managed to capture the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts across the country. Let's dive into the world of this extraordinary eatery and discover why they stood out among the rest.

Overview of the British Restaurant Awards

The British Restaurant Awards is an esteemed event that celebrates excellence in the culinary industry across the United Kingdom. Each year, thousands of restaurants are nominated in various categories, showcasing their expertise and innovation in different aspects of dining. The awards recognize outstanding establishments, talented chefs, unique dining experiences, and diverse cuisine offerings. With a focus on celebrating both traditional and modern culinary practices, the British Restaurant Awards aim to inspire and promote the flourishing food scene in Britain.

Background of Down the Hatch Restaurant

Down the Hatch has become a beloved fixture within the vibrant food scene of Liverpool. Located in the heart of the city, this hidden gem is nestled within a basement bar, providing an intimate and cozy atmosphere for diners. The restaurant's mission is to revolutionize perceptions of vegan cuisine, proving that plant-based food can be indulgent, diverse, and satisfying. Since its inception, Down the Hatch has successfully created a haven for both vegans and non-vegans alike, showcasing the incredible possibilities of plant-based dining.

The Criteria for the “Best Vegan-Friendly Eatery” Award

To be crowned the “Best Vegan-Friendly Eatery” at the British Restaurant Awards, restaurants must meet a stringent set of criteria. The judges evaluate various aspects of the establishment, focusing on the quality and creativity of the vegan dishes, the level of inclusivity and variety for dietary requirements, and the overall dining experience. In addition, factors such as the restaurant's commitment to sustainability, ethics, and community engagement are taken into consideration. The winner must exemplify excellence in all aspects of vegan dining and provide a unique and memorable experience for their patrons.

Down the Hatch's Surprise Win

For the team at Down the Hatch, winning the “Best Vegan-Friendly Eatery” award came as a complete surprise. The announcement filled the entire restaurant with joy and pride, as they realized that their tireless efforts to redefine vegan cuisine had not gone unnoticed. Basement Bar Crowned Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant in Britain Award – the headlines echoed with this momentous achievement, solidifying Down the Hatch's position as a leader in the vegan dining scene.

Variety of Vegan “Junk Food” Dishes

While Down the Hatch offers an array of wholesome and nutritious options, they have gained significant acclaim for their vegan “junk food” dishes. From mouth-watering burgers to indulgent loaded fries and crispy, seitan-based chicken tenders, this restaurant has managed to replicate the flavors and textures that many people crave, all while remaining completely plant-based. It is here that their creativity and attention to detail shine, allowing patrons to indulge guilt-free.

One of the standout dishes on their menu is the “Hatch Burger.” A hearty plant-based patty topped with melty vegan cheese, sautéed onions, pickles, and their signature special sauce, all carefully nestled between a perfectly toasted sesame seed bun. The combination of flavors and textures surpasses expectations, leaving diners both astonished and satisfied. The team at Down the Hatch has mastered the art of crafting vegan comfort food, demonstrating that one can enjoy classic favorites without sacrificing their dietary choices.

Another popular dish is the “BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos.” This savory delight features slow-cooked jackfruit marinated in a smoky barbecue sauce, served on warm tortillas accompanied by zesty slaw and tangy vegan mayo. The tender jackfruit mimics the texture of pulled pork, offering a delightful alternative for those craving traditional barbecue flavors.

Down the Hatch's “Chick'n and Waffles” has also garnered a dedicated fan base. Crispy seitan chick'n, reminiscent of fried chicken, is paired with fluffy, golden waffles and drizzled with a sweet and savory maple glaze. This unique twist on a beloved classic has won over both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Wholesome Options for Health-Conscious Diners

Apart from their vegan “junk food” offerings, Down the Hatch prides itself on providing delicious and nutritious options for health-conscious diners. They understand the importance of offering a balance of indulgence and nourishment, catering to a wide range of dietary preferences.

Their menu showcases inventive salads, loaded with vibrant vegetables and tossed in dressings bursting with flavor. A standout dish is the “Superfood Salad” featuring a mix of kale, quinoa, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and crunchy seeds, all generously coated in a tangy lemon tahini dressing. This light yet satisfying option is perfect for those seeking a refreshing and nutrient-dense meal.

For those craving something heartier, Down the Hatch offers a selection of nourishing bowls packed with wholesome ingredients. The “Mexican Grain Bowl” is a favorite, combining cilantro-lime rice, black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, salsa, guacamole, and a sprinkle of vegan cheese. Bursting with vibrant colors and delicious flavors, this bowl is a testament to the restaurant's commitment to diversity and creativity.

Growing Demand for Plant-Based Food

The success of Down the Hatch and its recognition as the Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant in Britain is indicative of a larger trend in the food industry. There is an undeniable and growing demand for plant-based options, driven by a multitude of factors. Concerns for animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and personal health have all contributed to the rising shift towards plant-based eating.

With an increasing number of people adopting vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian lifestyles, restaurants are starting to realize the importance of catering to these dietary choices. Gone are the days when vegans were limited to salads or side dishes. The rise of establishments like Down the Hatch showcases the limitless possibilities of plant-based cuisine.

Customers today are not only seeking options that align with their values; they also want to enjoy delicious and satisfying meals. Restaurants that can provide innovative, flavorful, and diverse vegan dishes are paving the way for a new era of dining. Furthermore, the willingness of traditional restaurants to accommodate vegan and vegetarian requests shows that the demand for plant-based food is not limited to strictly vegan establishments.

Normalizing the Vegan Dining Experience

Down the Hatch's recognition as the Best Vegan-Friendly Eatery plays a vital role in normalizing the vegan dining experience. By presenting plant-based food as a viable and delicious option, they are dismantling misconceptions and debunking the notion that vegan cuisine is bland or unsatisfying. The win at the British Restaurant Awards demonstrates that vegan food can be just as indulgent and flavorful as its animal-based counterparts.

As veganism continues to gain mainstream traction, it is essential that vegan-friendly options become more readily available. Restaurants like Down the Hatch serve as beacons of inspiration and pave the way for others to follow suit. They prove that with a little creativity and a dedication to quality, it is possible to create exciting and mouth-watering vegan dishes that appeal to a broad spectrum of diners.

Down the Hatch's Nominations for Additional Awards

In addition to winning the Best Vegan-Friendly Eatery award, Down the Hatch has been nominated for two other prestigious awards. The first nomination is for the “Most Innovative Menu” category, recognizing their unique and creative approach to plant-based cuisine. The restaurant's ability to push boundaries and surprise diners with inventive dishes sets them apart from the competition.

The second nomination is for the “Best Customer Service” award. This nomination reflects the restaurant's commitment to providing an exceptional dining experience for every guest, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, or simply curious about trying plant-based options. From friendly and knowledgeable staff to attentive service, Down the Hatch ensures that each customer feels valued and satisfied.


Basement Bar Crowned Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurant in Britain Award! The title bestowed upon Down the Hatch at the 2023 British Restaurant Awards is a true testament to their commitment to delivering outstanding vegan cuisine. Their remarkable win in the “Best Vegan-Friendly Eatery” category is a reflection of the growing demand for plant-based options and the desire to normalize vegan dining experiences. With a menu that showcases a variety of both indulgent “junk food” dishes and wholesome options, Down the Hatch has successfully captured the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts across the nation. As the restaurant continues to be recognized for its excellence and innovation, the future certainly looks bright for Down the Hatch.

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