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Beat the meat: 5 to try at vegan café Root Pop

Get a jump-start with these meat-free picks

All images courtesy of Root Pop
November 1 marks World Vegan Day and, in celebration, we've selected five of our favourite dishes from Shuangjing's excellent vegan caf Root Pop to help get the meat-free party started. Hearty, flavourful and, best of all, good for the environment, it turns out you can have your (vegan) carrot cake and eat it too.
Bajaja burger

Bajaja burger

With its tempeh mushroom patty, carne-less 'carnitas', smashed avocado, sriracha, coleslaw, pickled peppers and tortilla chips, the Bajaja burger (48RMB) is not for the faint of heart. This spicy number, however, is perfect for when you're craving a burger with the lot – tortilla chips in the middle included. However, for those after something a little more measured, Root Pop also offers Animal Style (40RMB), which includes a tempeh mushroom patty, cabbage, cheddar 'cheese' onions, special sauce and tomatoes, as well as the Aussie burger (45RMB), which takes Australia's obsession with beetroot to the next level with its beetroot pumpkin seed patty – there's also pineapple, tempeh bacon, tomato and cabbage, of course.

Veggie paella

Veggie paella

Served only on Sundays, Root Pop's take on the Spanish classic is packed to the brim with saffron-infused rice, roasted bell peppers, artichoke, mushrooms, broccoli, peas olives and lemons (188RMB). Pair it with patatas bravas and beetroot hummus with crostini for a Spanish Sunday feast that's fittingly accompanied by two glasses of house wine (268RMB). 

Stadium dog

Stadium dog

More like subs or banh mi than a dog, Root Pop's hot dogs don't actually include any form of sausage, but they're nevertheless absolutely packed with flavour and zesty fillings. We're particularly partial to the Stadium dog (40RMB; second from left), which features a tangy combo of purple sauerkraut, cheese-like sauce, mustard and griddled onions, but other options include the spicy Mala Chilli dog, traditional Chicago and offbeat Kimchi.

Soft tacos

Soft tacos

It's Taco Thursday every Thursday at Root Pop (8pm till late), meaning you can enjoy bottomless chips and salsa, buy one get one free tacos, plus 15RMB tequila shots. Soft tacos (25RMB each) come in three varieties – mushroom carnitas, cauliflower and pineapple, and tempeh chorizo and potato – but with these Thursday deals, you may as well try them all, before washing it all down with a six-bottle bucket of Coronas (100RMB).

Carrot cake muffin

Carrot cake muffin

Root Pop proves that being vegan doesn't mean having to only eat rabbit food – except in the case of their carrot cake muffins (20RMB), where we're quite happy to scoff as many of these orange beauties as possible. It's sweet, fudgy and topped with the requisite cream cheese (nut-based, of course) to help keep our sweet tooths at bay.

Venue details

Root Pop

Vegan riff on North American diner fare: vegan burgers, hot dogs and nachos

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3-22 Baiziwan Lu (Chaoyang, Chaoyang)

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