With the exponential rise of veganism, particularly over the past few years, we are so lucky to have seen an increase in the availablity of vegan-friendly food both in restaurants and stores. Even so I often spend a large amount of time in search of those certain special products that are still rare gems but too good to miss, and that is where Barleys Vegan Delicatessen comes in. Offering a selection of the finest fresh vegan deli products, pantry essentials, and house-made sandwiches, Barleys is Hull's first 100% vegan delicatessen - Yes, you read that right! I was lucky enough to go for a sneak peak at Hull's newest deli before they open their doors for the first time later this week.
With a rapidly growing vegan community, Hull is fast becoming a hotspot for vegan food in the UK. Ella, the owner of Barleys, was able to spot a gap in the market and launch a vegan deli which offers something unique to our thriving plant-based scene and will be a warmly welcomed addition to our city. Barleys is located on Newland Avenue which is central student territory and home to a large variety of independent shops, bars and restaurants, making it the ideal location for this cruelty-free deli. I also happen to live extremely close by which is an added bonus, although maybe not for my wasteline with all the treats they have on offer!
I just need to start by saying, Barleys is my vibe to a T. From first walking in, I instantly fell in love with their rustic boho decor, with wall hangings, decorative cushions, unique artwork, and many many plants (because there is no such thing as too many plants)!
With it's striking clean white exterior, Barleys feels a little out of place on Newland, but in a refreshing 'I feel like I'm on holiday' kind of way. It is the sort of place that is ideal to go for a catch up with friends, grab a sandwich on your lunch break, or to relax with a coffee whilst doing work. They have created such a calming and dreamy space that is the perfect combination of cosy cafe with local independent shop.
Offering plant-based cold cuts from brands such as MeatLess and Terra Vegane, fresh artisian vegan cheeses from I Am Nut Okay, Mouse's Favourite, and Kinda Co. and pantry essentials including Nutritional Yeast (a vegan staple), Odysea meze, Single Variety Co Jams and a variety of delicious snacks, their deli store is any vegans idea of heaven. I even feel a little embarrased to say but I have never been so excited wondering round a store! There are that many exciting vegan products on offer I struggled to decide which pictures I wanted to include in this post, and even more products are due to arrive before their launch! To see a small sample of their amazing range of fresh and pantry products available, check out the slide show below.
Not only does Barleys sell plant-based goodies, they also serve fresh homemade sandwiches made with the finest vegan produce which are available to take-away or eat in, perfect for hungry shoppers. You can taste how much time and love has been put into perfecting their recipes, and they are without doubt the best sandwiches I've had - I don't think I could even pick a favourite I love them all so much!
On their menu they currently offer three plant-based sandwiches, with the hope of expanding gradually over time. The Muffuletta, is their signature New-Orleans inspired sandwich, filled with Italian cold cuts, cheese, and homemade picked olive salad, all tightly pressed into a perfect round hand-sized sandwich. Although it may appear small it is not to be underestimated, packed full of flavour and suprisingly filling. The Pastrami on Rye is their delicious take on the classic Reuben sandwich, with pastrami, sauerkraut, smoked cheese, homemade russian dressing, dijon mustard, and mayonnaise, it certainly packs a punch and is bursting wih flavour. I think the one which suprised me the most is their Chicken Caesar Wrap. Featuring This Isn't Chicken, lettuce, cucumber, and a parmesan-crouton crumb, with the most delicious homemade caesar dressing, it is light and flavourful, and my definition of a perfect lunch wrap.
For those of us with a bit of a sweet tooth, they also offer a selection of mini cakes made by Positive Bakes, a husband and wife team who create the most delicious plant-based gluten free cakes, with flavours including coffee, chocolate & raspberry, and orange & cardamom. They are the perfect size to enjoy along side a warm drink, and are small enough that you'll be tempted to have one even though you will most likely be stuffed after Barleys incredible sandwiches.
And if all that wasn't already impressive enough, you can enjoy a freshly brewed coffee with your choice of plant-based milks. The beans are sourced from River City Coffee, a speciality coffee supplier that supports fair trade and sustainable farming, and of course makes the most delicious cup of coffee.
Thank you so much for checking out my review of the incredible new Deli which is Barleys. To see updates make sure to follow their social pages on Instagram and Facebook. I feel so incredibly lucky to have had the oportunity to be the first to sample all they will have to offer and I can confidently say that all those who visit are in for a treat. Make sure to head down to their grand opening on Saturday 22nd August from 11am and support Hull's newest vegan business.