Emirates Just Expanded Its Already Impressive Vegan Menu

Back in August, Dubai-based global airline, Emirates, announced it would be investing over $2 million to elevate its inflight experience. More than 120 of its planes would be fitted with the latest interiors, new entertainment systems, and even fancier inflight menus, including additions to its already impressive array of vegan options. Accustomed to packing carry-ons with snacks in preparation for long days of travel through airports — and airlines — that lacked options, the announcement left vegan flyers on the edge of their seats with much to their imagination as to what the airline might have planned.

Previously ranked as the best airline for vegan meals by VegNews, vegans flying Emirates — whether it be first, business, or economy class — already had much more to look forward to than the hard pretzels or Biscoff cookie snacks other airlines pass around. Tofu jalfrezi, shiitake ravioli, ancho three-bean chili, and the Ethiopian spicy red lentil stew, or misir wat, are just a few examples of the vegan options that have rotated the airline's seasonal menus in the past. But on October 24, just in time for World Vegan Day on November 1, Emirates announced that it would be adding even more vegan options to the menu. And this time, they gave all the juicy details.

Sky high vegan dining

In an October 24 announcement, Emirates revealed exactly where the multimillion-dollar investment went when it came to expanding the vegan choices they offered on board. To cater to the growing global interest in plant-based diets and build a vegan menu that would compete with acclaimed restaurants, the airline spent a year developing the first and business class dishes at Emirates Flight Catering, the largest flight catering facility in the world. Home to international chefs, both vegan and non-vegan, of 69 different nationalities, the menu features contributions from Chinese, Arabic, and Indian, and cuisine experts. The result brings an expansive range of textures and flavors through the use of alternative ingredients like artisan vegan cheese, coconut or vegetable-based cream and butter, jackfruit, and more.

The announcement commemorated the new menu's availability, which is now accessible for order and pre-order onboard and in Emirates airport lounges. First and business class flyers can enjoy koftas made with Beyond meat and fresh greens sourced from Bustanica, the world's largest hydroponic vertical farm, in addition to the rotating seasonal menu. However, the economy class vegan menus are also set to change every month, with some of the current favorites being the mushroom risotto, the warm quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and pesto, and the creamy spinach and avocado mousseline with marinated tofu. Vegan dessert options include a dark chocolate cake, lemon tart with coconut cream, and a rich chocolate tofu cheesecake, all adorned with genuine edible gold leaves.