Forward thinking! Leeds Rhinos star Anthony Mullally opens vegan cafe near club’s ground

Leeds Rhinos player Anthony Mullally with fellow members of the Vital Cafe team.
Leeds Rhinos player Anthony Mullally with fellow members of the Vital Cafe team.

He’s already shown he has the recipe for success on the pitch with Leeds Rhinos.

And now rugby star Anthony Mullally is also making his presence felt on the city’s food scene after opening a vegan café close to his club’s Emerald Headingley home.

Anthony Mullally in action for Leeds Rhinos.

Anthony Mullally in action for Leeds Rhinos.

Mullally, who is one of the highest-profile vegans in the world of sport, has teamed up with nutritional therapists James Morris and Laura Wilson for the venture.

Situated on North Lane, Vital Café serves tasty Caribbean-inspired breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as hot and cold drinks.

And 27-year-old Mullally is hoping his healthy wholefood dishes will soon be going down a storm with Rhinos supporters.

The Irish international forward, who converted to veganism more than two years ago, said: “I suppose because of my size and what I do for a living, I challenge the old stereotypes about what a vegan should look like!

“People expect rugby players to be eating steak every day but a lot of our squad are now vegetarian because we have started to have the conversation about everyone’s personal taste.

“I hope Leeds Rhinos fans will come in and give it a try. We are very proud of our menu and the great tastes we have on offer and I am sure once they taste the food, they will be coming back for more.”

Vital Café is open seven days a week, with an all-you-can-eat buffet dinner running from 6pm on Mondays.

Rhinos members can claim a 10 per cent discount on production of their membership card.

Praising the “great feedback” that has come his way since he began speaking publicly about his vegan lifestyle, Mullally said: “Being vegan is something I am very passionate about and whilst there are lots of cafés and restaurants around that offer vegan dishes alongside non-vegan and vegetarian options, I am proud that our café at its core will be a vegan establishment.

“There are so many wonderful foods to enjoy to suit all sorts of people and we’re happy that our food and packaging, being compostable, is having minimal effect on the environment.”