What Does Unicorn Taste Like?

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 76 months ago
What Does Unicorn Taste Like?
Unicorn Poop at the Cereal Killer Cafe.

Unless you've been living in your own mystical world, you'll have noticed that unicorn food is a 'thing' in London. We're sceptical about this for reasons that we've gone into previously, but to recap:

  • Unicorns don't exist. They're not real.
  • Unicorns are white (alright, they don't exist, but if they did exist, they would be white, OK? It's just common sense). Most 'unicorn' food is rainbow coloured. Something doesn't add up.
  • What would unicorn taste like if it were real? Meaty? Fruity? Sugary?

This last point is the one that intrigues us most, so we're taking a foodie tour around London, tasting as many unicorn foods as we can get our hands horns on, and trying to decipher what London's foodie fadsters have collectively decided unicorn should taste like.

Unicorn freakshakes at Maxwell's

What is it?

It's an absolute monster of a freakshake. First things first; If you're going to Maxwell's for a freakshake, you're going for a freakshake. Don't guzzle down a burger first, lest you risk seeing both again on their way back up. The drink in question is a saccharine pink offering, topped off with whipped cream, 'unicorn hair floss' (candy floss to anyone over the age of 6), marshmallows, Love Heart sweets, and a rainbow jelly sweet. Why not cut out the niceties and inject raw sugar straight into your bloodstream?

What's 'unicorn' about it?

On top of that 'unicorn hair floss' (really? who wants to eat HAIR, for goodness sake?), the drink is topped off with a unicorn horn-shaped marshmallow. It feels like a half-hearted attempt to justify the 'unicorn' name, which in itself is an attempt to jump on two recent food trends to bring the Instagrammers in.

What's it like?

By the time you've waded your way through the cream, marshmallows, sweets and all manner of other diabetes-inducing paraphenalia, your tastebuds will be pretty much obliterated by the sugar — which is no bad thing given that the pink-bubblegum flavoured concoction is one of the foulest things we've ever had. It's bitter and chemical tasting, completely at odds with its tooth-rotting sweet appearance. If this is what unicorn tastes like, the world as a whole should be grateful they don't exist. Sure, it's Instagrammable, but what you've done there is you've shelled out eight quid for a few likes.

Maxwell's stopped serving unicorn freakshakes in October 2017 (and we can't say we're sad about it), but their other flavours are still available.

Maxwell's, Covent Garden.

Unicorn hot chocolate at Flotsam & Jetsam

What is it?

Wandsworth's Flotsam & Jetsam seems like a level-headed kind of place, catering to the yummy mummy and millennial audience of its surroundings with smashed avo toast and babyccinos. Among these offerings though, is the whimsical unicorn white hot chocolate.

Less extravagant than Maxwell's offering, it's a white hot chocolate drink topped off with mini marshmallows, twisted colourful marshmallows, psychedelic sprinkles and pink raspberry powder. It made it into our 2017 list of London's most decadent hot chocolates.

What's 'unicorn' about it?

That twisted colourful marshmallow is a unicorn horn (to kids anyway — to us, there's an underinflated phallic element to it). At least the drink's white in colour, suggesting its creators have paid some heed to the basic facts of this non-existent creature. Plus, by the time you've staggered up the hill from Tooting Bec station — breathing in the traffic fumes of the A214 as you go — you'll be wondering if Flotsam & Jetsam is a mythical place that exists only in your imagination.

What's it like?

Surprisingly good actually. Sweet and creamy, with the sprinkles adding enough variety to keep it interesting. The sharp tang of the powdered raspberries stops its from tipping over into sickly sweet territory.

Flotsam & Jetsam, 4 Bellevue Parade, Wandsworth Common, SW17 7EQ

Unicorn Food cookie dough at Naked Dough

Photo: Naked Dough

What is it?

'Unadulerated', safe to eat raw cookie dough apparently. Except they've gone and adulterated it by throwing marshmallows and sprinkles into this particular flavour.

What's unicorn about it?

The aforementioned sprinkles, presumably (Need we repeat? Unicorns are WHITE).

What's it like?

If we had a unicorn, we wouldn't feed it this 'Unicorn Food' cookie dough, because, to be frank about it, it's evil stuff. At first it seems like witchcraft; it looks like a scoop of ice cream, yet it doesn't melt. It doesn't get any less witchy; rather than being that satisfyingly crunchy cookie dough, it actually tastes like the cookie dough you used to make as a kid — but before you'd put any of the good stuff in. The more we push it round and round in our mouth, willing it to go down, the more we feel like we're chewing on Play Dough.

The cafe makes no qualms about the fact that it's been designed with the Instagram generation in mind; giant inflatable unicorns and doughnuts line the floor, and the walls are decorated with street art style doodles, while a neon sign hangs over the counter.

Think the Unicorn Food is bad? The chocolate chip offering is officially titled 'Emoji Poos'. What's worse is that we think something called 'poo' might be the best offering on the menu.

Naked Dough, Old Street roundabout.

The Magic Unicorn doughnut at Krispy Kreme

What is it?

A doughnut, basically. A Krispy Kreme doughnut, for which you'll pay double the price of a regular Krispy Kreme doughnut — and you'll have to drag yourself through the madness of the Selfridge's Food Hall to get your hands on one.

What's 'unicorn' about it?

Well, there's a vague attempt at a horn on top of it, whipped up with what we assumed was cream, but in reality was some sort of foam.

What's it like?

Wiffly waffly. The food equivalent of Boris Johnson. All the effort has gone into the colour here with very little thought on the taste. Do yourself a favour and stick to the Strawberry Gloss. You're safe with strawberries. You know they exist.

Krispy Kreme, Selfridge's Food Hall, Oxford Street.

Unicorn Cupcake at Crumbs & Doillies

What is it?

A vanilla cupcake, topped off with cream frosting and a rainbow meringue horn.

What's 'unicorn' about it?

Glitter; rainbows; a horn (of sorts). Yep, this one's got all the hallmarks of the unicorn fad. There are even coloured sprinkles inside the cake. Oooh, mystical.

What's it like?

At the end of the day, it's just a vanilla cupcake (a decent one, but nothing magical) with glitter. Then again, a unicorn is just a horse with a horn. Touché.

Crumbs & Doillies, 1 Kingly Court, Carnaby, W1B 5PW

Unicorn Poop at the Cereal Killer Cafe

Our adapted version of Unicorn Poop

What is it?

It's a good rule of thumb to suspend all beliefs you have about food when stepping over this threshold. Case in point: the Unicorn Poop, which is a 'cocktail' (non-alcoholic, and served in a cereal bowl — so basically, a bowl of cereal, and not a cocktail at all) consisting of Ricicles, Party Rings, Fluff, marshmallows, hundreds and thousands, and milk — things that, in our world view, should never meet.

What's 'unicorn' about it?

If you sit at a window seat at the Brick Lane venue (due to relocate across the road in December 2017), you get the extra interactive element of feeling like a mythical creature yourself, due to the sheer number of tourists snapping photos as you tuck in.

What's it like?

On the day we visit, they're all out of Party Rings so we're offered Crispy M&M's as a substitute. The result is the tastiest offering on this list, sweet and chewy, with a satisfying texture.  Just ignore the sickly sweet after-taste that comes from trying to swallow the fact that you've just spaffed six quid on a bowl of cereal and a few sweets.

The irony that the Unicorn Poop tastes better than Naked Dough's Unicorn Food isn't wasted on us — do unicorns' digestive systems work backwards or something?

Cereal Killer Cafe, Brick Lane and Camden Market

Unicone at The Milk Train

Photo: Milk Train Cafe

What is it?

Mr Whippy style ice cream, candy floss, sprinkles, wafers — all combining to make one of the biggest food fads in London this year.

What's 'unicorn' about it?

To be fair, of all the items on the list, this is the most mystical in appearance, a unicorn horn of ice cream peering reclusively out of a candy floss cloud.

What's it like?

We haven't a clue — given that the queue for this one is usually out the door and down the street (and often up to an hour long), we've not yet managed to try it. Top marks for appearance though.

Milk Train, 44 Bedford Street, WC2E 6HA

While there a couple of decent — if sugar heavy — dishes in this list, the rest turned out to be, as we expected, over-hyped food for the Instagram generation. And as for what unicorn actually tastes like? We have at least established that it's a thoroughly sugary creature.

Given that llamas are expected to be the new unicorns, we can only imagine some of the food trends this may evoke from London's ever-creative foodies. Llama wool toast? Spit soup? Be very afraid London, be very afraid.

Pizza chain Firezza sold a unicorn pizza for a couple of days in June 2017, but it's no longer available. Tried any other 'unicorn' foods that we haven't? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

Last Updated 10 November 2017