Sunday 1st November marks World Vegan Day. A vegan diet has been hailed as one of the things we can all adopt to be more sustainable. Maybe you fancy giving it a go to make a positive contribution to the climate, or you simply believe that animals are friends and not food, maybe you think about the benefits for your own health? In the past choosing to be vegan has been a struggle when dining out, it’s often meant eating a limited diet of vegetables, chickpeas or lentils, but nowadays mouthwatering creations are being served in restaurants across the UK.
In this post we’ll explore which cities boast the greatest number of vegan-friendly restaurants and cafés in relation to the size of the population in each city. If it’s not possible to visit these foodie locations in person, we’ll also tip on which amazing restaurants offer home delivery!
Vegan-Friendly Dining Destinations
- Brighton – 9.14 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
The reigning champion title goes to Brighton, a city that continuously comes out on top of rankings of this kind. Vegans and non-vegans alike will be spoilt for choice with an abundance of tasty food options in this cultural hub.
Restaurant tip: What The Pitta – If you think that eating a plant-based diet means saying goodbye to meaty favourites such as döner kebabs, think again! This fast food takeaway offers vegan versions of it all: ChickN nuggets, soya gyros and plenty of falafel. There are even vegan desserts! (14 East St, Brighton, England, BN1 1HP) or order for delivery via deliveroo.
- Oxford – 5.81 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
A fairly surprising runner-up is the small university city of Oxford. Oxford was never known for being a particularly vegan-friendly place but has really upped its game recently. Head to The Fir Tree Pub on a Sunday to satisfy your soul with a vegan roast!
Restaurant tip: Happy Friday Kitchen – Oxford’s number 1 restaurant for 100% plant-based American soul food. Go for a California seitan burger for main and satisfy your sweet tooth with a dessert of deep-fried cookie dough served with vegan “Notella”. (282 Cowley Rd, Oxford, England, OX4 1UR) or order for delivery via deliveroo.
- Edinburgh – 5.50 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
Claiming the final podium position is the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. This historic city boasts a vibrant student life due to its four international universities and in turn offers a wide range of vegan-friendly places to eat. Edinburgh is home to an impressive number of vegan-friendly eateries and shops to suit the requirements of all types of visitors.
Restaurant tip: Novapizza – Spaghetti Alla Carbonara or Pepperoni pizza, you can indulge in all of the best Italian food there is to offer – vegan versions, of course! (42 Howe St, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH3 6TH) or order for delivery via deliveroo.
- Cambridge – 5.39 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
Cambridge is another university city that climbed its way to the top of this ranking, just missing out on a spot in the top 3, but still has a lot to shout about. The rise in vegan-friendly offerings here is most likely also due to its large student population.
Restaurant tip: Thrive – This plant-based cafe and bistro serves up vegan version of British favourites, including tofish n’ chips and chargrilled cauliflower steak. (5-7 Norfolk St, Cambridge, England, CB12LD). Order for home delivery here.
- York – 4.63 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
Next up on the list is the northern cathedral city of York. Yorkshire is a county famous for its traditional Sunday roasts and Yorkshire puddings, but in recent years York has made an effort to turn itself into a vegan-friendly destination.
Restaurant tip: The Orchid Vegan Restaurant – Chinese food is one of the most popular cuisines across the UK, but the menu isn’t always the most vegan-friendly… well look no further! This fully vegan Chinese restaurant serves up vegan prawn toast, vegan lemon chicken and vegan shredded beef! (16 George Hudson St, York, England, YO1 6LP). Order online for home delivery here.
- Newcastle – 4.56 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
Next up is another northern city. Newcastle is the home to many vegan groups and societies and hosts a number of events year-round. Newcastle Vegan Festival is usually held yearly in October or November, and sadly can’t go ahead this year, but tickets are already available for 2021!
Restaurant tip: Karma Kitchen Cafe – Tofu pakora, spicy curries and tandoori pizzas are just a handful of the delights you can find here! This all vegan Indian restaurant will not disappoint. (6 Bigg Market, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, NE1 1UW) or order for home delivery via their website.
- Glasgow – 4.56 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
The second city flying the flag for Scotland is Glasgow. Glasgow has an abundance of vegan-friendly restaurants, cafes and stores. Again, being another student-focused city has resulted in the rise in ever-growing popularity of veganism.
Restaurant tip: Durty Vegan Burger Club – Eating plant-based doesn’t have to mean you miss out on some great junk food. Head to DVBC and order a katsu burger with a side of macaroni cheeze, barbeque jackfruit & steamed kale! (The Cran, 994 Argyle St, Glasgow, Scotland, G3 8UL) Order online here.
- Norwich – 4.21 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
Norwich is a historic city but still manages to come out on top in the modern vegan world. The group ‘Norwich Vegans’ was founded in 2014 and has contributed to the fast-growing popularity of veganism across the city, with over 3,000 likes on Facebook and counting.
Restaurant tip: Erpingham House – If fine dining is your style, this is the place for you. Treat yourself to their roasted mock lamb served with mint sauce, sauteed new potatoes, courgette, red onion, spinach and peas! (22 Tombland, Norwich, England, NR3 1RF). If you’d rather enjoy your meal from the comfort of your home, order via deliveroo.
- Nottingham – 3.99 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
Again, another city with a young, student feel, Nottingham has been making a name for itself as a growing vegan and veggie hotspot. Whether you fancy a weekday brunch, evening junk food or weekend roast, you’ll find plenty of vegan-friendly options here.
Restaurant tip: Prickly Pear – An all-vegan cafe which specialises in colourful homemade delights such as breakfasts, burgers and tacos! Enjoy a breakfast plate of tofu, avocado, fresh salsa and green pesto served on toasted sourdough. Order online via deliveroo.
- Cardiff – 3.77 restaurants / 15,000 inhabitants
Finally, Cardiff offers a strong number of vegan-friendly options for its residents and tourists to enjoy. Many of these restaurants are located in the heart of the city, making hopping from one to another very easy. If visiting these restaurants in person isn’t an option, fear not as many of them offer takeaway and delivery options.
Restaurant tip: Mugs and Momos – Vegan Tibetan and Mediterranean cuisine in the heart of Cardiff. This cafe is located next to a Buddhist Mindfulness & Wellbeing Centre, and is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or tea with friends. Treat yourself to some Tibetan dumplings, a stir fry or Buddha bowl. (248 Cowbridge Rd E, Cardiff, Wales, CF5 1GZ). Available for order online via their website.
“The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters.”– David Attenborough
The info used in this post was provided by Holidu, the search engine for holiday rentals from data collected in October 2020 from Happy Cow, an online community that helps travellers find vegetarian and, in particular, vegan food. We hope that it helps you on your travels wether you’re already full-on vegan or you’re just trying to cut down on your meat consumption.