Whether you’re kick-starting the year with a meat-free resolution or you’ve been a veggie for years, traveling doesn’t need to be difficult. The UK is really easy to get around when living that vegan or veggie life.
England, Scotland and Wales
In the UK, there’s a vegan revolution going on right now, with veganism reported as soaring to 3.5 million back in 2018. Attitudes to eating meat are changing, with a lot of people actively reducing their meat consumption.
You can find a diverse range of meatless supermarket brands, so cooking in hostels should be a breeze. More and more shops are catching on and stocking a much wider variety, so you can choose between the likes of Quorn, Linda McCartney, Cauldron, plus Amy’s Kitchen – and even the individual store’s own brands. Look out for Asda’s range, it’s especially delicious and so affordable. The meat-free kiev is our fave! Keep an eye out, too, for Tesco’s new vegan ready-meal range, called Wicked Kitchen.
When it comes to eating in restaurants, London is absolutely choc-full of incredible places. You’ve got Mildred’s in a couple of different locations, or if you’re looking for a really fancy treat meal, you should give Manna or 222 Veggie Vegan a go.
If you just miss KFC, Temple of Seitan is everything you’ve been dreaming of and more (and it’s totally plant-based)!
Of course, the UK isn’t just all about London. There are so many amazing veggie hubs cropping up all over the place. If you head up to Liverpool, they’ve added loads of veggie places into the mix lately, including the very mindful White Wolf Yoga & Kitchen, and Down The Hatch. The Caledonia – a classic British pub – has even completely converted to a vegan menu as well. Finally, don’t forget about Bacaro – it’s one of the top-rated restaurants in the city, and although they do serve some meat, they’re amazing at catering to any dietary requirements you have. Their lunch menu is a steal!
Leeds is an incredible city with a vibrant youth culture and plenty of hipster haunts. As a result, there are loads of vegan-friendly places. Why not pop into Humpit or The Old Red Bus Station, which are both 100% vegan, or Bundobust, which has no meat? If you take a short train ride, you’ll also reach Humblest of Pleasures, ran by a young vegan woman and ideal if you plan to see the heart of the Yorkshire countryside after enjoying some ethical eats.
Just a short train ride away is Manchester, where you’ll find the V Rev Vegan Diner, serving classic diner food, completely animal-free or The Beagle, which offers some vegan-friendly options and all the good vibes you’d expect from a Northern establishment.
If it’s not too far out of your way, you really should visit Bristol, ever-popular with students, young people, and even the artist, Banksy. This creative vibe has inspired many quirky restaurants to thrive, many of which are vegetarian or vegan – including Earthcake, Chaiwalla Indian cuisine, and Matter Fastfoods, a completely plant-based classic fish and chip shop.
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Down in Brighton, you’ll find another progressive place with a positive attitude towards helping to save the environment and the animals. Your best bets for eating here are Food For Friends, Iydea, and Purezza, the vegan pizza joint – but you are really spoiled for choice.
Up in Scotland, you can even enjoy a veggie version of their national dish, haggis! If you’d prefer something else, Edinburgh is ranked as one of Europe’s most veggie-friendly cities, with Holy Cow, Fired Up Food Hut, and Novapizza Vegetarian Kitchen. Just across the way in Glasgow, you’ll find the Nirvana-themed In Bloom, as well as quirky Flying Duck and Lotus Vegetarian Cuisine.
Wales isn’t dragging behind, either. If you’re visiting some of the coastal towns up North, you might want to try Voltaire Vegan Restaurant in Bangor. Many of the restaurants in the local towns will also have vegetarian options. Heading South, as Cardiff is a big cosmopolitan capital, they have loads of options – like Anna-Loka, Clancy’s Vegetarian Emporium market stall, and Crumbs Kitchen, also found in Swansea. Over there, you’ll also be able to try Govinda’s.
Finally, if you’re planning on spending any time in Northern Ireland, you’ll find plenty of options in Belfast. Giro’s Café, The Honest Vegan and Eat Street are just a few of your options. Just across the way in Derry, The Cow Bog steals the show.
As #Veganuary was a hot trend last month (and still continuing into February), a lot of chain restaurants have stepped up their game. Places like Zizzi, Pizza Hut, Carluccio’s, and Wagamama have plenty of options for vegan customers, and in some cases, even special menus.
Ireland is a beautiful country with some beautiful food to match. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you won’t struggle to find food that you like.
The supermarkets offer quite a similar selection to those in the UK, you’ll be able to pick up Cauldron, Linda McCartney and Quorn products without any hassle. Cooking in hostels will be cheap and easy, as prices here aren’t too bad at all.
If you’re in Dublin and you want to go to a restaurant, why not try The Planted Bean? You can also experience the freshest vegan produce direct from Sova Vegan Butcher, or find the popular Shoots & Roots.
Cork also has some great options, including Café Paradiso and My Goodness. Over in Galway, you won’t be disappointed either. There’s The Bean Tree, The Light House, The Secret Garden and even the interestingly-named Gourmet Offensive Falafel Bar.
Plenty of other places throughout Ireland will also have options for you.