In 2019, you can expect that most restaurants will accommodate vegetarians, but eating out as a vegan can be a bit more difficult. When out with non-vegan friends or family, you can find yourself settling for sides or the token salad. To avoid this, we’ve done some research to find out which cities in the UK are best suited to vegans and vegetarians.
Which city caters the best for vegans and vegetarians?
To save our vegan readers the hassle, we’ve compared restaurants in the 331 towns and cities in the UK to see which areas are more vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. We’ve looked at the number of restaurants that cater for vegetarians and vegans and ranked them by comparing the number compared to the town’s/city’s population. Specifically we considered restaurants whose menus are solely focused on vegan and vegetarian diets.
The town that comes up top is Brighton, a veggie haven with a total of 38 vegan and vegetarian restaurants for its 139,001 residents. This gives the green city 1 restaurant for every 3,658 people, so avoiding meat is basically a walk in the park.
Falmouth comes second with 5 vegan and vegetarian restaurants for almost 32,000 residents, which means 6,398 people for each restaurant.
In third place, there is Bath, that has 12 restaurants in total and close to 94,782 residents. This makes 1 restaurant for every 7,899 inhabitants.
Of the 331 UK cities and towns we’ve considered, there are a total of 437 vegan restaurants and 538 vegetarian restaurants. The worst places are where there are zero vegan or vegetarian restaurants with the largest populations. Stoke-on-Trent appears to have no restaurants that are meat free for a population of 372,775, making it the least suitable place in the UK for those who are vegan or vegetarian. For more rankings, check the table below to find out how your area scores.
In January 2019 we did some research to find out Brits’ diet intentions. Not only can eating less or no meat be healthier, but it’s also more environmentally friendly as meat and dairy production is one of the biggest contributors to the greenhouse effect that is causing global warming. Regardless, one might have to stay away from meat for ethical, religious or dietary reasons. More and more Brits are eating less animal products with vegetarian and vegan becoming increasingly popular diets. In the UK, around 6.5 million Brits choose a meat-free diet daily, with vegetarian and vegan lifestyles being the most popular among the youngest generations. The majority (86%) of baby boomers (born 1946–1964) say they eat meat, compared to less than three quarters (71%) of millennials (born 1981–1996) and only 63% of generation Z (born after 1996) do so.
Being vegan is not always just about food, but can also involve avoiding anything that contains animal products or has been tested on animals, including makeup. According to a 2019 survey, two fifths (39%) of Brits believe that the most important label on beauty products is the cruelty-free label. Of all new products launched in the UK in 2018, 16% claimed to be vegan or free of animal products.
London and the North East are the regions with the highest populations of vegans and vegetarians, with almost a third (30%) of inhabitants saying they are or intend to become meat-free during 2019. In contrast, only 1 in 10 (13%) of those from East Anglia are or will be laying off the meat.
Finder found and compiled all the vegan-only and vegetarian-only restaurants listed on HappyCow and analysed them against populations listed on Mintel, ProdegeMR and World Population Review. This research was conducted in early October.
London includes: “The City of London”, “The Square Mile”, Belgravia, Bloomsbury, Buckingham Palace, China Town, Fitzrovia, Great Portland Street, Grosvenor Square, Harley Street, Soho, St. James’s, Tottenham Court Road, Marylebone, Mayfair, Piccadilly, Oxford Street, Pimlico, Regent’s Park, Regent Street, Westminster and Whitehall.
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Georgia-Rose is a publisher at Finder.com and specialises in all things shopping and travel. She has years of experience working in retail and tourism and as an avid budget traveller, she loves helping people find the best deals on everything from plane tickets to sunglasses.
When she's not jetting off somewhere new you'll find her watching cake videos or befriending stray cats.
We looked at the number of veggie and vegan restaurants in 331 UK towns and cities against the population for each area, finding that Brighton boasts 38 vegan and vegetarian eateries for its 139,001 residents. Making it the most vegan and vegetarian-friendly city in the UK.
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