Top UK restaurants for vegetarians
Being a vegetarian can be a struggle when lots of places don’t cater well for your tastes. Food festivals are often a haven for decent food and plenty of choice, and there are even a bunch of specifically vegetarian and vegan festivals where you can get your fill of tasty treats for non-meat eaters. A few of the best still to come this year include London VegFest and V Delicious.
When it comes to eating out at a restaurant it can be tough finding a place where you have more than one or two fairly standard vegetarian options. And although nowadays there are options for home cooking with fresh, seasonal vegetables, it’s sometimes preferable to eat out. So here’s a list containing five of the UK’s best veggie restaurants where, for once, the vegetarians in the party won’t have to make do with a limited choice of usual suspect meals.
Terre a Terre (Brighton)
The much celebrated Terre a Terre in the seaside town of Brighton is known for its innovative and always delicious menu that is honestly as popular with meat eaters as it is with vegetarians. Co-founders and classically trained chefs Amanda Powley and Philip Taylor set out to create always satisfying dishes which have the people of Brighton and beyond coming back for more again and again.
Well worth a visit and not too expensive for such luxurious food.
The Gate (London)
The Gate is a small but airy restaurant that transcends the genre of vegetarian food, setting itself apart among restaurants of all kinds. The owners describe their cultural background as Indo-Iraqi Jewish and their food contains traces of all that influence and more. It’s another great restaurant for proving that vegetarian food can be really imaginative and pleasing for people of all food preferences.
I recommend ringing ahead to book a table as they tend to get packed out in the evenings.
This Thai restaurant is a go-to place for both Thai food fanatics and vegetarians in Manchester alike. Although it’s not strictly a vegetarian restaurant their veggie options are excellent, so this is a solid choice if you’ve got lots of people to please in your party.
Renowned for its friendly atmosphere, varied menu and very reasonable prices, Chaophraya is not to be missed. They have locations in Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow too, so keep a look out if you find yourself up North with a hankering for Thai.
The Sky Apple (Newcastle)
The Sky Apple is a small, pink café on Heaton Road which specialises in vegetarian, vegan and gluten free food of a consistently high standard. Seasonal menus make the most of whatever ingredients are currently at their best and they even have a specific children’s menu which makes them one of the most family friendly places for veggie food. The Sky Apple is ideal for a budget vegetarian meal with a cosy atmosphere; and you even have the option to BYOB.
The Forest Café (Edinburgh)
The Forest Café is more than just a vegetarian and vegan café – it’s a volunteer run arts and community social centre which means there’s usually something fun or interesting going on. The first time I went there I walked into a Bruce Springsteen themed open mic night – I couldn’t have asked for more!
The food is very budget friendly, with most dishes under £5. Options include burritos, falafel, wraps and nachos. Although the food is nice and very veggie friendly it’s not what the place is renowned for. The Forest is all about the atmosphere and community, so if you’re looking for place with some real character then this is for you.
There are loads of benefits to going veggie or vegan. It’s often easier to get a balanced, nutritious diet and you can be much lower risk for lots of conditions including heart disease and cancer. Being a vegetarian or vegan can even be a real money saver. Meat is expensive (especially if you buy the good stuff) and reducing your risk for common diseases can save you money on a life insurance policy. So if you are thinking about cutting meat out of your diet or you’re already a long serving vegetarian, get yourself along to some of these restaurants and festivals – there’s plenty of amazing food to get stuck into.