We read with interest an article describing how a bar bistro on the south side of Glasgow has, after many trials and errors, created a vegan afternoon tea menu. The Butterfly and the Pig South, in the up-and-coming trendy area of Shawlands, is not specifically a vegan venue, but their chefs have recognised that with more and more people turning to a vegan lifestyle, there is a high demand for a vegan menu. And while it is easy to find vegan restaurants that serve lunch, dinner and even breakfast, afternoon tea was a novel new idea.
It got us thinking about just how are vegans catered for in the closest city to our island base on the Isle of Bute – Glasgow. Ok, it just so happens that it is also the largest city in Scotland, so you would expect a plethora of eateries that cater for vegans. But how many are specifically vegan only? And the reason we say vegan only is because many vegans are concerned about cross-contamination – utensils being used for both non-vegan and vegan food preparation, as well as in food storage.
It turns out that there are, indeed, a huge variety of bars, restaurants, bistros and cafes that are specifically vegan. And with the huge rise in the popularity of veganism, especially among young urbanites, this is perhaps not surprising. Where there are people with specific food demands, there is money to be made.
A few years ago, PETA UK (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) voted Glasgow as the most vegan-friendly city in the UK. Certainly larger cities like London have more vegan venues, but per head of population, Glasgow caters for vegans exceptionally well, both in the city centre and the suburbs. While we would love to say we have visited each one in turn to formulate our own opinions on the best places for vegans to eat, time and money constraints are, as always, prohibitive. But there is a vast number of resources on the internet to point vegans living in or visiting Glasgow in the right direction.
One such site is the vegan website The Happy Cow, which highlights the favourite vegan venues according to the site’s readers. According to The Happy Cow, there are 258 vegan or vegan-friendly eateries in Glasgow, not bad for a city with a population around 1.2 million in the Greater Glasgow area. Each caters for a range of tastes and pockets, from specifically Scottish cuisine to European and Asian – the rise of vegan Indian restaurants in Glasgow is legendary!
So if you live in Glasgow, or are planning a visit to the city, be sure to check out The Happy Cow’s extensive list of vegan eateries in the city, including the favourites. And let us know your own personal recommendations through our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.