Following our blog about eating out in Glasgow for vegans, it was apposite that a report about the most vegan-friendly cities in the UK was recently published – and the results may surprise you.

You would perhaps think that, given its size and population, London would come out on top, with a host of new vegan and vegetarian restaurants popping up every month.  But the methodology of the research was more complicated than just counting the number of establishments per head of population.  Using the number of online searches for the term “vegan and vegetarian restaurants” in various cities and cross-referencing with the number of meat-free restaurants in each city, the researchers were able to identify what they considered the most friendly cities for vegans and vegetarians.

Coming top of the list was – wait for it – Norwich!  The East Anglian city had 2094 people to each vegan and vegetarian establishment.  And given that nationally, less than 10% of the population identify as being vegan, the ratio is pretty impressive.  Scotland fairs well also, with Edinburgh and Glasgow coming second and third with 2631 and 3000 people per restaurant.  London, no doubt because of its huge population, does less well, but still comes in at number 11.

The research showed that 6.5 million people in the UK identify as vegan or vegetarian.  But 5.8 million people claim to visit a meat-free establishment at least once a week, which indicates that non-vegans are happy to visit a vegan eatery on a regular basis.  This confirms the rise in flexitarianism, where people at least are reducing their intake of meat, and having more plant-based meals.  Yet sadly over half the UK population admit to never having visited an exclusively vegan or vegetarian restaurant – so we have a long way to go!

The top ten vegan-friendly cities were:

  1. Norwich
  2. Edinburgh
  3. Glasgow
  4. Newcastle
  5. Bristol
  6. Manchester
  7. Liverpool
  8. Cardiff
  9. Southampton
  10. Nottingham

17th July 2019

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