There are plenty of reasons to take part in Veganuary this month. Whether you’re doing so to help improve your health, make a positive impact on the environment, or because you simply love your animal friends, eating exciting vegan dishes and finding restaurants and pubs that cater for the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle has never been easier – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Although a fair few eateries across the country will now offer vegetarian and vegan options on their menus to keep up with demand, it still can be a challenge finding that many restaurants that offer an exciting and extensive selection of vegan-friendly dishes.
To make your Veganuary a little easier and a little more exciting this year, we’ve rounded up our favourite vegetarian and vegan eateries across the country that are truly passionate about plant-based dishes. Also, be sure to pick up a FREE copy of one of our regional eating out guides to discover more restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars in your area.
167 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4DG
Priding themselves on serving up good, honest vegan food, you’re in for a sensory treat when you visit this special Edinburgh eatery. Serving up vegan dishes that are as beautiful and colourful as they are nutritious and delicious, their regularly changing seasonal menu will wow you with its terrific and enticing selection of flavoursome plant-based treats. Choose from dishes like their tempting toastini filled with cheese, seitan, jalapenos, red onions, peppers and liquid smoke, or their show-stopping soul bowl salad with tofu, soba noodles, avocado, carrot, rocket, coriander and sesame seeds with ginger and garlic soya dressing.
Their 100% vegan cakes baked with organic flour and raw unrefined cane sugar also deserve to be shouted about. Choose from chocolate sponge cakes and white sponge cakes in a variety of tempting flavours like double chocolate, coffee, mint, lemon, raspberry, ginger, caramel and almond. Their irresistible carrot cake and oreo cakes are also a must try.
11a Kensington Gardens, Brighton, BN1 4AL
Offering an exciting and extensive range of vegan options including an entirely vegan range of delicious desserts, Wai Kika Moo Kau was one of the first vegetarian restaurants to open in the bustling city of Brighton and is still going strong even after more than 20 years.
Able to tailor their dishes to any dietary need and catering to pretty much any allergy under the sun, you’ll be stunned at the scrumptious selection of international dishes on the menu from halloumi wraps and tapas platters to tempting nachos and burritos. Whether you fancy Greek, Italian, or Mexican cuisine at Wai Kika Moo Kau, you won’t be disappointed. They even offer a great range of vegan coffees, shakes, and smoothies, and an organic vegan cider.
25 Churchyard, Hitchin, SG5 1HP
If you’re searching for stunningly presented food high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the Chilterns, Chia Naturally Healthy’s plant-based menu will delight you. A café with a conscience, relax in the cosy and welcoming environment of this eatery and stuff your faces with breakfast dishes the likes of creamy garlic and thyme wild mushrooms on toast, fluffy sugar-free pancakes with cinnamon maple blueberries drizzled with almond butter, or their brilliant Blue Majik smoothie bowl jam-packed with juicy, flavoursome, and nutrient-filled fruit.
If you visit during lunchtime, the lemongrass and coconut noodle broth or beetroot burger with crispy kale certainly won’t disappoint. Their range of raw sweet treats and health-conscious beverages like their turmeric, beetroot and mushroom lattes also should not be missed.
115-117 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF11 6JU
Located just outside of Cardiff city centre, this family-owned vegetarian and vegan restaurant, now in its 16th successful year, has a stellar reputation for serving up a tempting range of delicious home-cooked food. Using recipes that predominately come from the Gujarat region of India, The Vegetarian Food Studio has received many regional and national awards over the years and stands strong as a neighbourhood favourite. With its menu of mouth-watering Indian dishes packed full of spice and just bursting with enticing scents and flavours, there’s something to satisfy all tastes here.
Choose from delightful dishes such as their vegetable samosas, desi chana, chilli paneer, or ringan no oro, all of which can be enjoyed in their relaxing restaurant or taken away to be devoured at home.
94 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DR
One of Edinburgh’s great go-to vegetarian hangouts, this vegetarian and vegan restaurant serves exceptional locally and ethically sourced produce with an imaginative menu that changes regularly to showcase the very best seasonal produce Edinburgh has to offer. Their tapas menu, in particular, is a standout, offering small plates such as cured carrot bruschetta on rye bread with lemon and dill cashew cream and stuffed courgette with smoked garlic and creamy vegan cheese risotto with crispy capers. Our favourite dish on the menu, however, has to be their popular and ever-so-Scottish vegan haggis dish, served with steamed and pickled turnip, roasted Brussel sprouts, and tarragon whisky sauce.
17-18 Prince Albert Street, Brighton, BN1 1HF
A Brighton institution that has been delighting diners with its outstanding vegetarian cuisine for more than 35 years, over the years Food for Friends has grown from a café-style venue to a fine dining restaurant but has kept its unpretentious, friendly, and welcoming charm. Relaxed and inviting, this stylish, calming, and light, bright and airy restaurant is famous for its sensational range of inventive vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. Boasting plenty of accolades and featuring in The Good Food Guide for five years running, Food for Friends focuses on delighting diners with food that is not only nutritious and nourishing, but full of fantastic flavours that will excite even the most adamant meat-eaters out there.
39 Plantation Road, Oxford, OX2 6JE
The Gardeners Arms is every vegetarian’s dream, enticing even meat-eaters through the pub’s doors with their impressive selection of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes. Try dishes such as their famous burger, packed full of flavour and more than a match for its meat counterpart or their Indian platter which features delicately spiced curry, basmati rice, poppadoms, mango chutney, and salad. The pub’s bar also stocks an impressive selection of local ale and wine to perfectly complement your fantastic vegan feast.
248 Hanworth Road, Hounslow, TW3 3TY
Hounslow’s vegetarian hotspot, the Old School Vegetarian Restaurant is well-known for serving up stunning vegetarian dishes prepared using authentic and traditional methods. With its Cuban-inspired interior complete with refreshing colours and hanging lights, there are few more energising places to eat out across the entire Surrey area. Peruse the fresh and tasty menu full of organic produce and you’ll find an exciting selection of salads, quesadillas, gourmet wraps served with house slaw, veggie and vegan burgers and delicious sides to choose from. Their Old School cheesecake, incredible ice cream sundaes, famous milkshakes, and fresh juice and soda are more than worth making the visit here for too.
2 North Parade Passage, Bath, BA1 1NX
Head down one of Bath’s picturesque streets and through a charming cobbled courtyard containing a lone plane tree and you’ll find the rare gem of a restaurant that is Acorn. Proudly serving only vegetarian cuisine (most of its dishes can also easily be altered to be vegan friendly and gluten-free as well), you’ll crave starters like the slow-cooked carrots fire charred with pickled carrot, parsley puree, carrot and cashew puree and seeded spelt grain, mains like the hazelnut roast with a potato galette, cider gravy, swede and Brussels sprouts, and desserts like the slow-poached quince with a walnut sorbet and a walnut meringue. Their tempting menu also helpfully matches the ideal wine with each and every dish to ensure your dining experience at the Acorn is perfect from beginning to end.