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Vegetarian in England

Pauline Kenny

I am a vegetarian and I find England to be the most vegetarian-friendly country in Europe. Because there are a large number of vegetarians and vegans in England, finding vegetarian options in restaurants is easy. People running restaurants usually understand the difference between vegetarian and vegan and can tell you which items would be good for you.

Most towns have a natural foods store and the large supermarkets (especially Waitrose) sell natural and organic food products. Organically grown foods are very popular in England. You can also find good locally grown vegetables and locally made food products. If you eat dairy products, you will find very good quality products in England. England is famous for its cheese production.

Veggie version of a Sunday Roast lunch at a pub in London, October 2004

Veggie version of a Sunday Roast lunch at a pub in London

Tea Rooms

The most common vegetarian options in Tea Rooms are cheese sandwiches and jacket potatoes (baked potatoes with stuffings). Tea Rooms are a great place to have a good, but inexpensive, lunch. Read more about Tea Rooms and see a sample menu.

Pubs

Many country pubs now serve very good food at lunch and dinner. I had many good vegetarian lunches in country pubs. The photo above shows a vegetarian Sunday Roast served at a pub in London - and it was really good!

Restaurants

We ate at several upscale restaurants in the Cotswolds and in London, and all had several vegetarian entrees. The vegetarian meals we had were very good. You will also find vegetarian restaurants throughout England (see resources below). If you are planning a meal out, call the restaurant or drop by to see its menu, to be sure there will be vegetarian options.

There is a large Indian community in England, and lots of Indian restaurants, which are always vegetarian-friendly. You will find an Indian restaurant in most moderate sized towns in England. Chinese restaurants, which always have good vegetarian options, are also in most towns. Even the Fish and Chips shops sometimes offer a veggie option (but if you are strict, make sure the cooking oil is vegetarian).

Prepared Meals

Supermarkets in England (especially Waitrose and Marks and Spenser) have very good prepared meals, which you can take back to your vacation rental to reheat. They have a good vegetarian selection. Read more about Prepared Meals.

Resources

Websites

Veggie Heaven: www.veggieheaven.com
List of vegetarian restaurants in the United Kingdom.

Happy Cow's Vegetarian Guide: www.happycow.net
List of vegetarian restaurants in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland. Lists vegetarian and "vegetarian friendly" restaurants, natural foods stores.

Veg Dining: www.vegdining.com
Worldwide list of vegetarian restaurants. Good selection for the UK.

Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom: www.vegsoc.org
This is the oldest vegetarian organization in the world. It is an educational charity promoting understanding and respect for vegetarian lifestyles.

Vegetarian Society of Ireland: www.vegetarian.ie
Information for vegetarians in Ireland, restaurant lists.

European Vegetarian Union: www.europeanvegetarian.org
Information about vegetarian groups in Europe and a database of vegetarian restaurants throughout Europe with listings for Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Portugal (and only a few for France, Belgium, Ireland).

International Vegetarian Union: www.ivu.org
Links to worldwide vegetarian resources.

Books

Vegetarian Britain: 700 Places to Eat and Sleep, by Alex Bourke, Vegetarian Guides Limited, 2nd edition, 2003
Accommodations, restaurants and stores for vegetarians. Listed by county for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

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Vegetarian London: 400 Places to Eat and Shop, by Alex Bourke, Vegetarian Guides Limited, 2nd edition, 2002
Lists of health and whole-food shops, restaurants serving vegetarian food, green shops and places to buy cruelty-free cosmetics and clothes and vegetarian accommodations in London, England.

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Vegetarian Visitor 2005, Where to Stay and Eat in Britain, by Annemarie Weitzel, Jon Carpenter Publishing, 2005
Lists of vegetarian-oriented accommodations and restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales.

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Vegetarian Europe, by Alex Bourke, Vegetarian Guides, 2000
Lists of vegetarian restaurants in all of Europe.

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Vegetarian Guides: www.vegetarianguides.co.uk
Publisher of vegetarian guidebooks for England, France, Italy, Spain, Israel, US.

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