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Edinburgh named as Britain's second most vegetarian friendly city

The capital has come second in a survey of the UK's most vegetarian friendly cities.

Published: July 16, 2019
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Despite Glasgow's abundance and veggie and vegan eateries, Edinburgh was named second Britain's most vegetarian friendly cities.

Glasgow didn't fall far behind though, coming in at number three, according to a survey done by catering equipment retailer Nisbets.

They surveyed 1,000 UK based adults to explore dietary choices and how frequently they visit a restaurant or café which cater specifically to a vegan and vegetarian diet.

It’s evident that Brits are becoming increasingly conscious of what they eat, as the research found that 6.5 million UK adults are now ditching their meat-based meals and implementing a vegan or vegetarian regime instead.

In a bid to find the UK’s most vegan and vegetarian friendly city for eating out, Nisbets looked at Google search trend data and examined the number of searches around the term ‘vegan and vegetarian restaurants’ for several major cities across the UK, cross referencing the findings with the number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants listed per city, according to Happy Cow.

The top ten

Edinburgh vegetarian friendly

Picture: Nisbets

The UK’s top 10 vegetarian/vegan friendly cities:

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

Norwich claimed the crown as Britain’s most vegetarian and vegan friendly city, with just 2,094 people in the city per vegetarian/vegan restaurant.

Scotland also proved to have a strong reputation as a meatless dining hotspot, with both Edinburgh (2,631) and Glasgow (3,000) laying claim to second and third place in the top ten.

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Edinburgh vegetarian friendly

Picture: Nisbets

Despite its title as England’s capital and being renowned for its extensive choice of cuisine when eating out, London didn’t quite make the top ten, claiming stake to the number 11 spot on the list.

Opting for a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle was found to be most popular among 25-34-year-olds, with one in ten proudly identifying as such.

However, despite the age difference, it appears that 65+ year olds are not too far behind, with one in ten taking on a flexitarian diet, severely reducing the amount of meat or meat related products they are consuming.

The study also found that a plant-based lifestyle is more popular among males than females, as more than twice as many men revealed they prefer this way of life.

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However, both sexes were found to enjoy this type of cuisine when dining out, as a whopping 5.8 million UK adults choose to visit solely vegan or vegetarian food outlets at least once a week.

The favourite meat-free dishes

The UK’s meat-free favourites when dining out:

Vegetarian/tofu curry
Stir fry with Quorn or tofu
Cauliflower cheese
Vegan macaroni cheese
Mushroom risotto
Spaghetti Bolognese with vegetarian mince
Vegan nourish bowls
Vegetarian/vegan burgers

Dean Starling, Head Development Chef at Nisbets, commented on the findings: “In an ever-growing socially conscious society we’ve seen an exponential increase in the rise of adults identifying as vegetarian or vegan, and as such, many caterers, restaurants and cafes have recognised this shift and are increasingly looking to up the amount of plant-based options they offer.

“It’s great to see that Brits are also increasing their support of the eateries in their local areas as they continue to grow their meat-free offerings, even when they’re not 100% vegetarian or vegan themselves.

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“The prevalence of vegan and vegetarian food in society is undoubtedly becoming more widespread, and as more people want to diversify their diet, we predict that this particular lifestyle will only continue to prosper. We can’t wait to see where it goes to next.”

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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