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News, Blogs & Press Releases » The veggie restaurant bubble hasn’t burst yet!

The veggie restaurant bubble hasn't burst yet!

The recent media narrative is that the vegetarian and vegan restaurant bubble has burst. Thanks to your comments, we discovered otherwise…

The start of this year has brought bad news for vegetarian and vegan foodies, as many plant-based businesses have been suffering of late.

Manchester’s famous vegetarian restaurant Greens, run by TV chef Simon Rimmer, suddenly closed its doors in January after 33 years (we’re delighted that Greens’ Sale site is still open). Pret A Manger has closed its final veggie-only stores after eight years of running, while just this month The Vurger Co also stopped operating, citing a lack of support from government and ‘anti-vegan misinformation’.

Indeed, there is a narrative being pushed in the media that the vegetarian and vegan bubble has burst. However, we were heartened to hear about the abundance of thriving veggie eateries up and down the country.

Over on our Facebook page, we asked people to give a shout out to their favourite veggie or vegan restaurant, café or street food stall. We had an amazing response from people across the country with the post getting over 500 comments!

Jumon in Belfast. Food for Friends in Brighton. Planetwise in Bridlington. BA-HA in Birmingham. Prashad in Bradford. Cafe Thrive in Southampton. Veganatomy in Newcastle. These were just a few of the places we heard about!

“Our favourite is [The] Phoenix plant based eatery in Prescot,” Sharon Reynolds said. “Best vegan food. Lovely atmosphere and friendly staff.

“Plantkind in Shrewsbury,” Helen Meyrick weighed in. “The best falafel and salads in Shropshire…if not the world!”

“The Glasvegan – Glasgow, amazing staff, great atmosphere- like going around to a friends for food,” Hazel Herran said. “Best oat milk latte ever!”

We got in touch with some of the businesses that came up several times and heard back from The Phoenix in Prescot and the Queen’s Inn in Cwmbran, Wales. We asked them how business is going for them at the moment.

“I won’t lie, it’s not been easy, but I never thought for one moment it would be,” said Ann-Marie at the Phoenix.

“Our journey began in 2015 hosting vegan fairs then the restaurant in 2017. We have moved around a bit but settled in Prescot [in] 2022.

“Most of the menu is very traditional; I cook food that many people are familiar with but it’s 100% vegan. From Sunday roast to afternoon tea, full English to pies, home cooked comfort food is what we do best.

“The majority of our customers are not vegan, but they enjoy the dishes and atmosphere. Saying that, we do have a vegan community who have supported us for years and vice versa.

“I read some of the comments that we’d been tagged in on your page. We have the best sort of customers and I’m so grateful they keep coming back. Over the years we’ve provided for engagements, weddings, christenings and funerals. We’ve made a lot of memories with our customers. They treat us like family and hopefully we have much more to look forward to.”

Ryan Edwards, owner of the Queen Inn in Cwmbran, said: “It’s been just over two years since we made the transition to become 100% plant-based, and we’ve been overwhelmed with support along the way. Our customers are so grateful for what we do, and we’re consistently getting busier.

“As we have quite an interesting niche of a menu heavily based on ‘traditional pub food’ with the use of plant-based meats, we give people the dishes they’ve missed since going vegan, as well as giving animal-eaters a guilt-free alternative to the foods they‘ve always loved.

“Weekends are fully booked about a month in advance as some people travel hours to visit us, and we already have hundreds of bookings all throughout the year – including a few for December and even 2025!”

It’s great to hear that many veggie restaurants, cafes, stalls and pubs are still thriving! Head to our Facebook post to see everyone’s favourites. It might help you when you’re on your travels!

Do you have a favourite veggie/vegan eatery you’d like to highlight? Please comment on our Facebook post or email us at hello@vegsoc.org.

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