The Reason London Is A Top City For Vegans

It's been a chaotic few years for the restaurant industry, and a lot has changed. The pandemic has forced business owners to adapt, not only to an onslaught of challenges like labor shortages, rising costs, and supply chain issues (per Forbes), but also to a shift in consumer values. While veganism, vegetarianism, and flexitarianism were all ascending trends before COVID-19 raged into the world, Food & Beverage Insider reported that the associated rise in health, environmental, and animal rights concerns only accelerated the growth of plant-based diets, ultimately leading to more vegan restaurants than there ever has been, via Happy Cow.

From New York City to Tokyo, Zurich to Milan, and Shanghai to Los Angeles, collectively, Tasting Table's list of the 14 Best Vegan Restaurants Around The World features seven Michelin-starred venues, showing that not only are there more vegan restaurant options than ever — in more cities than ever — but that the quality, flavor, and experience of those options stand up to the best.

But when it comes to vegan eating, London is a city that stands out from the rest.

Veganism in London

Named as the most vegan-friendly city by Happy Cow in November 2022, the vegan lifestyle for Londoners compromises nothing — not even the pleasure of visiting a deli for your vegan butcher items (via Rudy's Vegan). Even though only about 1.16% of the British population is vegan, per The Vegan Society, the trend is considered much more mainstream than in other parts of the world. According to an article from The Guardian, more than a third of adults in the UK view veganism as an admirable choice, with an interest in adopting it themselves.

While cultural attitudes undoubtedly play a role in the friendly adoption of veganism in the UK, another major reason why London has become the capital of vegan food is simply that it's good for business. In 2021, The National Food Strategy for England, via Vegan Statistics, determined that, by developing and manufacturing plant-based proteins instead of importing them, they could create more than 16,000 jobs in the UK. Additionally, with the highest purchasing and consumption rates of alternative foods in Europe (per ProVeg International), restaurants and businesses can feel confident that the vegan items they offer will sell, no matter which style of cuisine they're adapted to. 

Whether you're craving Japanese, Caribbean Middle Eastern or French, you can get it in vegan form in London.