It's boom time for Britain's high-end vegetarian restaurants, and meat-reducers are dining out

Vegetables on a plate in a smiley faceBritain now boasts 50 per cent more high-end vegetarian restaurants than three years ago, fuelled by the growing popularity of reduced meat diets.

Alex Bourke, founder and compiler of the Vegetarian Guides to meat-free eating in Britain, told the Guardian newspaper that there were now 30 top-range vegetarian restaurants, twice as many as in 2007.

Recent additions to the map of meat-free restaurants included organic vegetarian Italian eatery Amico Bio, near London’s Barbican Centre, and a second branch of Chad Sarno’s Saf.

Vegetarian restaurants have also opened in Nottingham, Manchester, Bath, Woodbridge in Suffolk and in several town across West Yorkshire.

The news suggests that meat-free dining is becoming increasingly mainstream, and that the diners frequenting them are not exclusively some of the UK’s five million vegetarians or part-vegetarians.

Andrew Dargue, head chef and co-founder of Michelin-recommended Vanilla Black, which opened in London’s Chancery Lane in 2008, said 50-60 per cent of the vegetarian’s restaurant’s clientele were carnivores.

“It’s very classical, they way we cook. We don’t cook for vegetarians, we cook vegetarian food. And we don’t market it to vegetarians, we market it so that the concept appeals to everybody.”

Also coming next month in central London will be the first two Otarian restaurants, Britain’s first vegetarian chain, which will also calculate its ingredients’ carbon footprint and food miles on the menu. A third will be opened later in the year, with more planned for across the UK.

To read the full Guardian article, click here

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