How Things Have Changed
Back in the day if you were health conscious you may have been able to eat out and be somewhat successful at finding a good selection of healthy meat options but if you were looking for vegan or even vegetarian choices it was another story! For many people their notion of British food is caught up in visions of Fish and Chips and Shepherd’s Pie, which whilst being excellent staples of the British diet when done right, are not the whole story. Similarly, the North of England may not have been synonymous with healthy eating but all that is a thing of the past.
A Modern Approach
Today the variety and quality of healthy food, much of it catering to the needs of vegetarians and vegans, is far more evident in this region of the country and in many instances the restaurant industry here is paving the way in its acknowledgment of the ever-increasing demand for interesting and nutritious food. So, if you were to take a trip to the North of England what could you expect to find by way of healthy and at best vegan friendly fare.
With increased awareness when it comes to sustainable and healthy options the restaurant industry is rising to the challenge of catering to modern demand for diversity and quality, as demonstrated in the following examples of Northern cuisine with a twist! You can’t get more northern then Newcastle and this vibrant city has much to recommend it in the food department. Often the influences of other food cultures helps to elevate and diversify the tastes of a region and at Scrumpy Willow and The Singing Kettle the distinct influences of The Mediterranean and The Middle East have combined to enhance the healthy and interesting options for vegetarians and vegans alike. Whilst the menu is not exclusively meat free it feels sufficiently weighted towards the vegetables that it in no way feels like an afterthought, but a distinctive part of the menu. Similarly, the Sky Apple Cafe in Newcastle puts vegetables front and center and is widely considered to be the forerunner of the vegetarian scene here. Not just a cursory nod to the meat free, the cafe positively elevates and celebrates with so many options it’s impossible not go back again and again! The addition of a recent deli next to the restaurant is testament to the demand and popularity of the food. Painted Elephant also in Newcastle is worth a visit as everything is vegan friendly and centers around healthy, seasonal ingredients that are delicious and reflect an eclectic, global view of cuisine.
Durham is equally striving to capture the vegan market in an interesting way and restaurants like DH1, whilst not exclusively vegetarian have a separate tasting menu that is vegetarian and put great emphasis on seasonal northern produce. The modern setting is fresh and inviting making these appealing ingredients the star. Jumping Bean Cafe does something simple well, making great tapas and toasted sandwiches which highlight vegetarian friendly ingredients. For something as out there as the venue sounds go to Pulp Fiction Future Food in Whitley Bay, where every visit is an adventure. The ever-changing menu is a reflection of the experimental nature of this establishment which pushes the boundaries of vegetarian cuisine in a good way. Wherever you seek to go in The North of England be assured that if you want to eat well as a vegan or just be really healthy, good choices are out there.