The days of vegetarian slop (aka cous cous with some type of stew over it) are over! Vegetarian restaurants all over the world are serving really creative, fresh dishes that are well presented and leave you full. Our top choices that we’ve visited are not just our top choices for vegetarian food, but our top choices period (full stop). We didn’t decide one day to be vegetarian. In fact, I still don’t call myself a vegetarian. When I was younger I declared myself veggie and I would sneak meat when no one was looking. Now, I simply don’t feel like eating it.
The evolution of meals for us was a slow process:
1. food poisoning which may have been from Malta or from the Kebab shop down the road. We don’t know and we don’t care. The bottom line is that chicken processing and distribution is unsafe and nasty. After spending four days hugging the toilet and laying on the floor to try and get rid of our body aches, we haven’t touched chicken since. (Except twice on accident)
2. Cooking meat at home was becoming yucky. You need multiple cutting boards and you really need a dishwasher and there’s meat juice and salmonella and e coli and all that. So then we stopped buying meat to cook, including fish.
3. The Health at Every size approach mindful eating. I stopped feeling like I wanted meat and started getting excited about the flavour of veggies. If you think about it, meat doesn’t taste like anything except for what it’s cooked in, while vegetables have exciting flavors all their own.
4. The grocers down the street. I hate spending money at the giant chain at the end of our block, but I love going into the independent grocer (just a little bit further) to get vegetables that don’t come wrapped in plastic. We usually walk out of there with two bags full of veggies and only £30 lighter for the week.
5. The second bout of food poisoning. Yes, twice in one month. How is it possible? Well it has become clear to me that this country isn’t able to manage the preparation and distribution of food in a safe manner and therefore, I’m avoiding it.
This is a an amazing place, right in the heart of Bath. Ever since we visited Bath in November, we have wanted to go back just for this restaurant. It is quiet, cozy, and super flavourful. The nice thing about this place is that the dishes are so visually beautiful and complicated, you really feel like you can’t make it at home. Also, we’ve bought their cookbook and it’s true: you can’t replicate these recipes at home.
We first discovered this restaurant in 2011 when we went on an epic journey to Vancouver Island (stay tuned for our upcoming post). I think we originally discovered this in our Frommer’s guidebook and thought we might try it for something healthier than the road trip food we had been eating. What a revelation! Avocado, seeds, beautiful summer squashes, and asparagus adorned the large house salad. A full menu of delicious, vegetarian and pescatarian dishes was something we hadn’t seen in a while. This is when we realized that the days of the Moosewood Cookbooks (blah!) were gone, and eating vegetables for what they are, not what they can mimic or replace is awesome! Andrew returns to this restaurant every year while on tour.
Our friends took us to this cafe for afternoon coffee and cake, but it’s on our return-to list. As we sat enjoying our Bakewell Tart, we saw beautiful vegetarian and meat based foods pass us left and right. Their grocery attached to the restaurant is a great place to buy foods for a picnic or a snack.
Tell us where your favorite vegetarian restaurants are!