Thanks to a growing interest in plant-based living, it’s possible to get vegan and vegetarian versions of traditional British food in pubs and restaurants throughout the UK.
Historically, there are a few British dishes that are inherently vegetarian or can be easily made so. For example, bubble and squeak, a dish made of leftover vegetables from a roast dinner, typically including potatoes and cabbage, is a vegetarian staple. Ploughman’s lunch, a cold, deconstructed meal often consisting of cheese, bread, pickles, and apples, is also vegetarian and now, can easily be made vegan.
In recent years, many British restaurants and pubs have started to offer vegan and vegetarian versions of classic British dishes. For instance, it’s now common to find vegan versions of fish and chips, where tofu or banana blossom is used to replicate the fish, often served with chips and vegan tartare sauce. Similarly, vegan and vegetarian versions of the full English breakfast are widely available, with plant-based sausages, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms, toast, and hash browns, sometimes accompanied by scrambled tofu as an egg substitute. Shepherd’s pie, a hearty dish traditionally made with minced meat and mashed potatoes, is often reimagined with lentils or mushrooms as a vegetarian or vegan alternative.
Moreover, many British bakeries now offer vegan versions of classic pastries. This includes vegan Cornish pasties, made with a variety of vegetable fillings instead of the traditional meat, and vegan versions of sausage rolls, often made with spiced lentils or plant-based meat substitutes.
Pubs and restaurants are also adapting their dessert menus to cater to vegan and vegetarian customers. Traditional British desserts like sticky toffee pudding, crumbles, and scones now often come in vegan versions, using plant-based milks, butters, and egg substitutes.