How train food services in the UK are catering for vegans, with some great vegan-friendly places to visit.
Train companies catering for vegans
Vegans will be pleased to hear that seven rail operators now have vegan food options on their menus. The train companies with the best train food for vegans are Virgin Trains, East Midlands Trains, Greater Anglia, Grand Central, CrossCountry, Great Western Railway and Hull Trains. The Vegan Society has noted that many of these companies have improved their onboard catering for vegans and included sandwiches, hot meals, cakes and plant-based milk for use in tea and coffee.
If you are travelling on a Virgin Trains service between London and Glasgow, for example, their vegan items range from an all-day vegan breakfast to a selection of ‘Indian bites’. These are available from the onboard cafe or as part of the at-seat service if you are travelling on a First Class ticket.
LNER to Leeds, Hull and many more, offers plenty of vegan options for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you are travelling in First Class, with treats such as avocado on toast or asparagus and ricotta cannelloni. Great Western Railway’s First Class menu includes a falafel and hummus tomato wrap whilst the onboard cafe has a wide range of savoury vegan snacks, including nuts and olives. CrossCountry’s cafes provide a vegan ploughman's sandwich as part of their main menu offerings.
Top places to visit by rail for vegan food
Famous for its pier, pebbles, and environmental credentials Brighton, also known as “London on sea”, is a top vegan food destination with a plentiful supply of vegan cafes and restaurants. For example, Purezza was the first vegan pizzeria in the UK and is just close to the famous Royal Pavilion (there is also one in Camden Town, London). In December 2018 Brighton also hosted a fully vegan Christmas market.
It’s no surprise that Londoners think nothing of just going to Brighton for the afternoon. Direct trains from London to Brighton take an hour or less.
There are several vegan festivals held in Brighton throughout the year. From Vegfest in January to the Brighton Vegan Summer Festival held in June, there is plenty of opportunity discover a great programme of events showcasing the finest plant-based food from all over the world.
Having referenced the vegan options available on the way to Glasgow, the city itself is turning into a vegan haven. Which may come as a surprise to many, as Glasgow has kept its culinary prowess and, in particular, its commitment to veganism, quiet. Situated in the heart of the trendy West End, the University of Glasgow was the first in the UK to be accredited by the Vegan Society. The city has many places to help your vegan experience go from strength to strength. The Flying Duck is famous throughout Scotland for its lively subterranean cafe scene and it also hosts a monthly vegan market. Indeed throughout the year, Glasgow hosts several vegan festivals including the Vegan Beer Fest in August and the Glasgow Vegan Festival in springtime.
Sheffield, Yorkshire’s ‘steel city’ is emerging as one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the UK, thanks largely to a lot of social media activism led by Sheffield Animal Save group. Sheffield’s food scene has really taken off in recent years with cafes and restaurants reflecting the growing demand for vegan food. ‘Make No Bones’, in the north of the city, is regarded as one of Yorkshire’s top vegan restaurants and is often featured in national press famed for creating vegan alternatives to classic meat-based meals.
Travel from Manchester to Sheffield in 48 mins on a route covered by the vegan-friendly East Midlands Trains.
Photo credits top to bottom: Vegetables and fruits large overhead mix group on colorful background iStock ©Bojsha65, Eating different salad and appetizer on wooden table top view iStock ©KarpekovDenis, Broccoli chickpea cilantro almond white and red rice ©nata_vkusidey, Freshly flame grilled Vegan burgers displayed in a row iStock ©coldsnowstorm.
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