Tiny sushi bar Bian - not to be confused with the also brilliant Bien restaurant on Shortland St - supplies the local area with lunch every day, pumping out a fantastic selection of donburi, soups, nigiri and maki rolls. Lovely fresh tuna and salmon, along with more unusual fillings such as deep-fried oyster, rare beef, and sesame-fried green beans. The wasabi is fresh, home-made, and free of additives. And it's self-service, so you can pick a mixed selection of your favourites.
The busy, cheery kitchen will make up a roll for you if they run out of anything. Reliable, friendly and surprisingly cheap - and it's also BYO and open at night. You can't really go wrong.
183 Symonds St, Auckland
Phone: 09-309 5609
It is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant which will not disappoint a meat eater. Regular changing menus with 4 or 5 choices. Always an interesting variety of cultures and cuisines covered within the choices. Good short wine list of largely organic wines and beers. Friendly and attentive service.
23-25 Heathcote Street, Hockley, Nottingham NG1 3AG
Tel: 0115 9555560
A quiet Indian restaurant specialising in food from Kerala ('God's own country') in South India.
The food is authentic and tastes home-made. Every time I feel home sick, I head to Oxford Circus. A little shopping followed by a delicious hot meal is the cure for my blues!
Try the buffet (different prices depending on whether you choose dessert or not). I love the 'Mango Lassi' as a refreshing drink on a hot summers day.
Kerala Restaurant, 15 Great Castle Street, London, W1W 8LT. Nearest tube Oxford Circus
This is a great little restaurant, tucked away near the river in Sowerby with great ambience and friendly staff. It outshines the area and gives hope that things are on the up for this Northern Milltown. The dishes are all vegan and range from huge seasonal dishes like aparagaus and new potato salad to baked plantains with spicy mango salsa. The puddings are great, really traditional and everything is prepared fresh in the open kitchen. The wine is organic too, but reasonable so a three course meal for two plus wine is just under £45 - splendid.
6 Town Hall Street, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 2EA.
Tel: 01422 316 000
Its originality of recipes and high ingredient quality mark it out from the rest. The wonderful informal Bistro atmosphere enables one to enjoy a meal in comfort and quiet if necesary. It also has some good bottled beers.
It is on Penny Street; slap bang in the centre of Lancaster's pedestrian zone; 10 minutes walk from the station or the Duke's Theatre.
Rasa vegetarian restaurant in Stoke Newington is great - delicious variety of interesting Keralan dishes and all completely vegetarian. For carnivores, there's a non-veggie version opposite.
Church Street, Stoke Newington, Hackney, London
Tucked away in a converted church near Hammersmith tube, this is the best British veggie restaurant we've found. Particularly fantastic are the wild food menus, which include everything from nettles and wild mushrooms to strange salad ingredients and inventive elderflower puddings. It's pretty good value for top-notch food and even has an original mural covering one wall!
Simply the place to get the most fantastic fresh fish and seafood, Malliag is a proper fishing port rather than a tourist destination. Most people arrive there and stay only briefly on their way to Skye, Rhum or Knoydart but the excellence of the food, served in a harbourside setting, is such that it is worth organising an overnight stop on your way to these places. The service is helpful, friendly and unpretentious and the helpings more than generous.
Right on the harbour near the ferry terminal.
As a regular visitor to Inverness, for me this is the best restaurant in town with an exciting mix of European/Scottish food. The stylish interior and warm welcome everyone receives make it a must.
1 Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5NE Tel: 01463 717274
A hidden gem in Halifax - freshly cooked veggie & vegan food. North African dishes seem to be a speciality, and there are wonderfully presented Bento boxes on Fridays. The soya lattes, fresh juices and imaginative salads are delicious.
The Okra House Cafe,
Above Food Therapy Wholefoods, opposite the Library.
Bright, friendly vegetarian cafe. Delicious food, the best salads. Really friendly staff, good prices, toys and books for kids and local art for sale on the walls.
Above Richard's Health Food shop, Bread Street, Penzance, Cornwall. Best reached from bottom of Causewayhead. Up the hill from Penzance train station.
Delicious, freshly prepared food using wholesome ingredients. A really friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It is always hard to choose what to have as it all looks so inviting. The Bannoffi Pie is to die for! I challenge you to eat a whole one!
667 Christchurch Road, Boscombe
Tel: 01202 393673
Simply the best veggie restaurant that I have ever visited. Reading the menu is part of the pleasure - it has a language all of its own, e.g. Bengal Babs -Tandoori spice loaded halloumi kebab, served with smoked almond custard risotto, tamarind tang, pink onion and green mango sas, and podi dust tomatoes; Cigarillo Mejoolie - Deep-fried parchment pastry crammed with cardamon mejool date and pistachio lemon mince, cinnamon dust, fennel seed sugar, served with pomegranate bead, orange and grapefruit fillets and a mint tisane granita. The flavours and textures are divine. The staff are efficient and friendly and the restaurant also caters for vegans and those who need a gluten free diet. I visit regularly and am never disappointed.
71 East Street, Brighton BN1 1HQ
Tel: 01273 729051
If you come to Leicester, you can't leave without having a curry, and if you're veggie, you can't leave without visiting Bobby's. All you can eat buffet downstairs, a la carte upstairs, and a great snacks and sweets counter too. I could eat the Paneer Shashlick and Lemon rice every day and never get bored.
Bobby's, Belgrave Road, Leicester
Fab veggie all you can eat buffet. Friendly staff, amazing food and great ambience. They have a novel means of ensuring the menu is always fresh and exciting - the first group to book a table get to pick the food for the evening. Hitchcocks has been a favourite haunt of ours for many years, and I've eaten everything from Nepali to Italian, Sri Lankan to Mexican - all delicious. And the deserts are to die for...
Bishop's Lane, Hull
Tel: 01482 320233
Restaurant & tapas bar serving delicious local food in traditional patio. Exquisite 'salmorejo' (thick gazpacho), 'Flamenquin' (special rolled sausage), melt in the mouth bull's tail stew (rabo de toro), shellfish salad (Salpicon de mariscos) etc. Really friendly owner (3rd generation at La Fragua) and staff and all for around 22E per head.
Restaurante La Fragua
Calleja del Arco, s/n, 14003
Traditional Córdobese food at good prices.
Tel: 00 34 957 484 572
It's a favourite haunt. It does a really nice buffet with a good variety. Plenty of nice vegetables. Polite and pleasant staff. The 'meat' dishes look and taste authentic. We took some devoted-meat-eating friends there a few months back and bundled them in without their seeing the word 'vegan' on the outside. They didn't believe us when we confessed they'd just heartily enjoyed a vegan meal!! Great! A recommended evening would be to go there for the main and then over Soho Square to Soho Street and Govinda's for desert (very yummy!), though the latter closes at 8pm.
Old Compton Street, Soho.
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