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Brighton and Hove loses UK vegan crown
9:33am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
Brighton and Hove has lost its crown as the UK's most vegan-friendly place - but the city's veggies say it is better than ever.
With a variety of vegan venues, Brighton and Hove has a reputation for being a mecca for those who abstain from the use of animal products.
But last month it lost its top spot as the country’s most vegan friendly place, as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ranked Glasgow above our seaside city.
Vegan food blogger and bakery owner Jojo Huxster has hit back, claiming Brighton is more vegan-friendly than ever.
Jojo, who lives in the city, said: “I don’t think Brighton has become less vegan-friendly at all, in fact, if anything, it’s become even more vegan friendly in the last few years.
“The vegan scene here took a couple of hits when The George (in Trafalgar Street) slimmed down their vegan options and Aloka (in East Street) closed down, but speciality store-wise nothing has changed, and Infinity Foods and Vegetarian Shoes in North Laine are still going strong.”
Aloka has been replaced by VBites, Heather Mills’ vegan cafe, previously at Hove Lagoon. The reopening of the cafe by Paul McCartney’s former wife in February added to the already bulging vegan fare on offer.
Jonny Nexus moved to Brighton with his wife four years ago, as they were both vegans. Having lived in London, where there are a large number of vegan-friendly restaurants, the 44-year-old said the appeal of Brighton was the closeness of options.
He said: “In London, while it has more choices, you had to get a 45-minute tube ride, and if you met another vegan they might live 45 minutes in the opposite direction.
“Brighton is very compact so there may be fewer restaurants but they are in a much more concentrated area. You can feel at ease in your own skin in the city. I even heard every school in the city has a vegan option.”
PETA cited Glasgow’s range of restaurants as the reason it was named number one. But Mrs Huxster said Glasgow was a much larger city and that, for its size, Brighton and Hove is bursting with vegan-friendly destinations, even if they also serve meat.
The 30-year-old said: “Brightonians are lucky to have amazing options at non-veggie places, including the plethora of options at Street Diner each week, the ever-changing flavours at Boho Gelato, the vegan labelled menu at Moshimo, as well as new kid on the block Namul’s and their delicious vegan bibimbap (a Korean rice dish).
“The city also has access to outstanding vegan cuisine at Terre a Terre, the brand new i2 (Iydea’s second location) on Western Road and from pop-up sensation Gourmet Girls.
“As for living as a vegan in Brighton, it’s wonderful and I honestly wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the UK. I think vegan cuisine in the England still has a little way to go to catch up with America's vegan dining scene but I feel like I find out about somewhere or something new every week at the moment.”
Mrs Huxter opened her own vegan bakery, Operation Icing, in 2012 as a not-for-profit organisation specialising in cupcakes and she donates all of the money she makes to animal charities.
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