BRIGHTON has been named as the best city for vegans in the UK for the second time.

With 9.14 vegan-friendly cafes and restaurants per every 15,000 residents, the city has maintained its position at the top spot for foodies searching for plant-based choices.

The research was carried out by holiday rental search engine Holidu, which analysed data from the vegan listings site Happy Cow to compare the number of vegan-friendly options against the population in the largest cities across the UK.

Brighton was found to have a significantly higher number of vegan offerings for its population than Oxford and Edinburgh, which came in at second and third with 5.81 and 5.50 restaurants per 15,000 people.

What The Pitta in East Street was recommended as one of the top spots in the city, with its vegan version of the döner kebab, “ChickN nuggets”, soya gyros and plenty of falafel.

Cem Yildiz and his friend Rojdan Gul opened the Brighton restaurant in 2018 after three successful branches in London.

The Argus: What the Pitta owners Rojdan Gul and Cem YildizWhat the Pitta owners Rojdan Gul and Cem Yildiz

The vegan kebab shop has been “crazy from day one” according to co-owner Cem.

He said: “There were queues down to the end of the road when we first opened.

“Brighton was always somewhere we knew would be good to be.

“We were initially a bit worried when we took the spot on East Street as it had been empty for so long, but it took off massively straight away.”

The What The Pitta kebabs, made from marinated soya pieces, are the restaurant’s most popular dish.

All the breads and sauces are made fresh each day on site, which Cem believes is part of the restaurant’s appeal for vegans and non-vegans alike.

He said: “It’s one of the reasons we stand out from other places and what makes it a superior product.

“All our veg is cut fresh and we make our own falafel every day too.

“We’re not saying it’s a health product but it’s much healthier than a typical kebab.

The Argus:

“Our kebabs have about 760 calories, whereas a meat doner kebab has about 2,000.”

What The Pitta has not seen its popularity drop during the coronavirus pandemic and remained open for takeaways throughout the lockdown.

Cem said that more and more people have been opting for vegan dishes through popular takeaways sites such as Deliveroo, and he thinks the pandemic has made people take a greater interest in their own health and diet.

He said: “I’m vegan myself so that’s where the idea for the business came from, as I’m half-Turkish and I wanted to be able to have a kebab.

“Lately being vegan has just become more and more popular.

“You’ve got people who are at that research phase now where they’re like, OK, it’s not just a fad – there is good reasoning behind it.

“You’ve got people like David Attenborough bringing out documentaries on the impact of meat consumption.

“A lot of my friends are cutting down on meat and fish and going for more vegetarian options.

“It’s become something which is not just for hipsters – a vegan diet is better for the planet and can be better for people’s health too, with plenty of nutrients.”