Updated October 2007
1. About our guide:
2. What do you know about vegetarians?
One of the founders of this site is based in the United Kingdom and has been vegetarian since 1980.
3. What is your rationale and philosophy?
We see ourselves primarily as an information portal, providing a useful service for fellow vegetarians. By identifying places that cater well for vegetarians, through information and reviews from visitors and tenacious detective work, we will hopefully give those places the support and publicity we think they deserve.
4. How do you define a "vegetarian" place?
Hmmm... tricky one this. Ask five people and you will get five different answers! We have come up with the following:
5. Why the three categories?
There is no legal definition of "vegetarian" so a great deal of confusion arises. The Food Standards Agency has guidlelines for packaged food but the labelling is voluntary. We are trying to make some sense of it all.
Some strict veggies won't eat in a place that serves meat or fish. Some veggies like the luxury of being able to eat everything off the menu without having to subject the waitress to the Spanish Inquisition. Some veggies will eat in a traditional restaurant (and sometimes have to!) but need to know if the eggs are free range, the cheese is veggie etc. so we have devised "VeggiePlus". We aim to encourage places to upgrade to VeggiePlus.
6. What about mock meats?
You are either a fan or not. Some veggies don't want anything that resembles meat or tastes like meat. The decision is personal. Places that rely heavily on these foods will be identified where possible.
7. Why not a book that I can carry around with me?
With computer access being easier and easier these days, we feel that the site will suffice for the present. You can print off any pages you want.
8. What is the point of reviews? Surely it's very subjective?
Any information is better than no information and a review often gives a fuller picture. You can always choose to ignore a review.
9. Who writes the reviews?
You, the customer - ordinary members of the public. We write a few ourselves but we can't review every place on our own and in any case, it's good to get the perspective of other people. We always review anonymously.
10. Which reviews get published?
Any that are suitable in the opinion of the editor and that are helpful. Whilst we don't expect literary masterpieces the reviews should make interesting reading and there should be some mention of the food. Negative comments should be supported. We reserve the right not to publish reviews and are not obliged to give a reason
11. How do I add a place to the list?
Just sign in or register with your email address - and follow the simple instructions. Your email address will never be passed on to another party. Please check the place is not on the site already.
12. How do I add a review?
Just sign in or register and type away! If you are adding a place and a review, please check it is not on the site already.
13. How does the site work?
We have designed the site and set it up from our own funds but in time will rely on selected advertising. Places are entered on the site free of charge. We will offer a weblink service for places that have a website in return for a reciprocal link.
14. I own a restaurant. Can I add it?
Yes, please do - if you cater for veggies! Just check the box that asks if you are connected with the restaurant.
15. I work in a place that caters well for veggies but isn't vegetarian.
Can I add it?
Yes, please do! This is exactly the sort of place that we are after. Check the connected with the restaurant box.
16. A place you have on the site no longer caters for veggies
Please let us know of any errors of fact and alterations you think we need to make. Just drop a mail to email@example.com
17. What is a vegan?
A vegan is a very strict vegetarian who eats nothing that is produced by animals, including honey. So no eggs, no milk, no butter, no ice cream. There are various delicious alternatives on the market - soya milk, rice milk, vegan margarine and vegan ice cream. Many vegetarians move towards veganism after a while. It is surprisingly easy to cater for them. Long life soya milk is available in small sizes. Vegan margarine is found in most supermarkets. "Swedish Glace" Ice Cream is wonderful! Go to the Vegan Society site for more information. The Vegan Society has an Accreditation Scheme for restaurants.
18. I own a restaurant and would like to cater for vegetarians.
The Vegetarian Society provides help and support for caterers in the form of factual information and a large recipe store with quantities for catering. They also run professional catering courses at their school in Altrincham. We have found them to be extremely helpful every time we have contacted them. You might want to consider Vegetarian Society accreditation for your restaurant. Restaurants with Accreditation are automatically upgraded to VeggiePlus. Please try to have at least one vegan option - even veggies don't like cheese and eggs with everything!
19. A restaurant I know is intolerant of vegetarians.
Maybe this place has had a bad experience! Frequently, commercial pressures dictate. Some vegetarians and vegans can be quite aggressive towards establishments that they regard as being unsupportive of the vegetarian "cause". These sorts of veggies do the rest of us no favours. In our experience, most restaurants will lean over backwards to accommodate your request, especially if you phone ahead; or if they cannot, they will tell you. Restaurants that do not cater for veggies will not appear on the site.
20. How do you define "places that cater well for veggies"?
Again, this can be quite subjective. It's not just quantity but quality. And it depends on the size of the place. We can think of a small pub we dropped into last summer that only had one veggie meal out of 4 other options. But what a choice it was - home made stir fried assorted peppers with a sweet and sour sauce served on beautifully cooked brown rice. Yum! How many times have you been to a place that offers four veggie meals - but they are all bought-in and really disappointing? We rely on your judgement to select the places.
21. Is fish vegetarian?
No it's not but don't blame the restaurants! We know some people who call themselves veggie but eat fish. Quite often, converts to vegetarianism continue to eat fish for a while. It's a gradual process for some people.
22. Tell me more about VeggiePlus
This is a symbol we have devised to be awarded to places that are possibly not 100% vegetarian but where the place adheres to our guidelines for strict vegetarians. Some vegetarian restaurants do not qualify, so be cautious. VeggiePlus places on the site are easily identified by this symbol.
Businesses self certify for VeggiePlus accreditation. VeggiePlus accreditation is something we wish to actively encourage. Successful applications will be identified on site
The owner of the business has to undertake to guarantee the following: