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Travel and eating out

Travelling and eating out in the UK and Ireland

The most comprehensive list of places to eat and places to stay in the UK and Ireland is Vegetarian Britain by Alex Bourke, published by Vegetarian Guides and available from The Vegan Society.  Vegetarian Visitor by Annemarie Weitzel, covering England, Scotland and Wales, is also available from our online shop.

The following websites list and review vegetarian and vegan places to eat all around the world including the UK.  Happy Cow also lists health food shops.  The Vegetarian Visitor and Vegan Village list places to eat and stay. Veggies’ Directory has a list of vegan-friendly holiday accommodation.

Local Contacts and Groups

When travelling within the UK, it can be useful to get in touch with the Vegan Society Local Contact for the area or with a local vegan group. A list of Local Contacts and Groups can be found on the Local Contacts page on our website or in the Vegan Society’s magazine, ‘The Vegan’.  Some local groups have vegan guides to their area on their website.

Useful guide books and booklets for the UK

Vegetarian London, published by Vegetarian Guides, available from The Vegan Society

Vegetarian Britain, published by Vegetarian Guides, available from The Vegan Society

Vegetarian Visitor, published by Jon Carpenter Publishing, available from The Vegan Society (covers England, Scotland and Wales)

Guide to Vegetarian Brighton, by Viva!

Vegetarian East of England, published by Vegetarian Guides:

Vegetarian & Vegan Guide to Bristol & Bath by Viva!

Vegetarian Guide to the Lake District by Viva!


Travelling and eating out Internationally

Good web-based sources of general information for international travellers include:

The Vegan Society also stocks a number of books to help vegan travellers - available from our online shop:

Vegan Passport, edited by G. Rodger, published by The Vegan Society.  What vegans do and don’t eat in 73 languages and, as a failsafe, a pictorial guide.  The Vegan Passport covers 95% of the world’s population, making it an essential tool for intrepid travellers.

From the Vegetarian Guides series:

Vegetarian Europe, by Alex Bourke, contains 300 places to eat vegan in Europe’s capitals and tourist centres.

Vegetarian France, by Alex Bourke and Alan Todd, with details of 150 vegetarian, vegan and veggie-friendly hotels, guest houses and restaurants all over France.

For other countries contact Vegetarian Guides, who publish and stock a wide range of vegan-friendly travel guides.


Vegan Holidays (companies registered with the Vegan Society)

Ace Outdoors   0845 505 1221

Vegetarian and vegan outdoor adventure holidays in the UK and walking holidays in Europe

The Lodge, Grenada   (+1 473) 440 2330

Vegan accommodation in St George’s, Grenada


Airlines and vegan meals

Request a vegan meal in advance

Most airlines flying from the UK which provide meals (generally only on long-haul flights) offer a vegan meal in their ‘special diets’ selection, check the airline’s website before booking.  This will need to be requested in advance, preferably when making the booking, or before a specified time before the flight (often at least 24-48 hours in advance, some airlines may require more notice).  Check with your airline for their booking requirements.  The code for vegan meal is VGML. 

The vegan meal may not always have the word ‘vegan’ in the title, sometimes it may be referred to as ‘vegetarian meal’, ‘vegetarian vegan meal’, vegetarian western meal’, etc., so if you can’t see the word ‘vegan’ straight away check the description of the various vegetarian meals and make sure it’s the right meal before you book. 

Airlines which offer vegan meals

The following airlines flying from the UK state that on flights where meals are provided, they offer vegan meals if requested in advance (correct as of June 10).  This is not a complete list, for other airlines check their website for details or ask your travel agent.

Aer Lingus   

Meal requirements page

Air Malta  

Meal requirements page

Air New Zealand

Meal requirements page

American Airlines

Meal requirements page


Meal requirements page

British Airways

Meal requirements page

Cathay Pacific

Meal requirements page


Meal requirements page


Meal requirements page


Meal requirements page

Thomas Cook

Meal requirements page


Meal requirements page

Virgin Atlantic

Meal requirements page


Monarch do not offer vegan meals on scheduled flights but do on chartered flights.

Air France and Air Canada do offer vegan meals if requested, although they do not indicate this on their websites.

On the day

As well as requesting a vegan meal at the time of booking your flight, it is also a good idea to mention that you have requested a vegan meal:

  • at check in,
  • to a flight attendant once you are on board the flight (before the meals are given out),

to maximise the chances of receiving a vegan meal. Some airlines specifically request that passengers who have ordered a ‘special’ meal do this.

Be prepared

It’s a good idea to take some food or at least snacks on board with you in case your meal doesn’t appear, isn’t very substantial or just in case you get hungry during the flight.  You should be fine to take food to eat on board the plane, although whether you are able to take any remaining food with you at the end of your journey will depend on the customs regulations of the country you are arriving in. 

Watch out for non-vegan extras such as non-vegan margarine or coffee creamer appearing with the ‘vegan meal’- caterers sometimes may not realise that items such as sunflower margarine are not always dairy-free.

Please note that even when airlines say they can provide a vegan meal, you may find that this meal fails to appear.  To reduce the likelihood of mistakes being made, make sure you always say you are vegan when you book, when you check in and when you board.  Often they do have a vegan meal for you, but one of the vegetarian passengers may well get it by mistake, so it’s good to make the air stewards aware that you are on board before they start dishing out the meals.

If you feel let down by your travel company, then remember to file a complaint – they won’t improve their services unless pressurised to do so.  It is rarely the air stewards’ fault, so it is best to complain to the customer services department of the airline rather than to the onboard staff.   


Vegan meals can be requested in advance by Business Premier or Leisure Select passengers.

Reg. Charity No: 279228 Company Reg. No: 1468880

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