The Vegans are coming — live long and prosper!

I LOVE my food! I love eating out. I love watching cookery programmes and browsing through cookery books. Indeed, I don’t think there is a world cuisine that I don’t enjoy. A lot of those cuisines are based around the use of meats or fish of some kind and whilst I am a life-long, card-carrying member of the carnivore society, the older I get, the more I’m beginning to come around to the questionable morality of farming animals for meat!

Intellectually and even aspirationally, I believe that at some point in the not-too-distant future I will attempt to make the quantum leap to the other side. The one thing that keeps on holding me back is that I rarely come across vegan meals (outside of the occasional Indian vegetarian dish) that inspire me with their depth of flavour and contrasting textures. Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places or perhaps I need to start educating my palate a bit!

Originally, I was going to devote this week’s blog to a culinary theme, but based on mainstream cuisine around the world — ‘The ten best restaurants you’ve never heard of’ kind of thing but I thought I would change direction and accommodate all the vegans out there — not that they’re likely to learn anything from a philistine like me. The problem of course when you start to research subjective matters such as food — even vegan food — is that, more often than not, beauty is invariably in the taste buds of the beholder so with that in mind, I limited myself to a review site that is managed by vegans for vegans.

Happy Cow ) is for all the world like a TripAdvisor for vegans in that all the content is user-generated which is, in turn, curated by experts who are also fellow vegans. Having looked at their list of the world’s top vegan restaurants, I was struck by a number of things. For starters, you don’t have to travel too far in order to sample the best of what the vegan world has to offer since it would appear (according to Happy Cow users at least) that the world’s best vegan restaurant is located in — would you believe — Torremolinos of all places! The Wala Room  is definitely going to be on my ‘To Do’ list, the next time I head down to the Costa del Sol!

Another Spanish vegan restaurant gets into the TOP TEN list. This time, you must travel a bit further away because Bioloco is located in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria but at least it’s someplace that you wouldn’t necessarily have to make a detour for . If a four-hour flight to the Canaries is off-putting, then you could always check out Pickywops in Fulham, London

Despite now boasting some of the best cuisine on the planet, Ireland is unfortunately not listed amongst the 80 or so vegan restaurants around the world that have received honourable mention in this year’s listing so hopefully that is something that will be addressed in the coming 12 months. Other places that have captured vegan’s imagination are:

# 4 Cuenco Vegetariano Mendoza, Argentina

# 9 Cook & Book Seoul, South Korea

#19 Veganima Arco, Italy

# 25 Plantae New York USA

# 49 La Palanche d’Aulac Paris, France

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