Lettuce be having it: Warsaw still one of the best places in the WORLD for vegans, says HappyCow report
Leading vegan website HappyCow has placed Warsaw seventh in its 2018 ranking of the top vegan-friendly cities in the world, pipping Paris, Toronto and Prague to the seventh centile.
The site’s editors noted with satisfaction that Warsaw had “continued its tremendous vegan growth spurt in 2018.”
The ranking calculated that there are 47 completely vegan restaurants in Warsaw and 112 places that cater for those who have adopted herbivore living. This does not just include eateries, but other businesses that have shunned all animal testing and animal products.
A feature of the Warsaw vegan scene noted by the judges is that most restaurants are within a one-mile radius in South Śródmieście, making it incredibly convenient to walk from restaurant to restaurant.
Editors from the US-based website have been travelling around the world since 1999 visiting and writing about places that offer food without meat or animal products.
In this year’s ranking, they highlighted Warsaw’s legendary vegan burger joint Krowarzywa, which has twice been voted ‘Best Burger in Warsaw’, beating off its meat-based competitors. Their opening of a fourth outlet in Warsaw suggests that vegan burgers are here to stay.
High praise was showered on pop-up turned brick-n-mortar Vegan Ramen Shop, which it described as “world-class”.
Although a lot of vegan eateries are plant-based versions of well-known fast food formats such as burritos, falafel and pizzas, the editors were pleased to note a greater number of upscale options.
Notable among these is the zen-like Edamame Vegan Sushi, which serves smoked tofu California rolls at chop-stick-rattlingly good prices.
Another Warsaw favourite that the ranking compilers had no beef with is vegan fine-dining venue Tel Aviv Food & Wine. In their former guise as a buzzy Med bistro they practically launched Poznańska Street as the place to be seen in south-central Warsaw, and they have a chef’s hat full of gongs to prove the quality of their upscale vegan platings.
Grab-and-go options that tickled the editors’ taste buds include vibey burrito joint Momencik, which has been converting carnivores with its bean wraps and tacos since it opened.
Although the capital has slipped a little down the ranking – it took third spot last year behind Berlin and Los Angeles – the achievement is still impressive as the vegan lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular and competition is fierce for the vegan dollar.
The ranking appreciated the fact that Warsaw’s vibrant vegan scene is bolstered by ice-cream locations Akwarium and Vegestacja, as well as vegan cake baker Lokal Dela Krem.
Proof that the vegan market is not just about tasty nosh comes in the form of vegan shoe shop Ananas and the nail bars Salon Wisła and Nailed It, which all use cruelty-free materials with no toxic nasties.
Rounding out Warsaw’s vegan offering are the groceries Evergreen and Terravege, as well as organic certified wine shop Solvino Bio.
HappyCow’s ranking looked at three factors: the number of vegan restaurants in a 5-mile radius in the most vegan restaurant-dense area in each city, the number of vegan/vegetarian/veg-option restaurants in the same 5-mile radius, and the overall vegan-friendliness of the city.
The full top-ten ranking:
3. New York
5. Tel Aviv
6. Los Angeles