By choosing to eat more vegetables than meat, our diets become richer in fibre, vitamins and other nutrients and we consume less fat and cholesterol – which is good for our hearts, reduces the risk of cancer and diabetes.
Eating more veggies is one of the easiest and best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and to help endangered species have a chance at surviving. We need to cut our meat consumption by 30%… that’s the same as having two meat-free days a week.
So next time you go out for dinner across the Winchester district, why not opt for a meat-free dish and consider buying local produce, which also requires less fuel. Here are some local restaurants and shopping tips to help you make the change.
Rawberry on St George’s Street is 100% vegetarian, with vegan and gluten free choices. Try the smoothie bowl with granola and fresh fruit or sweet potato muffin for breakfast, and for lunch a seasonal soup, packed healthy salad or bagel. Staff will assist in creating substitutes for any other dietary requirements too. Follow them on Instagram for colourful inspiration and to see what they have in store.
Thai restaurant Bangkok Bistro on Jewry Street has a sizeable vegan section. Pick from vegetable green curry to wok fried spicy pak choi, cashew tofu and more. Or try their packed set menu, ‘Vegan Taste of Thailand For 2’, which includes tom kha soup with seasonal mixed mushrooms and vegetable ginger stir fry.
Bento Factory on St. Thomas Street, specialising in healthy, nutritious Asian food, offers – as well as its meat and vegetarian options – vegan sushi, soup, dumplings, Full Korean breakfast, cookies and cakes.
Piecaramba! on Parchment Street – run by pie, comic and pop culture enthusiasts – has a decent ‘veggie and vegan’ range – including ‘Shroom Raider’ (wild mushrooms and asparagus), ‘Balti Towers’ (mixed peppers and spinach in a spicy balti sauce) and ‘The Notdog’ (vegan sausages and caramelised onion).
For vegetarian Nepalese and Indian, Gurkhas’ Inn on City Road offers a huge range of starters (pakoras, samosas, battered paneer cheese), traditional curries (korma, tikka masala, karahi etc.); and specials from dal makhani (black lentils, tomato, ginger, butter, cream) to sag aloo (spinach and potato).
Pizza restaurant Three Joes has a multitude of vegetarian dishes, plus the option to go vegan – with seitan pepperoni or chicken and vegan cheese – while pizzas can be made with a non-gluten base.
Open House Deli on Middle Brook Street describes itself as ‘Winchester’s low waste, environmentally conscious deli’, selling packed salads and sides like sweetcorn fritters and onion bhajis for lunch. Order and collect fruit and vegetable boxes; plus a vegan cheese hamper; granola, hummus and more made by the team. Visit their website for recipes including a nutty and crunchy winter salad.
Sister pubs, The Fox in Crawley and The Bugle Inn in Twyford, are open to all dietary requirements with vegetarian and vegan dishes as well as ‘can be’ made vegetarian/vegan/dairy-free/gluten-free options. All you have to do is advise your server if you have certain requirements, for dishes to be amended.
Overdraft on Jewry Street serves a number of vegan and gluten free tacos and is also a ‘climate positive’ business, meaning it helps fund climate projects, including tree planting, to reduce its carbon footprint.
These are just a selection but the menus in Winchester’s restaurants are filled with already vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as the option to choose – so look out for V and VG symbols!
In terms of where to get your produce for a vegetarian or vegan home cooked meal, if you want to buy from a producer with a low environmental impact, consider Worthy Earth market garden, in Martyr Worthy. All their produce is seasonal, organic and cultivated by hand; with no plastic packaging; and produce is delivered predominantly to customers within a 10-mile radius to leave a minimal trace on the environment. Find out how you can order and collect produce here.
Plus, buy from producers at Hampshire Farmers’ Market – in Winchester city centre twice a month. Not only will you be supporting small businesses and enjoying fresh food, but because the produce is local it’s had a shorter journey to get to you, meaning you’re helping to reduce the carbon footprint.
Finally, if you want to produce less waste when you shop, visit Earthian Zero Waste Shop on Parchment Street. Take in your containers to stock up on food, beauty and home products – vegetarian or vegan and mostly organic. Staples include beans, pasta, rice, cereals, soaps, fabric washes and household cleaners.
Last year Winchester City Council set out actions to achieve ambitious carbon neutrality targets as seen in its Carbon Neutrality Action Plan. The plan’s aims were for the council to be carbon neutral by 2024 and work toward the district being the same by 2030 – and by eating less meat you will be doing your bit to help reach these targets. Find more information about the plan here.
By making a pledge to go vegetarian for a week you could be in with a chance of winning a £100 Bella Italia voucher and get other offers and discounts. Find out more on the National Vegetarian Week website.