According to the vegan and vegetarian website and app Happy Cow, The Queen Inn in Cwmbran, Wales, is the best vegan restaurant in Europe (based on hundreds of reviews in the app). This pub describes itself as being the world’s first vegan steakhouse and its extensive menu is particularly targeting customers still addicted to meat, as it offers many fake meat dishes (including  “hyper-realistic” vegan steaks as well as  ch*cken, b*con and leek pie, ‘s*lmon fillet and ‘BBQ r*bs). In addition to fake meats, the pub also serves vegetable and fungi dishes such as shiitake mushroom pie, veg lasagne, and cauliflower steak.

The Queen Inn was founded in 1800 and went plant-based in January 2022 as an experiment that seems to have worked well. Ryan Edwards, the owner of the pub, told Plant Based News, “Most of our customers are animal-eaters who want a cruelty-free way of eating their favorite pub meals. We also get big parties with just a few vegans, who would usually go to non-vegan places where the token vegan will have a disappointing meal…We always find that animal eaters are pleasantly surprised at the quality of the meals. They realize that plant-based dishes don’t always ‘taste like cardboard.”

Since being named the number one restaurant on HappyCow, The Queen Inn has seen “a huge surge in bookings.” According to Edwards, “Every Saturday in January is now fully booked.”

According to a new survey from personal finance comparison site finder.com, the UK region with fewer vegans is the South West with 2.8% of the population, followed by Wales with 3.1%. It is not surprising, then, that the pub has chosen the route of fake meats as this may be more compatible with meat-eaters or people just trying a plant-based diet without committing to becoming vegan.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.