The UK’s Most Surprising Food Hotspots

The UK has many noteworthy food hotspots which are firmly ingrained in the nation’s culinary consciousness.  Birmingham and Bradford are renowned for curry, Brighton is a haven for vegetarians and arguably the home of the organic food movement and London of course has something for all tastes.  But there are also some foodie niches to be found in some surprising places.  The news that Glasgow was recently voted the most vegan-friendly city in the UK was perhaps unforeseen, so that got us thinking about where some of the other more unusual food hotpsots might be in the UK.  Here’s a few of them…

Glasgow: Vegan Paradise

vegan food

Find the like of this in Glasgow! (via)

Glasgow, as the UK’s fourth largest city, does of course have a thriving restaurant scene as well as a somewhat infamous pioneering spirit for culinary invention (think haggis, the deep fried mars bar etc).  Rather surprisingly though, it was also recently revealed to be a hotspot for veganism.  The animal charity PETA named Glasgow the most vegan-friendly city in the UK who deemed the city a “fantastic place for vegans.”  Glasgow has many vegan restaurants and cafes with numerous other Glaswegian businesses, including music venues and bars, also offering a vegan section of their menu.  The University of Glasgow was the first in the UK to be accredited by the Vegan Society and many vegan bloggers have been singing the praises of Glasgow’s vegan scene for a while now.  Glasgow, a vegan -niche, did anyone see that coming?!

Padstow: Celebrity-Chef Endorsed Seafood


Seafood galore in Padstow

The small fishing port of Padstow in Cornwall only has a population of around 3000 people, yet it can lay claim to being a true UK foodie hotspot. This is in no small part due to celebrity chef Rick Stein setting up shop here with his famous seafood restaurant and cafes attracting thousands of tourists every year.  Its status as a working fishing port means there’s an endless supply of fresh seafood on offer.  Crab and of course the traditional fish and chips from Padstow are some of the best you’ll find in the country.

Ludlow: Food Festival Pioneer


Ludlow, artisan foodie paradise (via)

Ludlow in Shropshire is a quintessential English market town that also happens to be a mecca for foodies who make the pilgrimage to Ludlow’s renowned food and drink festival every September.  The popular festival, much of which occurs in Ludlow Castle, pioneered the modern food festival trend when it began back in 1995.  Numerous artisan food shops, including butchers, cheese shops and delicatessens also line the streets of Ludlow, all selling high-quality foods, much of which are usually locally sourced. The town has also attracted top chefs and had several michelin starred restaurants in its time.  The farmers’ market held twice a month also offers people the chance to buy high-quality produce directly from local producers.   All told, this picturesque rural English town is a true foodie paradise.

Birmingham: Michelin Starred Success


Birmingham, a foodie’s dream!

Birmingham is of course most famous for curry, being home to the Balti Triangle as well as hundreds of other Indian restaurants.  But as well as its curry credentials, the city can also lay claim to being a centre for fine dining as it is the city with the most Michelin stars outside of London. Purnell’s, Simpsons and Turner’s are all Michelin-starred restaurants that have put Birmingham firmly on the map for excellent cuisine.

Which surprising UK foodie hotspots have we missed?  Let us know below!

by Jessie Brown |

Posted on: November 14, 2013 | by: Jess

About the Author

A coffee addict and fiend for Asian food who’s likely to be found perusing flea markets, seeking out the best street food or running around music festivals.

  • Me

    Not much of a list.

  • Me too

    Totally agree. I only had to click a link to get here but I’m not sure even that minor effort was worth it.

  • nogood

    not very much info

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