Two Norwich vegetarian restaurants named among best in country
- Credit: Archant
Two Norwich restaurants have reached the finals of The Vegetarian and Vegan Awards 2020, adding to the city's reputation as one of the best places in the UK for meat-free meals.
Wild Thyme in the city centre and River Green Cafe in Trowse have both been named as two of the 11 finalists for the national best vegetarian restaurant category.
The awards, which are taking place for the first time this year, feature a further two Norwich nominees with The Tipsy Vegan in St Benedicts Street in the best bar category and Trio's Catering for vegetarian and vegan-friendly caterer.
The River Green Cafe, which first started in 2011 in the former Trowse Bakery, is run by Chris Avey, who is also the head chef, and he was delighted when he found out they were a finalist.
Mr Avey said: "We got an email out the blue and it was a pleasant surprise as it is always nice when you are nominated by a customer.
"Everything we make and serve in the kitchen is made from scratch using local and seasonal produce and we are also members of the Proudly Norfolk scheme.
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"I'm a culinary magpie and take inspiration from all around the world and we have dishes at the moment such as a Mexican burrito, pad Thai, Moroccan platter and even a version of a Wellington which is our most popular dish."
Mr Avey has been a vegetarian for 30 years, which was a decision for environmental reasons, but decided to make the full leap as a vegan three years ago.
Over that time, he has seen a huge increase in the meat-free options available in restaurants and in no place more so than in the city.
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Mr Avey added: "When this place opened in 2011 there was only a handful of vegetarian places in Norwich and now there is a dozen and every other chain or independent offers at least one or two vegan options.
"Norwich is one of the best places in the UK to be a vegetarian or vegan and there is a lot of creativity in the restaurant scene."
Building on his success, Mr Avey is launching a new Supper Club on the first Thursday of the month, launching on March 5, where up to 14 diners will enjoy several sharing dishes and you can book at rivergreencafe.co.uk/cheftable
The winners will be revealed on The Vegetarian and Vegan Awards Facebook page on Monday, February 24.