The veggie community of Exeter could hardly contain its excitement when news of a vegan cafe was to open up its doors to the city in October 2016, and thanks to its delicious food and cute setting, the buzz around Rabbit hasn’t settled down just yet.
Sitting just outside of the city centre, the cafe has made a strong impression on visitors in their first six months, with their varied and inventive menu leaving many happy customers with satisfied tastebuds, as well as some enviable Instagram shots. And who better to run such an establishment than Chris Bellairs, manager of Seasons, the 100% vegan shop already well-known and loved by vegans near and far to the area, which lives just a few doors down to Rabbit.
Chris set up Rabbit after deciding that the local herbivores needed somewhere to retreat to where a lack of appetising vegan options wasn’t going to be a problem. The cafe even caters for different types of eaters, as you can go for an indulgent hot dog or a more saintly salad. “Everyone I’ve spoken to who’s eaten at Rabbit has enjoyed it, and you don’t have to be vegan to like the food. The menu suits healthy vegans as well as those looking for a junk food blow out,” said Chris.
“I think people get addicted to the good feeling you get from being vegan”
With more independent and chain restaurants gradually adding vegan options to their menus, it seems to be getting easier than ever to dine out as a vegan. “I think Exeter has become so much easier for vegans, I remember when finding vegan options used to be a real struggle, but now you can get many tasty options at even the most generic places,” said Chris.
With veganism gaining increasing public attention in recent times, some may dismiss the lifestyle as just a trend, but with vegan food sales up a huge 1500% last year in the UK, the consumer demand will only speak for itself. “There is definitely a vegan trend at the moment, but that’s not to say it’s not here to stay. I think some people might try vegan as part of this trend and once doing so get addicted to the good feeling you get from being vegan, from feeling healthy to feeling good about not harming animals.” As for Chris’ vegan domination of the South West? “I would love to branch out across Devon, as the vegan demand is so strong wherever you go.” Sounds good to us, Chris!