When I tour some parts of Europe, the clock can go right back to those grim days! I was offered a 'veggie soup' in Portugal and I see and smell the beef fat on the surface!This debate makes me feel my age.
When I turned veggie back in the 80s venues that catered to my proclivities were of the Cranks school of worthy specialists or they were Italian or Indian places. Beyond that, knowing whether a pub or restaurant had any kind of veggie 'choice' was often the deciding factor for my opting in or out of a group social occasion - cue a regular pattern of phoning ahead and never knowing if info was reliable. 30-odd years on and I rarely need to think about it in the UK.