Whether it’s down to a fondness for our four-legged friends, the impact of ‘veganuary’ or for the wealth of health benefits a meat-free diet can have, more and more Londoners are turning to plant-based diets. Vegans, rest assured that you won’t go hungry in London! Veganism is taking off in the city, so rather than a wilting salad you can get your paws on some gourmet dishes to make meat-eaters green with envy. Read on for the best vegan food in London.
Wild Food Café
Anyone lured to London by their Premier Club benefits will undoubtedly make a pitstop at the Covent Garden area. There are plenty of vegan menus to be chewed over here, but head to Wild Food Café for the purest experience. Their menu is alive with the favours of nut-based cheeses and crisp, wholesome greenery. Try the Classic Wild Burger, made from a spiced olive and mushroom patty and dressed with almond feta, or sample the jackfruit based Cosmic Burrito Wrap. The cafè serve healthy juices, smoothies and specialty hot drinks such as the Turmeric Pollen Latte.
1st Floor, 14 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, WC2H 9DP
For cheerful vegan fare the bohemian way, head to this community cafe in South London. The Bonnington Café is a co-operatively run vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the Bonnington Square Community Centre in the heart of Vauxhall. One of London’s best-kept secrets, the café has been open since the early 80’s when it was started as a squat café to provide a cheap meal for the local community. No single person runs the restaurant, it’s maintained by a collective of cooks who take it in turns. Don’t forget to take cash (no cards are accepted) and a bottle of wine. The cafe is unlicensed and does not charge for corkage.
11 Vauxhall Grove, Vauxhall, SW8 1TD
Wildly convenient for guests of the Paddington Court Executive Rooms, Farmacy is a hip dining option in London’s West End. The restaurant masterminds strictly seasonal dishes from food grown in their own plot of land, located in Kent. All menus are 100% plant-based and free from dairy, refined sugar, additives and chemicals. Typical dishes include Vegan Mac ’n’ ‘Cheese’, pizzetta and ‘earth bowls’ packed with Mexican, Middle Eastern and Japanese ingredients. Save space for a raw chocolate tart and a farmaceutical tea.
74 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W2 5SH
If you’re looking for gourmet vegan, then look no further than Vanilla Black. This stylish joint is nestled among the law courts of London’s legal district and serves a vegetarian menu with a hefty number of vegan plates. Headed up by a friendly kitchen, the menu is innovative and creative and strives to give vegans more choices than is the norm. Warm up with a Salted Caramel Beans and Black Olive Madeleine before tucking into a Warm Mushroom Pâté, Lemon and Rice. Vanilla Black have an extensive wine list, many of which are vegan-friendly.
17-18 Took’s Court, Holborn, EC4A 1LB
For a more casual dining option perfect for breaking up a day of shopping before retreating to the Marble Arch Suites, head to this self-service eatery. Ethos specialise in deliciously different, meat-free and plant based cuisine that tastes as good as it is for you. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a vegan afternoon tea served daily at 3pm. You can choose from around 40 hot, cold and sweet dishes inspired from places all around the world, and you can pay based on weight. We love Ethos because it gives those curious about the plant-based diet an opportunity to experiment with different flavours and be inspired to try new flavours.
48 Eastcastle Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 8DX
The Spread Eagle
Although it raised a few eyebrows when it first opened, the Spread Eagle (London’s first vegan pub!) swiftly earned a reputation for its flavoursome Mexican food and cruelty-free draught beers and ales. Club Mexican run the kitchen, with street food bursting with colours, flavours and plenty of spice. Even the furnishings and fixtures are vegan, making this a haven for the committed vegans after a brew!
224 Homerton High Street, Homerton, E9 6AS
Wulf & Lamb Chelsea
Don’t panic, there’s nothing fluffy on the menu at Wulf & Lamb, the ‘fiercely kind’ eatery in London’s affluent Chelsea district. All options are entirely plant-based, crafted to satisfy your craving for comfort food by creating vegan versions of familiar classics. Choose between Chilli ‘Non’ Carne, Wulf Pie (pulled jackfruit and lentil stew!) and the seitan based Wulf Burger. Besides an enticing vegan wine, beer and cider menu, Wulf & Lamb serve kombucha. They have a second restaurant in Marylebone, which is well-suited to guests of the Paddington Court Executive Rooms.
243 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, SW1X 0BP
Young Vegans Pie Shop
One of the staples of any Brit’s diet is the humble pie. Traditionally, these golden pastries would be packed with meat. Fortunately, the Young Vegans Pie Shop has kicked down the barriers between vegans and the ultimate comfort food. Choose between Vegan Steak and Ale Pie, Vegan Chicken Katsu Curry Pie or the Vegan Mac and Cheese Pie. Sides include the classic mashed potato as well as mac ’n’ cheese. All vegan-friendly, of course. Who said you needed meet to bake the perfect pie? The perfect ‘lil pick-me-up whilst browsing vegan goods and fashion at Camden Market.
60 Camden Lock Place, Camden Town, NW1 8AF
How many boxes can one restaurant tick? Well, Itadaki Zen is vegan, organic, sustainable and Japanese – which is always guaranteed to be a delicious affair! The star ingredients are noodles, tofu, seaweed and kakiage tempura. You can order from the appetising main menu or choose a special set menu and try a little bit of everything. The restaurant itself is cosy enough to make an impressive date venue!
139 King’s Cross Road, WC1X 9BJ