UPDATED JANUARY 2018
Whether you’re detoxing, dieting or just trying to give your body a health boost, it doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of London’s culinary delights. The city’s streets are paved with delicious healthy eating joints – you just need to know where to find them. From creative detox kitchens to sumptuous salad bars, we’ve whittled down the best healthy restaurants in London, guaranteed to satisfy your cravings without the huge calorie hit.
Fitzroivia’s laid-back poké hangout specialises in build-your-own poké bowls. You choose a base of quinoa, sushi rice or kale, with a mix of proteins or veg including salmon, ahi tuna or shrimp, topped with your choice of sauce and salad toppings. With a strong focus on sustainability and quality ingredients, this is the best spot to grab a nutritious Hawaiian salad bowl with the added feel-good factor. There are signature bowls on the menu, too, if you find you can’t make up your mind which toppings you want. Ahi currently has locations in Soho and Fitzrovia. The third and newest haunt will set up camp in Old Spitalfields Market on 22nd January, with a fourth to open in the Bloomberg Arcade in February. Plenty of places to indulge your poké fix.
Locations in Soho, Fitzorivia and Shoreditch
Every morsel on Nama’s menu is 100% meat, wheat, dairy and gluten-free, and each dish is entirely vegan, organic and unprocessed, so for those of you indulging in Veganuary, this is where to head. Tuck into deliciously flavoursome plates of walnut-crust pizzas, veggie pastas and a mighty English breakfast that includes cashew scrambled ‘eggs’, herbed portobello ‘sausage’, aubergine ‘bacon’, preserved chestnut mushrooms and Balsamic tomatoes, served up with artisan almond and walnut bread and their signature raw tomato ketchup. Yum.
110 Talbot Rd, Notting Hill, W11 1JR
More of an ethical ethos than a healthy one, but Cub’s inventive menu champions zero-waste, with many of the dishes on the menu being vegan-friendly and recycled from ingredients that would otherwise have been thrown away. Dishes are presented as works of art and come drenched in a wondrous myriad of flavours. Dishes to watch out for include tomato brined in sea water, with seaweed and sea herbs; smoked rye amazake with belvedere vodka and rhubarb; compost smoked carrot, buffalo curds and whey; and sea buckthorn, Douglas fir and brown butter.
153 Hoxton Street, Hoxton, N1 6PJ
Darcie & May Green
Step aboard the good ship Darcie, or May, you have the choice of two at this quirky waterside hangout. Adorned in psychedelic, zany prints (courtesy of Sir Peter Blake – best known for the cover of the Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) each barge transports diners back to the swinging sixties with a health-conscious menu of Aussie-inspired classics. Devour hearty dishes of Szechuan soft-shell; crab; giant chicken parmigiana; and charcoal grilled lamb flat bread; alongside lighter dishes of vegan poké bowls and Asian chicken salads, with bottomless brunches and afternoon teas served up on the weekends. Cocktails come in the form of guava bellinis, a quirky twist on an espresso martini, and moreish champagne coolers, with an additional selection of craft beers and natural New World wines.
1A Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, W2 6PY
Breakfasts don’t come better than the fruit-laden porridge pots served up at 26 Grains. This rustic foodie haven specialises in breakfast and lunch plates with a quirky Scandinavian twist, so look forward to creamy bowls of cooked almond oats topped with coconut yoghurt, banana and date syrup; poached pear, chai almond butter and Greek yoghurt; and for a savoury hit, opt for oats topped with spinach, egg, avocado and Sriracha, or the halloumi flatbread served with garlic yoghurt, golden beetroot dukkah and lettuce.
1 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, WC2H 9DP
Serving up some of the prettiest plates we’ve ever seen, Matthew Kenney – the pioneering chef of the American raw-food scene – has cleverly devised a mouthwatering raw food menu at Shoreditch’s Essence Cuisine that’s all meat, dairy, gluten and refined sugar-free. But the clever part is infusing flavour into essentially uncooked ingredients, and this he does with ease. Each dish comes packed with complex aromas and finished with artistic, creative flair. Hole up at the concrete bar – this couldn’t be more East London if it tried – and indulge in plates of pad Thai made with kelp noodles; ‘bangers and mash’ – activated walnut and portobello mushroom sausage with celeriac and soft cashew cheese mash; and heirloom tomato lasagne with courgette ‘pasta’ layers, all served with a glass (or bottle) biodynamic vegan-friendly wines.
94 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4RH
With a passion for healthy, nutritious food, Jūsu Brothers’ Japanese-inspired eatery and juice bar in Notting Hill combines fresh, wholesome ingredients with big, bold flavours. Celebrating the very best of fresh, seasonal produce, you’ll find quirky takes on classic dishes from around the world including all-day breakfast plates and beautiful bowls which nourish from the outside in. Take your pick from Avo Don – walnut bread topped with fresh avocado; antioxidant-rich red and yellow bowls topped with bee pollen, agave and home-made granola; and French toast made with soy milk, cinnamon, coconut oil and coconut sugar; as well as raw tuna tartare; spicy kimchi, and okonomiyaki – egg and cabbage cake with basmati rice, mushrooms, roasted with okonomi sauce. They also serve a fantastic selection of vegan sushi.
147-149 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RS
As the younger sibling to the Michelin-starred Fitzrovia restaurant, Lima Floral in Covent Garden still offers the same high standard of unique Peruvian fare, with a slightly more palatable price tag. As well as hearty, healthy brunches – think quinoa porridge and spring onion-infused egg frittata – there’s also piqueos on the menu (that's Peruvuan tapas) – small plates with an ingredient list of native Amazonian vegetables that’s sure to make your head spin. Lunch and dinner could comprise of sea bream ceviche and huacaina beef to start, followed by hot and spicy hake sudado, chicken pachamanca and beef lomo cassava. Or for something a little lighter, their ceviche selection is out of this world – be sure to try the salmon tiradito and the hot ceviche of grilled sea bass, corn puree and yellow aji pepper – beyond delicious.
14 Garrick Street (Entrance on Floral Street), Floral, Covent Garden, WC2E 9BJ
The home of guilt-free indulgence, London’s first alcohol-free cocktail bar – aptly named Redemption – takes dry January to a whole new level. Their clever strapline: ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’ means you can tuck into a sumptuous collection of savoury offerings – think sweetcorn and red pepper pancakes; grilled aubergine and tahini; pulled barbecued jackfruit with superslaw; and black bean and ruby beet ‘buff burgers’ served with sweet potato fries – and alcohol-free tipples, entirely guilt-free. Be sure to try the Beet-O-Tini with beetroot, orange juice, lime and coconut water; Lettuce Spray – a Japanese-inspired cocktail of iceberg lettuce, lime, cucumber, wasabi and aloe vera; and Flu Fighters – a fiery combo of ginger chilli, aloe vera, coconut water and citrus fruits.
Locations in Old Street and Notting Hill
Bringing a slice of Melbourne to London, Farm Girl’s all-day eatery serves up delectable, healthy treats, including superfood smoothies, Farm Girl porridge (millet flakes, chia seeds, coconut, avocado and omega mix) and the Farm Girl BLT– all of which harness the best of nutritious, local goods.
59a Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 3DB
For a dose of wholesome goodness, hole up at Peckham Level’s latest healthy offering. Wildflower’s canteen-style eatery serves up a healthy, nutritious menu of brunch, lunch and dinner plates (all of which are vegetarian and vegan-friendly) inspired by Middle Eastern, European and Mediterranean cuisines, as well as an evening programme of live music from Thursday through until Sunday each week. Look forward to delicious dishes including the likes of smoked tofu with samjang sauce, bok choi and sesame; fried cauliflower with Bramley apple, walnuts, Cotherstone and pickled onions and sweet potato gratin with rhubarb chutney, Beenleigh Blue and bitter leaves.
Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TG
The Vurger Co
Two weeks into detoxing and craving a giant, greasy cheeseburger? We feel your pain, but fret not, The Vurger Co rustle up a mean plant-based burger packed full of your five-a-day. Each Vurger delight is made from 100% vegetables, seeds, nuts, grains and legumes, and believe us when we say they don’t compromise on flavour. ‘Soul satisfying without compromise’, indulge with the Auburger, made from aubergines, chickpeas, red onion and vegan cheese; the Classic made with blackbeans, smoked paprika, chargrilled red peppers & corn patty, topped with burger sauce, gerkins, tomatoes and red onion; the Mexican, a spiced jalapenos and pepper bean patty with hot salsa and chili mayo, topped with avocado; or the MLT – made with a baked mushroom and borlotti bean patty topped with sundried tomato and walnut pesto.
The Vurger Co is set to open their first permanent site later this year, until then you can find their sliders at Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea, Canary Wharf and St Katharine’s Dock
Granger & Co
Transport your taste buds to sunnier climes with Bill Granger’s sumptuous selection of hearty yet healthy Australian-inspired classics. Tuck into small plates of courgette chips with nigella seed and tahini yoghurt; tuna poke with whipped avocado; and crab toast with chilli and endives; followed by chilli miso salmon with hot and sour aubergine salad; carrot and chickpea latke; bowls of brightly coloured salads and grains with fragrant chicken; tomato and courgette cavatelli; or creamy burrata and lentils.
Granger & Co, various locations
Ceviche’s little sister, this Peruvian hotspot boasts a fresh selection of superfood classics. Ceviche naturally features on the menu, with plenty of grilled meats and fish to make for a well-balanced diet. Feast on colourful plates of quinoa, avocado and cucumber salad; roasted pumpkin with beetroot and orange; grilled octopus with butterbeans or marinated grilled fillet steak with red onion and chilli.
1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DJ
The Good Life Eatery
With the likes of skinny Benedict, egg white frittatas and spelt croissants, this laid-back Chelsea eatery gives a healthy twist to classic brunch creations, so you can tuck into your favourite dishes guilt-free. The lunches aren’t bad either, with hearty plates of courgette fettucine packed with tomatoes and veg; miso hungry macro bowls with roasted butternut squash, homemade kimchi, and wild rice or quinoa; as well as hearty soups, lighter sandwich options and delicious detox salads.
1 St John's Wood High Street, St John’s Wood, NW8 7NG
Dedicated to serving up an entire menu of delicious, sustainably sourced food, Farmstand’s healthy repertoire of tasty tidbits is the perfect pitstop for a laid-back lunchtime bite. Whether you want to sit in or grab and go, the menu is full of wholesome goodies. Choose from brown rice and quinoa, lentils, tabbouleh or roasted sweet potato with a protein fix of slow-cooked beef brisket, harissa chicken, lamb meatballs or a freshly caught daily fish option. Fresh juices are also available as well as beer and wine, for those who aren’t practicing dry January.
42 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AJ
Snaps & Rye
The epitome of healthy eating, this Notting Hill based Nordic café-restaurant serves up some of the most scrumptious rye smørrebrød (open sandwiches) around, as well as soups, salads and pickle and cheese plates. All with a Scandinavian twist, feast on the likes of cured smoked salmon, herring and smoked eel and beetroot and goats’ cheese salad served with walnuts, pickled mushrooms and toasted rye.
93 Golborne Road, Notting Hill, W10 5NL
As a restaurant that’s effectively a greenhouse, you would be disappointed not to see a heap of homegrown produce on the menu. Thankfully, that’s not the case, as there’s plenty organic veg to choose from at this London hotspot. Hungry, health-conscious diners can look forward to an array of fresh, seasonal crops, chopped, pickled, steamed and seasoned to perfection. The healthiest offerings include mozzarella di Bufala with pickled delica pumpkin; Portland crab with shaved fennel, radish and orange; pumpkin and chard ‘Parmiagiana’ crème fraiche with winter leaf salad; and pan-fried fillet of seabass with Castelluccio lentils and winter greens.
Church Lane, Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 7AB
Yotam Ottolenghi’s mouthwatering Middle Eastern-inspired fare is a well-deserved, if obvious, inclusion in any health-friendly recommendation list. His selection of deli restaurants are a delight to walk into – you’ll see stacks of vibrant, zingy salads, spiced bakes and floral displays set out on the counter, complete with Ottolenghi’s signature flavours. A medley of light meat dishes and vibrant veggie options, this is a delectable dining spot whether you’re detoxing or not.
Ottolenghi, various locations
Wild Food Café
A stalwart on the health food scene, nutrient-rich delights don’t come much healthier than this. Try the Ayurvedic super salad: a heavenly meal made with lamb's lettuce, amaranth, spiralized courgette, hijiki seaweed, slices of artichoke hearts, avocado, cucumber, red pepper cubes, coriander and rocket with parsley pesto and mango salsa along with savory seeds (soaked to activate the germination process), flavoured with leafy greens and spices, and marinated shiitake mushrooms.
1st Floor, 14 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, WC2H 9DP
The Detox Kitchen
If you’re going the whole hog this January in an attempt to flush away those excess Christmas calories, The Detox Kitchen is the place to head. The menu is super-healthy and packed with flavour, but free from wheat, dairy and refined sugar. Tuck into protein-rich salads, tasty salmon burgers and glorious veggie dishes including everything from roasted cauliflower with cumin yoghurt to chickpeas with cherry tomatoes, celery and lentil sprouts. Plus, if you’re feeling particularly energetic, the Soho branch has a fitness studio downstairs, so you can grab a bite after a workout.
Inspired by innovative dishes from all corners of the globe, tuck into an array of nutritious culinary delights, all free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and nasty chemicals. Comfort food classics including the Farmcacy Burger come highly recommended, as do the homemade sourdough pizzas, spelt pasta dishes and gorgeous, guilt-free ice cream sundaes.
74 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W2 5SH