Being vegan has never been more fashionable, and whether you’re in it for Veganuary, or have ditched meat and dairy altogether, London has plenty of vegan-friendly restaurant offerings. Here’s our pick of the best plant-based menus to try…
Celebrating the very best of fresh, seasonal produce, you’ll find quirky takes on classic dishes from around the world at this Japanese-inspired eatery and juice bar, with all-day breakfast plates and beautiful bowls which nourish from the outside in. There are plenty of vegan-friendly delights to choose from on the menu. 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 fried tofu with homemade vegan cocktail sauce; soba noodles in miso broth; spicy kimchi, and fantastic selection of vegan sushi.
147-149 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2R
Hemsley + Hemsley
Helath food gurus Hemlsey + Hemsley certainly know a thing or two about rustling up a wholesome, nourishing plate. The vegan dishes in their Selfridges café are no less inspiring, with each plate filled with goodness, free from gluten, grains, refined sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Choose from delicious combos of quinoa with roasted vegetables and basil pesto; puy lentil and beetroot salad with mustard; baba ganoush with crudités and crackers; Spiced red lentil soup; and squash and spiralized beetroot noodle salad.
Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB
A self-serve buffet where you pay for your food by weight, expect dozens of diverse dishes from all over the world, with many of the dishes being vegan, gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free. From Japanese, south-east Asian and Korean food, to Indian, Mexican and Lebanese treats, build your own bespoke meal with quality cuisines from every continent.
48 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, W1W 8DX
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. Devour 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
Whilst this Hoxton hotspot errs more towards zero-waste than a dairy and meat-free diet, many of the dishes on Cub’s inventive menu are vegan-friendly and recycled from ingredients that would otherwise have been thrown away. Plates are presented as works of art and come bursting with wondrous aromatic 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
With a mouth-watering menu boasting some of the best tacos in London, Club Mexicana is a stalwart on the vegan food scene. These Mexican morsels are bursting with flavour and zingy spice. Their showstopper is the ‘To-fish’ tacos – beer-battered tofu wrapped in seaweed and topped with fresh chillies, shredded lettuce and chimichurri sauce. You can find their delicious Mexican creations at KERB Camden, Streetfeast Shoreditch, and at their new permanent site, the Spread Eagle pub in Hackney, London’s first ever all-vegan pub.
The Spread Eagle, 224 Homerton High St, Hackney, E9 6AS
Matthew Kenney – the pioneering chef from American’s 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, and one that doesn’t compromise on flavour. Each dish comes packed with complex aromas and finished with artistic, creative flair. Hole up at the concrete bar 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
Not only is the £5.50 Marinara pizza one of the most popular Neapolitan pizza in Naples, it’s also made using 100% all-vegan ingredients, combining tomato sauce with olive oil, garlic, basil and oregano on a fluffy Neapolitan base. It’s low on calories too, so you can gobble without the guilt.
For a dose of wholesome goodness, hole up at Peckham Level’s latest healthy offering. Wildflower’s canteen-style eatery serves up a 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 Veganuary and craving a giant, greasy cheeseburger? Fret not, The Vurger Co rustle up a mean plant-based burger packed full of your five-a-day. Each Vurger 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 plant-based burgers at Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea, Canary Wharf and St Katharine’s Dock
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 that meat lovers, veggies and vegans can all enjoy in harmony. Vegan-friendly dishes include jackfruit curry with turmeric rice, coconut sambal, house pickles and flatbread; celeriac steak with Asian slaw, picked green apple and grated chestnuts; and Byron bhel puri salad served with crispy chickpeas & black rice, avocado, pomegranate, peanuts and sweet & spicy tamarind.
1A Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, W2 6PY
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, but vegan diners can treat themselves to an array of meat and dairy-free alternatives including Kapchi de Setas – braised seasonal wild mushroom with panca chilli and huacatay sauce and mixed quinoa; Causa Huánuco – fermented beetroot, seaweed and potato mash, avocado cream, golden beetroot and beetroot dust; Tacu Tacu Quechua with braised aubergine, quinoa tacu tacu and tofu; and a selection of vegan-friendly Peruvian ice creams – think corn tamal, almond milk, smoked physalis, physalis sauce and corn confit; and cconfit butternut squash, chocolate mousse, orange curd, pink praline.
1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DJ
Yotam Ottolenghi’s eponymous fresh vegetarian fare is a well-deserved, if obvious, inclusion in any veggie-friendly recommendation list, but the vibrant, zingy veggie salads are a must if you’re embracing a vegan diet this January.
If you’re brave enough to tackle Dry January at the same time as Veganuary, we wholeheartedly salute you. But if there’s anywhere that will make you feel better about ditching booze, steak and cheese, it’s Redemption Bar home of guilt-free indulgence. Their clever strapline: ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’ means you can tuck into a sumptuous collection of vegan, sugar-free, and wheat-free 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 and Old Street
Like its younger sibling, Ceviche Soho (despite specialising in cured meats and fish) has a dedicated selection of vegan dishes that are just as tasty as the meatier offerings. Tuck into sumptuous plates of Kohlrabi salad with purple potato mash, sour apple gelée, pickled kohlrabi and lime juice marinade; avocado cannelloni with palm heart salad, chia seed gelée, charapita chilli, amarillo tiger’s milk and amaranth cress; Ensalada de Quinoa – white quinoa, tomato, avocado, butter beans, coriander, lime and limo chilli vinaigrette; and braised cauliflower with amarillo chilli, puffed rice and Peruvian olive sauce.
17 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4RG
Another help-yourself buffet brimming with delicious vegetarian and vegan delights. Pile up your plates with the freshest of veggie salads, Lebanese wild rice, Asian slaw, beetroot hummus, crumbly aubergine quiche and vegan-friendly pastas. If you’re really hungry, be sure to grab a portion of the hearty butter bean, sweet potato and kale korma. Delicious.
12-14 Heddon St, Mayfair, W1B 4DA
This homely veggie and vegan hotspot feels as though you’re sitting in someone’s living room, which only adds to the ambience of Mildreds’ cosy laid-back dining experience. There’s so much to choose from on their extensive menu – from burritos and burgers to chillis and curries, you’ll be spoilt for choice when perusing their well-flavoured vegan-friendly options. Notable classics include wood-roasted mushroom and ale pie with mushy peas and fries; Sri Lankan sweet potato and green bean curry with roasted lime cashews, pea basmati rice and coconut tomato sambal; and southern deep-fried vegan buttermilk and panko mock chicken with red cabbage, maple coleslaw, sweet potato fries and smoked chipotle dip. The flagship Soho branch is almost always packed, so if you can’t bag a spot here (they exercise a strict no-bookings policy), you can head to the Dalston, Camden or Kings Cross venues instead.
This farm-to-table Chelsea hangout puts an ethical stamp on all their clever dishes – meat, fish and veggies alike. Every ingredient is ethically and sustainably sourced from their own farm in West Sussex, with each dish cooked to perfection and served with an intricate, artistic flair. The menu is meat and fish-heavy, but if you notify them in advance they’ll gladly roll out the red carpet to whip you up a delightful vegan feast. Recent dishes have included everything from red endive with black carrot and candied walnut, and caraway crisp bread with green tomato and wood sorrel to hearty mains of wild mushroom ragu with celeriac and truffles.
172 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW3 4UP
An oldie but a goodie. The Gate in Hammersmith has been converting non-vegans since 1989 with its flair for black-bean tortillas and miso glazed aubergine. The owners are Indo-Iraqi so expect flavoursome food with a Middle Eastern twist. Pick from an extensive choice of tofu tikka; aubergine schnitzel; and red Thai curry; or the Rotolo – pommes dauphinoises filled with North African style vegetables and chickpeas, served with raw cauliflower couscous, pickled lemon and coriander salsa; and the tortillas filled with black bean, sweet potato, sweetcorn, soft onion and coriander in a lightly spiced tomato sauce, with guacamole, green tomato and sweet pepper salsa come highly recommended.
Locations in Hammersmith, Islington and Marylebone
For the more health-conscious vegetarian or vegan, Vantra serves up a nutritious selection of raw vegan and veggie food. If you suffer from any major food allergies, or have adopted a strict diet – including paleo, alkaline and low GI – the rather scientific menu will help you make the right meal choice in a flash. Fermented foods and drinks, raw and steamed veg, sprouting salads and cold-pressed juices feature heavily on the menu
79a Tottenham Court Road, W1T 4TD