As of the end of October, Jidori Covent Garden – Brett Redman’s authentic yakitori joint – has introduced a new vegan menu to its evening offering. The new food selection features some favourite specials from the past, alongside new dishes that showcase Japanese techniques of cooking with vegetables – think tenderstem broccoli tempura; avocado, radish and yuca ceviche; ‘nasu’ aubergine skewers; and for dessert coconut sorbet with figs and lime. How refreshing.
89 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, E8 2PB and 15 Catherine Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5JZ
Launching today, The Meet offers indulgent plant-based comfort food and playful vegan cocktails, all within the urban backdrop of the railway arches in Clapham North. The menu offers a selection of dishes for committed vegans, experimental foodies and who are simply health-conscious. Using the latest in meat-free alternatives such as seitan and jackfruit, the kitchen transforms recognisable meaty dishes into unexpected vegan delights. Open daily, The Meet offers a range of small sharing plates, burgers and late-night bites, as well as serving bottomless vegan brunch and Sunday roasts on the weekend.
15-16 Lendal Terrace, Clapham, SW4 7UX
Biff’s Jack Shack
This vegan eatery at The Haunt centres on one of 2018’s hottest ingredients to craft its “filthy junk food”: the jackfruit. Burgers topped with ‘bacon’ and blue ‘cheese’ hit the mark when it comes to indulgent flavours, but it’s the team’s signature dish, crispy fried jackfruit, that’s the real winner: the jackfruit is braised, double dipped in a panko crumb and fried to create a meat-like texture. The ‘wings’ are even served on a sugarcane bone for an authentic feel. We’re impressed.
182 Stoke Newington Road, Stoke Newington, N16 7UY
Temple of Seitan
Temple of Seitan is a 100% vegan fast-food joint that launched in 2015. Now with two sites in Camden and Shoreditch (as well as a popular street food following), the kitchen focuses on ‘chicken’ and ‘hamburgers’, using its namesake as a meat alternative. We’re a big fan of its Temple Hot – a hot dipped ‘fillet’, ranch mayo, pickles and lettuce; and the BBQ Bacon burger, which is filled with a quarter-pound patty, mayo, cheese, bacon, pickles and house BBQ sauce. Top sides include mac ‘n’ cheese with ‘chorizo’, popcorn chicken and a pot of gravy.
10 Morning Lane, Hackney, E9 6NA and 103a Camley Street, Camden, N1C 4PF
The Full Nelson
This cool Deptford bar is also a well-loved veggie/vegan eatery that specialises in junk food: think ‘Seitanic Wings’ (seasoned seitan fried in a choice of buffalo, barbecue or teriyaki coating); ‘Chilli cheese fries’ (rosemary-seasoned fries, avocado cream and vegan cheese); and the ‘Nakatomi Tower’ (‘chicken’, hash browns, coleslaw, cheese, beer battered onion rings and chipotle mayo in a brioche bun). While regular cheese is served on some of the burgers and there’s Oreo ice-cream on the menu, The Full Nelson offers vegan alternatives for everything. The site is also home to vegan coffee shop The Waiting Room, and the kitchen also caters for The Four Quarters in Peckham.
47 Deptford Broadway, Deptford, SE8 4PH
What The Pitta
What The Pitta’s mission is to bring a healthier, more ethical spin to a beloved British favourite: the donor kebab. Inspired by co-owner Roj’s uncle’s vegan kebab pop-up in Germany, the team’s “meat-free more often” mantra comes to life via its vegan donor (freshly-made bread, spiced soya pieces, mixed salad, tzatziki, hummus and chilli sauce); Turkish pizza (dough topped with minced soya, minced vegetables, onions, tomatoes, parsley, and spices); and donor and chips box (chips loaded with spiced soya pieces and mixed salad). It’s a seriously impressive alternative.
89-91 Bayham Street, Camden, NW1 0AG; Boxpark Croydon, Croydon, CR0 1LD; Boxpark Shoreditch, Shoreditch, E1 6GY
Wulf And Lamb
This Chelsea restaurant offers meat-free alternatives to traditional comfort food – think mac ‘n’ cheese, pie and mash and chilli con carne. Tucked away in a mews just off Sloane Square, this is a genteel, well-designed spot to linger over lunch, or grab something to go. The tongue-in-cheek names (chilli ‘non’ carne) belie a menu crammed full of plant-based goodness – pulled jackfruit makes up the filling of the ‘Wulf Pie’; the house burger is made of seitan and topped with sauerkraut and cashew aioli; and the open burrito uses sautéed ackee and cashew sour cream to give the dish a Mexican punch.
243 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, SW1X 0BP
Flipside is a brand-new modern American restaurant which offers fully plant-based grab-and-go options. Breakfast and lunch offerings include organic chickpea scramble boxes; sourdough doughnuts with almond feta and honey; and a ‘Mac Bar’, where guests can customise their own mac n’ cheese. Come evening, the place transforms into a burger joint, which also serves tempting sides including buffalo wings, chicken salt fries and loaded nachos. Fries and shakes are also on hand to complete the all-American vibe.
88 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, EC1M 6BP
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
Shoreditch has a new vegan hangout with the launch of Genesis. The menu is entirely plant-based, GMO-free and organic, and draws on global street food influences. The casual setting and counter-style service ensures that food is delivered fresh, fast and fuss-free, while the restaurant’s contemporary design and striking neon artwork promises a fun and relaxed dining experience. We like the sound of the ‘American Woman’ burger (coleslaw, BBQ sauce, onion rings, jalapeños, and gherkins) followed by a vegan brownie sundae.
144 Commercial Street, Shoreditch, E1 6NU
A new transfer from vegan hotspot Brighton, Baby Bao now has a long-term pop-up in London. Focusing on Taiwanese steamed buns filled with good things, the menu at Baby Bao follows in its older sibling’s footsteps with a prominent collection of vegan options. Highlights include bao stuffed with panko squash, pineapple, gochujang mayo, pickled daikon and coriander; or grilled tofu, hoisin, peanuts, cucumber and scallion, plus sides such as sweetcorn nuggets with seaweed coating.
66 Haymarket, St James's, SW1Y 4RW
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
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
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.
Redemption Bar is the 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