Kin Cafe, Fitzrovia
Kin Cafe offers fresh and healthy food in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. To keep it interesting for regulars, there’s an ever-changing menu that focuses on vegetarian dishes, with strong vegan offerings as well as gluten-free and raw options. Breakfast and brunch combine hearty favourites such as cauliflower rosti with roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and vegan mayo, alongside a selection of toast and sandwiches, speciality coffees and organic juices. Sticking to the healthy ethos, expect various seasonal pots containing superfoods, nuts and fruits to give your day the perfect kick-start.
22 Foley Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 6DT
Après Food Co, Clerkenwell
Après Food Co is a small, leafy café offering coffee and health-conscious breakfasts, lunches and – more recently – early dinners. Run by a duo with countless hours in nutritional therapy training, the menu uses fairly traded and organic produce – and never gluten or refined sugar. Not that you’ll notice when you’re eating: expect tasty dishes such as sweet potato and caramelised red onion hash; courgette and sweetcorn fritters served with avocado and red pepper chilli jam; and noodles served with Thai peanut sauce.
72 St John Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4DT
Cub is a drinks-led dining concept that champions zero-waste food. It comes courtesy of Ryan Chetiyawardana, the brain behind top cocktail bars Dandelyan and Lyaness. A complex and challenging menu will certainly keep you on your toes, with each plate designed to surprise and excite. Intricate dishes of green tomato, lemon verbena and fragrant white peach are served alongside boozy infusions such as vodka, chamomile and cider vermouth finished with a sprig of greenery. Make sure to try the ‘Shrooms on Shrooms’ – baby king oyster mushrooms fermented in duxelles and cooked three ways.
153 Hoxton Street, Hoxton, N1 6PJ
Kalifornia Kitchen, Fitzrovia
Kalifornia Kitchen has fast become one of the capital’s most popular vegan restaurants. The team is passionate about creating nutritious and sustainable food and drinks, focusing on the power of plants and abstaining from any animal products or harmful plastics. Inspired, as its name suggests, by the LA health scene, this Fitzrovia spot serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is also available via collection or delivery. The team recommends starting your day with one of its CBD lattes. The perfect accompaniment, we hear, to an order of buckwheat and banana pancakes.
20 Percy Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1DZ
Purezza was founded in Brighton in 2015, becoming the first vegan pizzeria in the UK. Plant pioneers, the team spent over two years developing a mozzarella alternative using Italian brown rice. They have since creating convincing vegan toppings such as raw cashew cheese, a ricotta-style cheese and a creamy coconut cheese. We love the sound of the ‘Season 4’: a pizza topped with red tomato base, mozzarella, artichokes, kalamata olives, wild forest mushrooms and smoked beetroot carpaccio, finished with micro herbs.
43 Parkway, Camden, NW1 7PN
Biff’s Jack Shack, Walthamstow
This vegan street-food team uses one of 2020’s hottest ingredients to craft its ‘filthy junk food’ – the jackfruit. Burgers topped with ‘bacon’ and blue ‘cheese’ hit the mark for indulgent flavours, but it’s the team’s signature dish, crispy fried jackfruit, that’s the real winner. Jackfruit is braised, double dipped in a panko crumb and fried to create a meat-like texture. The ‘wings’ are even served on sugarcane bone for an authentic feel. We’re impressed.
24-26 Orford Road, Walthamstow, E17 9NJ
By Chloe, Various Locations
New York’s hippest vegan restaurant launched in London in 2018, bringing with it brunch staples such as quinoa hash browns and smoothie bowls. It now has three outlets around town. We love its vegan mac ’n’ cheese, which incorporates sweet potato cashew cream and crispy shiitake bacon.
34-43 Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HA; 6 Duchess Walk, London Bridge, SE1 2SD; 4-5 Langham Place, Marylebone, W1B 3DG
Club Mexicana, Hackney
With a 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 spice. The team’s showstopper is ‘To-fish’ tacos – beer-battered tofu wrapped in seaweed and topped with fresh chillies, shredded lettuce and chimichurri sauce. You can find its delicious creations at Kerb Seven Dials, Dinerama in Shoreditch and The Spread Eagle in Hackney – London’s first ever all-vegan pub.
224 Homerton High Street, Hackney, E9 6AS
Farm Girl Cafe, Various Locations
With cafés in Chelsea, Notting Hill and Soho, Farm Girl offers a bright, casual spot for health-conscious breakfasts and smoothies. Kick things off with something from its extensive selection of coffees (anyone for a ‘Liquid Gold Latte’?) and a fresh watermelon juice, before choosing between the likes of turmeric birchers (oats soaked with turmeric, honey, cinnamon, sesame seeds and almond milk, topped with candied nuts and strawberries) or buckwheat pancakes with amber maple syrup, topped with mixed berries and coconut shavings.
59 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 3DB; 1 Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F 9QG; 9 Park Walk, Chelsea, SW10 0AJ
Farmacy, Notting Hill
Notting Hill’s Farmacy is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Run by Camilla Fayed, the restaurant offers an array of plant-based dishes in a stylish environment with a large bar and cosy booths. The menu is inspired by dishes from around the globe, supports both vegan and vegetarian diets, and is free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals. Comfort food classics including the ‘Farmacy Burger’ come highly recommended as do brunch specials such as the truffled mac ’n’ cheese, Mexican earth bowl and chocolate-chip waffles.
74-76 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W2 5SH
The menu at Genesis is entirely plant-based, GMO-free and organic, and draws on global street food influences. The casual setting and counter-style service ensures 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, jalapenos and gherkins) followed by a vegan brownie sundae.
144 Commercial Street, Shoreditch, E1 6NU
Hemsley + Hemsley, Marylebone
Health food gurus Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley know a thing or two about rustling up a wholesome, nourishing plate. The vegan dishes in their Selfridges café are inspiring, with each plate filled with goodness, and 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 spiralised beetroot noodle salad.
400 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1A 1AB
Mildred’s, Various Locations
These homely veggie and vegan hotspots make you feel as though you’re sitting in someone’s living room, which only adds to the laid-back dining experience. Notable dishes 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 there (they exercise a strict no-bookings policy) head to the Dalston, Camden or King’s Cross venues instead.
45 Lexington Street, Soho, W1F 9AN; 200 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, N1 9JP; 9 Jamestown Road, Camden, NW1 7BW; 1 Dalston Square, Dalston, E8 3GU
Redemption Bar, Various Locations
Located in Notting Hill, Covent Garden and Shoreditch, Redemption Bar is London’s only vegan, sugar-free, wheat-free and alcohol-free restaurant chain. The motto is ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’ and the ethos is rooted firmly in caring for the planet and its animals. That’s not to say this has to be a saintly experience. Menu highlights include the ‘Buff Burger’ (shiitake mushroom, black bean and ruby beet burger with tomato, lettuce, caramelised red onion marmalade and sweet potato fries); slow-cooked jackfruit in BBQ sauce, served with sauerkraut slaw and sweet potato fries; and banoffee pie (a chewy nutty chocolate base with sticky medjool date salted caramel, bananas and coconut cream).
6 Chepstow Road, Notting Hill, W2 5BH; 320 Old Street, Shoreditch, EC1V 9DR; 15 Short’s Gardens, Covent Garden, WC2H 9AT
Wild Food Café, Islington
A stalwart on the vegan scene, restaurants don’t come much healthier than this. Case in point: the Ayurvedic super salad made with lamb’s lettuce, amaranth, spiralised courgette, hijiki seaweed, slices of artichoke hearts, avocado, cucumber, red pepper cubes, coriander and rocket with parsley pesto and mango salsa, along with savoury seeds (soaked to activate the germination process), leafy greens, spices and marinated shiitake mushrooms. Brunch comprises ‘Holy Granola’ with raw coconut yoghurt, mango, banana, avocado, goji, wild berry jam and nut butter; and avocado on gluten-free buckwheat toast served with wild leaf pesto, cashew aioli, pickled mooli, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds and chilli flakes.
269-270 Upper Street, Islington, N1 2UQ
The Gate, Various Locations
Plant-based pioneers since 1989, The Gate now has four restaurants in London: Marylebone, Clerkenwell, Hammersmith and, most recently, St John’s Wood. At each one, the aim is to deliver inspiring vegetarian and vegan food. Menu hits include avocado and beetroot tartare; crispy fried tofu marinated in maple syrup and soy sauce served with a quinoa, avocado and tomato salsa, and a coriander and lemon dressing; and teriyaki aubergine. Make sure to keep an eye out for the team’s ‘Secret Vegan Supperclubs’.
87 Allitsen Road, St John’s Wood, NW8 7AS; 370 St John Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4NN; 22-24 Seymour Place, Marylebone, W1H 7NL; 51 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, W6 9QL
Dishoom, Various Locations
Popular Indian chain Dishoom has a range of vegan dishes across its menus. To start the day, vegan patrons can opt for dairy-free ‘Oat Milk Chai’ followed by a vegan naan roll: Beyond Meat sausages wrapped in naan and served with vegan cheese and chilli jam. There’s also vegan akuri, a spicy scrambled tofu piled on home-made buns. At lunch and in the evenings, vegan small plates now include warmly spiced vegetable samosas, okra fries and chole puri, a dish of spiced chickpea curry served alongside puffed puris and sweet halwa.
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