Top London vegan restaurants

 

A friend persuaded me to write this since I made it my mission last year to get around as many of the new places popping up in London as possible, to check out what was on offer. Naturally, they outpaced me so apologies to any not mentioned - especially those in East London! I’m in SW London so it’s pretty far for me to go!

On my list of places I really want to try are: 1) Spice Box; 2) Gaultier Soho and 3) Hackney Hemp Cafe, whose CBD Croissants I’ve sampled and are out of this world!

Food for EVERYONE:

When pizza gets healthy….@Wild Food Cafe, May 2019

When pizza gets healthy….@Wild Food Cafe, May 2019


Wild Food Cafe, Islington:

The posh sister to nomadic and wayward brother in Covent Garden, this cafe will appeal to those seeking calm serene ambience whilst they whilst they munch on their happy-gut designed dishes. Choc Orange Tart is a must!


A cake at the Queen's Head Brixton.jpeg

The Queens Head, Brixton:

The current HQ of the legendary Italian pizza chefs, the “Pickywops”, they veganised the entire pub back in 2018 and have been busting out knockout Italian food ever since. Check out their secret menu on Insta for something extra-special.


Pickywops Meaty Madness pizza complete with signature pesto and tempeh chunks

Pickywops Meaty Madness pizza complete with signature pesto and tempeh chunks

Unity Diner, Shoreditch:

There is no mistaking you are in a vegan place here! The home of vegan activism, there is a farm animal mural to remind you of the beauty of the animals not gracing your plate. Expect fairly standard diner fare, with mac and cheese, burgers and fried stuff galore! Best of all you can enjoy it all guilt free, since all profits go to support SURGE charity for vegan activists.

Assorted fried stuff and mac & cheese. Diiirty vegan must-haves! @Unity Diner, Jan 2019.

Assorted fried stuff and mac & cheese. Diiirty vegan must-haves! @Unity Diner, Jan 2019.


Vantra Loungevity:

In the same buffet style as its neighbours Tibits and Ethics; this is vegan food with heart and soul, cooked up with authentic Malay/Indo flavours. This is the culinary equivalent of choosing Gilis Islands over Bali - Vantra is the best kept secret of the area. Its rustic, hippie feel is compensated with bold flavours and exciting spice mixes.


Veggie Friendly:

Mildreds:

The oldest vegetarian restaurant in London, this is the stuff of folklore. They’ve had to add more vegan dishes to keep up with demand (which are fantastic). Their fried chicken is particularly noteworthy - and I haven’t eaten chicken for 20 years! Their Sri Lankan curry is also unmissable.

Sri Lankan curry and Fried chick’n. @Mildreds, Soho March 2019.

Sri Lankan curry and Fried chick’n. @Mildreds, Soho March 2019.

 
Those delicious Hemp and Sunflower Seed Bites (that’s jackfruit inside)! @ Tell Your Friends, Dec 2018.

Those delicious Hemp and Sunflower Seed Bites (that’s jackfruit inside)! @ Tell Your Friends, Dec 2018.

Tell Your Friends:

Despite being part of a chain, this restaurant owes much of its vegan credentials to the hand of Lucy Watson, PETA Ambassador and creator of its sunflower and hemp seed jackfruit bites - “I can’t believe it’s not chicken!”. Ask for the Korean gochujang sauce and get ready for a taste sensation!


The Gate:

A good date or work outing spot, since they cater for vegetarians as well as vegans. My visit to the Hammersmith spot (they have one in Marylebone and one in Islington too), found staff who weren’t so clued up on the menu/ingredients so be vigilant! Nice atmosphere and food is a solid 7/10.

Swanky-Pants

Farmacy:

My #1 pick for gorgeous decor, insta-worthy dishes, unusual LA-inspired menu and flamboyant non-alcoholic drinks. This is a place for everyone and will satisfy the most discerning vegan palette.

Artichoke and black olive pizzetta and house mac & cheese @ Farmacy, May 2019

Artichoke and black olive pizzetta and house mac & cheese @ Farmacy, May 2019

Wulf and Lamb:

Expect posh salads and seitan burgers at this celeb hot spot in Sloane Square this menu. Boasting seasonal dishes such as jackfruit and lentil pie (Wulf Pie) as well as host of vegan sweet treats. Bring your wallet though - this is pricey stuff. After all, this is prime real estate and when what you’re buying is just veg, it is easy to feel a little short changed!

Even the cabbage is pink @Kalifornia Kitchen! May, 2019

Even the cabbage is pink @Kalifornia Kitchen! May, 2019

Kalifornia Kitchen:

There is more to this restaurant than its insta-famous, pleasingly pink stairway and wall of blushing blooms. In Fitzrovia, you can expect to find tacos, smoky tempeh caesar salad, and Moving Mountains burgers to tantalise your tastebuds. Fans of chipotle will be happy to discover those deep, smoky flavours in abundance at their Fulham branch.

Stokey Veg Vegan:

A gastronome’s delight! This is the place where foodies come for their last meal. Gorgeous crocks and incredible presentation make this the perfect choice for a celebration evening out. The staff are incredible, and the food is sensational. Inventive cooking, with local, seasonal ingredients and michelin-esque flair - you can’t go wrong! Ask the staff for their recommendations and you’ll get the best of the best.

Omni-Friendly:

Farmstand:

“Plant Powered People” is the tagline and 80% of their menu is purely vegan-friendly. Great lunch options (get the deal) if shopping in nearby Covent Garden or have meetings in Canary Wharf; their latest “showroom”. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to be able to take advantage of their super convenient corporate cafes?

KOPI:

It is not without a small amount of trepidation that I recommend this place since it’s already so popular that it’s almost impossible to get a table in their just-a-bit-more-than-a-hole-in-the-wall Soho branch. With more in Market Halls, Victoria and another in Canary Wharf; this small Japanese concept is destined for big things. Only 50% vegan as it is, but makes for an ideal compromise if dining with a die-hard omnivore.


Slaw:

New kid on the block in Islington, this pop-up has caused such a stir that locals are begging to have them stick around. Based on sustainable and ethical principles, you can dine safe in the knowledge that nothing will be wasted. With a menu designed to persuade even the most doubting of omnivores to choose plants every-so-often; you can expect hearty bowls of daal, salad that packs a flavour punch and the best desserts I’ve had in a vegan restaurant (so far). The bar is set!

Big flavours from Roasted cauliflower @Slaw, May 2019.

Big flavours from Roasted cauliflower @Slaw, May 2019.

 
Emma Osborne