Getting healthy or losing weight? That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy going out to London’s amazing restaurants. We’ve found some of the best juice bars, low-fat menus and vegetarian restaurants in London that will satisfy your taste buds and have you skipping away feeling guilt-free
Words: Cassie Smith, Luisa Epps & Victoria Purcell
Lead image: Honi Poké (photo by Charlie McKay)
1 Mildreds, Soho, Camden & Kings Cross
All the rave at the moment is Mildreds vegetarian and vegan restaurant. Where fresh and colourful food full of flavour is cooked daily, Mildreds is the current place to be! Located at three sites in London, each with their own style and personality, offer informal and friendly service in a lively atmosphere. Often having a surprising and seducing effect on hardened carnivores, with many of their dishes begin vegan-friendly and gluten free, Mildreds can offer a warm welcome to all. Recognised for it’s excellent service and cozy atmosphere, it’s no surprise that there are often queues to taste the delicious dishes!
2 Honi Poké, Soho
Honi Poké opened on Dean Street in February to offer Londoners a little taste of Hawaii. Raw food takes on a whole new life here, with fresh, high-grade salmon, tuna and octopus paired with sticky rice and fresh, flavour-packed ingredients such as enoki mushrooms, nori seaweed and sunomono cucumber. The menu has been created by Coya development chef Richard De La Cruz (formerly of the two-Michelin-starred Sergi Arola and three-Michelin-starred Quique Dacosta), so you know you’re in for a treat. All bowls are made fresh to order, either to eat in or take away. From £6.20 per bowl.
88 Dean Street, Soho W1D 3SP; honipoke.com
3 Nama, Notting Hill
The raw food from Nama in Notting Hill will keep you energized and feeling healthy all day. As any health expert will tell you, eating raw food is the best way to retain the vitamins lost from cooking and over processing food. Nama’s menu is packed with mouth watering food, like Italian Pizza with seed cheese, caramelised onions and marinated mushrooms with a courgette and walnut base – who said healthy has to be boring? Nama also offers a day-by-day raw foods cleanse of juices, smoothies and foods including wraps, salads and pastas to have at home. It’s the best way to shed a few pounds and feel fit after the Christmas season.
110 Talbot Road, Notting Hill W11 1JR; namafoods.com
*Currently under renovation until spring 2017*
4 Tanya’s Café, Chelsea
Intent on spreading the message of living a healthy lifestyle, Tanya’s café in Chelsea is the place to go for a completely organic menu. Tanya, who has been hailed as one of the UK’s top holistic coaches, first opened the café when she found that there were very few options for a fully raw or fully organic meal in London. The menu at Tanya’s is all natural and gluten free. It includes cold pressed juices and nut milk coffees for the mornings and superfood cocktails for later in the evening. As the detox and raw food experts, Tanya and her team can give you the best advice on how to eat healthy for the new year.
35 Ixworth Place, Chelsea SW3 3QX; tanyascafe.com
5 Grill Market, Holborn and Chelsea
Just because you’re being healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a hearty meal. The New York inspired Grill Market in Holborn and Chelsea sells some of London’s best organic food. To ensure top quality, all of its meat is free range and its vegetables are from Covent Garden Market. Every day, Grill Market offers a complete breakfast menu with healthy options like freshly pressed juices and smoked salmon. For lunch at the office, pick up one of the Grill Market’s sizzling lunch boxes filled with Britain’s best seasonal mixes of meat and vegetables.
10 Theobalds Road WC1X 8PN & 293 Fulham Road SW10 9PZ; grillmarket.co.uk
6 Simple Health Kitchen, the City
Ex-professional rugby player and personal trainer Bradley Hill knows a thing or two about nutrition. He opened Simple Health Kitchen in January 2016 with the intention of expelling the common misconception that healthy food is boring. With a frequently updated menu including colourful salads like diced beetroot in tahini dressing or kale and rainbow chard in a basil dressing, all accompanied with a choice of proteins ranging from Sicilian salmon to cannelloni bean patty. Dishes are free of any refined sugars, there are plenty of gluten and dairy-free options and an array of protein pots, snacks and desserts are also available. Open 7.30am-9pm Monday to Friday.
73A Watling Street EC4M 9BJ; simplehealthkitchen.com
7 Comptoir Libanais, Various locations
Comptoir Libanais sells Lebanese home-style dishes that are light and healthy, and designed for sharing, making this a great restaurant for January parties. Soak in the colourful Middle Eastern décor while sipping on mint tea and sharing a mezze platter of organic hummus, tabbouleh and more. Comptoir Libanais has multiple locations around London, including Chelsea and South Kensington and one soon to be opening Gloucester Road.
8 The Gate, Islington & Marylebone
The Gate in Islington is an innovative vegetarian restaurant, serving unusual combinations of Indian, Arab and Jewish cuisines with French and Italian influences. From the wild mushroom risotto cakes with king oysters and pied de mouton, to the plantain fritters stuffed with carrots, sultana, ginger, pine nuts and herbs, the Gate’s vegetarian options will help you get back on the right track towards eating healthily. The food is carefully sourced to ensure that the most natural and fresh ingredients are used in every dish. The Gate has just opened a new location in Marylebone.
370 St John Street EC1V 4NN & 22-24 Seymour Place W1H 7NL; thegaterestaurants.com
9 Portobello Organic Kitchen, Notting Hill
The pizza at the Portobello Organic Kitchen in Notting Hill is guilt-free and made from scratch with organic ingredients that is locally sourced. In fact, most of the Kitchen’s produce comes from Portobello Market next door to the restaurant. The use of organic food means that the food is packed full of essential vitamins and a fresher taste. The Portobello Organic Kitchen serves a wide variety of dishes, including a number of traditional British meals like Shepherd’s Pie. If you’re too comfortable at home to go out but craving the Kitchen’s wholesome pizza, The Portobello Organic Kitchen will deliver.
207 Portobello Road, Notting Hill W11 1LU; portobellokitchen.co.uk
10 The Wright Brothers, various locations
Seafood is one of the best ways to start eating healthily without sacrificing on flavour. The Wright Brothers is devoted to bringing its guests the freshest seafood possible, serving the likes of fresh oysters straight from the Cornish oyster farm. You can even chose from live crabs and lobsters in the restaurant’s seawater tanks. And if you’re feeling like falling off the wagon a bit, there’s a great wine list, pick a zingy Picpoul de Pinet to go with your salty seafood. The Wright Brothers has branches in Spitalfields, Soho, South Kensington & Borough Market.
11 Vanilla Black, Holborn
Vanilla Black is on of London’s best vegetarian restaurants and it’s little wonder when you see starters like crisp rye, grapes and puffed wheat on the menu, along with wholesome mains, such as the lemon dumplings with crispy buckwheat crumbs. Its menu is worlds away from the ubiquitous mushroom risotto or roast butternut squash, instead, Vanilla Black’s vegetarian dishes have a creative flare, while still being healthy.
17- 18 Tooks Court, Holborn EC4A 1LB; vanillablack.co.uk
Little H is a new healthy deli, from the people behind Hally’s. Inspired by California and Cape Town, the healthy hangout couples fresh, homemade dishes, with vibrant, fun interiors and a relaxed atmosphere. Serving breakfast, lunch and snacks, with a nutritious theme, Little H adopts a farm-to-table approach with emphasis on quality, locally sourced ingredients. Choose from vegan bircher breakfast pots and smoked salmon bagels,fresh juices, smoothies and daily changing salads. Little H taps into the current trend for all things healthy and its menu caters for vegans, paleo-dieters and those choosing gluten and dairy-free lifestyles. The café seats 12 and also offers takeway.
60 New Kings Road, Parsons Green SW6 4LS; hallysparsonsgreen.com
13 Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
The goodness starts with the verdant, rustic setting of Petersham Nurseries, and carries on with the knowledge that the team here champions the Slow Food movement – it’s all soothing to the soul. Head chef Damian Clisby, previously head chef at HIX Soho and Cotswold House, works alongside Culinary Director Lucy Boyd on an ingredient-led menu inspired by what is growing in the garden. It’s all good stuff. Try the mozzarella di Bufala with pickled delica pumpkin, oregano, chilli and Castelfranco. And if you’re not feeling all that virtuous after all, add a glass of Petersham Nurseries Rose Petal Prosecco.
Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB; 020 8940 5230; petershamnurseries.com
14 Farmacy, Notting Hill
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Farmacy was founded on the back of the clean-eating trend, promising ‘clean indulgence’ supporting both a vegan and vegetarian diet that’s free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals. The menu is inspired by dishes from around the globe and features healthy versions of comfort foods such as the signature Farmacy Burger and plant-based Ice Cream Sundaes, as well as the latest in healthy eating such as Earth Bowls (try the gluten-free Green Eggs Bowl of quinoa served with lightly steamed seasonal greens, avocado and garlic aioli topped with a poached egg). All ingredients are carefully considered both for their taste as well as their nutritional benefit and sourced from local organic UK farms.
15 Redemption, Notting Hill and Shoreditch
Brainchild of health aficionado Catherine Salway, Redemption started life as a pop-up dry bar in the Trellick Tower, before launching this, their first permanent branch in Chepstow Road, serving alcohol-free mocktails and a selection of meat, dairy and sugar-free dishes. A Shoreditch outpost soon followed and, with the restaurant packed to the rafters even on a drizzly Tuesday night, it seems clean eating is firmly on the menu for Londoners.
6 Chepstow Road W2 5BH & 320 Old Street EC1V 9DR; redemptionbar.co.uk
16 The Detox Kitchen, Fitzrovia & Soho
The Detox Kitchen in Fitzrovia has a salad and juice bar on the ground floor serving signature salads and green juices, including favourites from their popular first deli in Kingly Street, Soho. Exclusive to Fitzroy Place, an eat-in sharing menu of small plates and salads will also be available from breakfast through to early supper. With an ethos of bridging the gap between healthy and delicious and focusing on quality ingredients, Lily has created a menu of dishes packed with flavour, but free from wheat, dairy and refined sugar. Dishes include griddled sweet potato, red onion, soya yoghurt and honey pecans (£5.25), and miso aubergine, sesame seeds and coriander (£5.25). Plus, downstairs houses a fully equipped fitness studio.
Kingly Court, 10 Kingly Street, Soho W1B 5PJ; detoxkitchen.co.uk
17 The Good Life Eatery, Chelsea & Maryblebone
The Good Life Eatery is another health food restaurant worth visiting. With an array of options, ranging from cold pressed juices and smoothies, to delicious all day menus, The Good Life Eatery serve old fashioned, freshly made food that just so happens to be good for you! If you’re not in the mood to venture out, The Good Life Eatery conveniently offer a delivery service.
59 Sloan Avenue SW3 3DH & 69 Marylebone Lane W1U 2PH; goodlifeeatery.com
18 Squirrel, South Kensington
Squirrel is an all day fast, casual healthy food and drink concept set within natural surroundings where even a squirrel would feel at home! The tree house is open seven days a week, just an ‘acorn’s throw’ from South Kensington tube station. Squirrel’s focus on seasonal ingredients from the best producers and have been selected on the basis of their health benefits by the in-house nutritionist, Zoe Stirling. All of the food, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, is made freshly in front of customers where you can customise dishes according to taste or dietary preference.
11 Harrington Road, South Kensington SW7 3ES; wearesquirrel.com
19 Rude Health, Fulham
Rude Health is the sort of place that only uses ingredients you’d have in your own kitchen – nothing artificial, nothing refined. Co-founded and led by Nick & Camilla Barnard, they believe ‘food should be made out of food – not thickeners, preservatives, colourings, flavourings and other additives. The proof is in the taste, try it for yourself.’ If you fall in-love with the foods offered at the Rude Health cafe, their products are available to purchase online and in local supermarkets.
212 New Kings Road SW6 4NZ; rudehealth.com
20 Grain Store, Kings Cross
The dishes on the menu at Grain Store are a culmination of Bruno Loubet’s extensive travels and the years he has dedicated to his beloved vegetable patch. Although many dishes have a meat or fish element, vegetables are given equal billing, if not the starring role. ‘I really like cooking with vegetables and I always have,’ he said in an interview with The Resident. ‘It’s organic, sustainable – we need to eat things from the earth – and it was a realisation that eating meat wasn’t good for your health, but also has an impact on the climate.’ Fermented, sprouting, pickled and smoked ingredients feature alongside the fresh and the seasonal.
21 Ginger & Mint, various locations
Founded by Jack Cahit Tok in 2004, Ginger & Mint first opened in Covent Garden offering just 10 juices. It has since expanded with stores in Soho, Crouch End and, since January this year, East Village. The juice bar and healthy food café offers some 90 fresh fruit and vegetable juices, from breakfast smoothies to pure greens and protein shakes, as well as nutritious dishes from porridge and acai bowls to freshly prepared salads, gluten-free wraps and a choice of two changing hot dishes served with brown rice a day.