Eating well is for life, not just for January, and London’s restaurants deliver. From vegan and vegetarian restaurants to nourishing menus, farm-to-table offerings and even gluten and dairy-free specialists, The Resident picks out the best spots for healthy eaters
Words: Cassie Smith, Luisa Epps & Victoria Purcell
Lead image: Honi Poké (photo by Charlie McKay)
1 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
2 SUSHISAMBA’s Nourish Menu
SUSHISAMBA has launched a healthy new menu, Nourish, which supports a healthy lifestyle while still gifting us the chance to dine out in luxurious surroundings with a dash of carnival spirit. Available until 31 March at both SUSHISAMBA City and SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden, the menu, crafted by Executive Chef Andreas Bollanos in collaboration with elite performance coach Harry Jameson, champions ingredients specially selected for their nutritional benefits. Dishes include the Brain Boost (an exquisite beetroot-cured Salmon Tiradito with broccoli emulsion, beetroot gel, chia seeds and pomegranate), the light and lovely Immunity Boost (Sweet Potato Salad with fennel, crispy kale, orange and turmeric aji amarillo delivers on antioxidants), the guilt-free Energy Boost (Yellowtail brown rice Maki rolls with heritage carrots, kale and yamagobo sit in the Energy Boost category) and the hearty but healthy Protein Power (Beef Ramen with slow-cooked rib-eye steak and tofu, courgette noodles, cured egg, edamame and shiitake mushrooms). Available for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday with dishes starting from £11.50.
3 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!
4 Redemption, Notting Hill, Shoreditch & Covent Garden
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 the latest branch opened in Covent Garden in late 2018. With the restaurants usually packed to the rafters, even on a drizzly Tuesday night, it seems healthy eating is firmly on the menu for Londoners.
5 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, which 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. Try wholesome mains such as lemon dumplings with crispy buckwheat crumbs, roasted courgette, toasted napier and bread mousse, or the vegan fried shiitake with pine nut purée and crispy enoki. They also do a great five-course menu if you’re up for a fancy feast.
17-18 Tooks Court, Holborn EC4A 1LB; vanillablack.co.uk
6 Little H’s, Parsons Green
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
7 Farm Girl, Notting Hill & Chelsea
Farm Girl, known for its Australian-inspired signature brunch dishes and seasonal, ‘farm-to-table’ approach, opened its first site in Notting Hill in 2015, adding a concession within the Sweaty Betty Carnaby Street flagship store before launching its first first all-day restaurant and bar in Chelsea in early 2018. Classic Farm Girl brunch dishes include signature Smoothie Bowls, Oven Baked Aubergine, and the legendary BLT made with Coconut Bacon. And don’t miss the beautifully crafted, Instagram-famous Super Latte collection, including the eye-catching Butterfly Matcha Latte and Liquid Gold Latte with turmeric and cinnamon. The dinner menu in Chelsea features more substantial dishes, from small plates such as BBQ Jackfruit Tostadas with Guacamole to main dishes like Slow Cooked Lamb with Roasted Pistachio Yoghurt, Dukkah Crusted Cod with Herby Garden Salad, and a vegan Khymer Curry.
8 Petersham Nurseries, Richmond & Covent Garden
The goodness starts with the verdant, rustic setting of Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, 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. Check out their relatively new outpost in Covent Garden, too.
Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB; petershamnurseries.com
9 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.
74-76 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W2 5SH; farmacylondon.com
10 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
11 A.O.K. Kitchen & Bakery, Marylebone
A.O.K. Kitchen & Bakery – the debut restaurant from The Arts Club’s Kelly Landesberg – opened in Marylebone in February 2019. Located just a stone’s throw from the acclaimed Chiltern Firehouse and Yeotown Kitchen on Chiltern Street, it keeps good company. The healthy eating concept, inclusive of special dietary requirements, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a focus on gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free dishes. The all-day dining space offers a variety of dishes, from acai bowls and a nutritious take on the full English breakfast, to salads, sea bass Ceviche and BBQ lamb chops. There’s also freshly-made patisserie and viennoiserie in dairy, gluten and free varieties, all refined sugar free.
52-55 Dorset Street, Marylebone W1U 7NH; aokkitchen.co.uk
12 Honi Poké, Soho & Fenchurch Street
Honi Poké has locations in Soho and near Fenchurch Street, offering 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. It’s a lighter, brighter take on sushi and sashimi bowls. 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
13 Comptoir Libanais, Various locations
Comptoir Libanais sells Lebanese home-style dishes that are light, healthy and designed for sharing, making this a great restaurant to get the gang together without sabotaging anyone’s diet. Soak in the colourful Middle Eastern décor while sipping on mint tea and sharing a mezze platter of organic hummus, tabbouleh and more, or opt for something heartier like the aubergine tagine in a tomato, onion, pepper and chickpea stew, or the spiced salmon shakshuka with pomegranate molasses. Comptoir Libanais has multiple locations around London, including Chelsea, South Kensington, Oxford Street, Liverpool Street and Stratford.
14 The Wright Brothers, various locations
Seafood is one of the best ways to start eating healthily without sacrificing on flavour. The Wright Brothers is so devoted to bringing its guests the freshest seafood possible that it now has its own wholesale operation in Brixham. The fish is hand selected directly from British day boats, ensuring all their restaurants are stocked with super fresh, quality fish. 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, Battersea & Borough Market.
15 The Good Life Eatery, various locations
The Good Life Eatery is another health food restaurant worth visiting. With an array of options, ranging from cold pressed juices and smoothies to full-on fabulous breakfasts and lunch options, The Good Life Eatery serves old fashioned, freshly made food that just so happens to be good for you. Try the gluten-free Shred Breakfast, with sweet potato and harissa mash, shaved greens, omega seeds and either poached eggs or sesame tofu for your protein hit. There’s also a build-your-own avo on toast menu, and hearty warming numbers like the Earth Stew bowl with seasonal vegetables in a tomato stew with chicken and omega seeds and a choice of quinoa or brown rice. Find it in Chelsea, Belgravia, Maryblebone, St John’s Wood and Notting Hill.
16 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
17 The Detox Kitchen Deli, Soho & Fitzrovia
The Detox Kitchen has delis in Fitzrovia and Soho serving fresh, hearty, healthy food that is bursting with flavour and goodness. For breakfast, choose something from the smoothie bar before enjoying protein-packed egg wraps, delicious banana bread and avocado on rye, or build-your-own homemade granola, muesli and bircher. For lunch and take-away dinner, there are seasonal, vibrant bowls of tasty salads and hot stews or soups, a grab-and-go range and a selection of sweet treats. All the Detox Kitchen’s food is free from wheat, dairy and refined sugar, and they can also cater for gluten-free diets. Most dishes are plant-based, and there’s a wide selection of veggie dishes too.
Kingly Court, 10 Kingly Street, Soho W1B 5PJ & 10 Mortimer Street, Fiztrovia W1T 3JJ; detoxkitchen.co.uk
18 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 weekend brunch menu features delights such as sprouted porridge with almond drink (gluten and dairy free) with a choice of toppings such as coconut yogurt, toasted coconut granola, cacao nibs and honey, avocado toast with beetroot and chilli on sourdough, and a breakfast skillet with Dingley Dell sausage, treacle-cured bacon, eggs, mushrooms, homemade beans, roasted tomatoes and sourdough toast.
212 New Kings Road SW6 4NZ; rudehealth.com
19 Wild Food Café, Covent Garden & Islington
Joel and Aiste Gazdar, the couple behind Covent Garden’s hugely popular vegan eatery, Wild Food Café, will open their new restaurant on Angel’s Upper Street on 14 December. The new Islington branch will expand on the couple’s vision for plant-based innovation, offering a menu featuring gluten-free wood fired pizzas, a ‘wild’ brunch plus a superfood cocktail bar. Under the experienced guidance of raw food pioneer and executive chef Joel Gazdar, in partnership with head chef Thet Min Tun, Wild Food Café, Islington, will focus on freshly foraged wild and artisanal ingredients, slow raw food processes and a commitment to organic, heirloom produce full of vitality and nutrients. Dishes will include a Living Laksa – a vegan twist on the popular Malaysian dish – and a coconut-seared plantain stew.
1st Floor, 14 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden WC2H 9DP & 269-270 Upper Street, Islington N1 2UQ ; wildfoodcafe.com
London’s first gluten, dairy and sugar free Italian restaurant, Ardiciocca, which means artichoke in Genoese-Italian, is by Roberto Costa and the team behind the Italian butchery with tables, Macellaio RC. Chef Simona Ranieri is a coeliac with a love of good food and a passion for nutrition. She believes that no flavour, colour or texture should be compromised in the pursuit of healthy or diet-specific dining, so she’s offering entirely gluten, dairy and sugar-free Mediterranean cuisine with starters like flamed mackerel with kimchi cucumber, and beetroot tartare with mustard and green apple sorbet. Mains include pea ravioli with almond, borage and clam broth, slow-cooked lamb with kimchi, and grilled artichoke with hummus, pine nuts and bottarga. Desserts tend to be a no-go area for those on a dairy and sugar-free diet, but not here. Indulge in the likes of matcha tea ice cream with pure chocolate and quinoa, and Simona’s signature almond tiramisu.
461-465 North End Road, Fulham SW6 1NZ; ardiciocca.com
21 Wharf Kitchen, Canary Wharf
Wharf Kitchen, London’s newest independent street food market, opened right at the end of November. Located in Jubilee Place, the new food hall offers an eclectic mix of food from seven of the capital’s hottest new eateries, alongside live DJ sets. The traders have been hand-picked for their innovative menus, from The Vurger Co’s plant-based burgers to Ahi Poke’s signature bowls and Greek gastronomy by The Athenian. Wharf Kitchen will also be home to The Paleo Supply, a new concept from Protein Haus founder Carli Wheatley, offering super healthy food on the go. Open from breakfast through to dinner throughout the week with live music and DJs on Thursday and Friday evenings.
Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf E14 5NY; canarywharf.com
22 Café Forty One, Hyde Park
Café Forty One is an entirely vegan eatery that offers a crossroad between fine dining and café style ambiance. Serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, Cafe Forty One even added London’s first French vegan patisserie in summer 2018, offering all day desserts by Head Chef Clarisse Flon. The specialty vegan chef creates exceptional vegan cuisine with passion, rather than just hopping on board the trend for plant-based foods with a couple of halfhearted dishes. Her hope is to make Cafe Forty One a restaurant that appeals equally to vegans and non-vegans with full-flavoured, visually stimulating dishes.
41-51 Inverness Terrace W2 3JN; lasuitewest.com
23 Ethos, Fitzrovia
Ethos’s mission is to constantly create innovative, nourishing and non-processed meat-free choices. The menu has plenty of options for those with special dietary requirements, including vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. Pick and choose whatever looks most appetising from the plant-based buffet and then simply pay for your meal by its weight. Selections range from Japanese miso-glazed roasted aubergine to roasted cauliflower with sweet mustard and capers.
48 Eastcastle Street, Fitzrovia W1W 8DX; ethosfoods.com
24 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; tanyasliving.com
25 Raw Press, Mayfair, Chelsea & King’s Cross
Since opening summer 2014 below Wolf & Badger on Dover Street, Raw Press has gained a loyal following of healthy food bloggers and local shoppers. Rather than use a traditional blender, Raw Press makes its juices by cold-pressing the ingredients to prevent the destruction of essential enzymes and keep the juices fresh. You’ll find bottles of Sweet Green (pineapple, apple, kale, Swiss chard, lemon, ginger and mint) and Chocolate Mylk (almonds, coconut water, dates, Himalayan salt, vanilla bean, raw cacao powder) sitting alongside salads (with recipes by health blogger Ella Woodward, aka Deliciously Ella) and raw energy bites. Raw Press will also deliver juice packages for detoxes.
3 Ellis Street, Chelsea SW1X 9AL & Wolf & Badger, Coal Drops Yard N1C 4DG; rawpress.co