Celebrate National Vegetarian Week 2014 by visiting one of South London’s best vegetarian restaurants and cafés
1 Domali, Crystal Palace
Set in the heart of Crystal Palace on Westrow Street, the well established Domali Café (named after owners Dominic and Alison) offers a relaxed and comfortable arty café-style dining experience, with an extensive and reasonably priced vegetarian and pescetarian menu – affording a little leeway to the more fair-weather veggies among us. Hearty specials such as Caribbean style monkfish and prawn curry, and ‘beet’ burger with smoked mozzarella, grace the menu, alongside comforting favourites such as welsh rarebit – the formula for which is adapted from Mrs Beeton’s original 1913 recipe. Also offering breakfasts and sandwiches to go, as well as a host of alcoholic beverages and a delightful back garden, Domali has something for everyone.
38 Westrow Street, SE19 1RX; 020 8768 0096; domalicafe.co.uk
2 Greenz, Tulse Hill
The aptly titled Greenz in Tulse Hill really flies the flag of vegetarianism as a healthy lifestyle choice. Alongside their menu of mother-nature’s best, Greenz offers healthy living workshops through their Practical Vitality Programme, as well as vegetarian cookery classes (5 week course £100). They use no animal products and many dishes also cater for both dairy and gluten free diets – however do not fear – exciting flavours are still close by with their travel-inspired menu including traditional Caribbean favourite roti and channa, and their famous spicy corn fritters.
5 Station Rise, Tulse Hill SE27 9BW; 020 8678 0569; greenzrestaurant.com
3 Blue Brick Café, East Dulwich
Renovated from a Victorian dairy and formerly a greasy spoon, East Dulwich’s Blue Brick Café opened as a veggie establishment in 2010 with the ethos of locally sourced seasonal produce. With its simple stylish décor, reflective of its dairy roots, this is a relaxed vegetarian café without the stereotypical ‘vegetarianness’ from which so many meat-lovers recoil. The concise and ever-changing menu contains daily delights such as feta, walnut and butternut squash salad, and spring risotto with courgettes, leeks and peas, as well as a very tempting dessert offering. With its bright, inviting windows, and simple yet effective attitude towards vegetarian dining, The Blue Brick Café is a neighbourhood gem not to be missed.
14 Felbrigg Road, SE22 9HH; 02082998670; bluebrickcafe.com
4 Return to Shashamane, Greenwich Market
With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, its time to take your taste buds to the markets. For vegan bites on the go, Return to Shashamane at Greenwich Market is a haven for fresh, worldly vegan cuisine, with an array of colourful salads and more hearty fare on offer. With choices of wraps or salad boxes, expect to see an exciting and fragrant menu with dishes such as kidney beans with cardamom and parsley, tabouleh with sprouts and basil, home-made hummus and roasted sweet potatoes. Found at Greenwich Market on Saturday and Sunday.
Greenwich Market SE10 9HZ; 07714 512 208
5 The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room in Deptford is a seriously cool coffee bar and veggie and vegan friendly café that opened in 2011. A vibrant hub just across from Deptford station, the food on offer is amazing for such a small set up (the veggie burgers are particularly good). The cafe even makes its own hot sauce with habanero peppers. It’s especially spicy and is loaded onto their hot dogs and the Spicy Maiden bagel (veggie sausage, mustard, Polish pickles, cheese and crispy onions).
142 Deptford High Street SE8 3PQ. Twitter: @WaitingRoomSE8