Now that Veganuary is here, you might be thinking about treating yourself to a tasty plant-based meal. If you’re not sure where to go, The Resident has picked out some of London’s best vegan restaurants for you to try…
1 Holy Carrot, Knightsbridge
All-day dining gaff Holy Carrot’s dishes are gluten and sugar free as well as being derived from plants. The restaurant’s main menu has a selection of raw dishes and small plates as well as larger mains, and its your opportunity to try a mac & cheese made with chickpea protein pasta and smoked macadamia cheese as well as a host of seafood dishes made from plant proteins. For non-dairy eating afternoon tea lovers, Holy Carrot’s offering of smoked salmon and carrot sandwiches, purple potato croquettes, choco-cheesecake lollipops and vanilla and raspberry tarts, means that you can indulge in one of the best meals of the day, without compromising on food or the quality of experience.
2 mallow, Borough Market
Recently opened, mallow in Borough Market is a buzzy, breezy restaurant plating up all-day fare from the team behind plant-based stalwarts Mildred’s. Dishes are colourful and diverse, reflecting a mix of Middle Eastern, European and Asian influences. Choose a smattering of the small plates or the vibrant market thaili to share, or dig into one of the bigger meals such as a plant-chicken or beetroot haricot burger; oyster mushroom tacos or the squash, artichoke, leek lattice.
3 SpiceBox, Walthamstow & Leytonestone
A long -time favourite among Walthamstow residents, this cheerful Indian restaurant has recently opened a second location in Leytonstone, spreading hearty plant-based joy around London’s east. SpiceBox’s menu is plant-based riff on curry house classics such as mushroom madras – portobello mushrooms in a creamy but spicy tomato sauce – or samosa chaat – smashed samosa, fresh kachumber served with date and tamarind chutney. Both venues have brunch menus too.
By its own description, Tendril, currently homed in Soho’s The Sun & 13 Cantons, is a mostly vegan kitchen. However, with the vast selection of plant-based dishes on offer compared to the one or two dishes with a bit of brie in them, why split hairs? Chef Rishim Sachdeva, who has worked in the kitchens of the Dairy, Chiltern Firehouse and the Fat Duck, has created a contemporary vegan menu that nods to various parts of the world and dishes are superbly presented offering a range of flavours and textures which showcase how interesting and creative plant-based cuisine can be.
5 The Gate, Marylebone, St Johns Wood, Hammersmith & Islington
Widely regarded as London’s best vegetarian and vegan restaurant, The Gate serves excellent vegan and vegetarian food drawing on a host of cuisines and influences. Dishes are mostly vegan, but there’s the odd poached egg or blob of burrata here or there. Feast on miso-glazed aubergine, The Gate beetroot cheese burger (made with vegan cheese or cheddar) or a Thai red curry filled with hearty vegetables and tofu. These can be ordered a la carte or there’s a two or three-course set prosecco menu offering the dishes as well. There’s also a weekend brunch menu, where you can find eggy morning meals, or a selection of vegan all-day mains such as the jackfruit tostada, truffle and mushroom arancini and avocado and beetroot tartare.
6 Mildreds, Soho, King’s Cross, Camden & Dalston
A firm favourite among Londoners, Mildreds serves internationally inspired dishes with a vegan twist, and many options are also gluten free. Choose from the likes of a Sri Lankan kiki hodi curry with sweet potato, green beans, tomato sambal and coconut cashews, Korean fried chick’n with kimchi or red lentil kofte with butternut cranberry red rice and whipped tahini. There’s a moorish weekend brunch menu as well, offering a vegan healthier take on the full English, a Mediterranean-style breakfast and a couple of different baps for something smaller.
7 Wulf & Lamb, Chelsea & Marylebone
While the most popular dish here may be the decadent mac’n’cheese, there’s plenty of whole-food and healthy dishes in this restaurant offering plant-based riffs on comfort food classics. You’ve got burgers, chilli, curries and pasta as well as your choice of chili, miso aubergine and cauli mushroom bao to tuck into. For something lighter, you have salad bowls which you can pair with one of the many sides – including three types of mac’n’cheese – on offer if you fancy. An all-day dining place, there’s plenty of sweet and savoury treats to get your day started on the brunch menu too. Good to note, both restaurants are cashless.
8 Farmacy, Notting Hill
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Farmacy was founded on the back of the wellness trend, promising ‘healthy indulgence’ supporting both a vegan and vegetarian diet that’s free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals. The menu features healthy versions of comfort foods such as the signature Farmacy Burger and plant-based ice cream sundaes, as well as a selection of Earth Bowls such as the purple soba miso bowl or the quinoa protein bowl, both packed with greens and beans and hearty goodness.
9 222 Veggie Vegan, West Kensington
A cosy casual place, 222 Veggie Vegan serves up plant-based takes on popular European dishes. This includes the seitan stroganoff made with cashew cream, oyster mushroom and spinach raclette with tofu cottage cheese and spaghetti polpette, a kind of spaghetti and meatballs but with nuggets of quinoa and spinach instead. There’s also Egusi on the menu – a traditional African dish made with pumpkin and melon seeds.
10 Pied à Terre, Fitzrovia
For a treat, Michelin starred Pied à Terre plates up French cuisine with a hint of Greek, reflecting Executive Chef Asimakis Chaniotis’s roots. While this is absolutely not a vegan restaurant, it does have a well-praised plant-based lunch and dinner menu to get stuck into. For the non-meat eaters, the restaurant, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, serves up the likes of collard green and basmati rice dolma, green apple ravioli, BBQ ribs with celeriac rose, hazelnuts and white truffle and lemon and orange coconut curd. Dishes can be ordered as part of an eight or 10-course set menu or a la carte, and you have the option of adding flights of wine too.
11 Gauthier, Soho
While currently closed for the holidays until January 18, French restaurant Guthier is too good not to include. Although French cuisine is often characterised by creamy sauces over cuts of meat and cheese for days, here, you’ll find inspired and modern plant-based French dishes. Open for two dinner sittings only, the restaurant offers two set menus that can be paired with wine. Dine on the likes of chard and chervil barbajuan (a type of north African pastry), plant-based caviar, leek kromeski (a type of croquette) and fermented puds. Spread over three floors, the restaurant has private dining rooms and a cellar as well as two rooms for intimate dining. If you can’t wait until the end of January, the venue’s sister vegan restaurant and a far more casual affair 123V is currently open.