It’s #Veganuary and if you’re searching for a tasty plant-based meal, look no further! The Resident has put together a list of some of London’s best vegan restaurants for you to try
Lead image: The Meet, Clapham
1 The Gate, various locations
Widely regarded as London’s best vegetarian and vegan restaurant, The Gate serves excellent vegan and vegetarian food that combines the best of Indian, Arabic and Jewish cuisine with a hint of French and Italian influence. There’s an à la carte, brunch and even Sunday roast menu, so you can try a variety of vegan delights from aubergine schnitzel and raw pad Thai to sweet potato and chickpea burger or a fabulous shakshuka with scrambled tofu seasoned with turmeric (non vegans can opt for poached eggs). The Gate has branches in Hammersmith, Marylebone and Islington.
2 Mildreds, various locations
A firm favourite among Londoners, Mildreds has restaurants in Soho, Camden, King’s Cross and Dalston. The restaurant serves internationally inspired dishes with a vegan twist, and many options are also gluten free. Choose from the likes of smoked tofu, fennel, apple and white bean sausages with cider jus, panfried hispi cabbage, peas, dill and mash; the Tokyo bowl with black rice and purple pickled egg with daikon, miso glazed aubergine, shichimi edamame beans and a jug of miso; wood roasted mushroom and ale pie with minted mushy peas and fries; and Sri Lankan sweet potato and green bean curry with roasted lime cashews, pea basmati rice and coconut tomato sambal.
3 The Spread Eagle, Homerton
A vegan pub – why didn’t we think of this before?! The Spread Eagle in Homerton – one of east London’s oldest pubs – is keeping tradition alive while celebrating modern culture. The pub became London’s first 100% vegan pub in January 2018, with all food, drinks, fixtures and fittings now plant-based and sustainably sourced. The food, by Club Mexicana, is 100% vegan Mexican-inspired street food. Think tacos, nachos and burritos heaped with handmade toppings like guacamole, tomatillo salsa, sour cream, pink onions, pickled chillies, chimichurri, fresh lime and coriander.
224 Homerton High Street E9 6AS; thespreadeaglelondon.co.uk
4 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 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, nut-free Kimchi Bowl, which affords you not five, but six-a-day in one sitting with spice kimchi, sautéed chard stems, raw kolhrabi, raw brine carrots, marinated mushrooms and radish sprouts atop soba noodles in tamarind vinaigrette).
74 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W2 5SH; farmacylondon.com
5 The Meet @ Fu Manchu, Clapham
The Meet, a new concept from south London chef Dominic Taylor launched in November 2018, offers indulgent plant-based comfort food combined with exclusively vegan cocktails at Fu Manchu, located under the railway arches in Clapham North. Chef Dominic Taylor, formerly Executive Chef of The Jam Tree, has used creative cooking techniques to revamp popular millennial dishes into indulgent vegan alternatives. Classic lunch time favourites utilise the latest in meat-free alternatives such as seitan and jackfruit, alongside zingy herbs and spices to transform recognisable meaty dishes into unexpected vegan delights. Try Give Me Wings, where the humble cauliflower evokes the taste of sweet and spicy chicken wings through a maple and siracha glaze.
15-16 Lendal Terrace, Clapham SW4 7UX; the-meet.co.uk
Genesis, a vegan restaurant by the Santoro brothers, launched on Commercial Street in Shoreditch last September. Genesis offers a menu of plant-based, GMO-free and organic dishes with street-food influences in a casual setting with counter-style service to ensure that food is delivered fresh, fast and fuss-free. Alex and Oliver Santoro both turned vegan eight years ago, and shortly after launched Raw Imagination, a vegan food company offering grab-and-go snacks. With Genesis, they offer hearty food that appeals to vegans and meat-eaters alike, including sharing plates, salads, soups, tacos, burgers and hot dogs, all made using organic fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Highlights include Aloo Tikki Chaat, Tel Aviv Cauliflower with tahini, almonds and cranberries, an indulgent Mac & Cheese and signature burgers with creative toppings.
144 Commercial Street, Shoreditch E1 6NU; eatgenesis.com
7 Tibits, Heddon Street & Bankside
Tibits is a plant-based restaurant with a 100% vegetarian menu, 80% of which is vegan. But on Tuesdays, the food boat is completely vegan and free of any animal involvement. Designed with busy Londoners in mind, the Food Boat has over 40 fresh grab-and-go dishes ready to eat in or take away. The winter menu includes hot dishes like chestnut, wild mushroom and cashew roast, butter bean, sweet potato and kale korma, and a Mexican quinoa bowl, or salads like apple-ginger, wakame and Middle Eastern couscous.
124 Southwark Street, Bankside SE1 OSW; tibits.ch/en
8 Wild Food Café, Covent Garden & Islington
This cosy café used to be a Covent Garden hidden gem, tucked away as it is above Neal’s Yard Remedies in Neal’s Yard, but rave reviews have made it a hotspot for anyone who loves a delicious and wholly Instagrammable vegan meal. Try the likes of the Ayruvedic Super Salad (with wild rocket, cucumber, amaranth, wild nettle and sea purslane pesto, hijiki, artichoke, avocado, red pepper and mango), or the Pulled Jackfruit Open-Hearted Sandwiches (with raw walnut and squash bread, little gem, beet sauerkraut, BBQ pulled jackfruit, flaxseeds and black garlic cashew cheese). All dishes are made with raw and organic ingredients from local suppliers. Joel and Aiste Gazdar, the couple behind the popular vegan eatery, opened a second branch in Islington on 14 December.
1st Floor, 14 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden WC2H 9DP & 269-270 Upper Street, Islington N1 2UQ ; wildfoodcafe.com
9 Redemption, various locations
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-free, dairy-free and sugar-free dishes. A Shoreditch outpost soon followed, and then came the Covent Garden branch. With the restaurant packed to the rafters even on dark, drizzly week nights, it seems clean eating is firmly on the menu for Londoners.
6 Chepstow Road W2 5BH & 320 Old Street EC1V 9DR; redemptionbar.co.uk
10 Woodlands, various locations
Woodlands is a family run, Indian restaurant serving entirely vegetarian cuisine. With branches in Hampstead, Piccadilly and Marylebone, the Woodlands serves traditional Indian foods such as dosas and curries, with vegan and gluten-free menus available alongside the entirely vegetarian main menu. Vegetable curries include Hyderabadi aubergine, with baby aubergines, peanuts, curry leaves, onions, and Mushroom Chettinad, with mixed mushrooms in a spicy sauce made. Many dishes are also Jain, meaning free of onion or garlic.
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
12 Manna, Primrose Hill
Manna is one of Europe’s finest and oldest gourmet vegetarian establishments, celebrating its 50th anniversary in Primrose Hill in 2017. The menu is entirely vegan and largely organic, with a bit of raw food popping up too. Cashew cheese croquettes sit alongside a raw lasagne made from layers of courgette noodles, cashew cheese, rocket pesto and Manna’s special raw marinara sauce. There are also salads and sharing plates, making this a pretty versatile venue, pop in for a quick bit post-work out or take a gang and make an evening of it – there are organic and vegan wines too.
4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill NW3 3AJ; mannav.com
13 Café Forty One at La Suite West, Bayswater
Café Forty One – London’s only vegan French pâtisserie – offers a deliciously unique vegan twist on classic favourites that cater for everyone – not just vegans. A crossroad between fine dining and café-style ambiance, the menus focus on seasonal, healthy, fresh and sustainable ingredients. At the heart of the café are contemporary vegan alternatives to French pâtisserie favourites. Open for breakfast, lunch, all-day desserts and afternoon tea, Cafe Forty One is currently offering 25% off two course lunches and afternoon tea to celebrate Veganuary.
41-51 Inverness Terrace W2 3JN; lasuitewest.com
14 Purezza, Camden
Purezza, founded in 2015, was the first vegan pizzeria in the UK. The plant pioneers have revolutionised classic Italian food – including our beloved pizza – by reinventing them with cruelty free ingredients. After years developing their brown rice ‘mozzarella’, these passionate Italians have created a vegan alternative that is not only tastier than traditional mozzarella, it’s also less than half the calories and fat. They’ve also created a raw cashew cheese, a ricotta-style cheese and a creamy coconut cheese. Everything is animal-free, with dairy-free, meat-free, and gluten-free food also at the forefront of their innovation. Creamy pasta dishes and delicious raw food dishes are also on the menu, as is a good vegan tiramisu.
43 Parkway,Camden Town NW1 7PN; purezza.co.uk
15 Wildflower, Peckham
Wildflower is an informal vegetarian and vegan canteen at Peckham Levels. Alongside a morning cafe service, the innovative vegetarian and vegan cafe serves affordable, ethical and healthy brunch and lunch options, plus a more refined evening menu with impeccably presented plates inspired by Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and European cuisines. For Veganuary, Wildflower is offering a £20 dinner tasting menu. Book for a group of eight or more and get a free welcome drink of organic vegan Prosecco. Early birds, do try the full vegan English breakfast with seitan sausage, portobello mushroom, bubble and squeak, homemade beans, sourdough toast, scrambled tofu and grilled tomatoes.
Peckham Levels, 95A Rye Lane SE15 4ST; wildflowerpeckham.uk
16 Wulf & Lamb, Chelsea
Wulf & Lamb just off Sloane Street is for ferocious herbivores, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Head chef Franco Casolin used to work at Vanilla Black, which was one of the first contemporary vegetarian restaurants in London. The 100% plant-based menu features the likes of Chili ‘non’ Carne, The Wulf Burger, their signature seitan burger with cashew aioli and a Green Coconut Curry with sweet potato mash and coconut cream with jasmine rice. Their tagline? ‘Just veg, with edge.’
243 Pavilion Road, Chelsea SW1X 0BP; wulfandlamb.com
17 Temple of Seitan, Camden & Hackney
Temple of Seitan as made a name for itself as the go-to spot for vegan junk food – burgers, fried chicken and man ‘n’ cheese have all been reworked as delicious 100% vegan dishes. The Temple Deluxe is a must for those hangover days, with a 1/4 pound patty, burger sauce, cheese, bacon, lettuce and pickles, or there’s the Nashville Hot with a Chick’n fillet, ranch mayo, lettuce and pickles.
103a Camley Street N1C 4PF & 10 Morning Lane E9 6NA; templeofseitan.co.uk
18 The Vurger Co, Shoreditch & Canary Wharf
The Vurger Co began its journey as a market stall, and last year opened its first permanent site following a successful crowdfunding campaign. The menu is 100% vegan, highlighting vegetables with fresh but indulgent recipes based around four core burgers with rotating monthly specials. For Veganuary, The Vurger Co has launched The Kentucky, featuring crispy coated deep-fried king oyster shrooms with a house-made Piri Piri sauce and fresh ‘slaw. Designed in collaboration with the brand’s Executive Chef Gaz Oakley, the burger is available from 5-31 January priced £9.95 from their Shoreditch and Canary Wharf sites.
Avant Garde Building, 6 Richmix Square, Cygnet Street, Shoreditch E1 6LD & The Wharf Kitchen, Jubilee Place Lower Mall, Canary Wharf E14 5NY; thevurgerco.com
19 St David Coffee House, Forest Hill
While not a vegan cafe, St David Coffee House in Forest Hill serves some cracking vegan dishes for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Currently on the (seasonally updated) menu is Vegan Ricotta on toasted sourdough with figs, thyme, pine nuts, foraged elderberry balsamic and a vegan alternative to honey. There’s also Fried Mushrooms & Parsnips on toasted sourdough with salsa verde and garlic flowers, plus a scrambled tofu breakfast burrito with avocado, black beans and tomato salsa. Their corn fritters with homemade kasundi, avocado and tomato are also very popular, and if you’re just after some toast with homemade jam, they also have vegan butter. They have alternative milk options, including Oatly, too.
5 David’s Road, Forest Hill SE23 3EP; twitter.com/StDavidCoffee
20 Wicked Vegan, Balham
Wicked Vegan in Balham serves up burgers, baps, wraps, smoothies and rotating specials – all 100% vegan, all made from scratch and all just a little bit wicked. Burgers include the Wicked Jack (deep fried jackfruit, coleslaw, lettuce, tomato and gherkins) and the Bean-Jamin Button (black bean patty, baba ganoush, spinach, scallions, gherkins and cashews nuts), and the Drunken Aubergine wrap (beer marinated aubergine, miso heritage carrots, deep fried sage, spinach and tomato) is a must. Specials include the New Jacks Wings (deep-fried jackfruit wings) and Mack Attack mac ‘n’ cheese.
14 Hildreth Street, Balham SW12 9RQ; wickedvegan.uk
21 222 Veggie Vegan, West Kensington
The name says it all, this restaurant serves a wide variety of healthy and delicious vegetarian and vegan meals. Popular selections include Seitan Stroganoff or the chef’s special stir-fry, which can be followed with delectable desserts like spice island pie or dairy-free ice cream. And if you want to try it all, check out the lunch buffet where you can help yourself to a variety of their freshly made vegan dishes.
222 North End Road, West Kensington W14 9NU; 222veggievegan.com