Hot off the heels of London VegFest and World Vegan Day, we’re keeping the spirit of green-eating alive with a look at some of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants the city has to offer.
Recent statistics from The Vegan Society puts the number of vegans and vegetarians in the UK on a collective 1.68 million, with supporting research indicating that veganism in Britain has risen by a colossal 350% in the past decade. Driving this trend are people in the 15-34 age category, who currently account for nearly half of all vegans in the UK.
As the fifth most vegan friendly city in the world, London has a plethora of vegan and vegetarian-friendly eateries to choose from. Vegan street grub has also become increasingly common thanks to food stalls in places like Greenwich Market and Hoxton Beach.
Here are some of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants we’ve had the pleasure of dining at:
Black Cat Cafe
This bohemian, volunteer-run eatery boasts an all-vegan menu of comfort food and salad plates. As well as excellent cakes and top notch samosas, there’s vegan chocolate, cheese and faux meats to choose from. Located on Clarence road, close to Dalston, it’s as trendy as they come.
222 Veggie Vegan
London’s favourite vegan restaurant has a very simple aim: to serve healthy, delicious food and provide a welcoming environment. And that it does. All dishes are made using natural ingredients and are low in salt, low in fat and non-GM. Nothing comes deep fried, nor microwaved, and, where possible, organic produce is used.
Japan is notorious for its sustainable cuisine, and Itadaki Zen puts healthy and responsible cooking right at the forefront of the workshops it offers as part of its dining experience. Its intricately crafted include things like tempura, kimpab and kake udon. For dessert, why not try a sesame pudding.
NAMA Artisan Raw Food
Eating raw food is said to give you more energy, and cut your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. NAMA in Notting Hill keeps standards high with artisan quality raw food and juices which are meat and dairy-free, as well gluten friendly. For those unable to visit, the restaurant offers 3 day express deliveries and weekend packages straight to your door.
Italians may be famous for their cured meats, but at Amico Bio it’s strictly veggie all the way. London’s first Italian vegetarian organic restaurant offers imaginative alternatives to well-known dishes like vegetable kebabs with red pepper coulis and a lentil packed nut roast. For starters, why not go for a salad of pickled mushrooms, Sardinian fregola, red radish and pesto.
For a veggie/vegan friendly international menu, head to The Gate, which has two separate restaurants in West and North London. The Gate Islington, the newer of the two, combines friendly staff and casual, elegant interiors for an altogether homely experience. The aubergine schnitzel is an excellent variation on the usual chicken equivalent.
Indian Veg Bhelpuri
This curry house in Chapel Market does exactly as it says on the tin: by dishing up meat-free versions of popular meals in a simple café setting. And, better still, the buffet menu is always changing. Don’t be fooled by the shoddy shop front, this is an understated gem.
Tibits updates the buffet concept with self-service veggie and vegan options which vary depending on the season. Guests are invited to pile up their plate in the central buffet-boat and pay by weight, much as they might do at a salad bar. Dishes range from patatas bravas, to beetroot hummus and aubergine quiche.
Mildreds has a home in three of London’s coolest areas: Soho, Camden and Kings Cross. Its generous menu contains everything from veggie burgers, to a Sri Lankan curry made up of sweet potato, cashews and green beans. Mildreds Soho takes its place in quaint 18th century town house on Lexington Street, amid the hustle and bustle of London’s West End.