London’s culinary scene is catering to the meat and dairy-free masses with an amazing array of vegan restaurants; here’s our pick of the best for Veganuary 2019
Words Helen Brown and Miriam Carey
The best vegan restaurants in London 2019
Based in London’s Notting Hill, Farmacy is one of the best vegan restaurants for those who fancy indulgent menu choices. Menus contain globally inspired food and support vegetarian, dairy free, and diets free from refined sugars, additives and chemicals. From January, Farmacy will be celebrating Veganuary and the start of the New Year with their plant-based, protein-packed, Kimchi Bowl for those wanting to get their new year health kick on. This contains your six-a-day in one sitting packed full of fermented goodness bursting with spicy kimchi, sautéed chard stems, raw kohlrabi, raw brine carrots, marinated mushrooms, radish sprouts and homemade tamarind vinaigrette.
After a successful run on the street food circuit with KERB, Grace Regan’s SpiceBox is to open its first permanent location in January. The menu is 100% vegan and packed with Indian flavours and spice to enhance the natural awesomeness of vegetables. The menu will be modern Indian with plenty of nods to the iconic British curry house, featuring classic dishes reimagined with a plant-based spin. There’s also plenty of sweet spice, including Biscoff and cardamom paratha, a warm and flaky paratha topped with coconut ice cream, Biscoff cardamom drizzle and a Biscoff crumb.
Renowned health foodie Deliciously Ella has introduced new options to her delis in Herne Hill, Weighhouse Street, and Seymour Place to celebrate the New Year. Deliciously Ella’s food philosophy is to eat mainly plant-based foods, without deprivation, which started as a response to her illness. The vegan restaurants serve a hearty breakfast with new menu choices including acai and green smoothie bowls. Lunch and dinner options include a five bean chilli served with rustic cornbread and for dessert a vegan fudge brownie.
Coming close to 20 years in the foodie scene, Mildreds is definitely deserving of a place in London’s top vegan restaurants. Its fresh and colourful food takes inspiration from Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Mildreds uses organic ingredients where possible and endeavours to source small businesses for their supplies. There are four lively and atmospheric sites around London, the newest being the Dalston branch. Each has its own unique style and personality. Mildreds don’t take bookings so you might be caught in a queue during busy times, in which case, be sure to try one of their delicious cocktails at the bar.
Vegan Tasting Menu at Alyn Williams at The Westbury
Alyn works alongside head chef Tom Booton to create dishes that showcase the finest ingredients, with British fruit and vegetables often taking centre stage. This signature style is showcased by the restaurant’s brilliant vegan tasting menu – a creative, elegant and delicious sequence of seven meat and dairy-free dishes. This January enjoy dishes such as roasted cauliflower with seaweed; hen of the woods with mushroom broth and celeriac pasta with black truffle and to finish, a rhubarb, custard and marjoram.
The vegan tasting menu at Alyn Williams at The Westbury is priced at £90pp. alynwilliams.com
Wild Food Cafe
Thriving amongst alternative enterprises since the 1970s in a secret courtyard of Covent Garden, Wild Food Cafe is a must for those on the hunt for delicious and nutritious plant-based dishes. With a playful approach and a communal vibe, Wild Food offers raw-centric food that is rooted in a colourful, global and eclectic edge. Flavours are inspired from all four corners of the world and are finished with a signature ‘wild’ twist.
This self-service vegetarian buffet lets you pay for food by weight. On any given day the menu might take influence from Japan, Southeast Asia, Italy, Korea, India, Mexico and Lebanon and ranges across breakfasts, light bites, canapes, hot and cold dishes. Be as restricted or indulgent as you like in building a bespoke plate.
The raw food trend is one that continues to snowball which is why Nama’s gourmet dishes hold their own amongst foodie favourites. All dishes are gluten-free, vegan and raw – a form of cooking that takes no ingredient above 46°C. The dessert menu alone is worth checking out – make a beeline for the not-so-devilishly-indulgent salted chocolate caramel cake. Its sticky date caramel is sure to satiate even the sweetest tooth.
Redemption serves up delicious-yet-nutritious sugar-free, wheat-free vegan dishes and non-alcoholic cocktails. It was established two years ago as a pop-up and has since attracted a cult following and celebrity clientele. Redemption’s guilt-free cocktails are enough of a crowd-draw, but seeing as you’re there it would be rude not to go for a dessert or three. Highlights include sweet corn and red pepper pancakes and banoffee pie filled with sticky medal date sated caramel, bananas and coconut cream with a nutty chocolate base.
Temple of Seitan, London’s Vegan Fried-Chicken Shop
Temple of Seitan has been inundated with a horde of hungry vegans since it opened last January. Billed the world’s vegan “fried chicken” shop, the venue serves Seitan, a wheat, gluten and meat-free substitute, served up in fried chicken style wraps, tubs and burgers. The concept is the brainchild of Melbourne couple Rebecca McGuinness and her husband Pat O’Shea. Having worked in KFC before becoming vegan, Rebecca missed fried chicken and so the concept was born. The restaurant has been widely applauded and has a permi-queue of vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike clamouring for this vegan chicken.
OXO Tower Restaurant Plant-Based Afternoon Tea
Throughout January you can expect expertly-crafted vegan sweets and savouries inspired by classic sandwiches and tempting desserts in an afternoon tea, with a vegan twist. Enjoy from homemade ‘cheese’ and pickle finger sandwiches, to chestnut and mushroom ‘sausage’ rolls and scones with clotted ‘cream’ and strawberry jam. Diners can choose between English tea and coffee to round off the Vegan Afternoon Tea experience.
For £35 per person or £45 with a glass of Prosecco; harveynichols.com