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
By Helen Brown, Abbie Schofield and Orlando Whitehead
The best vegan restaurants in London 2020
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.
Lost Boys Pizza
The Lost Boys vegan CBD pizza menu has plant-based toppings from ‘No harm-esan’ and ‘No-rizo’ to the more conventional broccoli, cauliflower and vegan sausage. The vampire-themed pizzeria will also be serving small plates like buffalo cauliflower wings with vegan blue cheese dip, and CBD-infused cocktails for an extra wellness punch.
Daisy Green Collection’s group of nine restaurants are perfect for a plant-based bite, and their new wellness menu has dishes created by nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. Recipes include Green Shakshouka, a twist on the Mediterranean breakfast dish with spicy tofu, cavolo nero, garden peas, spinach, courgette and cashew cream. Plus, Daisy Green Collection has recently opened its ninth restaurant, Barbie Green, in Barbican.
Legendary burger joint Patty&Bun has launched three new vegan versions of their classic buns in time for Veganuary. Our favourite is the ‘Hot Chic’ Chicken Burger with This Isn’t Chicken fried patty, coleslaw, pickled cucumbers and vegan smoked garlic aioli in a vegan bun plus all the vegan-friendly sides – hand cut chips, milkshakes and This Isn’t Chicken nuggets.
After a successful run on the street food circuit with KERB, Grace Regan’s SpiceBox opened permanently in Walthamstow last January. One year on and the venue has cemented its reputation as a vegan destination. 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.
Vegan food doesn’t have to be all salad boxes and tofu. The elegant restaurant at The Savoy has a number of vegan offerings for the new year, including cauliflower steak with broccoli puree, broad beans, pickled potatoes and grill farm vegetables with romesco sauce, fregola and puff amaranth. Plus, there are plenty of non-vegan options too, making it a great setting for a group meal.
After 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.
The Vurger Co.
Launching their first permanent site in Shoreditch after a successful Crowdfunding campaign, the plant-based burger company’s popularity has gone from strength to strength and they now have a second branch at Canary Wharf. A string of collaborations with other esteemed establishments has lead to a variety of tongue tingling creations – some of which now feature on the permanent menu. Patties are aubergine and bean-based and are served with melting vegan cheese and a selection of house sauces.
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. The recently-opened sister site in Islington also offers wood-fired pizzas, available on a gluten free base.
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.
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
Temple of Seitan has been inundated with a horde of hungry vegans since it opened in 2018. 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.
Sustainability is at the core of everything this plant-forward eatery does, from the staff uniforms (Atis is partnered with ethical initiatives Cotton Roots and Impact Trading) to the fully-recyclable and compostable packaging. Serving delicious vegan and vegetarian bowls in Shoreditch, Atis’ winter menu includes new dishes like the smoky butterbean stew, squash coco curry and the Atis x Winter bowl, packed with nutritious, seasonal ingredients. You can also pick your favourite elements to build the ultimate bowl of healthy comfort food.
The recently opened pop-up site at Rotate, Shoreditch, will be luring in vegans and carnivores alike with their entirely vegan menu which sees American and French classics reincarnated as plant-based burgers and snacks. Available throughout Veganuary, offerings such as ‘le truffle cheeseburger’ and chipotle maple jerky will redefine fast food, for one month at least.
A meat-free feast has come to Honest Burgers this January in the form of the Bacon Plant. Available until 3 February, the Bacon Plant combines a vegan burger with plant-based ‘bacon’, vegan gouda, plant-based bacon ketchup, chipotle ‘mayo’ spinach, pickles and shoestring fries.
The new winter menu at Avobar is bursting with delicious vegan options that celebrate the avocado, with a mixture of small and sharing plates such as beetroot carpaccio, vegan taccos, and for something sweet, matcha pancakes. Open for dining all day, Avobar is one to try this Veganuary.
Whole Foods Market
Strictly not a restaurant (although in-store eateries offer an array of vegan options), for those wishing to finesse their vegan repertoire at home, Whole Foods offers the best quality ingredients in one convenient location. Committed to providing local and organic produce, shelves are stocked with a tempting array of plant-based alternatives, like the Beyond Burger, to put a tasty (and vegan) spin on your favourite recipes.
Like this? Check out the best new restaurants in London this month.