As if you needed an excuse to try some of the best plant-based restaurants in London…
The vegan revolution has completely captured the imagination of Londoners everywhere, which means that more and more plant-based restaurants, pubs and cafes are flourishing in every part of the city. While east remains the hub of London’s vegan haunts, south of the river is quickly following with new vegan friendly openings popping up every other week – and don’t even get us started on the growing selection of vegan cafes opening up for mid-week lunch in Central London.
Whatever you’re searching for – be it the best vegan curry in London, the most delicious plant-based afternoon teas, or what it’s really like to live like a vegan – we’ve got you covered.
Best vegan Italian food
Lele’s’ has stolen our hearts (and our stomachs) with its colourful and decadent cakes, generous vegan afternoon tea and one of the best vegan English breakfasts in London. However, this little café just graduated to restaurant.
That’s right: Lele’s new venue in Dalston is bigger and bolder and, most importantly, open for dinner.
Valentina Fois, Lele’s owner, joined forces with another Italian chef, Davide Grigolato from Macaroni Liberation Front, to deliver the best vegan Italian food in London. There is so much to try you might need to go there once a week but, if you only try one thing, make it the incredible vegan spaghetti alla carbonara. How they achieve the creaminess of the original recipe and the crispiness of the ‘bacon’ remains a mystery but your tastebuds will thank you forever.
Discover here: Lele’s
Best vegan small plates
Daisy Green X Plates
Daisy Green Collective, London’s most Instagrammable Aussie brunch chain, has joined forces with vegan fine dining company Plates for a very special menu. The collectives Soho venue, Scarlett Green, is now serving a limited edition small plates menu – which means you get to try all the delicious creations in one sitting. From curry to savoury pancakes and the most indulgent chocolate cake you have ever tried, the menu is true to Daisy Green Collective’s Aussie roots, but it’s the tacos that take the crown. With BBQ vegetables, kimchi, whipped avocado, aubergine, slow baked carrot and house pickles, it is guaranteed to satisfy even the most carnivorous of diners.
There’s not been an end date for the collaboration announced, so it’s expected to run all summer and into Autumn. Even when it is sadly over, Scarlett Green and other restaurants from the collective offer great vegan options, including Spaghetti Bolognese and a Bondi vegan sharing board.
Discover here: Daisy Green
Best vegan English breakfast
The Black Cat Café
An independent, cooperatively run, vegan cafe in Hackney – the Black Cat Café is the place your vegan journey should start.
All the delicious plant-based food made from scratch is served in a cosy and familiar atmosphere from sunrise to sundown, but the star of the show must be their ‘Fry-up’ – a mouth-watering plant-based version of a full English breakfast, with a pancake on top. Plus, they have killer merch to buy while sipping on a delicious milk-free milkshake.
Discover here: The Black Cat Café
Best vegan ‘fish’ and chips
Sutton And Sons
Meat substitutes are now mainstream in the vegan food world, yet satisfying your fish cravings can still be tricky. For East Londoners though, the fish-free days are over.
Fish and chips chain Sutton and Sons are riding the wave of plant-based alternatives and have opened the first completely vegan chippy in London. The range goes from the classic ‘fish’ made of banana blossom to ‘scampi’, ‘prawns’ and even ‘chicken’ and vegan sausages. That’s your next hangover sorted.
Discover here: Sutton And Sons
Best vegan pizza
Even if pizza dough is in theory vegan – don’t trust anybody who puts eggs in it – it turns out to be incredibly difficult to find a good vegan pizza in London. If, until last year, your best option was a cheese-less Margherita, Purezza has arrived to rock your vegan world.
Everything is plant based in this pizzeria: Dough balls full of delicious (homemade) ‘cheese’, pizzas of every variety and taste, full of stringy ‘mozzarella’ a load of delicious desserts to choose from. The time of salads are long gone, long live the carbs.
Discover here: Purezza
Best vegan pub
The Spread Eagle
It was about time for London to have a fully vegan pub and The Spread Eagle doesn’t disappoint. The food offering is headed up by Meriel Armitage from Club Mexicana, without a doubt one of the best vegan street food trucks around.
The menu features a delicious mixture of dishes from Mexico and California, from tacos with ‘chorizo’, deep fried cheeze and the classic ‘chicken’ burger. A delicious guilty pleasure to enjoy with a cold beer.
Discover here: The Spread Eagle
Best vegan afternoon tea
Café Forty One
Definitely one of the best vegan afternoon teas in London, Café Forty One at La Suite West is the first fully vegan restaurant to be part of a London Hotel.
Headed by French patisserie chef Clarisse Flon, the vegan afternoon-tea features delicious sandwiches, incredibly tasty cakes and traditional scones complete with plant-based clotted cream made from scratch and vegan honey. While you are there, don’t forget to ask for some ‘vegan’ bubbles.
Discover here: Café Forty One
Best vegan brunch
A promoter of a healthy lifestyle since day one, brunching at Farmacy is absolutely delicious and completely guilt-free.
The classic avocado toast, a special ‘protein’ omelette, chocolate chip waffles and truffle potato rosti – all washed down with hot chocolate, a matcha latte or the more unusual adaptogenic latte, made of coconut milk, maca, vanilla protein powder and a series of other ingredients that you definitely don’t have in your pantry. Next time someone asks where you get your protein from, you’ll know the answer.
Discover here: Farmacy
Best vegan burger
The Vurger Co.
If you think that burger means a big piece of half-cooked minced beef, think again. From beans, to soy and seitan, the world of burgers has changed quite a lot in the last few years.
If you renounced meat but you still crave a juicy burger once in a while, you owe yourself a visit to The Vurger Co. Their new Big Mex or their signature Auburger – made from aubergines like the name suggests – will make you rethink your traditional idea of this junk food classic.
Discover here: The Vurger Co.
Best vegan fried chicken
Temple of Seitan
A real institution in London’s vegan junk food scene, Temple of Seitan is the guilty (and greasy) pleasure that you didn’t know you needed.
Juicy ‘chicken’ burgers, hyper-creamy mac n’ cheese and a delicious vegan gravy to go with it all. This is the place to indulge in a calories spree and to show your friends that vegan food does not (always) involve kale.
Discover here: Temple of Seitan
Best vegan curry
Probably one of Britain’s finest (and favourites) foods, a good vegan curry is always the best idea on a chilly winter night – either if you try one of the many vegan curry recipes at home or you choose a cosy dinner out.
If you are on the hunt for the best vegan curry in London, look no further than Soho. Mildred’s fragrant and filling Sri Lankan curry is the ultimate comfort food, perfect to satisfy your autumnal vegan cravings.
Discover here: Mildred’s
Best vegan roast
Coach and Horses Pub
The God of English comfort food, a nice and heartwarming Sunday roast on a foggy London afternoon is too good to be missed.
Coach and Horses - the first London pub to go vegetarian and vegan - has a lot to offer on a weekend. Roasted and stuffed butternut squash or sweet potato and spinach bake served with the most traditional toppings and complete of vegan gravy. Whichever you choose, don’t forget a Bloody Mary to go with it.
Discover here: Coach and Horses
Best vegan ramen
A deliciously fragrant ramen seems impossible to reproduce in vegan form, and yet. The chef at Okko must have a secret ingredient, because their vegan ramen couldn’t be more full of flavours.
An exquisite mushroom broth filled with tofu, a choice of courgette or konjac noodles, shiitake mushrooms and other plant-based delicacies to fill the Japanese-food void in your stomach.
Discover here: Okko
The best vegan pie
If you thought that a filling, heart-warming, traditional pie was an impossible task for a vegan chef, you don’t know Marco and Carla, aka the minds and hands behind Young Vegans.
Think about a filling for your pie, they’ll make it – from a classic steak and ale pie to a modern take with the burger, ‘chicken’ parmigiana or even ‘chicken’ katsu pies. Their delicious creations come with a mouth-watering thick vegan gravy and traditional sides like mint mushy peas and mash potatoes. For an extra treat, the incredibly creamy mac’n’cheese is definitely worth a try.
Discover here: Young Vegans
Best vegan sub sandwich
After gracing America with mouth-watering, colourful and nutritious vegan food, byChloe came over to the UK last year, ready to take Europe by storm.
If you try only one thing off the menu, make it their vegan pesto meatball sub. ‘Meatballs’ made of portobello mushrooms and veggies, mozzarella made from cashew nuts and a creamy basil pesto in a soft bun? Indulgence at its best.
Discover here: ByChloe