If you are vegetarian or vegan and in London, thanks to Cathy who writes the vegetarian/vegan food blog Planet Veggie, we have a great list of ten fabulously tasty and inspiring restaurants for you to dine in.
Over to Cathy…
You won’t find a pasta bake or a vegetable curry in this Michelin-recommended vegetarian restaurant. As their Twitter bio says, Vanilla Black is a ‘pretentious vegetarian restaurant that tries too hard’ and with items on the menu such as Dried and Iced Tomato and Olive Oil Cake, and Goat’s Cheese, Fennel Pollen and Pistachio with Apple Puree, you can see what they mean.
The Coach & Horses
The Coach & Horses in Soho is London’s first vegetarian pub. The restaurant hides upstairs in a 1940s tearoom where customers can enjoy the vegetarian and vegan menu, which changes seasonally but always includes customers’ favourites vegan Tofush and Chips, and Welsh Rarebit. Every Sunday, they offer two vegetarian roasts and two vegan roasts. That’s got to be worth a trip into town.
Tibits is a buffet-style restaurant where customers help themselves to food from the food boat, then pay for it at the till, by weight. (Tip: it adds up quite quickly so unless you’re feeling particularly flush, don’t pile your plate too high.) Every day, the food boat contains up to forty vegetarian and vegan hot dishes, salads and desserts from around the world, meaning you can taste a bit of all four corners – and the bit in between – of the globe at the same time.
Okay, so Yorica isn’t technically a restaurant – it’s an ice-cream parlour – but it deserves a mention here as all their ice creams, smoothies and shakes are 100% vegan. They’re even nut-free and gluten-free too, making it a great place for an allergy-sufferers’ get-together.
Manna’s been around for ever and is one of Europe’s oldest and finest gourmet vegan restaurants. As always, it pulls in the Primrose Hill crowds to enjoy firm favourites such as their Thai Green Curry, and Organic Bangers and Mash. Being a gourmet restaurant though, that’s not any old bangers and mash – these bangers are made from organic fennel and pumpkin seeds and served on a bed of parsnip & carrot mash served with cavalo nero on a red wine, leek & thyme jus.
Another well-established vegetarian restaurant that’s expanded in recent years is The Gate. Brothers Adrian and Michael Daniel set up their Hammersmith restaurant in 1989 and now boast another branch in Islington, where they maintain the same high quality of their (in their words) Indo-Iraqi Jewish cuisine, reflecting the diverse cultural background in which they grew up.
Mildreds has been a popular choice for the hungry Londoner since 1988. Originally in Soho, they’ve recently expanded and now also have branches in Camden and King’s Cross. They only accept bookings for their Camden restaurant, so if you’re intending to visit one of the other branches, be prepared to queue or have a drink in their bar while you wait.
It’s all about health at Vantra – all their food is animal-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, wheat-free, no-added-sugar-free, artificial-chemicals-free, microwave-free and yes, in case you’re wondering, the restaurant is also alcohol-free. Still, although you won’t be able to get drunk at Vantra, with drinks such as their Love Shake (coconut mylk, strawberry, jasmine, almond and coconut nectar) and raw food such as their Living Lasagna (layers of squash, tomato, pesto and seed-cheese), it’s certainly not taste-free.
222 Veggie Vegan
Ben Asamani has been running the popular 222 Veggie Vegan West Kensington vegan restaurant since 2004. All dishes are freshly prepared to order, such as customers’ favourite, Seitan Stroganoff. For those who prefer their vegan food a little less ‘meaty’, there’s plenty to choose from on the menu, such as the Oyster Mushroom and Spinach Raclette (a combination of spinach and tofu cottage cheese on a bed of roast potatoes, topped with sautéed oyster mushrooms and a light creamy sauce) or the Pumpkin and Pine Nut Risotto.
Spitting distance from Smithfield Meat Market seems an unlikely place to find a vegetarian restaurant, but that’s where you’ll find vegetarian-organic-Italian restaurant Amico Bio. Proprietor and Head Chef, Pasquale Amico and his team serve an eclectic Italian menu with firm favourites such as gnocchi and pasta, and vegans can even choose a vegan cheese selection for dessert.