Whether you’re already a committed cruelty-free foodie, or someone who is dipping their toes into the world of vegan eating (it is ‘Veganuary’, after all), there’s no doubt that London has dozens of incredible vegan dining options… and that number is only getting bigger. From classic London vegan restaurants, to mouth-watering vegan breakfast places in London, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh and delicious food in the capital.
Veganism is definitely having its moment in the sun right now. A combination of high-profile campaigns, celebrity endorsements for an animal product-free lifestyle, and the undeniable fact that vegan food is healthy, delicious, and the perfect way to showcase great ingredients has made it the foodie movement of the moment. The old cliches of vegans being somewhat on the, well, radical side of the social spectrum have long since been broken down, and as we all become a bit more health-conscious and environmentally aware, vegan restaurants in London have taken off in a big way.
But which vegan food joints in the city have what it takes to cut the mustard? We decided to reach out to a few of our meat-and-dairy-free friends, bloggers, and contacts, and gather their top recommendations for eating out with a conscience. We were surprised and impressed by the range of options out there, and there’s no denying that the restaurants on our list are definitely not just for those following the lifestyle. With incredible flavours, fantastic dishes, and colourful, chilled, and enjoyable vibes all round, it’s hard to see how even the most dedicated carnivore could resist these vegan restaurants in London!
Check out our selection below, and start planning your next plant-based foray into London’s ever-evolving and ever-fascinating food scene. Forks at the ready…!
No list of vegan restaurants in London would be complete without Mildreds sitting right at the top. This plant-based institution has been shifting attitudes and serving up incredible dishes for almost thirty years in the heart of open-minded Soho, and its many fans and powerful reputation has seen the independent eatery roll out branches in three other London locations.
Ask any London vegan, and they’ll tell you that if you’re looking for vegan food that proves – beyond any shadow of a doubt – that cruelty-free food is anything but boring, then Mildreds is the place to go. While not strictly a vegan restaurant (they serve some vegetarian fare, including their much-loved halloumi burgers, and a couple of responsibly sourced chicken dishes), there’s a strong leaning towards the trend. Indeed, their vegan brunch menu is the stuff of legend.
If you’re going to try one dish: go for their Sri Lankan vegan curry. Made with sweet potato, cashew nuts, and green beans, it’s a party in your mouth you won’t forget in a hurry!
When we were asking around for top vegan restaurants in London for a lazy, social lunch, 222 Veggie Vegan in West Kensington was the one all our contacts insisted made it onto the list. Why? Because for a tenner, you can enjoy their all-you-can-eat vegan lunch buffet, which promises to fill your belly with more healthy delights than you can shake a locally-sourced, ethically harvested stick at.
With a properly pan-global menu, taking in dishes from West Africa, South Asia, the Mediterranean and beyond, 222 Veggie Vegan is on a mission to introduce you to the best vegan food the world has to offer. What’s more, everything is low-salt and low-fat… meaning you can eat your fill, and feel great about it afterwards.
If you’re going to try one dish: try the Seitan stroganoff. It’s an ingenious use of the hottest vegan ingredient around right now, and a brilliant reimagining of a hearty dinner party classic.
While the name of this eatery might not sound so vegan-friendly at first, it comes from the restaurant’s motto: ‘run with the wolves, eat with the lambs’ – so that’s all right, then. Achingly trendy and attracting the cool Chelsea crowd with its stylish interiors and friendly, laid back service, this vegan restaurant has built up a powerful reputation on the back of it being one of the best vegan breakfast places in London.
Using responsibly sourced and regional ingredients, and ensuring every dish is designed to show off the pure, natural flavours that they have to offer, Wulf & Lamb is a real treat for the senses. From their awe-inspiring brunches, to hearty mains, and delicious desserts (seriously, their mango and passion fruit ‘cheesecake’ is to die for), this is definitely one for your must-visit list in Veganuary and beyond!
If you’re going to try one dish: It’s gotta be the Wulf Pie. Pulled jackfruit, stewed lentils, plenty of delicate spicing, and topped with mashed potato. What’s not to love?
If you’re able to walk down Brick Lane without being tempted into one of the myriad delicious-smelling curry houses, it’s fair to say you’re made of stronger stuff than most of us. However, do so and you’re in for a meatless treat – the brilliant and innovative Mooshies, a vegan burger joint that’s proving that cruelty-free fast food is here, and it’s here to stay.
The great thing about Mooshies is that it’s the perfect introduction for anybody stepping into the vegan scene for the first time. Why? Simply because by ordering one of their hearty, delicious burgers, and by loading up on sides and fries, you’ll quickly realise that you’re not missing the meat. At all. In fact, you’ll be left wondering why you didn’t give it up sooner.
If you’re going to try one dish: While everything on the menu is as tempting as can be, the ‘Fillet-Om-Phish’ is impossible to resist. Panko-fried aubergine, tartar sauce, lettuce, seaweed, and vegan cheese, squashed into a tasty burger bun. ‘Nuff said.
As you step into Genesis’ tasteful, fashionable, millennial pink dining room, there’s no getting away from the fact that you’re slap-bang in the heart of London’s trendiest quarter. However, when the vegan food on offer is this good, you’ll quickly forgive the restaurant’s many hipster quirks as you dig right into the international fare on the menu.
Genesis is all about exploring the recipes of the world, and recreating them in ways that the meat-free denizens of London are sure to lap up… and boy, do they do it well. With Middle-Eastern market food rubbing shoulders with American diner dishes, and Thai classics meeting Italian favourites, there’s really something for everybody here. What’s more, it’s about as Insta-friendly as London dining gets in 2019, so make sure to charge your smartphone before leaving the house.
If you’re going to try one dish: Who doesn’t love a shawarma? If you’ve only ever chowed down on a doner after hitting the pub with your mates, it’s time to explore the possibilities of this fantastic dish… only without the weirdly anonymous grey meat. Trust us, Genesis have cracked this one!
While we were chatting to our vegan friends in order to get top recommendations for this blog, we also got talking about the meat-based foods we’d miss were we to give them up altogether. Perhaps unsurprisingly for Londoners, pies were pretty high on the list. Guess what? Those plucky vegans had the answer, and it came in the shape of Young Vegans, a plant-based pie shop in the heart of Camden Town.
Packed full of flavour, and encased in surprisingly buttery pastry (given that, obviously, no butter is involved), the pies on offer at Young Vegans Pie Shop are a British treat that really satisfies. Slathered in gravy, sat on a bed of mash and minted peas, they’re utterly gorgeous and a fantastic option for a healthy(ish) lunch on the go when browsing the markets. Hats off!
If you’re going to try one dish: Young Vegans has a great range of exotic-sounding pies, but we’re suckers for the classics. The vegan steak and ale pie really does hit the spot every time.
London has no shortage of American eatery imports, but By Chloe – now set up and buzzing in Covent Garden and Tower Bridge – is one which has been welcomed with open arms by the vegan community. Massively hyped (and fully deserving of it), By Chloe has brought a slick, efficient, and thoroughly attractive dynamic to the city’s meat-free and plant-based food scene, and tucking into their colourful dishes and delicious morsels is never anything but an absolute pleasure.
While a lot of the food on the By Chloe menu is heavily influenced by the restaurant chain’s US roots, they’ve impressed locals with vegan twists on British classics, too. Fish and chips and shepherd’s pie have been given a vegan makeover, and we’re all for this particular American invasion!
If you’re going to try one dish: It’s a hard choice, but we’d say the vegan breakfast and brunch options at By Chloe swing it every time. Scrambled tofu, veggie sausages and chorizo, greens and toast – get in my belly!
Vegan burgers seem to be the number one choice for meat-free aficionados in London, proven by the fact that The Vurger Co has finally found a solid base in Shoreditch (after being a pop-up for years), and the queue is out the door on a daily basis. Using innovative techniques and a range of awesome ingredients, these burgers are filling, tasty, and sure to tick all the right boxes.
No burger joint would be complete without a lengthy list of scrumptious sides, and it’s in this regard that The Vurger Co really come into their own. Choose from vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, dirty fries, flawless onion rings, a list of tempting ‘mylkshakes’ and more, and you’ll be one happy eater, we promise you!
If you’re going to try one dish: The Holy Habanero lives up to its name, and delivers a divinely deep spice profile, while hitting the high notes with texture and overall deliciousness.
Well, there you have it – eight superb vegan restaurants in London which are shaking up the scene, and providing incredible dishes for the growing number of Londoners eschewing meat and dairy for plants, nuts, and grains. We can’t wait to see what else 2019 brings!