Want to find the best vegan restaurants in London? Read our expert foodie guide to the best plant-based restaurants in the capital serving vegetarian and vegan menus. Or check out where to eat vegan food across the UK here.
Best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in London
Bubala, E1 (Spitalfields) – for Middle Eastern vegetarian small plates
Marc Summers, previously general manager at Berber & Q is heading up front of house, with chef Helen Graham (whose experience spans from The Palomar to The Good Egg) rustling up a feast behind the scenes at this Middle Eastern-inspired vegetarian small plates restaurant.
It’s hard to resist ordering everything from the menu (around seven small plates between two people is recommended), and if you’re not sure, opt for the Bubala knows best set menu, a selection of plates for £30. Otherwise, start with the laffa flatbread and dips. Hummus puddled with a nutty brown butter comes silky smooth, while confit garlic and za’atar pep up delicate labneh. Bubbled and smoky, the bread is there to mop them up.
Pass on the fattoush salad and double up on the halloumi instead. Forget squeaky cheese, this chunk melts on the fork and has a gentle funk. Glazed with black seed honey, it’s a sweet, salty kiss of dairy. Load up on latkes, too, which come crisp on the outside, protecting fluffy layers of potato with a punchy toum (garlic) sauce.
Chantelle Nicholson at Tredwell’s, WC2 (Covent Garden) – for vegan tasting menu
Marcus Wareing’s relaxed fine-dining favourite, Tredwells, puts plants at the forefront with its first vegan tasting menu, designed by chef patron Chantelle Nicholson.
The dishes are creative, flavoursome and very green. Chickpea panisse (a fried, crispy chickpea cake) was a meal in itself, made elegant with fennel fronds. Its side of chargrilled broccoli, drenched in a luxurious toasted almond butter, was one of the best ways we’ve seen that vegetable served.
The star of the menu was a ravioli made from transparent discs of kohlrabi, with creamed avocado inside. Don’t be put off by its pungent aroma; it was a balanced plate of clean, fresh veg, with a sweet pickled aftertaste.
The best dessert was a gooey, golden hazelnut pudding. It reminded us of Ferrero Rochers, despite the missing diary, and came with two coins of dark chocolate sorbet.
Go for the wine pairing (£25 per person). A glass of Le Paradou viognier tasted like an extension of our miso soup; and hazelnut-spiked vermouth on ice, which came with dessert, surprised us with its deliciousness.
Genesis, E1 (Shoreditch) – for vegan fast food
Organic, vegan fast food eaten against a backdrop of bubble gum-pink banquettes, neon signs and original graphic art. It’s all very Shoreditch. Expect a menu bulging with magically meat-free burgers, hot dogs and tacos. There’s also mac ‘n’ cheese, made with a type of ancient grain called kamut, with its dairy-defying creamy sauce and sweet edge, and roasted turmeric cauliflower. Desserts include vegan ice cream sundaes, while cocktails are fun to drink (try the vividly purple ‘sacred spritz’, made with vodka, lemongrass and blue matcha).
Vurger Co – for vegan burgers
You could opt for the Beyond-Meat-stuffed New York Melt, or a hot-sauce soaked ‘chicken’ fillet in the Buffalo vurger, if you’re after something that’s close to the real thing, but there’s something deeply satisfying about Vurger Co’s protein-packed classic black bean, chargrilled red pepper, chickpea and corn patty. All the trimmings work hard – tangy burger sauce, tomato, red onion, gherkins and properly cheesey vegan cheese – and there’s a selection of carb-tastic sides including skin-on and sweet potato fries, which you can order 50/50, plus tater tots. End on a sweet note courtesy of the plant-based shakes – Oreo, banana caramel or Biscoff, anyone? – with a shot of rum or whisky. thevurgerco.com
The Fields Beneath, NW5 (Kentish Town West) – for vegan breakfast and cakes
The Fields Beneath has three aims – to make great coffee and great food, and to make veganism normal. The colourful spot mixes exposed brickwork with mosaic tiles and blackboards with the menu written in vibrant chalk. For breakfast tuck into glossy baps filled with tofu, mushroom bacon and smoky tomato sauce, or cinnamon waffles with nut butter if you fancy something sweet. All day the counter is covered in tempting baked goods (a few of which are gluten-free, too), from peanut butter bars and chewy cookies to slices of quinoa and berry cake. In 2020, there are three Costa Rican coffees on offer, so fill your cup with natural, honey or washed beans. thefieldsbeneath.com
Wildflower, SE15 (Peckham) – for vegetarian bistro vibes
The kitchen at Wildflower is overseen by head chef Joseph Ryan, who previously cooked at Salon in Brixton Village and Frank’s, the restaurant and bar on the 10th floor of a Peckham multi-storey car park. Located just below Frank’s, Wildflower also commands an equally fine south-facing view over an otherwise unseen aspect of Peckham Rye. The kitchen’s offering centres around affordable, yet highly crafted, vegetarian and vegan food. Among the dishes on the daily-changing menu are coconut dal, onion squash, fried sambal, yogurt and flatbread; soba noodles, pickled red cabbage, szechuan sesame broth, spring onions and mint; and sweet potato and sage gratin, toasted oats, beetroot relish and watercress. wildflowerpeckham.uk
Wulf & Lamb, SW1 (Chelsea) – for vegan comfort food
It’s no surprise that Sloane Square vegan restaurant Wulf & Lamb has gained such a big following given head chef Franco Casolin used to work at the groundbreaking vegetarian restaurant Vanilla Black. Among Wulf & Lamb’s most popular dishes are the chilli ’non’ carne (made with kidney beans and mushrooms served on herb rice with cashew soured cream and lime) and the Wulf burger, a ‘meaty’ patty made with marinated seitan and cashew aïoli.
“We believe that food should be delicious, guilt-free and make you feel good,” says owner Rosanna von Zweigbergk. “With the growing interest in the benefits of a plant-based diet, more and more people are discovering that vegan food isn’t restrictive or boring but very tasty, indulgent and diverse.” wulfandlamb.com
Temple of Seitan, E9 (Hackney) – for vegan burgers
With a second site in Camden opening on the back of the success of its pop-ups and the Hackney mothership, Temple of Seitan is a restaurant and takeaway that’s widely regarded as the mother of all plant-based fast-food joints. Since it launched three years ago, Temple of Seitan has gained a fanatical following for its delicious Temple Spicy Burger (crispy seitan fillet, cheese, coleslaw, jalapeños with hot sauce and chipotle mayo) and the proudly poultry-free version of KFC’s double-down fried chicken sandwich. templeofseitan.co.uk
Purezza, NW1 (Camden) – for vegan pizza
The UK’s first 100% vegan pizzeria, Purezza specialises in plant-based pizzas that respect the Neapolitan heritage. Where possible, this means using alternative versions of animal products, such as a plant-based mozzarella, which took more than two years to develop – this organic cheese (that’s dairy-free, low in fat and allergen-free) is made with brown rice milk and is unique to Purezza. In 2018, the restaurant secured investment to begin producing the cheese from a factory for retail. The original Brighton restaurant opened in 2015 and was followed three years later by a Camden branch and plans for more later this year. In 2018, Purezza won National Pizza of the Year for its Parmigiana Party pizza, despite being the only plant-based entrant. purezza.co.uk
Ethos, W1W (Fitzrovia) – for vegetarian lunch
A strictly vegetarian, self-service, pay-by-weight dining spot just minutes from Oxford Street. There’s a Nordic theme, with a cosy fireplace in one corner, and half a dozen silver birch trees surround the seating area.
All the cold salads were well-seasoned and interesting – cauliflower triumphs in a creamy tahini dressing; green apple and paper-thin fennel is wonderfully fresh; butternut squash has those gloriously crisp, caramelised edges in a feta and spinach salad; and baba ganoush is earthy, rich and smooth.
Desserts are almost exclusively cake-based, and, unusually, the best are those that completely omit dairy. Try the black bean brownie: vegan and free from both gluten and refined sugars, it has an earthy, treacle-like flavour and the same fudgy texture as a regular brownie.
Young Vegans, NW1 (Camden) – for vegan pie and mash
Marco Casadei opened London’s first ever vegan pie and mash shop in October 2017 and it has been an instant hit. Among the go-to dishes is the seitan and ale pie, a take on the classic steak and ale version, which uses handmade wheat gluten instead of beef. “Young Vegans is all about creating delicious plant-based food that is easily accessible to all, including the most die-hard carnivores,” says Marco. youngvegans.co.uk
Lele’s London, E5 (Hackney) – for vegan afternoon tea
One Sunday a month this elegant east London café opens its doors for vegan afternoon tea. Cakes and jars of herbal teas are laid out on a bark counter at the centre, while vases of fresh flowers, pots of plants and vintage pottery brighten up the cosy tiled room. The changing menu is put together by chef-owner Valentina. On our visit, delicate plant-based sandwich fillings included lightly spiced grated carrot studded with raisins; fresh cucumber with vegan cream cheese; and chickpeas in creamy vegan mayo. To finish we indulged in warm, decadent chocolate brownies with peanut butter, light and fluffy carrot cake, vegan victoria sponge with jam, and a frangipane apricot tart. The star of the show was a fresh-from-the-oven lemon meringue tart – light and delicately sweet.
Copperhouse Chocolate, N1 (Angel) – for vegan chocolate
If you’re looking for vegan chocolate, head to Copperhouse Chocolate near Angel, London. It’s London’s first fully-vegan chocolate shop, having made the change back in April 2019 (it was formerly known as Jaz & Jul’s Chocolate House). Try the vegan chocolate brunch for a plate piled high with Jaffa pancakes, drizzled with marmalade-maple syrup and chocolate sauce. Or warm-up with one of many vegan hot chocolates, including chilli con choccy, mintchievous, and cinnamon rose. All the drinks are made with single-origin chocolates from Colombia, Madagascar, and Ecuador. copperhousechocolate.co.uk
The Gate, W6 (Hammersmith) – for vegetarian pub food
From miso-glazed aubergines with toasted cashews to stuffed plantains, the menu at London’s Gate restaurants – in Hammersmith, Islington and Marylebone – could not, in its fusion of global flavours, be any more on-trend. However, its owners, Adrian and Michael Daniel, have been cooking this way since 1989.
For the London-born sons of Indian parents of Iraqi descent, as Michael puts it, “Using chilli and spices is in our DNA. We grew up on a fusion of Arabic and Indian with local influences, so it was easy to mix cuisines”. The Daniels are pioneers in other ways, too: the Gate Islington was the UK’s first accredited, autism-friendly restaurant. 28 years in, they’re as focussed as ever. “If food doesn’t pass my test, it’s not served. If the passion goes, we’re gone.” says Michael. thegaterestaurants.com
Soho Vegan Market, W1 (Soho) – for vegan street food
Want to try the best vegan street food in London? The current enthusiasm for vegan food shows no signs of waning and this new weekly market is bringing plant-based street food to the fore, with a rotation of the best vegan traders in London.
Head to Rupert Street in Soho for Vegals’ smoked carrot and cashew cream cheese bagels, jackfruit tikka masala from Spicebox, and Eat Chay’s chilli lemongrass soya Vietnamese bánh mì baguettes. Saturdays, 11am-4pm. streetfoodunion.com
Mr Falafel, W12 (Shepherd’s Bush) – for vegan wraps
This simple takeaway-café on Shepherd’s Bush Market dispenses crisp, herb-laden falafel of staggering lightness. Packed into wraps with his zippy pickled veg, delicious additions such as fried cauliflower and dressed with various tahini, garlic and pomegranate syrup sauces, they abound in flavour. mrfalafel.co.uk