The 14 best vegan restaurants in London
If you're not already vegan or vegetarian, you probably know a few people who are. And finding somewhere in London that'll cater to the dairy, meat and egg-free people in your group isn't always the easiest thing. Most London restaurants will have a few vegan options on their menu, but they can be a bit on the unimaginative side.
Luckily, the city's also got some fantastic vegetarian and entirely vegan restaurants - and, trust us - they're so good, even the meat-eaters among you won't mind the change of scene. So to save you a bit of time, here's our pick of the best places to eat vegan in north, south, east, central and west London.
1. Mildred's Soho
The vibe: A London classic
Mildred's was a bit of a revolutionary arrival when it opened in the late 80s. Most vegetarian dining in the city at the time was focused on the wholesome and worthy. But Mildred's aimed to serve veggie food which was tasty and tempting, while still being good value.Almost thirty years later, their menu still includes an international mix of dishes, including curries, burgers and fresh pasta. And much of the menu is vegan-friendly (including the wine list).They moved to a larger location in 2000, but it still gets pretty busy most nights. And with a no booking policy, expect to queue for a table - and while you do, sample bar's cocktail menu.New branches of Mildred's have also opened in in King's Cross and Camden (and unlike the Soho branch, they're open on Sundays). They're also set to open a Dalston outpost very soon.
Where: 45 Lexington Street, W1F 9AN
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus.
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 12pm-11pm, Sun: Closed
2. Vanilla Black
The Vibe: Award-winning vegetarian fine-dining
Vanilla Black was London's first vegetarian fine-dining restaurant. You won't find veggie curries or pasta bakes here - they've truly earned their star recommendation in the Michelin guide, among other honours.They aim to innovative, so their menu is constantly changing. But there'll always be several vegan options, including a 5 course menu with optional wine pairings.
Where: 17-18 Took's Court, EC4A 1LB
Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm, Sun: Closed
3. Itadaki Zen, Kings Cross
The vibe: Organic and sustainable Japanese cuisine
Itadaki Zen is a quiet, calm spot in one of London's busiest areas.It was Europe's first organic and vegan Japanese restaurant, and roughly translated "Itadaki" means "to take the food life" and "Zen" means "to fix or mend".
Fitting, then, that every item on their menu is designed to nourish both mind and body. You'll find authentic takes on Japanese classics like tofu and tempura, as well as an extensive list of tea.
The kitchen's really careful about producing as little waste as possible, and they encourage diners to approach ordering food in a similar way. So, if you've ordered a bit too much, just let your server know. They'll happily box up your leftovers to take away.
Look out for their busy events programme too, including art shows and workshops.
Where: 139 King's Cross Road, WC1X 9BJ
Nearest Tube: King's Cross St Pancras
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm, Sat: 6pm-10pm, Sun: Closed
4. Manna, Primrose Hill
The vibe: London's original veggie restaurant
Primrose Hill's Manna was one of London's first veggie restaurants, and celebrates its 50th anniversary in October 2017.The restaurant's menu is very much focused on cosy and comforting dishes like bangers and mash, tarts, enchiladas and nachos. But it's all 100% vegan, including the drinks.
They also do cookery classes, and have a bakery and catering service.
Where: 4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill, NW3 3AJ
Nearest Tube: Chalk Farm
Opening Times: Tue-Fri: 12pm-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm, Sat: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm, Sun: 12pm-8.30pm, Mon: Closed
5. Farmacy, Westbourne Grove
The vibe: The most Instagram-friendly veggie place in town
If your feeds are full of photos of your food, this is the place for you. Everything about Farmacy is beautiful - from the rustic chic decor, to the perfectly arranged dishes.
They're all about the "healthy indulgence". That means the menu's split between perfectly virtuous breakfast and lunch dishes, and indulgent (but just as healthy) takes on things like burgers and ice cream sundaes.
And, if you're looking for somewhere for a special event, they've also got a private dining room in the back.
Where: 74 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH
Nearest Tube: Royal Oak/Bayswater
Opening Times: Mon-Wed: 9am-11am, 12pm-10pm, Thur-Fri: 9am-11am, 12pm-11pm, Sat: 9am-4pm, 6pm-11pm, Sun: 9am-6pm
6. The Gate, Hammersmith
The vibe: Classic East-meets-West dining
Hammersmith's The Gate is a bit of a veggie legend in the city; it's been run by Adrian and Michael Daniel since 1989. And, while they've since opened branches in Islington and Marylebone too, the Hammersmith original is their most atmospheric. It was a former artist's studio (and it's right by the Eventim Apollo, if you're looking for a pre-gig dinner).
The Daniels draw on their family's diverse cultural background including Indian, Arabic and traditional Jewish food. You'll also find classic European, Asian and American dishes on the menu, and almost everything is suitable for vegans.
Where: 51 Queen Caroline Street, W6 9QL
Nearest Tube: Hammersmith
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Sat: 12pm-3pm, 5pm-10.30pm, Sun: 12pm-9.30pm
7. 222 Veggie Vegan, West Kensington
The vibe: Eco-conscious dining
With a great lunchtime buffet.Opened in 2004, 222 Veggie Vegan is one of London's most popular vegan restaurants. Especially at lunchtime, when they do an excellent buffet, followed by a classic, candlelit a la carte menu in the evening.
All dishes are low-salt, low-fat and non-GM, and they never deep-fry or microwave, so it's all pretty healthy. But don't worry - you'll still find a good, lengthy list of desserts. If you're feeling indecisive, go for the 222 Pancake. That's their signature pudding, which is smothered in vanilla and chocolate sauces and vegan ice cream.
Where: 222 North End Road, West Kensington, W14 9NU
Nearest Tube: West Kensington/West Brompton (Overground)
Opening Times: Mon-Sun: 12pm-3.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm
8. Haunt, Stoke Newington
The vibe: Stylish bar with great burgers
Stoke Newington is one of London's hottest dining destinations right now. So, of course the neighbourhood's got a great vegan place.
Haunt's kitchen serves an entirely vegan menu. And it's also got a lively bar, which regularly hosts gigs and cabaret shows. Among the highlights are their burger selection, particularly the jackfruit burger, which is meaty enough to satisfy even non-veggie diners.
Where: 182 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY
Nearest Tube: Rectory Road (Overground)
Opening Times: Tue-Thur: 5pm-11pm, Fri: 5pm-2am, Sat: 11am-2am, Sun: 11am-9pm, Mon: Closed
9. Cookies and Scream, Holloway
The vibe: Gluten-free sweet treats
Think going vegan means giving up the sweets? Head to Cookies and Scream on the Holloway Road - an all vegan, all gluten free bakery.
Their products are prepared fresh every day, so the menu's constantly changing. However, you can expect to find a tempting range of cookies, pies, donuts (oven-baked rather than deep fried for extra lightness) and thick shakes - made from vegan and gluten-free ice cream and milk.
Where: 130 Holloway Road, N7 8JE
Nearest Tube: Holloway Road
Opening Times: Sun-Thurs: 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat: 10am-9pm
10. 90 Degree Melt, Stepney Green
The vibe: American-style comfort food
For more vegan-friendly comfort food, check out Stepney Green new arrival, 90 Degree Melt.Offering vegetarian versions of American diner classics, most items on the menu can be ordered as a vegan option. And, considering that they've got eight different types of grilled cheese sandwich on their menu, that's pretty impressive.
Best of all, much of their menu is served tapas-style, so you can try a bit of everything.
Where: 4BJ, 235 Mile End Road, E1 4AA
Nearest Tube: Stepney Green
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, Sat: 11am-10pm, Sun: 11am-4pm
11. Fed By Water, Dalston
The vibe: Classic Italian cuisine, with some serious science
Fed by Water is London's first all-vegan Italian restaurant. In fact, its vegan versions of traditionally meat and dairy-heavy dishes taste as good as the real thing.
And there's an added scientific twist. Everything at Fed by Water is prepared with purified water (which inspired the restaurant's name), apparently for the taste and nutritional benefits.
We can't comment on the latter, but we do know that their carbonara pasta and pizzas taste very, very good.
Where: Dalston Cross Shopping Centre, 64 Kingsland High Street, E8 2LX
Nearest Tube: Dalston Kingsland (Overground)
Opening Times: Mon-Sun: 11am-11pm
12. The Waiting Room, Deptford
The vibe: Commuter-friendly coffee bar
The Waiting Room is a cool and cosy little vegetarian/vegan cafe and coffee shop just under the arches by Deptford Station. Get a caffeine kick to see you through the morning commute, or stop by at lunchtime and try one of their excellent bagels. Or if you're feeling really indulgent try one of their burgers or hot dogs.
Food and drinks are available to takeaway, but if you can find a free seat in this intimate little space, it's worth taking the time to eat-in. They've got a well-stocked book exchange to browse through, and their super-cool playlists come highly recommended.
Where: 142 Deptford High Street, SE8 3PQ
Nearest Tube: Deptford (National Rail)
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm, Sat: 9am-6pm, Sun: 10am-4pm
13. The Full Nelson, Deptford
The vibe: Cocktails, junk food and great deals
The Waiting Room's proved so popular with locals, that they've recently launched a new sister venue, just around the corner on Deptford Broadway.
A hip bar, The Full Nelson caters more to the night-time crowd. Offering cocktails, beers and junk food, the bar's menu includes vegan-friendly takes on fried chicken, burgers and corn dogs.
Be warned, it's fairly intimate, and can get packed at the weekends, but the drinks, food and friendly atmosphere are all worth braving the crowds for. As is their Wednesday night bargain burger, fries and drink deals.
Where: 47 Deptford Broadway, SE8 4PH
Nearest Tube: Deptford Bridge (DLR)
Opening Times: Wed-Fri: 4pm-11pm, Sat: 12pm-11pm, Sun: 11am-4pm, Mon-Tue: Closed
14. The Calabash of Culture
The vibe: Chilled-out cafe and art gallery
Originally the Honey Hive cafe, the Calabash of Culture has grown from a small pop-up in the back room of an art gallery, to taking over the entire venue. All their food is vegan, and is broadly Caribbean-inspired. The menu is divided into grains, mains and salads, which you can pick and choose from to suit your own tastes.
Be sure to take the time to admire the artwork on the walls while you're there. And to also perhaps take a look at the dessert menu, which includes classic cakes and indulgent ice cream sundaes.
Where: 21 Sydenham Road, SE26 5EX
Nearest Tube: Sydenham (Overground)
Opening Times: Mon-Wed: 12pm-8pm, Thurs-Sat: 12pm-10pm, Sun: Closed
Do you have a favourite vegan or vegan-friendly restaurant in London? Let us know your tips in the comments section.