Being a vegan often means that when your family eat out you usually are pretty confined with what you have to eat (unless of course your family is vegan too!). I personally am a vegetarian and I struggle quite a lot still, mainly because I’ve gotten more than a little bored of vegetarian lasagna or risotto. Although more and more chain restaurants are now offering vegan options on their menu; nothing beats going into a restaurant and actually being able to order everything or mostly everything there. That is why being vegan/vegetarian and going to a vegan restaurant is just so satisfying and with so many amazing vegan eateries in London it can often be hard to figure out where to start. So I’ve narrowed down some of my favourite vegan restaurants London has to offer (since most vegetarian eateries are usually vegan too I have found myself recently scourging the best vegan places London has to offer) for you to tick off your food bucket list (most of which will not harm your wallet too much either).
Although, a relatively new vegan offering in London, Temple of Seitan has quickly made a name for itself by offering a vegan version of fried chicken. That is amazing by the way, I seriously did not know how much I missed having fried batter till I tried their popcorn chicken. Unsurprisingly, the queues were mad the first few weeks, and don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Although, the venue doesn’t offer much seating over than 2 benches outside, their subs and burgers are perfect for sharing in the summer sun for a yummy vegan summer picnic. They also now offer a meal deal making it even more of a bargain.
Being a vegan and having a sweet tooth can be hard (especially if you’re too lazy to bake yourself) but Cookies and Scream in Camden has you covered. Also, not only is Cookies and Scream vegan its gluten free too (as being vegan and eating out is hard let alone if you have to stay gluten free as well!). Famous for their cookies, brownies and pies, as well as their thick ‘scream’ shakes; Cookies and Scream is vegan sweet tooth heaven.
Hosted by the famous vegan food blogger the Fat Gay Vegan, the Hackney Downs Vegan Market and the other markets he organises in London are a regular occurrence and bring food trucks from some of the best vegan eateries, who will often bring exclusive products for that market. The last vegan market I was lucky to attend the Temple of Seitan was there and they had 2 chicken schnitzel subs I’ve not seen in the shop before. One of the subs was dubbed the parma sub and had schnitzel, napoli sauce, bacon and melted cheese. And the second sub was nicknamed the summery schnitzel sub and had coleslaw, sliced cheese and mayo. They looked amazing, and according to my boyfriend the summery schnitzel sub was great, well considering he scoffed it down in about 2 minutes flat I think it was probably a little more than great.
Be sure to keep up to date with the events on the Fat Gay Vegan website’s for all UK vegan food event, as going to one of them at least once should be on every vegan London food bucket list.
4. Big V London
Here’s another vegan staple that has made their name through pop up events and markets. But with 100% plant based delicious burgers on offer it’s easy to see why. Burger wise the pop up offers 3 vegan burgers: the Cheesy V (a bean burger with smoked vegan cheese and sweetcorn); the Classic V Cheeseburger (a vegan burger served on a brioche bun with raw onion, slow roasted tomatoes, pickles, a special tangy vegan mayo sauce and a slice of vegan cheddar and crispy green leaves; and their Spicy Chickpea burger (a spicy sweet potato and chickpea burger served on a brioche bun with tahini dressing, raw onions, pickles and crispy green leaves). All three to be honest sound amazing and I’d recommend taking friends in order to try all the burgers (or pretend the other two burgers you bought are for you friends).
Currently, Big V London don’t have a set location but they are often at markets in London throughout the week, for more information and where to find them click here.
While Tidbits is not exclusively vegan most of the food they have on offer is usually at least 80% vegan, and on Tuesdays they host Vegan Tuesdays where all their food is 100% vegan. For those who don’t know Tidbits is essentially a vegetarian and vegan buffet where you buy by the weight of your food rather than a set price so make sure to choose wisely (though everything is delicious so trust me you will have no regrets). Their menu changes seasonally but you can check out a sample menu on their website.
6. Vegan Delice
This is another place that is great if you are looking for a sweet vegan treat! Specialising in hot vegan donuts and some of the cutest vegan cupcakes I’ve seen (I had a vanilla cupcake from them and trust me it was as delicious as it was adorable); Vegan Delice is a vegan delight.
To check them out be sure to look at their event page to see where they will be popping up next. They also make their cakes to order!
Another pop up that regularly shows up in London (on Sundays they can be seen on Rushmore Market, Chatsworth Road) Café So Vegan has some truly delicious offerings. Be prepared, as their menu includes a ‘Mac No Cheese’ (jumbo macaroni in creamy ‘cheese’ sauce topped with crispy onions); their ‘Doner Burger’ (doner style seitan slices, tzatziki and salad in a bun); their ‘Full Loaded Spicy’ (spicy seitan patty, cheese, bacon, spiced cabbage, salad, so vegan sauce) and their ‘Fully Loaded Herby’ (basil, oregano and thyme patty, cheese, bacon, salad and their sovegan sauce).
Do you love donuts? Because if so this is the perfect bakery for you. Although, they do not have a set location their donuts are often for sale at Temple of Seitan so be sure to check if they’re stocking them, otherwise check out their Instagram feed to see where they will be next. Also, while these donuts may be vegan they are definitely not healthy! So expect to get a sugar rush after having one.
9. Young Vegans
One of the British food staples has got to be pie and mash. So what could be better to hear if you’re a vegan craving some good old fashioned grub that there is a vegan pie and mash shop. You can catch them Sundays at Tottenham Green Market and festivals all around the UK. With a menu including Seitan and Ale, Sweet Potato, All Day Breakfast and Curry pies you’re going to leave as stuffed as you’d be if it was Christmas Day. Though if you still have room for dessert they serve Peanut Butter Brownies that the Fat Gay Vegan described as the best he’d ever eaten!
10. Coach and Horses
This is the first vegetarian/ vegan only eatery I ever went to. It also has the added bonus of being a pub. My recommendation is to go slightly out of hours if you want a seat, but it is worth it for their Tofush and Chips (I literally still dream about it). It’s also right in the heart of Soho so it’s a great place to eat at and then go catch a show!
If you’re like me and love Japanese food then you’re going to love Itadakizen, a Japanese vegan restaurant based in London (near Kings Cross!). Their set menus look particular delicious, with some truly spectacular looking sushi options.
12. Vanilla Black
While labelled as a vegetarian restaurant, Vanilla Black has plenty of vegan options available and has the honour of being the classiest vegetarian/ vegan restaurant in London. Definitely one for special occasions, or when you can afford to treat yourself. The owners decided to open their own vegetarian restaurant in 2004 after becoming fed up of the vegetarian options they would receive at restaurants and set a standard for their menu that meant no food would rely on pasta, meat substitutes or heavy spices. So it’s perfect for those of us who have become fed up with the lack of creativity of most vegetarian/ vegan options at restaurants.
If you ask a lot of vegans where the best vegan place to eat in London is they will often say Mildreds. Serving up creative, international vegetarian and vegan food, Mildreds is where you want to go if you’re looking for more than a bite to eat. With restaurants at Camden, Soho and Kings Cross; Mildreds is a London must.
14. Ms. Cupcake
This list can’t exist without including London’s first entirely vegan bakery. Based in Brixton this vegan bakery is open 7 days a week and serves up all the sweet treats you could ever think of. They also do sandwiches so are another perfect option for when you fancy a vegan picnic in London.
15. 222 Veggie Vegan
If you’re looking for a healthy vegan option 222 Veggie Vegan is the place for you, as they never deep fry or microwave their food and their food is also low-fat, low-salt, non-GM and organic where possible. Their menu offers a vegan roast and seitan stroganoff, as well as a buffet option at lunch- basically it’s vegan heaven. Especially since their is a takeaway or eat in option giving you the choice of having a sit down meal or eating delicious vegan food while taking in the sights of London.