Planet-protecting, chronic disease-defying, skin-saving and cruelty-free – by now, most of us are well-aware of the ethical, environmental and health benefits of veganism. As the plant-based revolution continues to expand, the capital’s dining scene is reflecting this, with exciting and innovative vegan options popping up across every cuisine. This Veganuary, we’ve rounded up of the best vegan restaurants in London.
The best vegan restaurants in London
Much-lauded chef Rishim Sachdeva has made a name for himself on the London restaurant scene for his staggeringly successful series of pop-ups, first at The Sun and 13 Cantons in Soho and now at his Mayfair spot on Princes Street. While a permanent space is set to follow shortly, for now you can catch him here serving up his inventive ‘mostly vegan’ cuisine, with dishes that combine his experience in both London and Indian kitchens. This January, however, the restaurant is going fully vegan, serving plant-only dishes until the end of the month. Highlights include crispy polenta, seabuckthorn, cucumber and dill pickle, and salt and pepper celeriac terrine with mustard dressing and chive aioli.
5 Princes Street, Mayfair, London W1B 2LQ
Situated on the ground floor of the sleek Urban Retreat wellness destination in Knightsbridge, which in turn is housed in a grand former aristocrat’s mansion, Holy Carrot focuses on creating dishes in a mindful manner, using only ethically sourced and seasonal produce. Everything on the menu is gluten-free and sugar-free, as well as being free from preservatives and additives, with dishes including smoked aubergine carpaccio and truffle celeriac root risotto on the menu. They also run a popular afternoon tea where you can enjoy miso and caramel sponge cakes and ‘Holy Éclairs’ made with natural pistachios and coconut cream.
2-4 Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, London SW1X OLH
This hyper-seasonal veg-forward restaurant from former architect-turned-restaurateur Elly Ward may only be opening its doors this month, but it’s already garnering plenty of buzz thanks to its innovative plant-based menu, which has been created in accordance with seasonal availability. Harnessing ‘root to fruit’ principles of zero-waste cooking, diners can expect plates like roasted salsify with smoked aioli, crispy kalettes with purple potato mash and wild mushroom fricassée with creamed barley and wilted chard. For dessert, order the homemade chaga ice cream and blood orange granita or one of their artisan plant-based cheese boards.
217 Mare Street, Hackney, London E8 3QE
This family-run vegan bistro in Peckham specialises in Middle-Eastern small lots in a charmingly intimate setting. Helmed by Tom Heale, the former sous-chef at Vanilla Black, the much-lauded vegetarian restaurant in Kennington, the kitchen is manned by him and his brother Finn, who together knock up glorious dishes like sauerkraut and yam fritters with curried apple ketchup and BBQ red pepper kebabs with swede skordalia and harissa. Pair them with one of their natural and biodynamic wines or a handcrafted botanical cocktail – our top pick is the Last Word, made with gin, chartreuse, maraschino and lime.
56 Goldsmith Road, Peckham, London SE15 5TN
Spread over three floors of a Regency townhouse in Soho, French chef Alexis Gauthier’s restaurant was the first in London to offer a vegan tasting menu and went 100% vegan in 2021. A decade on and Gauthier’s cooking is still making waves, with his video of how to make Faux Gras – a jar filled with lentil, walnut and Cognac paste and sealed with a layer of nut butter – receiving hundreds of thousands of views online. It’s one of the many stand-out dishes Gauthier (who, incidentally, is himself a vegan) serves on the award-winning and ever-changing menu – others include crisp butternut tatin, beetroot borsch and cashew and walnut fromage. A refreshing approach to fine dining.
21 Romilly Street, Soho, London W1D 5AF
The clue is in the name with this one – a farm-to-table concept where the food comes from a plot in Kent. Brought to you by Camilla al-Fayed (daughter of Mohamed Al-Fayed), Farmacy focuses on conscientious clean eating, meaning that everything served is not only vegan but also organic and biodynamic. Come here for brunch – Farmacy’s winning meal – and order one of the wholesome Earth Bowls, a more substantial take on a salad packed full of lentils, falafel, quinoa, roasted veggies and the like. Alternatively, if it’s your sweet you’re looking to satisfy, try the house pancakes, which come with berry compote, seasonal fruits, coconut yogurt and maple syrup. A truly indulgent way to start the day.
74 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W2 5SH
Stem & Glory
After causing a stir in Cambridge, Stem & Glory crowd-funded to open two sites in the capital. The speed with which they hit their target is testament to just how good their plant-based offering really is. Pick from a selection of tasty small plates ranging from kimchi pancakes to swede gnocchi, or equally delicious larger mains. The Dirty Burger, made with a succulent protein patty, beetroot, fermented cucumber and sriracha mayo, is delicious enough to make anyone reconsider their carnivorous ways. You’ll find their London out-posts on Broadgate Circle in The City and around the corner from the Barbican, the latter of which makes the perfect post-exhibition pit-stop.
60 Bartholomew Close, Farringdon, London EC1A 7BF
100 Liverpool Street, The City, London EC2M 2QS
The first of its kind in Europe, Itadakizen serves organic and vegan sushi based around a wellness concept. Dishes here aim to harness the healing qualities of food – in Japanese, itadaki means ‘to take the food of life’, while zen means ‘to fix or to mend’. As such, expect a focus on ingredients like soy and seaweed via soups, sushi and tempura served in various forms but all with a healthy twist. Not sure what to pick? Order their Shoyu Ramen, made with their original broth and topped with stir fried mixed vegetables, sweetcorn and spring onion, with a side of vegan gyoza with their signature spicy sauce.
139 King’s Cross Road, King’s Cross, London WC1X 9BJ
What started as a six-month residency within the sleek Leman Locke hotel in Whitechapel has turned into something more permanent, with ex-Dabbous, Som Saa and A Wong chef Andy Hogben turning this space into a must-visit for those looking for gloriously flavoursome vegan food. The emphasis here is on fresh, seasonal produce, with dishes inspired by Hogben’s background in Thai and Chinese cuisine as well as his love of street food from around the world. Small plates range from Shan-style aromatic sour rice to rice-fermented mustard green miang laos and kung-pao crackers, while heartier dishes include Khao-soi noodle laksa with oyster mushrooms and Chengdu street tofu with bamboo sauce.
15 Leman Street, Whitechapel, London E1 8EN
While London has plenty of excellent vegan eateries, it’s the personal touch at 222 Vegan which makes this place stand out. Food here comes prepared by chef Ben Asamani, which means that if you’ve got a special request, he’ll do his best to make it happen and create something especially for you. What’s more, wherever possible, the food is low-fat, low salt, non-GM and organic, making it one of the healthiest options for eating out. The extensive lunch buffet is excellent, but if you’re coming for dinner, try the warming oyster mushroom and spinach raclette or ‘Ben’s Special’ – an excellent vegetable stir fry made with your choice of seitan or marinated tofu.
222 North End Road, Fulham, London W14 9NU
If you’ve ever had to join the infamously long queue to bag a table at the perennially-packed Mildred’s, you’ll be pleased to hear the vegetarian institution has opened another plant-based restaurant, Mallow, in Borough Market. Designed as an extension of the world-famous food market and harnessing their 25 years of experience cooking delicious meat-free meals, most of the dishes on the restaurant’s menu are made with produce sourced directly from Borough Market traders – think porcini chestnut croquettes, kimchi dumplings and levant cannellini apricot burgers – and are served alongside a variety of vegan wines, beers and cocktails. Best of all? They take bookings – so strictly no queuing necessary.
1 Cathedral Street, Southwark, London SE1 9DE
Wulf and Lamb
Tucked away behind Sloane Square on pretty cobbled Pavilion Road, this popular spot also has a second site on Chiltern Street in Marylebone. They’re best known for their rightly famous Mac ‘n Cheese – meltingly hot fresh out of the oven, with the perfect crispy top – which comes with a variety of add-ons, including mushrooms and fiery vegan nduja, but their other dishes are well worth a mention, too. Particular highlights include their smoked tofu bao buns, the creamy coconut curries and the Chilli ‘Non’ Carne, which is made with spiced mushrooms, lentils and kidney beans and topped with cashew sour cream.
243 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, London, SW1