There are plenty of options for vegetarians to eat out in London these days. It’s certainly far less challenging than it was a couple of decades ago. However, it can still be a bit tricky for vegans. It’s hard to find places serving more than just one or two nice vegan dishes, and harder still to find good London vegan restaurants.
London Vegan Restaurants
Since I was in London recently with a friend who is vegan, I thought I’d do a bit of research. I set out to find the best places to get vegan food in London, so any vegans out there can still set their taste buds alight on a trip to the capital. Some of the restaurants and cafes below are 100% vegan. A few are vegetarian, but they have still made the list because they serve a high variety of vegan food. Hence, they are still a great vegan dining option.
1. Manna Restaurant
Located in London’s leafy Primrose Hill, Manna is the oldest and most established vegetarian restaurant in the UK, probably in Europe. It has been turning out gourmet vegetarian and vegan cuisine for more than 40 years. They are therefore hailed as experts in the field. As a result, this restaurant is understandably popular.
At Manna, the emphasis is on using top quality and socially responsible ingredients. They prepare fresh food each day and also make a range of organic cakes and bread. Dishes are creative and varied, with everything from an Indonesian-inspired Satay, through to traditional favourites like Banners and Mash. Only these bangers and mash are organic and made with fennel and pumpkin. If you’re taking meat-eating friends along, they would certainly not feel as though they’re missing out. The meals here are hearty, flavoursome and satisfying.
Website: Manna Restaurant
2. Rootmaster Restaurant
As far as London vegan restaurants go, Rootmaster is the place to head if you’re looking for a truly unusual dining experience. This is because Rootmaster, in the Brick Lane area of London, operates from an old converted brewery. Whats more, the dining room is actually a restored London red double-decker bus! How about that then!?
Yes, this ‘bustaurant’ really offers something quite unique. It has an open plan kitchen on the lower deck, where all the food prepared is vegan. Diners get to watch the chefs as they sit and wait for their food. If you are keen to snatch a veggie meal on the run, check out the Rootmaster hatch for the takeaway service.
Expect to find globally inspired vegan cuisine, from purple sprouting broccoli or an aubergine stack salad, to a tofu tower. It can all be washed down with something from the organic wine list. This restaurant certainly offers something special.
3. Vanilla Black
In the East End of London is Vanilla Black, a contemporary, spacious, vegetarian restaurant with a stylish art deco themed interior.
Vanilla Black pride themselves on truly meeting the challenge of cooking without meat or fish, yet offering an unrivalled dining experience. As a consequence, you will quite likely see things on this menu that you haven’t come across before. Food such as Asparagus and Chervil Pesto Crumpet, or a Poached Duck Egg and Ribblesdale Pudding. While obviously not vegan, meals like these will keep your non-vegan friends happy.
This vegetarian restaurant is certainly an upmarket and classy option for a nice vegan night out. They tell you upfront not to expect a pasta bake or a basic vegetable curry here. This is fine dining, just cruelty-free. You might even catch a glimpse of some celebrity veggies here. Joanna Lumley has already given them her recommendation, and we all know how classy she is!
Website: Vanilla Black
4. Woodlands Piccadilly
Woodlands serves a vibrant menu of vegetarian dishes in a calm and inviting atmosphere. Indian restaurants in general are renowned for being able to offer a good range of vegetarian meals. This one, however, is an inspired choice for vegans as they offer a particularly good range of vegan options. It’s also in a buzzing central London location at Piccadilly. So you don’t feel like you’re having to compromise on the full London dining experience.
Over the years, Woodlands have specialised in South Indian cuisine but they’ve now extended their range to offer dishes from the north of India. There is a dedicated Tandoor oven menu, with delicacies including Paneer Tikka and Vegetable Seekh Kebab. With such a sizeable selection of vegan dishes it’s a great option for people looking for London vegan restaurants.
5. 222 Veggie Vegan
When it comes to London vegan restaurants, 222 in Fulham seems to hit all the right notes. It aims to be London’s favourite restaurant catering for vegans. Since its opening in 2004, they have aimed to entice customers with good, healthy, home cooked, delicious vegan food.
This is another of those restaurants where you don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy dining here. Some reviewers and food critics have said it’s the best vegan restaurant they’ve ever dined at, so it’s clearly got a lot going for it.
Website: 222 Veggie Vegan
6. Vegan Hippo
Vegan Hippo is a 100% vegan bistro cafe in Soho. All the food they serve is sourced solely from environmentally sustainable manufacturers. Their aim is to provide a London vegan cafe which caters for those who embrace a compassionate vegan lifestyle, but don’t want to compromise on the taste or quality of their food. Dining isn’t particularly sophisticated. They serve a vegan English breakfast, burgers and hotdogs. However, if you’re looking for somewhere friendly, welcoming and informal, Vegan Hippo could be a great option.
Website: Vegan Hippo
Vitao is a vegan restaurant on Oxford Street, Fitzrovia, offering delicious, sustainable, gourmet ‘living food’, perfect for the mind, body and planet.
Their main goal is to nourish worldwide change by serving only food and drinks that are vegan, gluten-free and free-from refined sugar. So this place certainly offers a healthy option. There is a full buffet available and an A La Carte menu. Food is served fresh daily and you can also take out, so it’s perfect for vegans on-the-go.
A Little Extra Vegan Treat
Lastly, but certainly not er… leastly! The best vegan food I’ve ever personally tasted in London came from the most fantastic Vegan Burger Bar in London’s premier food market, Borough Market. They have a whole range of different burgers. All are 100% vegan and come with a wide variety of different vegan dressings and toppings. My mouth is watering just thinking of them. Then again, you can always count on Borough Market to get your mouth watering, vegan or no. Read my review of Borough Market to see what I mean.
Wherever you choose to eat, when it comes to London vegan restaurants, slowly but surely, there are more options opening up. From casual cafes, to fine dining in contemporary veggie restaurants, and even an old double decker bus, you can find something delicious that won’t cost the Earth (in more ways than one!).
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A Media Psychologist & Life Coach by profession, Honey loves to help people create a life & career that they love. She has always been passionate about travel and the incredible life enrichment it brings.
Honey is a highly experienced Brand Ambassador and Spokesperson. In her thirteen year career she has worked with some of the world's best known brands such as Virgin, Google, Disney, American Express, Jet2 Holidays, Eurostar, British Airways and many more.
Honey is founder and editor-in-chief of The Wanderlust Post. She started the mag in order to provide bloggers with an opportunity to share their travel tales, recommendations, reviews and adventures with each other and the world at large.
A self confessed 'Stamp Tramp' Honey is always happiest with her passport in one hand, and a Baileys on ice in the other.