The UK, and especially London, has become much more veggie friendly over the last few years. Long gone are the days where the vegan options were bland, boring and limited to a salad, a stuffed pepper or soup. Veggie restaurants across the country are no longer reserved solely for plant-based eaters. Meat eaters are drawn to the exciting menus and it is not surprising to find yourself queuing in line for the better known, highly reviewed ones.
We here at Bonsan have done our fair share of eating out and have put together some of our favourites for you to enjoy.
Mildred’s have sites at three locations, Soho, Camden and Kings’ Cross, each offering an enticing menu of vegan friendly food. Highlights include the range of burgers, sweet potato curry, vegetable and rice stir fry (sounds plain, tastes insane), tempeh and flatbread. They also offer brunch from 10-3pm on weekends, with sweet and savoury options, and a delightful cocktail list.
Hidden in Vauxhall on a quiet street, Bonnington Café has a different chef each day cooking a couple of options for starter, main course and dessert, many of which are vegan. Book a table by texting or emailing the cook on duty for that day and bring a bottle or two with you as it is BYOB. Small and cosy with very reasonable prices (£3 for starter and dessert, £8 for main), expect simple but tasty fare, such as lasagne, burritos and soups. Grab a group of friends instead of cooking at home.
The idea of a self-serve restaurant might put you off, conjuring images of a school canteen. Ethos is quite the opposite. Beautifully decorated, with birch trees running up through the ceiling and huge marble counters decked with colourful, fresh, food in abundance, it is hard to have any self-control here. Pick up a plate and pile it high with creamy tahini broccoli, vegan bakes and risotto and pay by weight. Save room for dessert though, as their selection of cakes won’t disappoint.
Similar to Ethos, in that you pay by weight, though perhaps there is a larger offering here. With hot food, such as potato quinoa burgers, your plate will quickly add up and you might end up paying more than you hoped, though it will all be worth it. The same goes for the dessert buffet, but with vegan cheesecake on the menu you’ll simply have to treat yourself. Also good to know: every Tuesday the restaurant goes completely vegan.
Wild Food Café
In the heart of Neal’s Yard, Wild Food Café is a buzzing, colourful vegan eatery offering innovative, sustainable food in a fun and tasty way. The changing, seasonal menu features a lot of raw options, and no gluten, refined sugar, dairy or over processed ingredients. Burgers, rice bowls and salads are all perfect for a nutrient dense lunch but the real stars are the beautifully presented desserts such as raw banoffee pie and chocolate tart. Be prepared to wait for a table.
The Vurger Co.
Locally sourced, organic burgers made from 100% plant based, natural ingredients. Choose from four flavours: BBQ Nut, Shroomelt, Quin-wahh and Mexicano and add try the truffle mac and cheese, sweet potato fries or slaw on the side.
Nama is the only 100% raw restaurant on our list and it’s amazing what they can create without heating anything above 42oC. Raw falafel, pasta, pizza, curry and sushi all feature on the menu as well as a plant based cheeseboard. Their selection of sweet treats is worth trying and they also have a build-your-own raw breakfast menu.
Fresh, organic, chemical free cuisine. Go for classic burgers, pizza, pasta or dhal or try one of their colourful bowls of goodness. Their Farmaceutical Syringe Shots and delicious breakfast menu make this the place to head after a late night out. Everything is beautifully presented, if a little on the pricey side, but that’s Notting Hill for you!
Slightly more formal than our other choices, The Gate is one to go to for a romantic dinner or nice family meal. Try one of three locations: Hammersmith, Islington or Marylebone.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, find a moment of calm in Vitao, a cosy restaurant with lovely wooden décor and plant based, sugar free and gluten free food. Dishes change daily so you will never get bored. The pay-by-weight buffet is perfect for lunch, or sit down and enjoy something from the a la carte menu. Alternatively, try their sister restaurant, Vantra, nearby on Tottenham Court Road, which is open for lunch from 12-3pm. We hear the raw cakes are especially good.
The creative, hearty menu at 222 Vegan will satisfy even the biggest meat eaters. The seitan stroganoff is a favourite and all of the stir fry’s, pastas and curries use wholegrains for a wholesome nutritional boost. Wash everything down with organic wine or beer and finish with one of their cakes.