A few years ago, many people dismissed the rise of veganism among people (in particular the younger generation) as ‘just a trend’ that would fade away as quickly as it had come about. It is safe to say now though, that this is certainly not the case. With the world being in the state that it is currently in at the moment, doing everything we can to help the environment is no longer an option, but a must if we want to live long and fulfilled lives. Are we being dramatic? Perhaps you could argue that we are, but following a vegan diet is one of the most effective ways you can do your bit to help the environment these days, and with so many incredible restaurants opening that are either completely vegan or have lots of awesome vegan dishes on the menu, making this change is getting easier and easier.
Now you might still be working on convincing your granny about the benefits of veganism, but there’s no denying that plant-based food is a ‘trend’ that is here to stay. Whether you have opted to go vegan for the sake of the environment, because you can’t stand the thought of animals being slaughtered to make your meals, or if you are actually an omnivore who just does not want to eat meat with every single meal, London is full of great vegan options. Not all of the restaurants in our round-up below are exclusively vegan, but they do all offer vegan menus or dishes, so get stuck in.
To make things easier for you, we have divided the restaurants into different categories so no matter what type of vegan-friendly meal you are looking for, there is bound to be a delicious option or two for you to try out.
Fine dining vegan restaurants
Fancy restaurants really are one of life’s greatest pleasures, and with so many dotted around the city you’ll be happy to know that vegans don’t have to be left out when it comes to fine dining. Although fine dining has connotations of meaty dishes and creamy desserts we’ve managed to find a host of fine dining restaurants specialising in spectacular plant based goodness.
Verdi Italian Kitchen at The Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington
Why: Italian-accented Verdi at The Royal Albert Hall is exclusive to ticket holders and opens two hours before shows begin. Verdi offers a dedicated vegan menu, which features the likes of stone-baked pizzas and vegetarian pastas. Dessert meanwhile, which can be eaten during the interval of your show, sees guests pick two scoops of gelato from a selection of flavours which includes dark chocolate, lime, raspberry and blood orange.
Where: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP
Why: Alexis Gauthier, chef-patron of this French fine-dining spot, has been vegan since 2016, and he has overhauled his menu accordingly. Guests can dine from a seasonally-changing vegan tasting menu, which might include dishes such as a wild mushroom tortellini, and saffron-roasted butternut squash with a plantain crumble. You can also enjoy the tasting menu with eight glasses of paired wine for an extra supplement.
Where: 21 Romilly Street, W1D 5AF
OXO Tower Restaurant and Brasserie, South Bank
Why: OXO Tower might have been around for years, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t keeping up with the latest innovations in food. In both the Restaurant and Brasserie, you can dine from a vegan menu which sees dishes such as deep-fried tofu with grilled peach, basil gel and smoked almonds, alongside an apricot, lemon and thyme cake. Every Veganuary, OXO also offers a charming vegan afternoon tea, featuring plenty of sweet treats.
Where: Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH
Pied à Terre, Fitzrovia
Why: From its prized modern art and groaning wine list to legions of suited staff, Pied à Terre remains a timeless classic on the London dining scene. So if you’re looking for a fancy meal out, why not try Pied à Terre’s eight-course vegan tasting menu? Dishes might include things like a carrot and ginger velouté, and salt-baked beetroot with grilled baby leeks, while dessert could include a 100% chocolate mousse paired with apricot and cinnamon.
Where: 34 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NH
The Den at St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden
Why: Just because you’re a vegan, doesn’t mean you have to be excluded from the quintessentially British tradition of afternoon tea. At The Den, an entirely vegan afternoon tea is offered, which begins with savoury snacks such as tofu and avocado charcoal sliders and red pepper tapenade and spinach pinwheel, before finishing up with vegan sweet treats including coconut and lime parfait or a lemon and blueberry slice.
Where: 45 St Martin's Lane, WC2N 4HX
Why: Who says vegan food has to be casual? At Chakra’s Kensington site (there’s another by the river in Kingston), you’ll find a dedicated vegan menu of upmarket Indian food. Highlights include a black truffle kulcha served with mint sauce and a mix of pickles, crispy okra sprinkled with dry mango powder, and slow-cooked roasted aubergine with cumin, garlic, ginger and a tomato purée. Pair your feast with beers from India.
Where: 33c Holland Street, W8 4LX
Cafe Forty One, Bayswater
What: French-style patisseries may be thought of as a no-go for vegans, but the deceptively sweet offering at Cafe Forty One (part of the La Suite West Hotel) is entirely plant-based. Vegan breakfasts, brunches and afternoon teas are all available here, while you may well be tempted by sweet treats such as vanilla panna cotta and a seasonally changing fruit crumble. The venue is proudly alcohol free too, so you can toast to veganism with fun mocktails and smoothies.
Where: La Suite West Hotel, W2 3JN
Casual vegan restaurants
For days when you just can’t be bothered to cook, or want a quick catch up with a friend, casual dining restaurants are exactly what you need. From simple dishes to fun and laid back décor, these restaurants are for last minute dinner plans and casual meet ups. Since they all have a host of vegan options, you can keep everyone happy at these restaurants.
Wild Food Café
Why: Choosing to eat in a way that ‘causes the most benefit and least suffering to the inhabitants of the Earth’, the founder of Wild Food Café brings a selection of plant based, raw and nourishing dishes, using fresh and seasonal ingredients to their London restaurant. The samurai burger with its spiced olive and mushroom patty, tomatoes, onion and almond feta accompanied with a Forgotten Ecstasy cocao smoothie will leave you full, satisfied and ready to take on the world. No lethargic feelings and meat sweats here.
Where: 269 Upper Street, N1 2UQ
The Spread Eagle, Hackney
What: London’s first and only 100% vegan pub, Hackney boozer The Spread Eagle serves a plant-based menu which riffs on pub classics, all given vegan makeovers. Tuck into the likes of a Beyond Meat patty topped with lettuce, gherkins and burger sauce or opt for a nut roast with all of the trimmings. For dessert, round off your meal by helping yourself to some sticky toffee pudding, served alongside vanilla ice cream and lashed with toffee sauce.
Where: 224 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS
222 Veggie Vegan, West Kensington
What: Despite the not-so-catchy name and out of the way location on an undesirable stretch of the North End Road, 222 Veggie Vegan is a long-standing and popular restaurant, surviving thanks to the quality of its exclusively vegan offering. Inventive dishes here include the likes of oyster mushroom raclette and a seitan stroganoff, while sweet-toothed diners will find much to love with the house-made pancakes or banana cake, served warm with ice cream on the side.
Where: 222 North End Road, W14 9NU
Club Mexicana, Soho
What: The first permanent site for long-standing street food outfit Club Mexicana has seen it take up residence inside Soho’s buzzy Kingly Court. As always, you can expect a menu of Mexican snacks and dishes which have been given a plant-based makeover - think a take on Baja fish tacos made with beer-battered tofu, alongside a side order of skinny fries with garlic mayonnaise for dipping.
Where: Kingly Court, W1B 5PW
Wulf & Lamb, Chelsea
What: This casual Chelsea eatery serves an entirely vegan menu in a stylish and relaxed setting. Wulf & Lamb offers a variety of novel plant-based takes on meaty classics including a stacked burger and a cauliflower ‘steak’, while the sides aren’t to be missed either - particularly the vegan mac ‘n’ cheese. Once you’ve finished eating, enjoy a stroll around Chelsea’s wealth of independent boutiques.
Where: 243 Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP
Why: Lunchtime can be a minefield for vegans in London, with many places offering just one or two (not overly) appealing grab-and-go options for plant-based eaters. Atis aims to remedy this with its selection of hot and cold salad bowls which combine nutritious ingredients with clever dressings to smarten things up. The food outlet’s sustainable credentials go beyond what’s on the plate though, with all packaging being recyclable or compostable and various food waste schemes employed to ensure nothing goes to landfill.
Where: Unit 3, The Atlas Building, 145 City Road, EC1V 1AZ
Why: The name of this cafe is an acronym for ‘we are vegan everything’, and it is by the founders of vegan cake company 'Cupcakes and Shhht'. With Californian vibes and a menu that definitely won’t make you miss meat, WAVE’s visually stunning dishes are bound to pop up on your Instagram feed soon if they haven’t already. Try the smoked carrot ‘salmon’ bagel or a stuffed croissant with cheeze and Marmite.
Where: 11 Dispensary Lane, E8 1FT
Why: Claiming to be Europe’s first organic and vegan Japanese restaurant, Itadaki Zen’s focus is on healing the body. Cooking with ingredients used for healing in the Far East for thousands of years, not only will a meal at Itadaki Zen be tasty, but who knows, it might cure you of any minor ailments too. Vegan sushi, tempura and tofu dishes are all served in traditional bento boxes and for the super health conscious you can chose whether your dishes are fried or steamed.
Where: 139 King’s Cross Road, WC1X 9BJ
Why: Ask any vegan and they will most likely tell you that since adopting a vegan diet, pizza is one of the things they miss the most. Enter Purezza. Founded in 2015 as the first vegan pizzeria in the UK, Vegans can rejoice at the range of ‘cheesy’ pizzas on offer. The Margherita with rice based mozzarella and the black truffle pizza with mozzarella and smoked tofu will make you forget you ever missed this indulgent treat.
Where: 43 Parkway, NW1 7PN
Why: Taking inspiration from the Middle East, with a few vegan fast food treats thrown in for good measure, fans of this restaurant claim that the journey to Kensal Rise is worth it for its vegan fare. Order small plates of curried chickpeas, turmeric hummus and jackfruit nuggets before moving onto one of its falafel or magic mushroom burgers.
Where: 1 Keslake Mansions, NW10 5RU
Stem and Glory
Why: With sleek minimal décor, pastel colours and more greenery than a small London garden, the plant based theme of Stem + Glory is evident before you even take a look at the menu. Dishes are vibrantly coloured, completely plant based and extremely Instagram worthy. Taking influence from Spanish and South American cuisine, expect to find blue corn tacos with pulled jack fruit, quinoa paella and an avocado and beetroot tartare.
Where: 60 Bartholomew Close, EC1A 7BF
Why: Islington joint Oldroyd has taken its cues from Paul McCartney with its ‘meat-free Mondays’. Although primarily aimed at vegetarians, there’s plenty on the menu here for vegans too. The offering gets updated every week, but dishes to try might include heirloom tomato salad with tomato consommé and black olive crumb, or perhaps raw and grilled courgettes with apricots, hazelnuts and pea shoots.
Where: 344 Upper Street, N1 0PD
Why: Redemption, an entirely vegan (and alcohol-free) bar may sound like some people’s worst nightmare, but we can vouch that it’s not lacking in fun. Imaginative dishes include a vegan take on a cheeseboard (made with nut cheeses), and a pulled barbecued jackfruit burger which comes served with sweet potato fries. Wash it all down with mocktails such as the fruity Crantini: cranberry, orange, lemon, birch syrup, elderflower and coconut water.
Where: 2 Neal's Yard, WC2H 9AT
Why: Casual Pan-Asian mini-chain Tootoomoo boasts a handful of vegan options for hungry diners. For instance, the lemongrass tofu sees seasonal vegetables stir-fried with a blend of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and plum tomatoes. Elsewhere, you can tuck into vegan mains such as an aubergine and tofu chilli bean stir-fry, while sides include steamed ramen or vermicelli noodles.
Where: 278 St Paul's Road, N1 2LH
Vegan fast food restaurants
Although veganism may have connotations of health, sadly when it comes to fast food that isn’t always the case. Although there is no way of getting around the indulgent nature of fast food, we can assure you that vegan fast food is quickly becoming a strong competitor to your classic fast food joints (we mean you, Five Guys). From burgers to tacos and fried chicken you can get almost any vegan alternative and we can assure you, you won’t miss a Big Mac after trying this stuff.
Why: With a new burger bar opening in Shoreditch following the success of their first joint in POP Brixton, Halo Burger is quickly becoming a favourite amongst vegan burger fans and we can see why. Teaming up with Beyond Meat to create a patty which is said to ‘taste more like meat than ever’, its eponymous burger is everything you could want from a plant-based fast food kick. Halo Burger's menu also includes a vegan hot dog and some delicious sides too.
Where: 49 Brixton Station Road, SW98PQ and 105 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3JD
Why: By eating vegan you are already one step closer to helping save the environment and most importantly the animals. At Unity Diner you can take things one step further as it donates its profits towards animal rights campaigning work. That means you can chow down on vegan burgers, hotdogs and 'chicken' satay skewers while feeling good about your charity work. It’s a win win for everyone.
Where: 60 Wentworth Street, E1 7AL
What the Pitta!
Why: Nothing beats wolfing down a kebab at the end of a night out. Although until recently vegan doner kebab shops were almost non-existent. Until the arrival of What The Pitta! that is. Using a secret recipe from Germany to make its vegan doner meat, these are completely delicious. Order the classic doner with tzatziki, hummus and chilli sauce or go for the homemade falafel wrap. The end of night kebab just got a vegan makeover and we’re not sad about it.
Where: Boxpark Shoreditch, E1 6GY
The Vurger Co
Why: With the mission of ‘making vegetables sexy again’ The Vurger Co’s menu is 100% plant based. From its burgers to its Kentucky fried 'chicken', this is fast food you don’t need to feel guilty about. With four different burger fillings to choose from, think aubergine with chickpeas and onion or the New York Melt with a beyond meat patty and vegan cheese, you won’t want to go back to a regular burger after trying one of Vurger Co’s patties.
Where: 6 Richmix Square, E1 6LD
Why: Aiming to get ‘vegetable haters’ to eat healthier vegan dishes, the founders of Mooshies decided to set up a vegan burger restaurant. Because who doesn’t like burgers after all? All named after a fun play on words, try the Magic Mushroom, What’s your Beef? Or Fillet-Om-Phish burger.
Where: 104 Brick Lane, E1 6RL
Why: Endorsed by champion F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, who has been vocal about his vegan lifestyle, Neat Burger’s signature patty uses Beyond meat which is said to be the closest vegan alternative to a beef patty. Alongside its Neat burger and Chick’n burger you can get tater tots and a plant based hotdog. Planning to open many more restaurants in the future, Neat burger could just become the one of the biggest fast food chains around.
Where: 4 Princes Street, W1B 2LE
Biff’s Jack Shack
Why: Determined to create what they consider the world’s filthiest and most indulgent vegan junk food, we would say so far the Biff's team have done a pretty good job. With four different burgers to choose from, jackfruit chicken style wings and a host of filthy fries. you’ll forget meat-filled fast food even exists after a visit to Biff’s Jack Shack.
Where: 24-26 Orford Road, E17 9NJ
Temple of Seitan
Why: This is perhaps the strangest vegan alternative to hit the market, but definitely one that is gaining popularity. Temple of Seitan specialises in a vegan fried chicken alternative. Looking almost identical to the real thing, the food here is similar to any regular fried chicken shop you will find in the city, but as mentioned before, completely vegan (we still can’t get our heads around how real it looks).
Where: 5 Morning Lane, E9 6NA
Restaurants with vegan options
Since the plant based food revolution over the last few years, the amount of vegan restaurants in London has exploded with there being at least two good ones in every major part of the city. But sometimes you have lots of different people and personalities to feed which is why we have put together a list of restaurants that have good vegan dishes on their main menus. Turns out you can please everyone after all.
Why: While the menu at ROBATA caters for all, the restaurant does have a good selection of vegan mains perfect for when you want to dine in a mixed group. On the small plates section, you’ll find kimchi gyoza, padron peppers and edamame beans, while mains include a miso aubergine with pickled mushrooms and red chilli plus an inventive broccoli steak.
Where: 56 Old Compton St, London W1D 4UE
Why: Although most of the pizza options on Voodo Ray's menu are slathered in cheese and meat, vegans need not despair. The Queen Vegan pizza option includes artichoke hearts, green olives, red onions, sun blush tomatoes and its special tomato sauce. There is no cheese on this one but it definitely won’t be missed among all the other vegetable toppings.
Where: 285 Rye Lane, SE15 4UA
The Gate, Marylebone
What: Although The Gate is billed as a vegetarian restaurant, there is plenty here for vegans to like too. All vegan dishes are marked with a handy VE symbol so you won’t find yourself confused, and plant-based dishes to choose from include the likes of miso-slicked aubergine, plantain fritters and tortillas stuffed with a range of veggies. There are vegan desserts too, including a cranberry and vanilla cheesecake.
Where: 22-24 Seymour Place, W1H 7NL
Why: This cosy modern European restaurant in Hackney has at least one vegan dish on every part of its menu. Try the vegan chickpea burger with smashed avocado and red onion or go for the aubergine parcel – veggies wrapped in thin slices of aubergine served with teriyaki tofu and homemade tomato sauce.
Where: 2 Atkins Square, E8 1FN
Sutton & Sons
Why: Vegan and fish and chips don’t usually tend to come in the same sentence, but Sutton & Sons have found a way to make the classic British favourite completely vegan. Using seaweed marinated, deep fried banana blossom it has managed to get pretty close to the taste of your standard deep fried cod and chips combo. It doesn't stop at the classic fish and chips either - ‘prawn cocktail’ and ‘scampi’ also feature on the menu.
Where: 218 Graham Road, E8 1BP
Why: As with most pizza places copious amounts of cheese are a given when it comes to pizza toppings. Thankfully at Pizza Pilgrims, the Marinara pizza may not look to be the most exciting pizza on the menu but the simple combination of the tomato sauce, olive oil, garlic and basil makes for a tasty treat. You won’t even realise the cheese is missing.
Where: 11 Kingly Street. W1B 5PW
Why: Bringing chilled Californian vibes to the not-so-chilled area of Bank, Malibu Kitchen at The Ned specialises in a healthy menu full of salads that are great for a light lunchtime treat. Courgette and almond flatbreads, a curly kale salad and the ‘beyond meat’ plant based burger are a few of its vegan offerings. Mixing modern dishes with the old school décor of The Ned might seem like a strange combination, but it definitely works.
Where: 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
Why: Growing its own biodynamic vegetables in Kent, which are transported daily by electric van to its London restaurants, not only will your food be vegan at Farmacy, but sustainable too. Although not all of its dishes are completely vegan, a large selection, including the spiced buckwheat winter bowl, Got No Beef Burger and Artichoke Pizzetta, are completely plant based and well worth a try.
Where: 74 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH
Why: Opening in the 80s with the aim to modernise the vegetarian restaurant scene, Mildreds has become a key fixture on the Soho dining scene. Now with four locations across the city and a host of vegan options on the menu - including gyoza dumplings with shimeji mushrooms, Sri Lankan sweet potato, coconut curry and a beetroot white bean burger with pickled red cabbage - Mildred’s has become a favourite among vegans and non-vegans alike.
Where: 45 Lexington Street, W1F 9AN
Not quite ready to go fully vegan? We've put together a list of the best vegetarian restaurants in the city