Veganism is no longer a rarity among London diners, but if you follow a plant-based diet, it can still be difficult to find restaurants in central London that cater to your needs. In bustling Soho, there are a handful of top-notch restaurants dedicated to plant-eaters, but there are also an array of wonderful dining rooms where vegans can order practically everything on the menu, without worrying about what’s on their plate. Read on to discover our pick of the best vegan restaurants in Soho, as well as vegan-friendly places in the area
Vegan restaurants in Soho
Full-blown vegan restaurants are prominent in certain areas of London, such as Shoreditch and Hackney, but less so in central London. Below are four of the best vegan restaurants in Soho, ranging from high-end fine dining to indulgent comfort-food places.
Why: Who says vegan food has to be casual? At this French fine-dining spot, head chef Alexis Gauthier has been vegan since 2016, after protesters outside his restaurant demanded he stopped serving the controversial foie gras. Since then, he has overhauled his menu accordingly, but without compromising on flavour, authenticity or style. Gauthier Soho’s passion is to make his food taste and look just as it would normally, using entirely plant-based products, and it works. Guests can dine from a vegan tasting menu, trying dishes such as wild mushroom tortellini and saffron-roasted butternut squash with a plantain crumble. The dining room looks like someone’s moneyed front room, crammed with white-clothed tables.
Where: 21 Romilly Street, W1D 5AF
Why: If you’re seeking out comfort food, Leggero is the place to be. The restaurant’s USP is its 100% gluten-free Italian menu, which is also suitable for vegans and veggies alike, as well as being allergy-friendly. Pasta is famously gluten-heavy, but the team at Leggero has found a way (it won’t reveal its secret) to make the pasta taste just as good as the original using no gluten at all. Indulgent dishes to choose from includes tagliatelle with mushroom and truffle oil, and courgette rolls stuffed with tomato breadcrumbs and vegan parmesan. Weekend brunch is available too.
Where: 64 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UQ
Why: Mildreds has been a Soho fixture for nearly three decades, with its inventive globetrotting vegan and vegetarian menu, which even tempts omnivores through its doors. There’s a lot to love at this place, which now also has branches in King’s Cross, Camden and Dalston. The super friendly staff can help you navigate your way through a menu that features dishes such as smoked tofu with white bean ‘sausages’, accompanied by mash, and gravy. The delicious and rich mushroom and ale pie topped with crisp pastry is also a solid winner. More creative dishes that don’t try to replicate the originals include mango, brie and jalapeño quesadilla with avocado and sweetcorn salsa. Vegan wines complete the line-up.
Where: 45 Lexington Street, W1F 9AN
Why: Designed specifically for vegans and vegetarians, the relaxed, all-day dining at Tibits has more than 40 daily-changing dishes, all charged by weight. This means you can really go to town here. For a full vegan offering, hit it up on a Tuesday, although the food is 80% vegan for the rest of the week, too. Takeaway is also available for those on the go, while diners with time on their hands can sit down to enjoy the likes of roasted Brussels sprouts with ginger, before finishing up with sweet treats such as raw chocolate apricot squares. For breakfast, there are fresh juices, pancakes and pastries to be enjoyed, whereas a lunchtime the salad of fusilli pasta, pink grapefruit and orange might go down well. At the weekend, there’s even a bottomless brunch with unlimited Prosecco and Bellinis.
Where: 12-14 Heddon Street, W1B 4DA
Soho restaurants with vegan menu options
Although some restaurants aren’t doing what Alex Gauthier did and turning their entire menu into a plant-based one, more and more restaurants are taking their vegan menu offering increasingly seriously. Here are some of the best vegan menus in Soho restaurants.
Why: The queues outside Dishoom Carnaby don’t seem to endm, with hungry Londoners constantly craving the Indian comfort food. Vegans can join the queue now with Dishoom's plant-based menu spanning breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Vegan Bombay is a plant-based take on the full English, for instance, whereas the Chole Puri chickpea curry is a treat. Friendly staff are also on hand to help out with answering questions about making standard-menu dishes into vegan ones, if preferable. The interiors are similar to the other Dishoom branches – colourful and with a kitsch, 1960’s Bombay nostalgic feel and the atmosphere is suitably buzzy. Cocktails are another forte, so ideal for a party – go in a group of six or more to be able to book a table.
Where: 22 Kingly Street, W1B 5QB
Why: Lebanese food lends itself nicely to plant-based cooking and the vegan menu at Maison Du Mezze Leicester Square features both a hot and cold mezze menu bursting with hummus, labneh, tabbouleh, falafel and vegetable moussaka. We would make it a priority to try the Bamia Bil Zait – okra cooked with tomatoes, garlic, coriander and olive oil – and the Spinach Fatayer - Lebanese pastry boats, filled with spinach, cinnamon, onions, pine nuts and lemon juice. The Middle Eastern charm and hospitality is evident across the two floors, which are decorated with Arabian carpets and intriguing artworks. There’s even an outside area for warmer nights with views over Leicester Square.
Where: 14 Leicester Square, WC2H 7NG
Why: We have found that the vegan offering at Ugly Dumpling is one of the better ones of the non-vegan restaurants in Soho. Its vegan dumpling platter, which comes out on colourful plates, features eight pieces for £11, for instance. There are several plant-based options on the rest of the menu, too, including tempura aubergine with golden syrup and peanuts and ‘ugly’ noodles with seasonal vegetables. The two-floor restaurant is elbow-rubbingly small, but decorated simply, so if you don’t mind intimate, you’ll be alright. The food at this place is ideal for sharing, so bring a group (vegans and omnivores alike) and head down.
Where: 1 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RB
Why: Turning out classic European dishes, Old Compton Brasserie has several vegan dishes on its menu. The PB Burger looks intriguing with its moving mountain patty, shiitake bacon, vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, gherkin and avocado mayo with fries, but we also like the sound of the Belgian chocolate truffle cake with mango sorbet. Burnt orange chairs and atmospheric lighting help cosy-up this industrial-looking place.
Where: 36-38 Old Compton Street, W1D 4TT
Why: The dedicated vegan menu at The Real Greek Soho is extensive and exciting, spanning both hot and cold mezze. Using well-loved Greek ingredients in new and innovative ways to ensure the plant-based option is just as good as the standard one, you can expect to find treats at The Real Greek such as jackfruit stifado (slow-cooked with button mushrooms, shallots and aniseed), and Santorini fava (yellow lentils cooked with herbs and spices and topped with Santorini capers). Trust us, you’ll be transported to a Greek holiday island in no time.
Where: 50 Berwick Street, W1F 8SJ
Need to expand you reach? Browse through our list of the best vegan food and the best vegan restaurants in London