I haven't been to London in twenty years. Jane and I have been considering a trip to Europe some time next year. It’s not easy being a vegan when traveling abroad. The excitement of discovering a new city can often be tempered by not knowing where to eat. Guide books provide a limited overview of vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants and you can often get stuck eating at the same place every night because it’s the only one you know about! It certainly helps to get ideas and suggestions from people in the know. We have been asking some people for suggestions. Sarah Murray, a loyal Vegan Bits reader offered her suggestions as to the top 10 vegan restaurants in London.
So, if you’re planning a trip to London, below is a list of the top 10 vegan restaurants that locals like to keep for themselves (courtesy of Ms. Murray).
If you are from the UK or if you have traveled there and have dined at any of these establishments, please leave a comment below with your thoughts.
1. 42° Raw
Originally founded in Copenhagen, 42° Raw in London is fast becoming the go-to restaurant for those looking for healthy vegan fare that’s both tasty and unique. The restaurant ascribes to the raw food movement, often associated with vegans. As such, and as the name suggests, nothing is cooked above 42°C and every ingredient at 42° Raw is plant based, even the cakes! Glowing reviews in local publications and an enviable location just off Saville Row makes this one of the top vegan restaurants in London.
6 Burlington Gardens City of Westminster, W1S 3EX, United Kingdom
20 7300 8059
A veritable celebrity hotspot, Vitao has seen famous faces including Keira Knightly, The Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chilli peppers walk through its vegan doors. Offering a choice between a set menu and a buffet as well as a wide selection of vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, gluten free and raw dishes, vegan diners are given more variety here than in most vegan restaurants. Coupled with an extensive juice and smoothie bar Vitao is definitely worth a visit to those who like their vegan meals with a bit of choice (and celebrity spotting)!
74 Wardour Street W1F 0TE, London
20 7734 8986
Located on the top of the Whole Foods Market in Kensington, Saf is luxury vegan food at its best. Meaning ‘pure’ in Turkish or standing for ‘Simply Authentic Food’ (both are applicable) Saf boasts an eclectic vegan menu featuring an assortment of world cuisines re-invented for the vegan palate. Their cocktail menu is as enviable as any of the top bars in London and even better because it’s vegan inclined. They also offer an all-natural wine list as well as organic tea. Voted the best vegetarian restaurant in 2012 by the London Evening Standard Saf is definitely worth a visit.
152-154 Shoreditch High St, London EC2A 3AT, United Kingdom
Winner of the UK’s best vegan Café/Restaurant 2012 in the prestigious UK Vegan Awards, Inspiral is a London vegan institution. Located in the vibrant Camden high street, you’ll discover delicious local delicacies, such as mushroom pasties as well as world cuisine, including Thai bean patties. Even better, the venue is known for its open mic nights and music events, showcasing some of the best artists around. The perfect accompaniment to an evening’s dining!
250 Camden High St, London, Greater London NW1 8QS, United Kingdom
20 7428 5875
One of London’s best vegetarian Indian restaurants, Chutney’s also caters for its vegan friends. Most of the food is applicable to vegans and they rarely use Ghee and never include eggs. Located two minutes from the Euston tube station Chutneys is widely recommended in guide books and praised for combining traditional Indian tastes with vegetarian dishes. They also boast ample space for parties and events.
124 Drummond St, Euston, London, Greater London NW1 2PA, United Kingdom
20 7388 0604
Nestled in colourful Covent Garden, Food for Thought is the place to go for a vegan snack on the run. If you don’t have the time to relax over a long meal and want to keep sightseeing, pop into Food for Thought for mouth-watering choices, including African black bean stew and Italian fennel and courgette bake. The menu changes daily so there will always be something new if you’re thinking of visiting on a regular basis.
31 Neal St, London WC2H 9PR, United Kingdom
20 7836 9072
OK, so it’s not technically a restaurant but if you need a hit for your sugar fix in London, look no further than Cookies and Scream. Hidden in Camden Lock market, Cookies and Scream specialise in vegan and gluten free baking with every product dairy, egg, wheat and gluten free. Moist, delicious and oozing with chocolate you’ll be amazed at what can be created without the traditional baking components. A favourite among vegans and non-vegans alike, Cookies and Scream will have you screaming for more!
The Market Hall, Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF
20 7778 691519
One of Europe’s oldest vegetarian restaurants, Manna has recently changed its focus and now views itself as a vegan restaurant. Must haves include the Caribbean platter, featuring jerk tofu and pot stew of coconut milk and seasonal vegetables, organic bangers and mash (sausages and mash potatoes to those outside the UK) and the ability to build your own meal where you can choose any 4 sides. The substantial menu means you’ll be sure to find something that appeals.
4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill, London NW3 3AJ, United Kingdom
20 7722 8028
Joining the raw food movement in London is Wild Food Café, a vibrant restaurant in the heart of Neal's Yard in Covent Garden. Featuring just the right amount of boho charm you’d expect from a vegan restaurant, Wild Food Café create tantalising salads and dips as well as living pizza and a mouth-watering olive and shitake burger. All items on the menu are clearly marked so you won’t have to worry about ordering anything non-vegan.
10. Coach and Horses
London’s first vegetarian pub also features a substantial vegan menu. Sample traditional pub fare including Welsh Rarebit and handmade veggie sausages with beans and mash. Some of the beers and ciders aren’t vegan friendly but check with staff beforehand. The ideal way to truly experience a taste of London!
29 Greek Street, London, Greater London W1D 5DH, United Kingdom
20 7437 5920
Next time you’re in London check out these local institutions for a truly local vegan experience. Don’t forget to let us know what you think if you visit any of these delicious restaurants!
So there you have it. The top 10 vegan restaurants in London as determined by one of our readers. Do you agree?
Thanks again to Vegan Bits fan Sarah Murray for providing this list. She also has a website that sells appliances online.