Our selection of the best healthy restaurants in London serve such delicious food that you won’t feel like you’re missing out. In fact, they might even convert you to the greener side of life. Here’s our guide to London’s feel good food scene…
The second restaurant from the Pachamama group, Chelsea’s Chicama is a charming seafood restaurant named after a coastal town in Peru – not the word chic, although that does describe it well. Unlike its sister, Chicama is meat-free, focusing instead on seafood and fish served small plates style: ceviche, blackened octopus, spicy prawns and trout cooked in banana leaf all feature on the menu. But there are also plenty of delicious, flavoursome vegetarian options, like aubergine with plantain miso, grilled cauliflower and green bean salad. Eat al fresco on the lovely plant-filled outdoor terrace, or watch the chefs working their magic up close from the pink marble counter, which looks onto the open kitchen.
Enjoy a slice of sunny California at Malibu Kitchen, tucked in the corner of swanky members’ club The Ned. Taking its lead from health-conscious LA, the Mediterranean-inspired menu offers bright, vibrant dishes which taste as good as they look. Yes, there are lots of raw and plant-based options, but Malibu Kitchen is by no means a vegan spot – a number of meat and fish dishes feature on the happy, hearty menu. Friendly waiters recommend sharing a few dishes, which is great as there are so many delicious things to try. Start with a few bites for the table: avocado dip with crudités and taro chips, raw vegetable rolls (a healthy alternative to spring rolls), and padron peppers with almond aioli. For mains, we recommend the “brick” chicken, served with spicy yoghurt and grape; and the sea bream taco, with panic, green papaya and pico de gallo. Alternatively, get a selection of raw and cured fish: ahi tuna poke with avocado and brown jasmine rice, sea bass ceviche with plantain chips, and scallops with miso, hazelnut and ponzu. Grab a seat in one of the window booths, and pretend you’re an A-lister popping in for lunch before an afternoon on the beach.
TRY: The Californian bean burger, with crispy sweet potato fries and tofu mayonnaise, is top notch.
You can always trust the Brazilians and Japanese to know how to inject flavour into guilt-free dishes, and Temakinho serves a tastebud-tingling fusion of both cuisines with a big dollop of fun which is so often missing from health food joints. Bright colours, tropical prints and caipirinhas set the party mood, and you’re slap bang in the middle of Soho so you can quite literally feel the buzz. Sidestep fried Brazilian tapas (delicious though they are) and make your way through the innovative sushi rolls – but prepare for a few surprises as bananas, mangos, passion fruit and mint feature throughout. The restaurant was the first in the world to be given a ‘Friends of the Sea’ certification for dedication to top-quality sustainable fish, and you can really taste the difference. Traditional ceviches are fresh and citrusy, while poké and tiradito all boast fabulous flavours as well as low calories. If only eating well was always this fun…
TRY: The most exotic-sounding temaki rolls on the menu – you won’t regret it.
You’ll no doubt have seen the Good Life Eatery on your social feed at some point, thanks to their naturally Instagrammable health food dishes and drinks. Luckily, they taste pretty good too – especially the superfood salads and build-your-own bowls that are packed with goodness as well as exciting and different flavours. Lovers of a good breakfast will be eternally grateful for the skinny benedict and royale – a stroke of genius.
TRY: The open-faced teriyaki salmon avocado sandwich is a dead cert for lunch.
For those in need of a light lunch without forgoing taste, service or indeed decadence, Swan Bar’s new lunch menu at charming Maison Assouline is the ticket. Not only is the building off Piccadilly an architectural marvel (previously a bank designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1922) but the visual feast of books and art lining its walls is a sight to behold. The beauty of Maison Assouline is its covert existence in such a busy corner of London. Relatively few tourists know about the bar or lunches offered here, but those who do blend in seamlessly with the chic interior design, wafts of jazz and fashion icons framed above the tables.
Seafood takes precedence on the menu, along with speedy favourites from chilled oysters to caviar and crab salad. Make a note to return on a ‘cheat day’ for the L’Ami Louis Foie Gras. The salads and tartares are light enough to leave room for their beautifully presented coffees on silver trays, but satisfying enough to avoid an afternoon slump. For those in no rush, the puddings, exquisite cocktails, cabinet de curiosités and a sea of coffee table books (from hefty Dior hardbacks to guides on how to be Italian) are enough to keep you occupied for a week.
TRY: The Salmon Tartare reminds you that ‘healthy’ is occasionally synonymous with hedonism.
By Rosalyn Wikeley
Everyone knows that Japanese food is good for you, as long as you manage to avoid the tempura. Swish restaurant Aqua Kyoto has gone one step further with its Home Grown menu, which is not only good for you, it’s good for the planet. By using an in-house urban farm, ingredients grow up to 50% faster than normal due to their temperature and light controlled environment, meaning they’re more sustainable, organic and GMO free.
TRY: The braised genmaicha octopus with riboshi wafers, aqua home-grown salad leaves and kinome miso ponzu.
A pioneer of London’s health-conscious brunch scene, Melbourne-inspired Farm Girl now has three branches across the city, enabling Londoners to get their rose latte fix across Notting Hill, Chelsea and Soho. While breakfast remains the star of the show here (think buckwheat pancakes, sweet potato toast and fancy porridge), their Chelsea restaurant also offers an Antipodean dinner menu, which can be enjoyed alongside superfood cocktails and organic wine.
TRY: The acai bowls are renowned for a reason. Eaten for breakfast with an added dollop of almond butter, you’ll be full for hours.
The lunch buffet at Ravi Shankar on Drummond Street is one of London’s best-kept secrets. For less than £10 you can feast on as many veggie Southern Indian delicacies as you like, including dosas, thalis and Bhel Puri. The flavour-packed dishes fly in the face of those who think Indian food has to be unhealthy.
TRY: The mango lassi.
Your best bet for seasonal and organic in London last year opened a new Brompton Cross outpost that takes wholesomeness to a new level. We love Daylesford for its sleek, clean vibe that really ups the ante from a familiar gamut of historically au natural decor in natural food eateries. Only Daylesford could manage to stick a giant tree trunk in the middle of the restaurant and make it work in a palate of clean whites. The quality of organic meat really shines on the menu, as does the pizza – the butternut squash base with nut ‘cheese’, romanesco and chard really hits the spot. A wide selection of seasonal salads that can be mixed and matched are our top tip for a lunch fix, too.
TRY: The blueberry cheesecake made without dairy.
Antipodean cuisine is having a moment, and Darcie & May Green is one of the latest to jump aboard the trend…literally. The restaurant is actually in a barge designed by none other than pop artist Peter Blake, providing a quirky riverside foodie spot day and night – the Aussie-inspired brunch is one of the tastiest in town, and the Jackfruit curry packs quite the punch. Absolutely delicious – just stay away from the duck fat fries.
TRY: The halloumi fries with pomegranate yoghurt, lemon and mint are scarily addictive.
A hotspot for West London’s trendy veggies and vegans, Farmacy’s entire menu reads like your nutritionist’s wishlist. Unlike similar London establishments, Farmacy has gone with glam as opposed to quirky, boasting a glitzy central bar, lush foliage throughout and £5 ‘farmaceutical syringe’ health shots. Food-wise they’re best known for their meat-free burger, but there are too many delicious options to count so go with a sense of adventure.
TRY: The guacamole. Eat with absolutely everything.
London’s original veggie and vegan restaurant first opened in 1988, and now has four restaurants across town. Its original concept of serving honestly-priced and genuinely delicious healthy food was clearly a winner, as it continues to be the health-conscious Londoner’s go-to.
TRY: The Soul Bowl, a duo of superfood salads which donates 50p to Compassion in World Farming.
America’s favourite vegan restaurant by CHLOE. finally crossed the pond last year to open its first European site in Covent Garden. Unsurprisingly it proved hugely successful, so much so that they opened another branch in Tower Bridge, with two more set to open this year: one in Oxford Circus, the other at the 02 in Greenwich. You’ll be surprised to find that their plant-based menu features the likes of mac ‘n cheese, fries and the famous guac burger, as well as new British-inspired additions. Quashing the idea that a plant-based diet is bland and unexciting? Tick!
TRY: The air baked sweet potato fries are to die for.
Not so much a restaurant as an upmarket deli, Detox Kitchen is one of the best spots in town for a quick, nutritious lunch that will leave you feeling energised. All their dishes are free from wheat, dairy and refined sugar, and the Soho branch even has a fitness studio downstairs for all-round healthy living. The stews and soups are a fragrant pick-me-up on a cold winter’s day, while the salad and protein combos are a winner year-round.
TRY: The banana bread with compote and COYO is a great healthy snack for those with a sweet tooth.
You might think that Italian food is nothing if not for its gluten component, but you’d be wrong about that at Ardiciocca. The restaurant manages to pull off all the Italian traditions without even a trace of wheat (the restaurant is actually on its way to achieving Coeliac certification). Start with salami and bread and be amazed by a dense, chewiness that gives its crumbly cousin a run for its money (the secret is 12 different cereals and grains). The brave might opt for breaded and fried, while a classic pizza Margarita is a safe choice – and in this case, the crispy base made with gluten-free flour and Ferrarelle water, let rise for 72 hours, is not just safe, but delicious.
TRY: The Margarita – cooked to perfection.
A relatively new addition to London’s health food landscape, Japanese restaurant Omoide opened its doors in Bermondsey last year, headed up by chef Angelo Sato. Taking inspiration from Japan’s multi-course dining experience, Omoide specialises in healthy chirashi (scattered) sushi bowls: rice mixed with fish, vegetables and whatever else fits the bill. Diners can customise meals themselves or opt for one of Angelo’s well-thought-out combinations – signature dishes include ‘The Humble Chicken’, made with dashi-braised chicken (a Japanese broth), umami mushrooms, shichimi mayo and spicy beansprouts; and yuzu-spiked salmon, topped with avocado, cured cucumber, sushi ginger and crispy shallots. Despite Angelo’s Michelin-star experience it’s not fancy dining, just top quality food with a casual, grab-and-go feel. The colourful, pretty bowls are guaranteed to brighten up your Instagram feed too.
TRY: The yuzu salmon with sushi rice, avocado, cured cucumber and wasabi peas.
Avocado fans, this one’s for you: London’s first avocado restaurant, celebrating the far-reaching potential of everyone’s favourite green super fruit. This was dreamed up as a pop-up devoted to all things avolicious, but near the end of last year it found a permanent home on Henrietta Street, in the heart of Covent Garden. The eclectic menu proves everything can be made from avocado, from butter to cheesecake to burgers. Standout dishes include their Insta-famous Avo Burger: a sweet potato and red lentil patty sandwiched inside a whole avocado, and their Smashed Chilli Avo, a twist on the classic avo-on-toast: smashed avocado served on sweet potato ‘toast’ with coconut labneh. If you fancy something sweet go for their zingy avocado cheesecake, made with vegan ‘white chocolate’ and lime, and wash it down with one of their creamy smoothies – we recommend the ‘Avobanaberries’. Their Californian-style interiors are just as Instagrammable as the food, with a beachy, laid-back atmosphere, leafy decor and earthy wooden seats. The perfect spot for brunch or for a nutritious evening meal with friends.
TRY: The avocado cheesecake is unlike anything we’ve ever tasted before –in a good way.
Enjoy a slice of Melbourne in London at Bill Granger’s Aussie-inspired eatery, now with four branches across the city. Tuck into small plates of tuna tartare, kimchi and pickled nashi pear; and courgette chips, nigella seed and tahini yoghurt, followed by a wholesome yellow fish curry with spiced butternut squash; a big colourful bowl of goodness; or a lentil dahl with coconut yoghurt. Whichever outpost you choose, you can guarantee hearty, fresh food paired with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere – a winning combination.
TRY: Their sweetcorn fritters are legendary.
“Run with the wolves. Eat with the lambs.” A fitting motto for Sloane Square plant-based eatery Wulf & Lamb, tucked away behind Peter Jones on the pretty pedestrian-only Pavilion Road. For mains go for the Chilli’ Non’ Carne, a smoky dish of spiced mushrooms, lentils and kidney beans with cashew sour cream; or the aromatic coconut curry with sweet potato mash – but be sure to leave some space for the mango and passion fruit cheesecake (no cheese involved, obviously).
TRY: The Wulf Pie: pulled jackfruit and lentil stew with mashed potato and baby carrots. Comforting and guilt-free.
Founded by Joel and Aiste Gazdar, the original location for popular vegan eatery Wild Food Cafe overlooks the pretty Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. They recently opened a second location in the equally desirable spot of Islington: a slightly bigger venue, with more space to expand the menu, which is fully plant-based, raw, vegan and nutritious. But this certainly doesn’t mean the food lacks flavour – dishes are bright, colourful and creative. Think jackfruit sandwich bites, vegetarian burgers, big wholesome salads, vegan laska and coconut-seared plantain stew. Still hungry? Try one of the guilt-free raw desserts, such as wild blackberry cheesecake, banana, walnut and date bread, or salted caramel and chocolate slice. You’ll leave feeling satisfied and suitably smug.
TRY: The Green Burger: an olive & shiitake mushroom patties served in a baked, gluten-free green bun. Definitely say yes to sweet potato wedges on the side.
Vegan oasis Redemption Bar has all the goods you look for in any outstanding health food spot such as smoothies (and smoothie bowls), avocado toast, buddha bowls, flax bread and veggie burgers. What sets these dishes apart from every other Instagram you’ve ever seen is that they are the ultimate version. New gold standard for burgers? The buff burger, made with protein-packed, fibre-boosting shitake mushroom, black bean and ruby beet, served in an oat bun with tomato, lettuce, caramelised red onion marmalade. Turmeric superslaw and chunky sweet potato fries on the side, naturally (no pun intended). Will you go for sweet: buckwheat pancakes tossed in coconut oil and topped with natural coconut yoghurt, seasonal fruit and maple syrup? Or savoury: roasted sweet potato and red onion hash with mushrooms, kale, spinach, rosemary and a squeeze of lemon? Whatever you do it should definitely include sipping on a Skinny Cacao. The organic Boca pure bean to cup cacao, served iced or hot in nut milk puts hot chocolate to shame (and thats without any sweetener) BL
TRY: The jack fruit soft tacos: slow cooked spicy jackfruit in soft blue corn tacos with tomato salsa, guacamole, and pineapple salsa with chipotle mayo.
On the go goodness often presents itself as self serve – and Ethos rules the roost with its self serve, vegetarian fuelling stations. Items are priced by weight, so be warned that you’re playing a dangerous game as you pile on the macaroni cheese with fried aubergine. If you have a spare moment before dashing off, get involved with a walnut tart, raw caramel flapjack or vegan cupcake. BL
TRY: Everything, and hope for the best when you get to the till…
This all-day, casual spot offers fast, healthy food as well as treehouse-esque surroundings for those looking to sit down and have a quick pause. Create a custom salad or go for ‘Oh My Cobb’ and ‘Thai Me Up’. The ‘Miami Rice’ grain bowl with chipotle beef, brown rice, lentils, spinach, broccoli, shredded red cabbage, carrot and lime wedges is like taking a mini-lunchtime holiday. Jacket potatoes, ‘squirrel bowls’ aka granola creations, and the full smooothie, juice and nut milk she-bang give this joint its creds. BL
TRY: The Guac’ N’ Roll grain bowl.
You’ll most likely have seen their breakfast goods lining the shelves at Whole Foods – but you might not know Rude Health have their very own café. A bright and airy spot tucked away in Fulham, the Rude Health Cafe is ideal for on-the-go breakfasts (their porridge is award-winning), and lunches of hearty salads, frittatas, soups and grills from their BBQ of the day. Give it a go – it would be rude not to…
TRY: Go for weekend brunch and tuck into the Dutch Baby: baked sprouted spelt pancakes served with pistachio, mascarpone and fresh fruit.