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World Vegan Month: London’s Best Vegan Restaurants

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World Vegan Month: London’s Best Vegan Restaurants

The vegan scene in London is thriving – here's where to get involved...

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Topics: London / Restaurants / Vegan /
       

It’s World Vegan Month! Celebrate by enjoy a plant-based meal at one of London’s best vegan restaurants…

It’s no secret that veganism is having a moment. The demand for meat-free food increased by 987 per cent in 2017, and one in three Brits have stopped or reduced their meat consumption in recent years, with an estimated 22 million “flexitarians” in the UK today.

Wondering what the benefits are? We spoke to Anastasia Bertacca, a Nutritionist/Naturopath from Pollen + Grace about why eating a more plant-based diet is so good:

‘‘The universal reason that veganism is so great is that it’s more sustainable – consuming meat on the scale that we currently do is not sustainable, nor compliant with animal welfare. In terms of your health, most people would thrive on a plant based diet, as you’re getting more nutrients from the plants, and reducing your intake of toxins, which are more prevalent in meat due to production methods. If planned properly, and including ingredients such as mushrooms, seaweed and a variety of legumes, a plant based diet can help across the spectrum – from skin and hair health, to energy levels and gut health.”

Tempted to get involved? With all the exciting vegan offerings in London, there’s never been a better time to be vegan – forget dull salads, think fried “chicken” and exciting flavour combinations. We bring you the best vegan restaurants in town…

The Best Vegan Restaurants in London

Farmacy

Farmacy

This Notting Hill spot is where all the trendiest veggies and vegans congregate – thanks to the cool interiors as well as the wonderful food on offer. Farmacy is the brainchild of Camilla Fayed, who worked with experts to develop a menu of nourishing, healthy dishes that are also mighty tasty. The guacamole is one of the best in town and should be ordered as a side no matter what you’re eating, and is especially good when accompanying the sweet potato falafel starter. The Mexican Bowl is a standout with its bright purple potatoes and ‘sour cream’, while the burger is a classic, made from millet, black beans and mushrooms. Pair with a few cocktails (with added medicinal benefits, or Cannabidiol) from the Alchemy Bar, and save space for the raw chocolate tart. With no refined sugars, additives or chemicals, you can indulge guilt-free. 74 Westbourne Grove, London W2. farmacylondon.com

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Temple of Seitan

Temple of Seitan

c. Felix Dickinson

This vegan fast food joint really is temple-like, with queues around the block and a loyal following of customers who return time and time again for the finger-lickin’ good vegan fried “chicken”, which is actually made with seitan. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that vegans too crave a deep-fried treat once in a while, and Temple of Seitan has proven so popular that they have opened a second restaurant in Camden. 10 Morning Lane, London E9. templeofseitan.co.uk

Deliciously Ella

Deliciously Ella

By now a household name, Instagram sensation Deliciously Ella has been credited with making the vegan lifestyle cool again. Head to her deli, located just off Oxford Street, to give her tasty recipes a go, and boost your mood (and vitamin count!) by digging into wholesome dishes such as Tuscan bean stew, cauliflower and red lentil dhal with brow rice and seasonal falafel – or if you can’t decide, build your own bowl and combine the lot. Or pop in for breakfast (think blueberry pancakes, sweetcorn fritters or porridge with all the toppings), add a fresh smoothie and you’re good to glow for the day. 18-20 Weighhouse Street, London, W1K 5LU. deliciouslyella.com

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Manna

The 50 year-old restaurant is one of Europe’s first meat-free eateries, evolving its menus alongside the rise of plant-based eating. And there’s much more than salad going on. Manna is closing the gap of gourmet, meat-free options with classic and creative dishes made from fair trade products when available and organic and local products whenever fresh and viable. There is some real joy in the starters at this place. Adventurously healthy types might go for the raw tacos with lettuce leaf shells, sunflower seed chorizo, guacamole, carrot salsa & cashew sour cream, while comfort seekers will be tempted by the vegan nachos. The selection of mains boasts enchilada bake to bangers and mash and warm rainbow panzanella. 4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill, London NW3 3AJ. mannav.com 

by CHLOE.

by CHLOE.

Last year NYC’s best-loved vegan restaurant arrived in London, finally quelling vegan Londoners’ envious Instagram scrolls of the infamous burgers and salads at by CHLOE. After proving hugely popular at its inaugural Tower Bridge venue, they opened a further three venues: one in Covent Garden, one in the ICON Outlet at The O2, and another in Oxford Circus.

The entire menu is vegan, and in the best way: Guac Burgers, Quinoa Taco Salads, Avocado Pesto Pasta, Sweet Potato Fries…The restaurant is also free of artificial flavours and preservatives, a claim to which the beetroot ketchup and chipotle aioli testify mightily. The Covent Garden and Tower Bridge locations also celebrate the individual flavours of the city with a special Fish n’ Chips (crispy tofu), Royal Roast (sea salt roasted celery root) and, of course, sticky toffee pudding with coconut whipped cream. A host of sweet treats will have you staring at the glass case for ages, but don’t overlook the freezer where you’ll find Push Pops: mini ice creams with toppings including Chocolate topped with Chlostess cupcakes, Salted Caramel topped with banana bread, Matcha Coconut with matcha chocolate babka and Birthday Cake topped with funfetti and rainbow frosting.

For World Vegan Month, acclaimed vegan chef Rachel Ama has created a selection of special plant-based dishes available exclusively at byCHLOE: a Thai green curry, a Caribbean mushroom wrap, and a BBQ jerk cauliflower. Various locations. eatbychloe.com BL

Redemption Bar

Redemption Bar

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). 6 Chepstow Road, London, W2 5BH and 320 Old Street, London,  EC1V 9DR. redemptionbar.co.uk 

Tell Your FriendsTell Your Friends

Lucy Watson has provided an anecdote to South London’s lacking vegan scene and friends, we’re telling you about it. Tell Your Friends excellently tows the line between healthy food, free of anything animal, and comfort food, the kind that doesn’t feel super vegan. Skeptics, start with the ‘chicken’ bites (hemp & sunflower crumbed jackfruit bites with BBQ sauce) and split the Mac’n’Cheese with cashew cream. Cue your transformative experience. Will you go for a gold plated, traditional veggie burger: Turtle bean patty, cheddar cashew cheese, salad, caramelised onions, sundried tomato ketchup, aubergine bacon & chips? Whatever you do, leave room for a giant vegan doughnut or refined sugar free banana bread that will have you wondering what butter really ever did for you anyway. 175 New King’s Rroad, London, SW6 4SW. tellyourfriendsldn.com

Biff’s Jack Shack

Biff's Jack Shack

Disappointed at the sad-looking bean burgers on offer in most restaurants, Biff Burrows and Christa Bloom set out to change the conversation around plant-based food  and they’ve succeeded. After proving hugely successful in both KERB Camden and Haunt in Stoke Newington, vegan hotspot Biff’s Jack Shack secured its first permanent home just in time for World Vegan Day last year. Since then, two more branches have opened – the most recent in Homerton. Biff’s pride themselves on serving up the ‘filthiest’ vegan junk food in the UK: the menu is based around Biff’s unique Crispy Fried Jackfruit, which is braised in secret spice mix and triple-dipped in golden panko to create a selection of tasty burgers and wings. If you really want to indulge, go for the ‘Jack Bauer Tower of Power,’ a double jackfruit patty with deep fried vegan cheese, potato rosti and vegan aioli, served in a toasted brioche bun. The Dalston branch recently introduced a brunch menu, featuring buckwheat waffles loaded with crispy fried jackfruit, then drizzled with maple syrup and buffalo hot sauce, with a whipped smoked-maple butter on the side. Disclaimer – not all vegan food is healthy! Unit 49, Boxpark, 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY. biffsjackshack.com 

Wild Food Cafe

Wild Food

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. If you’re looking for indulgent fast food, this is not the place for you: menus are 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. Covent Garden: 14 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, WC2H 9DP and Islington: 269 – 270 Upper St, London N1 2UQ. wildfoodcafe.com 

The Vurger Co

The Vurger Co

Plant-powered vegan burger restaurant The Vurger Co began its journey in July 2016 as a market stall in Bethnal Green. After gaining popularity with vegans and non-vegans alike, they opened a permanent venue in Shoreditch, with another recently opened in Canary Wharf. There are four core burgers to choose from with rotating monthly specials go for their bestselling Auburger, made from aubergines braised and baked in Tabasco Chipotle sauce paired with cumin mayonnaise. Still hungry? Their new special works perfectly as a side: Kentucky Dunkers, crispy, deep fried king ‘oyster’ shrooms coated in a delicious crumb, with house Piri Piri sauce on the side. Grab some crispy sweet potato fries or mac n cheese too, and finish by satisfying your sweet tooth with a tasty Chocolate Hazelnut shake. The Vurger Co, Unit 9, Avant Garde Building, Cygnet Street, Richmix Square, E1 6LD. thevurgerco.com 

SpiceBox

SpiceBox

After making a name for itself on the street food circuit at KERB in Camden, vegan curry spot SpiceBox opened its first permanent location in Walthamstow. Here classic Indian dishes are reimagined with a plant-based twist: highlights include the Jackfruit Jalfrezi, a fiery vegan spin on the curry house cooked with peppers, onions and jackfruit; and the Brinjal Bhaji, made of charred smoky aubergine and peas in a rich tomato gravy. 58 Hoe St, Walthamstow, London, E17 4PG. eatspicebox.co.uk

Club Mexicana at The Spread Eagle

Club Mexicana

From the bar stools to the drinks to the food, everything at The Spread Eagle is 100 per cent vegan, making it London’s first ever fully vegan pub. The food offering is headed up by Merial Armitage, founder of vegan street food truck Club Mexicana, with dishes like jackfruit tacos and Californian-style burritos stuffed with ‘beer’ battered tofish. Small plates are also on offer, including corn esquites and pan seared ‘scallops’, deep fried ‘cheese’ with  hot sauce and loaded ‘cheesy’ nachos. Diners can finish things on a sweet note with a deep fried taco dipped in chocolate, rolled in nuts, stuffed with ice cream and topped with salted caramel sauce. Salivating? Us too…224 Homerton High St, London E9 6AS. thespreadeaglelondon.co.uk

Wulf & Lamb

Wulf & Lamb

“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). 243 Pavilion Rd, Chelsea, London SW1X 0BP. wulfandlamb.com

Purezza

Purezza

Vegans don’t have to miss out on pizza, as proved by Purezza, a fully vegan pizza restaurant which settled in Camden after making a name for itself in Brighton last year. Instead of the cheese you might expect to see on a pizza, Purezza create their own vegan mozzarella in-house from fermented brown rice milk. Toppings-wise you’ll be spoilt for choice: options range from shaved aubergine to truffle to wood smoked tofu, all placed on top of a tasty sourdough base, with gluten-free or hemp flour substitutes also available. Jack & Bry has recently launched a jackfruit ‘pepperoni’ pizza there – which is apparently a world first! Vegan versions of popular sides are also on offer, including mac’n’cheese and dough balls, as well as a number of tasty desserts – we recommend the salted caramel brownie. 43 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PN. purezza.co.uk

Kalifornia Kitchen

Kalifornia Kitchen

Walking down Fitzrovia’s Percy Street, it’s hard to miss the bright pink facade of Kalifornia Kitchen. Inside is just as pretty, with furnishings built for Instagram: flower-adorned walls, a pink staircase, neon signs and sleek white table tops – the perfect setting for a Saturday brunch. Fancy something sweet? The big stack of buckwheat and banana pancakes, served with caramelised bananas, coconut yoghurt and almond brittle, is the stuff of vegan dreams. If it’s more lunch than breakfast time, the Klassic Kalifornia Burger served with smoked paprika & thyme fries is your best bet, or the jackfruit and guacamole tacos. Drinks follow a similar vibe, with a plethora of fresh smoothies and juices on offer, as well as kombucha, matcha lattes and healthy shots (think wheatgrass and turmeric as opposed to tequila). 19 Percy St, Bloomsbury, London W1T 1DY. kaliforniakitchen.co.uk

Neat Burger

Neat Burger

The first branch of a new plant-based burger chain recently opened just off Regent Street, backed by Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Created in collaboration with The Cream Group and Beyond Meat’s Tommaso Chiabra, Neat Burger aims to transform the way people see vegan food with a selection of vegetable-base patties. On the menu you’ll find three core dishes: ‘the neat’, ‘the cheese’ and ‘the chick’n’, alongside skinny fries, sweet potato fries, vegan hot dogs, and American favourite tater tots. Beverages on offer include Just Water, an eco-friendly water company co-founded by Jaden Smith back in 2012, alongside drinks from Lemonaid and dairy-free, coconut and soya-based milkshakes. If you fancy something stronger, there’s a plant-based alcohol offering in the shape of Toast Ale4 Princes St, Mayfair, London W1B 2LE. neatburger.com

Unity Diner

Not only is Unity Diner fully vegan, all proceeds go towards animal rights campaigning work. A non-profit restaurant in East London, Unity Diner was founded last year by a group of friends – including activist Eathling Ed – on a mission to make positive difference. Burgers are the star of the show here, particularly the offering from Moving Mountains, the UK brand behind the first ‘bleeding’ meatless burger – great for those missing the juiciness of meat. Vegans after a cheese fix, meanwhile, will be well catered for with the ‘mozzarella’ sticks and the loaded mac & cheese, topped with zesty panko breadcrumbs. 60 Wentworth St, Spitalfields, London E1 7AL. unitydiner.co.uk

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