London’s Best Vegetarian Restaurants

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This just in (a liberal use of ‘just’ we must admit); London has been voted the Most Vegan-Friendly City In The World for a fourth year running. Beating Berlin, New York and Melbourne to the top spot, London’s proliferance of vegan restaurants and its active plant-based community were acknowledged as the deciding factors, the city’s vegetarian and vegan scene an inspiration to other major metropolises across the world.

Yep, London really is the dairy-free cream of the crop when it comes to plant-based eating, but with such a bounty of vegan and vegetarian restaurants comes a certain saturation – the city’s streets are paved with nutritional yeast and its towers have been built on a foundation of flax seeds, and it can be hard to tell the good from the great.

We’re here to help with that; here are the best vegetarian restaurants in London.

The Gate, Hammersmith & Islington

Ideal for creative takes on plant-based cuisine from one of the oldest (and still one of the best) veggie restaurants in London…

Proving that old still got it, The Gate, the self-proclaimed ‘’plant based pioneers’’, is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that has been delighting diners since 1989 with its creative takes on plant-based cuisine. With a focus on fresh, seasonal produce, the menu features a range of innovative and globally-inspired dishes that speak for themselves; nope, we’re not going to use the ‘’you won’t even miss meat’’ line…

…Hang on, we just did. Anyway, the food here really is exquisite, with a clean clarity of flavour sometimes lost in the futile attempt to make vegetarian food more meaty. There’s no danger of that here. Dishes like a beautifully composed artichoke and hazelnut terrine, served sliced alongside an umami heavy sundried tomato salsa that gives the whole thing heft, are absolute crowdpleasers, whatever dietary stripes you’re wearing.

They’re good at the sweet stuff, too. We’ve always thought that you can tell a truly great vegetarian restaurant by the effort they put into their desserts, and we’re pleased to say that the Gate’s sweet round is truly inventive; the vanilla mousse-stuffed cannoli served with honeycomb and caramel sauce somehow skillfully manages to not be too sweet, the cannoli fried hard and fast until just off-bitter. An inspired move.

This is definitely a restaurant whose best light is shown at lunch; the bright and airy dining room (that is, if you remain on the first floor – the basement space is anything but) makes The Gate a perfect choice for a relaxed meal with friends or family. Or, a bout of celebrity spotting, if that’s your thing; this particular diner was sitting next to Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys on a previous visit. Starstruck would be an understatement…

The Gate has a second restaurant in Islington.

Address: 51 Queen Caroline St, London W6 9QL

Website: thegaterestaurants.com


Farmacy, Notting Hill

Ideal for nourishing yet flavourful plant-based food and a 100% plant-based afternoon tea to boot…

Opened by Camilla Fayed in response to a noticeable lack of restaurants offering organic, locally-grown and plant-based options, and located in the home of yummy mummies, Westbourne Grove, Farmacy is a haven for those seeking nourishing yet flavourful food that is just as likely to please the tastebuds as the body. 

With an ethos of ‘food as medicine’ and some pretty bold claims about the ‘transformational’ quality of their food, Farmacy has admittedly rubbed some folk up the wrong way, including a pretty damning review in the Guardian some seven years ago. 

The fact that the restaurant has endured – thrived even – is testament to the fortitude that their organic, dairy and additive free cuisine bestows on its patrons. Whilst we’re not certain this particular Farmacy has ever cured us of as much as a runny nose, their slow roast beetroot hummus does admittedly hit the spot. 

Follow with a punchy artichoke pizza topped with a cheese made from macadamia and plenty of olives and capers, and you’ve got yourself one of the more enlivening vegan meals this side of London. 

And whilst the drinks menu promises an austere line-up of ‘Farmaceutical’ teas and cold-pressed juices, if you dig a little deeper, you can get a stiff drink, too. Much maligned, perhaps, but Farmacy does the job if you’re in the mood for it.

Interestingly, Farmacy has a gorgeous, plant filled private dining room and also does a 100% plant-based afternoon, which we’ve yet to try, but heard good things about.

Address: 74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH

Website: farmacylondon.com


222 Vegan Cuisine, West Kensington

Ideal for a vegan menu of globetrotting crowdpleasers…

From the meticulously manicured to the much more mellow, 222 Vegan Cuisine is an all-vegan restaurant whose menu of globetrotting crowdpleasers draws the crowds daily, with enough variety to satisfy even the most fickle members of the squad. 

Come for the sauteed artichoke hearts, still boasting plenty of give and vibrancy and showing a kitchen team who know how to prepare them expertly. Stay for the bouncy, nutty quinoa and spinach meatballs, tossed together with gluten-free pasta and a richly uplifting tomato sauce. Order both and you’ll get change from a twenty. 

We’re also huge fans of their chilled avocado soup – it’s a creamy, refreshing number and a nice alternative to a classic tomato gazpacho. Yours for just £6.50.

With a couple of organic, gluten free lagers clocking in at the fiver mark, that’s a delicious, affordable all-vegan meal right there.

Address: 222 North End Rd, London W14 9NU

Website: 222vegan.com


Mildreds, Soho

Ideal for vegan food and Soho vibes…

Mildreds is an institution in Soho that has rubbed shoulders with the area’s distinct history for over three decades. First opened by the dynamic duo of Jane Muir and Diane Thomas in 1988, the idea behind Mildreds was to reimagine what vegan food can be, giving it a vibrant kick in the arse and moving away from the stuffed mushrooms and nut roast-only ideas that have lingered since the 60s. It’s certainly worked; there are now six outposts of Mildreds in the capital with more rumoured to be on the horizon.

A wholly plant-based affair, a good slice of their cuisine is designed to be meat alternatives, with the restaurant serving up white bean ‘sausages’ and burgers made from soy or tofu, opening up new options of what ‘meat’ can taste like.

The food here is creative and inspired, with the Mexican-influenced mango, brie and jalapeno quesadillas being a favourite among regulars, served with a softly whipped avocado and sweetcorn salsa. You can also pair your meal with vegan wine or vegan fizz, allowing folk to let their hair down.

The vegan desserts at Mildred’s are something to write home about, too. The sticky toffee pudding, in particular, which is packed with ginger and served with lashing of toffee sauce for extra indulgence, is a thing of beauty. The same could be said for their white chocolate almond sponge tiramisu – it’s rich, thick and creamy from the white chocolate mousse and filled with classic coffee flavours, just like a good tiramisu should be.

For a touch of class, you can also book their more regal private dining room, perfect for a group of up to 14. Here you’ll get genuine Soho vibes thanks to the dark panels, quirky and clashing furniture and out-there artwork. 

Address: 45 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AN

Website: mildreds.co.uk

Read: Where to eat vegan food in Soho


Palm Greens @ Arcade Food Hall, Tottenham Court Road

Ideal for flavour-forward, nutritious and delicious lunches that should replace everyone’s meal deal, everywhere…

After a string of successful pop-ups and residencies across London, including a three year stint at Hackey’s Netil House, Palm Greens has joined forces with the city’s most dynamic hospitality group, JKS Restaurants, for an appearance at the ever-burgeoning Arcade Food Hall.

Expect a tight set of dishes that straddle a sense of the wholesome and the downright delicious – the kale caesar salad with a luxurious cashew nut dressing hits all the right notes, managing to be much more ‘why hello’ than simply ‘health food’. Long may their stay at London’s premier food hall continue.

Website: palmgreens.co.uk

Address: 103-105 New Oxford St, London WC1A 1DB


Sagar, Covent Garden

Ideal for South Indian vegetarian fare and arguably the best dosas in town…

Sagar is a South Indian vegetarian restaurant with several locations around London, all with a commitment to keeping the quality high and meat-free. Here, the food is proudly South Indian of origin, the chef here hailing from the coastal district of Udupi, a place famed for its confident, vegetable led cooking and as being the home of the masala dosa.

It’s clear, then, what the must-order dish at Sagar is, and the 12 versions of dosa served here certainly don’t disappoint. Our favourite is the paper paneer dosa, the shell a little crisper and lighter than the more familiar version, the housemade cottage cheese filling piquant and invigorating. It’s a classic. Similarly galvanising is Sagar’s version of rasam soup, its rougher, fierier edges smoothed out by a couple of restrained jaggery shavings. A side of aromatic sambar rice is pretty much obligatory.

There are further branches of Sagar in Leicester Square, Hammersmith, the West End and Harrow.

Address: 31 Catherine St, London WC2B 5JS

Website: sagarrestaurant.co.uk


Ve Kitchen, Battersea

Ideal for balanced bowls of verve and vitality…

Next up we’re heading south of the river, and to Ve Kitchen, a modern vegetarian restaurant that sits on Battersea’s ever lively Northcote Road. You’ll spot it from a mile off, owing to Ve’s barbie pink exterior and generous al fresco seating out front, which always seems to be fully occupied with healthy looking Londoners tucking in to one of the restaurant’s signature ‘game changer’ bowls. Whilst they don’t come cheap – at £18 a pop – the self-contained, carefully balanced meals pack plenty of punch. 

That said, if the idea of an ‘immunity’ salad or ‘mindfulness’ bowl doesn’t quite feel gratifying enough, Ve’s ‘guilty pleasures’ selection of burgers will see you right. We’re also fans of their vegan version of katsu curry, which has become something of a signature dish.

Address: 39 Northcote Rd, London SW11 1NJ

Website: weareve.co.uk


Bubala, Spitalfields

Ideal for Tel-Aviv inspired veggie plates…

A restaurant that takes inspiration from the cafe and casual dining scene in Tel Aviv, this vegetarian restaurant is located on the perimeters of Spitalfields Market. With a name translating loosely as ‘sweetheart’, simply put, Bubala is a charmer.

It’s an a la carte lunch menu, here, but a set dinner menu is served at dinnertime for £38 per person, which isn’t cheap until you see just how much you get for that price; with over ten courses, this definitely isn’t a meal for watching your waistline. 

The brown butter hummus is a must-try (and all present and correct on the Bubala Knows Best evening set). Fennel with saffron caramel and rose harissa, whose impossibly heady notes are smoothed and mellowed by a piquant, yet cooling yoghurt, is the headline act for us. It’s fantastic.

Address: 65 Commercial St, London E1 6BD

Website: bubala.co.uk

Read: The best restaurants near Liverpool Street


Itadakizen, King’s Cross

Ideal for light, Japanese meat-free fare…

The vegan Japanese restaurant Itadakizen has branches not only in London but also Paris and Japan, a testament to the consistently excellent, soul-nourishing small plates the team serve here. The first of its kind in Europe, the vibe here is all blond wood and carefully composed ‘tapas’ dishes that are so featherlight, your table runs out of plate space long before you’re full.

For the more vigorous, vivacious dishes of which this kind of grazing certainly requires, Itadakizen borrows from neighbouring countries; their mapo tofu is arguably the standout dish, with bouncy tofu served suspended in a red-oil slicked sauce. 

Judging by neighbouring tables on our visit, though, it’s the rich, almost gummy miso aubergine that’s the headlining act. You’ll need a bowl of freshly steamed white rice to go with it, sure, but for a dish that doesn’t contain any meat, it’s as umami rich, savoury and – whisper it – meaty as you’ll find anywhere in the city.

There is, of course, ice cold Junmai sake to wash it all down.

Address: 139 King’s Cross Rd, London WC1X 9BJ

Website: itadakizen-uk.com


Rovi, Soho

Ideal for London’s most lorded vegetarian dish…

Whilst not strictly a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, Rovi – part of the Ottolenghi stable – is somewhere that places vegetables on a pedestal, and is therefore more than worthy of inclusion on this list, we think. 

As with other Ottolenghi restaurants, the food at Rovi is rooted in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean traditions, yet draws diverse influences from around the globe. Rovi, however, stands out with its distinct focus on vegetables and humble cooking techniques – here, the live fire grill and the fermentation jar are cast as co-stars at the top of the bill.

Offering a refreshing departure from the usual avocado, beetroot, or mushroom-based vegan options, the restaurant’s celeriac shawarma has earned cult status in the city, with vegetarians and carnivores alike singing its smoky praises. It’s one hell of a dish and one hell of a restaurant, and the perfect way to bid you farewell, with sauce running down our chin and ruining our white shirt.

Address: 59 Wells St, London W1A 3AE

Website: ottolenghi.co.uk

Whilst we’re still in the warm embrace of delightful vegetarian cooking, why not check out these great ways to cook with butternut squash? And then, why not invite us round for dinner? Hello? Hello…..?

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