Going vegan for the New Year? Hit these joints for the best plant-based grub
It’s the start of a New Year; a time many of us see as an opportunity to clean our slate and make some New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it’s participating in ‘Dry January’, cutting meat from your diet or finally making use of that gym membership you bought 4 months ago. There are plenty of ways to revamp your lifestyle for the better. Perhaps one of the hardest things to do though is going vegan - but it’s worth it (the rewards are endless).
We’ve seen the vegan craze escalate year on year and it isn’t surprising considering the bountiful health and environmental benefits that come with it. But it’s not all seeds and lentils. In actual fact, a vegan diet can be utterly delicious. If you’re a newbie to the vegan way of life, we’re here to help you out for that delicious healthy-food fix. Up-and-coming Instagram Vegan blogger @VeggieRad has tried and tested some of the best eateries in the city, serving grub (that quite honestly we reckon would even make a meat-lover’s mouth’ water…) Check them out...
Purely vegan restaurants
1 What The Pitta
168 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JE
Honestly this vegan kebab was the dream - if you're ever in East London you NEED to go here. What The Pitta specialises in selling delicious homemade doner kebabs from a quirky little hut in Shoreditch. The best part is the filling actually tastes like meat so you can indulge all you like feeling 100% cruelty free.
104 Brick Ln, London E1 6RL
When you don't know which burger to have so you get all three! These are from Mooshies on Brick Lane. My favourite was surprisingly the black bean, then the fillet-o-fish (not real fish, obviously) and then the pulled jackfruit which is a little spicy (just a warning for those who can’t handle heat)! The burgers are yummy and there are a range to choose from - plus they’re only £6 each. Mooshies also sells vegan beer!
3 Ms Cupcake
408 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8LF
Would not mind having one of these @mscupcakeuk cupcakes in my belly right now. I tried these delights at VegFest but Ms Cupcake also has its own bakery in Brixton. It’s the UK’s first entirely vegan bakery and the decadent cakes are to die for. Enter the bright little shop and you’ll find beautifully decorated vegan cupcakes, layer cakes, cookies, muffins, squares, sandwiches, savoury treats and much much more. It’s slogan - we make the “naughtiest vegan cakes in town”.
4 The MaE Deli
21 Seymour Pl, Marylebone, London W1H 5BH
Finally visited @the_mae_deli on the bank holiday and it was fab! Such a simple concept of mix and matching salads that works so well. My favourite was the artichoke salad and sweet potatoes. The MaE Deli was set up by a husband and wife who have a passion for making natural food - and they’ve just opened a second location on Weighhouse Street. More vegan goodness for us.
5 Veggie Pret
35 Broadwick St, Soho, London W1F 0DH
‘Souper’ Tomato soup, get it? I took myself to the veggie @pretamangeruk and the soup was delicious. A little salty but otherwise it was the perfect lunch on a freezing cold day. Also, I’m sure all "ready made" tomato soups have cream in them so that fact this was dairy free made it extra appealing! Veggie Pret actually started as a pop-up but it was so popular, it earned a permanent residency in Soho.
And the good news is, you don’t have to entirely give up chocolate if you’re going vegan - cacao is a sweet alternative that basically tastes the same. This chocolate orange pot made from cacao tasted like liquid Terry's chocolate orange - it was divine.
6 Big V London
Borough Market The Jubilee Market, 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
Hard to believe it’s vegan, right? The cheeseburgers at @bigvlondon in Borough Market are big and juicy. There are a numerous stalls at the market selling vegan street food but this place is my favourite - so enjoy! In 2016 Big V became 100% vegan and the team do everything they can to help save the environment - from the custom vegan brioche buns, using biodegradable packaging and sourcing chemical free crops. Plus everything is made fresh!
7 Redemption Bar
Notting Hill 6 Chepstow Rd, London W2 5BH
Located near Portobello market, Redemption Bar is a great spot for those of you going teetotal because it sells an alcohol-free menu and of course health-centric cuisine. If you need some guidance, the Asian salad and the risotto are seriously impressive. This is a great place to come for a healthy but hearty dinner - not to mention the tasty mocktails. Its clever slogan is ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’. Pretty inspirational words to live by.
8 The Gate
51 Queen Caroline St, Hammersmith W6 9QL
The Gate is a little more upmarket than everything else on this list - and you can certainly see why from the menu. Selling only vegetarian and vegan dishes, the restaurant takes healthy food to sophisticated and inventive places, each mouthful full of impressive flavour. I would highly recommend the spicy Aubergine teriyaki (pictured) and the Mexican-style tortillas.
Non-vegan restaurants places vegan food
Great places to go if you’re planning dinner or lunch with your non-vegan friends...
It’s so great to see high street chains making more vegan options available. I think we’re getting to a point where all big restaurants in the UK will cater to us vegans as our tribe continues to grow. This is one of the yummy vegan pizza’s accompanied by vegan mozzarella in the Italian restaurant Zizzi.
Wagamama has always been a frontrunner when it comes catering to vegetarians - and now it’s vegan friendly, too. This is a delicious yasai tofu salad I had, full of crunch from the cashews and packed with flavour from some tasty seasonings. The edamame beans are pretty addictive too - and one perk many of you probably already know about Wagamama is the free green tea...
I came to EAT to get their Vegan Christmas Bloomer and it was definitely a good decision. This sandwich is so good. This was the same day I accidentally drank a cappuccino made from cow’s milk (the barista got it wrong) and bought a meat baguette (someone put it in the wrong place) - so ending my day at EAT made everything better. I would recommend trying out more of EAT’s vegan options if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat on the move.
I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious this dhal at Bills was - I will definitely be going back for more and it is so filling!
13 Le Pain Quotidien
Festival Walk, Belvedere Road, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX
Gotta love it when a non-vegan cafe has vegan options. This blueberry muffin was a perfect sweet treat.
Station, Unit 2a, 1BE, Old St, London EC1Y
If you’re a bit of a pancake lover, Nojō serves some yummy vegan options - this is the mouth-watering chocolate and banana vegan crepe. Definitely need to go back there to try a savoury one.
15 Primrose Bakery
42 Tavistock St, London WC2E 7PB
This is a cute little vegan cupcake I had from Primrose Bakery right opposite the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theatre (fitting location, isn't it?) in Covent Garden. It’s a retro style cafe boasting a varied menu for those with a sweet tooth.
16 Farmer’s Market, Hammersmith
If you ever find yourself in Hammersmith on a Thursday afternoon, head to the bustling Farmer’s Market on Lyric Square. It’s full of stalls serving up tasty food from around the world from Caribbean cuisine, handmade pasta dishes, thai food and falafels. I decided to have a little explore - and a quick bite to eat - and I was pleased to find this delicious vegan falafel wrap. It was so filling, moist and full of different flavours that all complement each other so well. There’s also a Whole Food’s market located on Lyric Square every Friday which you should also check out.
Her bucket list:
- Mildred’s in Soho
- Cookies and Scream in Camden
- 222 in Fulham
- Dou Dou a vegan Chinese buffet in Camden
Follow @VeggieRad on Instagram to keep up with her Vegan adventures around London and the rest of the world
Need a hostel in London? Stay at St Christopher’s Inns.