Vegetarianism is bigger than ever in the UK with a reported 1 in every 8 people rejecting meat for alternatives. Obviously this has had a big effect on both supermarkets and restaurants, who have had to increasingly alter their products and meals to cater for a larger meat free audience.
Eating out in particular has long been a problem for vegans and vegetarians who more often than not would be greeted with the one and only option of “meat free lasagne” whenever they dined out.
Thankfully times have changed (for the most part) and most of the country has tuned into the vegetable revolution, no more so than our great capital city. If you don’t eat meat and are looking for somewhere to dine out, or simply want to treat a family or friend who is, check out this list of 7 great vegan and vegetarian restaurants in London.
Itadakizen, Kings Cross
This Japanese restaurant is a refreshing take on the far eastern cuisine which is often unavailable to those who don’t eat meat because it is so heavy on the use of fish. Thankfully Itadakizen has a superb range of vegan sushi as well as other delicious Japanese favourites such as agedashi tofu and home made kimchi.
Meals start around £12 and the vegan eatery which also offers 10% student discount.
Nearest tube station: Kings Cross St Pancras
Mildred’s, Soho & Camden
One of the most well known vegan/vegetarian restaurants in the capital, Mildred’s brings together meat free from all around the world to make up its delicious menu. Though it opened in 1988, it is over the last few years in which its popularity has soared, so much so that they have released their own meat free book.
In fact, things have been going so well that they recently opened a second restaurant in Camden.
Nearest tube station: Soho - Piccadilly Circus, Camden - Camden Town.
Vanilla Black, Holborn
Along with Mildred’s, Vanilla Black is certainly one of the other top names in London meat free circles. The main distinction between the two is the feel of each restaurant. While Mildred’s is more classily vegan with bright countercultural vibes, Vanilla Black fully embraces the idea of fine dining.
With the rise of veganism/vegetarianism Vanilla Black have had plenty of success, also releasing their own cook book.
Nearest tube station: Chancery Lane
Woodlands: Marylebone, Piccadilly, Hampstead
This vegetarian Indian restaurants’ roots stem from Chennai where its first hotel/restaurant opened way back in the 1930’s. They made their first move to London back in 1981 and haven’t looked back since, opening 2 more Woodlands meat free eateries in the capital since.
Their menu is mainly focused on south Indian cuisine but with a more modern Pan-Indian twist. Their tantalising menu offers all of the vegetarian/vegan curries you’d expect, including chick peas, vegetarian mince, potatoes and spinach.
Nearest tube station: Marylebone – Bond Street, Piccadilly – Piccadilly Circus, Hampstead – Hampstead.
Black Cat Café & Shop, Hackney
Unlike many on this list, Black Cat is 100% vegan, which is obviously slightly harder to come by. This fantastic café combines cuisine from all over including pastas, burgers, stir fry’s and curries which is a wide range to take on, but thankfully it all pays off being extremely delicious.
They also sell vegan ingredients, so if you’ve been struggling to find that dairy free dressing they use, or just can’t quite recreate a great soy milkshake, take a look at what they have to offer.
Nearest train station: Hackney Downs
Wild Food Café, Covent Garden
This vegan stalwart has a raw-centric menu which focuses on offering up the freshest, vibrant and taste-bud startling food possible. From burritos to their “Karma Kameleon Curry”, there is certainly a wide range of food on offer at the Wild Food Café.
They also offer a refreshing range of smoothies, juices and teas, not to mention thirst quenching organic wines, beers and ciders.
Nearest tube station: Covent Garden
Ethos offers very simple but effective meat free menu’s right throughout the day. With breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, they offer a wide range of light-bites such as meat free scotch eggs, Thai sweetcorn fritters and spinach and ricotta dumplings. Their menu is roughly two thirds vegan so there is plenty for vegans and vegetarians alike to enjoy.
It’s also worth a visit if you have a sweet tooth as they offer superb desserts including cupcakes, chocolate peanut butter bombs and black bean brownies, all entirely vegan.
Nearest tube station: Oxford Circus
These are just 7 of the best vegan/vegetarian restaurants in London, with plenty more waiting for you to discover them. So next time you are heading into a restaurant which is likely only going to have one or two meat free options, why not reconsider and check out some of these awesome eateries?