Whether you're thinking of jumping on the plant-based diet bandwagon or are already meat, fish and dairy free, there has never been a better time to embrace the vegan lifestyle than in London today. The popular food trend has become one of the fastest growing lifestyle movements of the modern day, meaning that vegan restaurants and cafés have stepped up their game to become foodie destinations in their own right. They have proven that vegan food can be vibrant, inventive and healthy. And maybe most importantly, not compromising on flavour! So many more of us are advocating for animal rights and petitioning for a more sustainable future when it comes to food. This, along with a multitude of health benefits, makes for a pretty persuasive vegan-diet argument. So, where are the best places to indulge in this cuisine? Take a look below at our guide to the best vegan food that London has to offer.
This authentic Italian vegan hotspot brings with it a brand new focus to the diner's eating experience; the nutritional importance of water in the diet. They promise to 'rid tap water from nasties' before they use it in cooking, which is said to provide a wealth of health benefits. With most of their ingredients shipped from Italy, the quality of the food is simply amazing and the service is impeccable. Think pizzas by the slice, healthy salads, gluten-free pasta and a range of 'pure soups'. Fed By Water manages to push all the buttons and still appeal to foodies whilst remaining healthy, sustainable and eco-conscious; definitely showing us all that non-animal product food can be enjoyed without harming other beings and our planet.
Fusilli al Pesto Green
Pizza Madre Natura
FED BY WATER Unit 1b Dalston Cross Shopping Centre 64 Kingsland High Street E8 2LX show on Google Maps
This small, plant-filled haven combines the names of the owners previous successful restaurants to bring 'Vantra Vitao' to London's Oxford Street. They serve a tasty and highly nutritious buffet between 11am-10pm, full of healthy bowls of raw and steamed whole food that are inspired by dishes from around the world. You can expect the likes of hot curries and chillies, fermented probiotic salads, noodles and soups of the day. And if you're simply looking for a thirst-quencher and a break from hectic Oxford Street? There are endless healthy drink options on offer, including superfood juices, smoothies and fragrant oriental teas.
Club Mexicana, previously a vegan Mexican street-food vendor have now found a permanent home, with their open-ended residency at Pamela. Their founder Meriel Armitage says 'our food is all about flavour that packs a punch, with a sprinkling of 80s kitsch to sweeten the blow'. Expect all the zingy and powerful flavours that you'd expect from Mexican delicacies. We recommend the charred corn with chipotle that encompasses Mexican cuisine perfectly. We're glad that Club Mexicana has found a happy home as it's a charming, authentic venue with beautiful food and outstanding service. Note: The wall décor is a tribute to all the great Pamelas, so expect to see posters of 90s Pamela Anderson and American actress Pam Grier adorning the walls.
Boasting the title of "Europe's oldest gourmet vegetarian restaurant", Manna has been keeping the frequenters of Primrose Hill happy for the past 50 years. Although not exclusively vegan and serving some vegetarian dishes, don't rule it out yet! The vegan food that they do offer is incredible and deserves a visit in it's own right. Their selection of side dishes are unique and innovative and you can even 'build-you-own meal' from the list. Think crispy marinated tofu, sauteed greens with garlic and their beans of the day; perfect for either lunch or dinner. Be sure to sample from the vegan and organic wine list, brimming with excitement and variety; the choice won't be easy. Manna is definitely still going strong and, in our opinion, deserves the solid reputation it's worked so hard to achieve.
This Japanese vegan and organic restaurant is the first of it's kind in Europe. It not only serves food that tastes great with healing qualities, but also runs workshops on sustainable foods and hosts music events. Itadaki Zen combines the words that mean 'taking the food of life' and 'to fix', which encapsulates their ethos perfectly. You can sit back in peaceful surroundings in their pale-coloured dining room and sample their food that not only tastes great, but is said to have healing qualities. Many of their recipes are based around rice, soya beans, root vegetables and seaweed and are so creative that you're hard-pushed to believe that the ingredients are so basic. This venue offers a cultural place to share personal experiences with healthy and nutritious food. But don't worry - for the less angelic amongst you, there's an organic wine, beer and sake menu to sample from, if the feeling takes you.
Don't be fooled by the name - this restaurant has a 100% vegan menu. This cosy eatery sits in the heart of West London, equidistant between West Kensington and West Brompton tube stations. In the daytime hours, you can expect a beautiful home-cooked buffet, with a selection of hot and cold dishes. During the evening service, the restaurant transforms, where you can sample from their a la carte menu by candlelight. Try the raw chocolate torte as a surprisingly healthy treat! Whilst being small (at just 38 covers), and busy, the staff are on the ball, making sure that you're well looked after. Just make sure that you book in advance to guarantee a table! Expect to leave this comfortable and trendy venue feeling healthy, satisfied and already planning your next visit.
This quirky and unique vegan café sits on Rupert Street in Soho and boasts a menu that draws on flavours and influences from all over the world. They focus on promoting animal rights and welfare through their food by encouraging a 'compassionate vegan lifestyle' with their modern and innovative dishes. Their menu is small but perfectly formed, made up of home-made lights meals, cookies and cakes. Relax in the rustic and chic environment, with mismatched furniture, brightly coloured cartoon paintings and animal figurines. Meat-eaters - you are welcome, but be ready to be persuaded to begin eating 'cruelty-free'. If their food is anything to go by, it won't take long to win you over.
This 'grab and go' style café in Fitzrovia serves food that is 100% raw and vegan, with an array of food, drinks, smoothies and desserts for you to choose from. The café promotes itself as 'grab and go' style showcasing a breakfast and lunch menu that is completely organic, pesticide and herbicide free. They're out to banish the myth that healthy food has to taste 'healthy' - you won't believe their dessert menu is actually good for you. Both a plus-point and a rarity are the well-informed staff who are so passionate about their products. Clearly so much love and thought has gone into each drink and dish. Feel free to quiz them about the menu, they're more than happy to share their knowledge. In short; an amazing little business with fantastic ethics and refreshing philosophy. A must-try when out and about in London town.
The Wild Food Café in Covent Garden is something of a chameleon of a venue; a raw and vegan wholefood café, an online food shop and a workshop and learning hub. It's the sort of place that you walk into and feel immediately healthy just for being there. The bright and airy space is situated perfectly with windows opening up onto Neal's Yard. Although a buzzing and busy place, the service is helpful and always friendly. And it may not be the cheapest vegan eatery but it's worth every penny. It is considered one of London's best loved vegan hotspots - and we think with very good reason. We can't help but feel that their ethos is catching.
The MaE Deli is brought to London's Marylebone by Ella Mills, a.k.a. @DeliciouslyElla, a successful social media star and food blogger, who took the plunge into opening her own deli-cafe with husband, Matthew. Here, there is a celebration of simple and honest food and although not strictly vegan, there is enough to make your trip more than worthwhile. All ingredients are meat, wheat and refined-sugar free but will tempt you in with their selection of colourful and inviting salads, curries, cookies, cakes and muffins. The portions are very generous and you'll definitely never leave hungry, making it perfect for a good breakfast - try the vegan coconut chia pudding with homemade granola - sure to set you up for the day.