It has been a year since we last rounded up the top vegan and vegetarian restaurants around the Square Mile, and there are so many new spots to include this year. Competition is heating up.
Some come in the firm of your all-American diner (but transformed into a vegan paradise) while others verge closer towards the fine dining side of things. For some, you will super healthy upon leaving but others will force you into a food coma to rival the likes of all the real meaty and cheesy alternatives.
So, if you’re looking to go vegan for January or for as long as you possibly can, then treat yourself to some vegan dining in London – quickly realising it isn’t as hard as you might think. You can cut out dairy products without losing out on the opportunity to eat delicious grub. These vegan and vegetarian joints will prove that.
From the outset, Redemption may sound like a downer. Their menu is entirely wheat free, sugar free and vegan. And there is no alcohol on the menu either. But don’t run away just yet. Their motto is ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’, and their ethos is rooted firmly in caring for the planet, it’s animals, and ourselves. You will be so surprised to see how much you can enjoy a night out without all these guilty pleasures. We certainly were.
We’re usually about going out and feasting on all manners of things that are terrible for our bodies and most likely the planet too. But that’s not how they roll at Redemption. They taught us that there are other ways to indulge. You’ll leave feeling good and wake up the next without the splitting headache you get after most nights out at the bar. Be sure to try them out before casting judgements.
320 Old Street EC1V 9DR
These guys are the champions of vegetarian cooking in the City. You won’t find any meat or fish on the menu here. And, even better, no basic dishes like a mushroom risotto, pasta bake or curry. The chefs and owners see the cooking of vegetarian and vegan food as a culinary challenge. It pushes them to be more inventive.
And the result is brilliant fine dining food served to a whole array for people. It’s not only vegetarians and vegans who frequent Vanilla Black. This is food everyone can enjoy. And while they aren’t strictly vegan, anyone wanting to stay away from animal products are well looked after.
17-18 Took’s Court EC4A 1LB
Genesis is your very own local hippy haven. They are a 100% plant-based alchemy restaurant concept specialising in fast casual dining and organic comfort food. Burgers and dogs are amongst the favourites but be sure to get around their cheesy kimchi fries (made with vegan cheese, of course). Expect upbeat diner vibes within a bright and colourful space. It’s the home of the modern hippies, celebrating everything plant based while championing ethical sourcing and the like too.
Like most other companies in this list, they care a great deal about sustainability and working ethically. It doesn’t just include not hurting animals.They take active measures to reduce waste, treat staff fairly and source organic produce. Indulge at Genesis without feeling any of the guilt you usually experience at other restaurants.
144 Commercial Street E1 6NU
This vegan burger bar in Shoreditch smashes out a whole host of delicious animal free burgers instead of just offering one second-thought vegetarian option. They’re famous for their faux pulled pork burger – the ‘Pulled Mooshie’ – made from slow cooked BBQ jackfruit and coleslaw. But we go mad for their ‘What’s Your Beef?’ Burger made with a quinoa and black bean patty, homemade burger sauce, caramelised onions, vegan cheese and pickles. They can even throw them in a gluten free bun. So, no matter what food intolerances or allergies you may have, Mooshies has you sorted.
104 Brick Lane E1 6RL
On the surface, Unity Diner looks like your typical American diner. Leather banquettes line the space, burgers and hotdogs smatter the menu and all manners of cocktails flow from the bar all night long. But each and every part of this guilty-pleasures restaurant is vegan, from the ‘I can’t believe it’s not mozzarella’, mozzarella sticks to the totally animal product-free fish and chips.
You will roll out of here feeling sick from all the gluttonous food you’ve consumed but without any of the guilt. Plus, as you’re mostly eating vegetable sand nuts, it can’t be all that bad for you – just ignore all the grease and oil. They show that being vegan doesn’t mean you can only eat lentils and salad for dinner.
60 Wentworth Street E1 7AL