There’s no denying it – veganism has exploded. You’ll now find plentiful meat- and dairy-free products in the shops – from milk-less chocolate to fishless-fish (yes, it’s a thing, and tasty!) – and there are vegan restaurants in every UK town and city.
Whether you’re vegan, flexitarian or you’ve never consciously had a vegan meal before, plant-based food can be delicious and really kick you out of your comfort zone, as well as being better for the environment, so why not give it a try?
Read on to discover the best vegan eateries in and around the City.
For comfort food at its finest, not much can beat that of Unity Diner, based on Wentworth Street in the City. Founded by a group of friends in 2018, UD aims to use the power of plants to revolutionise public perceptions surrounding vegan food – and they’ve certainly done that. Think hearty beef- and chicken-style burgers, fully loaded hot dogs, dirty fries piled high with toppings and sticky ‘ribs’ made from tempeh.
As well as indulgent starters and mains, UD is also famous for its delectable desserts (ice cream waffles, anyone?) and fancy cocktails (ideal for after work drinks), many of them with innovative and cheeky names. Highly recommended is the beverage ‘Piers Morgan’s Tears’ – as well as a dash of humour, it’s made from gin, pea flower tea, coconut liqueur, peach syrup, lime and tonic.
The venue setting is relaxed, with funky décor and lights, graffiti art and plants aplenty. Tie this in with the incredible food and drink on offer, and you’ve got yourself a stand-out restaurant.
60 Wentworth Street E1 7AL
Stem & Glory Barts Square
Recently voted the ‘Best Vegan Restaurant in London’, Stem & Glory has built quite the reputation over the years. With a passion for flavour and beautiful plating, every dish made by carbon-neutral Stem & Glory is like a work of art. You’ll be struck by the colour and arrangement of each food component in your meal, as well as the taste – with unique flavour combinations and innovative ingredients.
Make sure to try the Korean ‘fish’ tacos – blue corn shells filled with crispy king oyster mushroom ‘fish’, pickled carrots and red cabbage, red fox carlin bean, lime and ginger, kohlrabi, sriracha and wasabi mayo. It’s a flavour explosion in your mouth that will have you craving more.
Stem & Glory’s desserts are also otherworldly – the avocado, chocolate and hazelnut torte has the power to change all vegan-doubters’ minds. Trust us!
Enjoy all this and more in a sophisticated and intimate restaurant space that will have you returning again and again.
60 Bartholomew Close EC1A 7BF
Pastan was founded by partners and pasta-lovers Dean and Jerome, who had grown tired of trying to find healthy and tasty plant-based pasta that lived up to their expectations. So, in 2020, they set out to create their own, in the form of restaurant Pastan! The pair founded a brand where food never contains refined or unnatural components; where ingredients respect the planet, and where flavour isn’t ever compromised.
Two years later, and the establishment is now known all over the City for providing guests with out-of-this-world delicious and nutritious pasta. Top dishes include the loaded gnocchi – with BBQ jackfruit, and the chittarra pasta carbonara – made with a dreamy, creamy sauce and lardons.
Recently, the establishment has added a unique ‘Bottomless Prunch’ concept – instead of the usual bottomless brunch offering of breakfast and unlimited drinks, Pastan’s Prunch allows guest to enjoy their choice of pasta dish, antipasto, two mini doughnuts (filled with biscoff) and bottomless Trebbiano, Barbera, prosecco or Aperol (all for £39!). What better way to spend an afternoon?
12-14 St John Street EC1M 4AY
Mallow by Mildreds
Located in the heart of London’s Borough Market, Mallow, sister restaurant to the long-established Mildreds chain, is a new plant-based restaurant serving seasonal food, inspired by cuisines from all over the world. With an aim to create as little waste as possible, Mallow uses ingredients sourced from small, sustainable businesses, including those right on their doorstep in Borough Market.
Both food and venue are beautifully presented. With two floors, the restaurant features two gorgeous bars, soft lighting throughout and stunning wall art, with calming blue furnishings on the ground floor and warm red furnishings on the top level. The food matches the décor – it’s wonderfully plated, full of colour and flavour, and made from only the highest quality ingredients.
If you’re looking for something light, treat yourself to one of Mallows small plates. Dishes like dumplings with kimchi and gochujang dip, asparagus broccoli summer rolls and tempura fungi with shiso and Szechuan passion dip will excite your taste buds. For something larger, highly recommended is the market thali: kiri hodi, gunpowder almond goji pilau, cucumber sambol, pineapple amchar, gujurati dhal, sabundana vada and flatbread – yum!
1 Cathedral Street SE1 9DE
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, head over to the recently renovated Vida Bakery for a sugar fix that’ll prove that animal products aren’t always needed. The charming café and shop has a vibrant décor that matches the divine cakes – colourful in both look and taste profile!
Enjoy a coffee along with a cookie, brownie or slab of cake, choosing from flavours like double rainbow, red velvet, Victoria sponge, banana and caramel, lemon curd and black forest. The bakery is the perfect place to while away an hour or so, whether on your lunch break or looking for weekend treat.
With so many tasty vegan goodies on offer, beautiful Vida Bakery is a slice of joy just outside the City.
139 Brick Lane E1 6SB
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