The Best Vegan Food In London
With so many trendy vegan destinations hitting London’s food scene, plant-based eating is no longer reserved for hippies with tie-dye shirts or the spiritually-minded yoga-mat crowd. Eating vegan is all the rage right now, and even meat lovers are dipping their toes into the trend. Who can blame them? The capital is launching burgers and fried chicken sandwiches that taste just as good as the real deal, and unlike unicorn-sprinkled food, the trend is here to stay. This is our guide to the best vegan spots in London…
Norman’s Coach & Horses
Busting the myth that a plant-based diet solely contains salads, London’s first vegetarian and vegan pub serves all the comforting classics. Their famous “Tofush and Chips” is a riff on fish and chips, featuring seaweed-wrapped tofu, which is marinated in lemon and battered in a vegan beer batter, while served with the usual delightful chunky chips and mushy peas.
Norman’s Coach & Horses, 29 Greek St, W1D 5DH
By Chloe basically introduced the world to the concept of vegan fast food, dishing out guacamole burgers and cashew mac and cheese in New York’s West Village back in 2015. The food was an instant hit, attracting both meat lovers and veggie-eaters alike, so it’s only fitting the casual eatery made its way overseas (London includes locations in Covent Garden and Tower Bridge). Whatever you choose to tuck into, make sure you round out your meal with the cinnamon espresso cookie, dotted with dark chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar.
By Chloe, multiple locations in London
Temple of Seitan
If you were intrigued by the idea of vegan fried chicken sandwiches, you’re not the only one. Both locals and tourists flock to the no-frills spot in Hackney, wanting to know how vegan fried chicken can look exactly like real fried chicken. The chicken is made with seitan (a wheat gluten), which sounds terrible but it’s not, especially when you coat it in herbs and spices, achieving a chicken-like crunchy bite. The menu includes burgers (varying from simple to spicy), wraps with lemon pepper mayonnaise and wings with dips.
Temple of Seitan, 10 Morning Ln, E9 6NA
Stripping away the use of animal products, Eat Chay reimagines Vietnamese and Korean street food staples at KERB’s new lunch market. The beloved bánh mì is made with Korean BBQ seitan rather than pork, a Vietnamese noodle salad gets a helping of vegan fish sauce, and soft steamed buns are filled with all sorts of goodness like braised soya mince and pickled carrots. We don’t want to list every item on the menu, but it would be rude not to mention the double decker burger with kimchi…
Eat Chay, multiple locations in London
Wulf & Lamb
Unlike the name suggests, Wulf & Lamb offers a 100% plant-based menu, serving fluffy American pancakes with vanilla cashew cream by day to smoky chili ‘non’ carne by night. The elegant spot in Chelsea isn’t shy about offering a wide variety of cuisines, including Tex-Mex salads and open burritos (both with a lovely dollop of cashew sour cream), pies with pulled jackfruit, as well as creamy linguine pastas and all-American burgers.
Wulf & Lamb, 243 Pavilion Rd, SW1X 0BP
Wild Food Café
Covent Garden’s café takes pride in serving dishes that are both vegan and raw, made with foraged foods and locally-sourced ingredients from small organic farms. The menu is seasonally-minded, with current options including almond and butternut squash tacos, apricot-spiced hummus with sun-dried tomato crackers, and a ‘Samurai’ burger topped with grilled aubergine and wasabi guacamole. Although nothing is ever too beautiful to eat, the dishes at Wild Food Café come pretty close.
Wild Food Café, 14 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
Japan has hopped on the vegan bandwagon too, though right here in London’s King’s Cross. Itadaki Zen takes Japanese classics and gives them a contemporary twist – think sushi made with roasted peppers and pickled bean sprouts, homemade soups with sweet potato noodles, and tofu steak. Desserts are certainly not an afterthought – a creamy raspberry-topped cheesecake will have you questioning whether it’s really vegan (rest assured, it is).
Itadaki Zen, 139 King’s Cross Rd, WC1X 9BJ
While the menu also includes vegetarian dishes, Mildreds has become an institution for vegan fare, counting four locations across London. The casual dining rooms are constantly busy, thanks to a never ending line-up of inventive dishes like tofu and white bean sausage with mashed potatoes (vegan-style bangers and mash), wood-roasted mushroom and ale pie, and Caribbean jerk tofu with a guava glaze. For brunch, enjoy the “Big Brekkie”, consisting of scrambled tofu with “sausage”, roasted tomatoes and tarragon mushrooms.
Mildreds, various locations in London
Featured image: Wild Food Café