Vegan in London: Where to Eat and What to Do
A Practical Vegan Guide to London
Looking for the best vegan food in London? Whether it’s vegan fish and chips, afternoon tea, vegan takeaway, bakery, tasting menus, fine dining, street food, pizza, or Indian food, this post has you covered. Learn where to eat and what to do nearby!
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Loads of vegan guides to London exist out there but I didn’t find them very helpful while visiting London for the following reasons:
Many were clearly not written by vegans
Some posts only listed fully vegan restaurants but excluded phenomenal vegan food at non-vegan restaurants
The vegan restaurants highlighted served basic food you could find anywhere (salads, falafel, quinoa bowls)
The restaurants were so far from each other that it was impractical to visit all of them and I couldn’t tell which were worth the hike
There was no accompanying info on what to do nearby the restaurants that would help me plan my eating adventure
So….I bring to you a practical vegan guide to London that suggests only the very best vegan food options in the city that are worth trying, along with some extra info on where to go and what to do in the areas so you can more easily plan your visit. Want some one-on-one help planning a tasty trip to London? Contact me for help planning a custom trip!
Put this place at the top of your list! Camden is a fun neighborhood to explore with tons of vegan food options, many right within the Camden Market. The market is actually a series of adjoining outdoor and indoor markets referred to collectively as “Camden Market” or “Camden Lock Market”. There’s several exclusively-vegan restaurants and bakeries, plus loads more non-vegan restaurants with fabulous options. We’re talking vegan Thai, Chinese, Peruvian, Mexican, plus fast food, pizza, ice cream, burgers, fudge, and bakery!
There is WAY too much amazing vegan food in Camden to enjoy in a single visit (I made three trips in a single week) so if you can only make it once, here’s how I recommend spending the day: 1) Get there early for lunch, 2) Take the afternoon Free Tours by Foot walking tour, 3) Enjoy another late lunch, 4) Catch a play at the amazing Roundhouse Theater, 5) Grab a late dinner.
No trip to London is complete without vegan pie (as in savory “meat” pies) and mash. At Young Vegans, you’ll find veganized versions of traditional options such as steak and ale alongside fusion/international pies like chicken katsu curry (Japanese), cheeseburger, and chicken parm. My favorite was the katsu curry. They also have killer dessert pies. Make it a meal and grab a side of mash (potatoes), minty peas, and be sure to try at least one gravy!
Dirty Vegan is a fun fast food joint in the Camden Stables section of the market specializing in burgers, shakes, and diner food. I recommend the Reuben sandwich, mac and cheese, mozzarella sticks (possibly my absolute favorite dish in London!), and a milk shake. Get there early, as they often run out of the most popular items by 6pm (or earlier).
The brand Temple of Seitan has two locations, one in Hackney, and the other in Camden, referred to as Temple of Camden. It’s a fast food joint with burgers, fried chicken, and shakes. Do yourself a favor and order the Nashville Hot Chicken. I’ve been to Nashville (though after I went vegan) and I must say that this is one of the finest chicken sandwiches I’ve ever had. They also have interesting shake flavors like Biscoff (the airplane cookie) and a vegan Nutella.
If you like healthier and more fusion burgers, then you’ll love their quinoa-beet and herbed falafel burgers but I’m old school and just want a juicy, meaty, (meat-free) burger. Their seitan shnitzel did the job and was even better with a side of onion rings.
Stop by the UK’s first fully vegan pizzeria for fantastic sourdough pizza, calzones, lasagna, and other Italian treats.
Mildred’s has been a vegetarian institution in London for over 30 years. Just about every local Londoner I asked for recommendations on where to find vegan food listed this as their #1 suggestion. There are several locations and each location has a slightly different menu. I visited the location in SoHo, which is near Chinatown - both neighborhoods are fun to explore. Note that while there’s a location in Camden, I recommending visiting a different location on another day since there’s so many other locations in Camden to fill up on.
If I had to chose a single favorite vegan-friendly restaurant in London, I’d go with Mildred’s. The artichoke toast with aioli BLEW MY MIND. For mains, I loved the gochujang stir fry and the Caribbean jerk tofu.
3. Fish and Chips
Fish and chips is pretty much the national dish in the UK so most vegan travelers want to find a meat-free version of it. Here are some of your top options:
This place tends to get the highest rating for fish and chips in London and since it’s in Shoreditch, you’re near loads of street art, cool shops, and the famous Brick Lane, which you can explore before/after your meal.
The fish-and-chip guru Sutton and Sons offer a vegan menu at their Hackney location which now runs alongside their “regular” menu. Vegan shrimp (made from Japanese potato starch) is served as a shrimp cocktail or as a scampi with chips (fries). They also have shiitake mushroom “calamari” and in place of the traditional cod or haddock, there is the battered banana blossom. I had both the shrimp scampi and the fish and chips and I’ll admit that neither were my favorite meal but this place gets an A for effort.
Pro tip: If you can’t make it to Young Vegans in Camden, Sutton and Sons sells their seitan and ale pies here, either as takeaway or dine in, served with mash and killer onion gravy.
This was a vegetarian pub serving great vegan fish and chips but as of August 2019, their kitchen was under construction and they weren’t sure that they’d even offer the dish again when it re-opened. It’s worth seeing if it’s since opened.
4. Brick Lane
Brick Lane is a unique area full of street art, quirky shops, vintage stores, and loads of good food. Head there on a Sunday for its famous Sunday Market, where dozens upon dozens of vendors hawk food, clothes, and everything in between. Heaps of vegan options are available at street stalls (mostly Indian food), but there’s also a few vegan restaurants in/around the area, such as Vida Bakery and The Vurger burger bar.
You can easily explore the Brick Lane neighborhood on your own but you can also sign up for walking tours, graffiti tours, and bike tours of the area with Free Tours By Foot, AirBnB, and other companies. Pro tip: also head to the nearby Nomadic Community Garden, a one-of-a-kind garden that’s full of graffiti, art installations, music, and performance art.
If you’re feeling fancy, head over to the first Michelin-starred restaurant in the UK to offer a vegan tasting menu. Then get ready to shell out 70-120 pounds for a 9-course fancy pants tasting menu in a classy Soho townhouse.
6. Sushi Samba
Though Sushi Samba is not a fully-vegan restaurant, I found the creativity and quality of their food far exceed that in most vegan restaurants. The restaurant has a separate (and extensive) vegan menu and the staff take vegan dining seriously - they even make sure to inform diners that one item contains honey.
The views from the 39th-floor restaurant are unmatchable, the decor is classy, the service is spectacular, and the food is superb. Note that this place stays packed so a reservation is essential before 10pm. I recommend the corn ceviche and the moqueca mista (kind of like a coconut curry with chimichurri rice). The samba salad and maki are also good (and the blended drinks are excellent), but if you’re on a budget, stick to the moqueca mista.
Pro tip: Loads of companies offer Jack the Ripper tours and many of them end nearby the restaurant.
Though this Malaysian restaurant may not have the most extensive vegan menu, every single one of their vegan offerings is unique, creative, and absolutely delicious. Think roasted squash laksa noodles and yellow turmeric young banana curry. The eccentric dining room has endless character and the candlelit balcony is decorated with exotic artifacts and statues.
Vegan street food with a healthy, Malaysian twist? Yes, please! This hippie-ish restaurant has loads of fun options but some of the most unique are their kimchee pancakes, jackfruit duck or seitan pastrami tacos, and ackee scramble (ackee is a fruit used in Caribbean cooking that’s almost always served with fish). If that weren’t enough, they also serve up killer vegan milkshakes.
I lead vegan group trips to Mexico so I’m pretty picky when it comes to Mexican food. I was astounded at how many Mexican restaurants there were in London and how many of them served creative vegan fare. Club Mexicana has three locations (note that the one in Shoreditch doesn’t open until 5pm), and the one at Netil Market could be included in a day trip to Sutton & Sons and/or Temple of Hackney. Want to wash down your jackfruit carnitas or tofish tacos with some vegan beer? Head over to The Spread Eagle, a vegan pub that serves Club Mexicana food.
10. Vegan Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is still very much of a thing in London, including with tourists. Many shops, restaurants, and hotels offer vegan options but for a really unique experience, I recommend Brigit’s Bakery, which also offers an afternoon tea experience on a double decker bus. Note that not everything is vegan but they can customize your experience to be fully vegan, gluten-free, etc. Other options include Fortnum & Masons, who have been blending teas since 1707; The Savoy, an elegant hotel specializing in inventive finger sandwiches like truffle tofu with mustard cress; and By Chloe, a New York transplant dishing up non-traditional but Instagrammable items vegan tuna sandwiches and rainbow sprinkled scones.
London is known for having fantastic Indian food and every single Londoner I met recommended Dishoom as having THE BEST Indian food in the city. Note that Dishoom is a spinoff of an Iranian-influenced chain in Bombay so it’s not “pure” Indian food. That said, the food is excellent and there’s lots of vegan options, including a vegan sausage and cheese naan breakfast roll, pistachio broccoli salad, and butter-free curries.
Dishoom has 5 locations in London, all are spectacularly gorgeous, and every single one of them is known for absurdly long waits in line. In fact, staff is known to hand out glasses of water or tea to the dozens of people queued up for 1-2 hours in all types of weather. Your best bet at avoiding a long line is arriving during off-peak hours (around 4pm).
12. Itadaki Zen
Welcome to Europe’s first organic and vegan Japanese restaurant! You can indulge in a large range of set-course menus focusing on vegan tempura, noodles, sushi, or go with the tried and true bento box. Dishes are artfully prepared and sure to please.
What’s Your Favorite Vegan Restaurant in London?
Have you been to London? Please leave a comment below with your experience there. Did you stick to 100% vegan restaurants or did you enjoy some awesome dishes at non-vegan restaurants?
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