Heading to the UK? The 5 Best Places to Eat Vegan or Plant-Based in London
London, the city firmly planted on the majestic river Thames, is vegan heaven. If there’s anywhere you would expect to find a plethora of vegan restaurants, it’s London, and this international city doesn’t disappoint. In fact, there’s such a wide choice in vegan and plant-based eateries in London, your only problem is choosing which ones to try first.
Ahead of world-famous chef Matthew Kenney’s new opening, Adesse, in Selfridges, we take a long look at what the city has to offer. Adesse will open on World Vegan day, November 1st, and we can’t wait. With a focus on locally sourced produce, Adesse promises Matthew Kenney’s usual attention to detail and fine dining in exquisite surroundings. While we wait to try the biodynamic wines, the kimchi dumplings, the coconut cream pie, and all the assured delights on Adesse’s menu, here are five places you can eat vegan at in London right now.
1. The Gate
The Gate, known as London's plant-based pioneers, one of the first restaurants in London to open a vegetarian and vegan venue and now has four sites in the capital. The original venue in Hammersmith was opened over 30 years ago and is located in a stunning former artist’s studio with a beautiful Secret Garden. Three decades and three additional restaurants later, the group has stayed true to its vision of seriously tasty food.
Plant Yourself: At the Marylebone restaurant, located in the heart of Seymour Place, which provides the perfect destination for guests to escape the busy streets of London and enjoy a refined plant-based offering. The Gate at St John's Wood offers guests a Scandinavian-inspired interior, with an elegant, light, and airy space to relax and dine.
Be Sure to Try: The mango, avocado, and shimeji mushroom ceviche with tomato salsa and pickled red onion. It’s also hard to resist the miso-glazed aubergine with toasted cashew nuts, ponzu sauce, micro coriander, and sesame seeds, or the courgette flower filled with sweet potato, goat cheese, pine nuts & basil, with tarragon aioli.
Don’t Miss: A glass, or a bottle, of wine. There is an extensive list of natural and organic wines at The Gate, and they are seriously good. This is fine dining vegan style, in fine surroundings, so pour yourself a glass of fine wine to go with it.
Location: Various locations across London
2. Crosstown Doughnuts
Plant Yourself: You don’t really have to go looking for Crosstown Doughnuts, you only have to spend a little time in London and you’ll stumble across them. You’ll find them in stores, trucks, markets, scoop bars, and ice cream trucks, in Piccadilly, Soho, Marylebone, Shoreditch, Canary Warf, Greenwich, London Bridge, Spitalfields, King’s Cross, and many more places. These enterprising carts and shops sell doughnuts, as the name suggests, but also ice cream, and cookies, and they have an impressive vegan range.
Order to Share: Whether you’re eating at one of the shops with indoor seating or you’re buying from a truck and wandering with your treats, you can choose a selection of incredible vegan doughnuts and share with friends. With flavors like blueberry and lemon, lime and coconut, dark chocolate truffle, and peanut butter and blackcurrant, it’s going to be hard to choose just one!
Be Sure to Try: The vegan ice cream. Although sweet vegan treats are much easier to find these days, good dairy-free ice cream can still be tricky. Crosstown has the most amazing peanut butter and blackcurrant ice cream, and the Pimms sorbet is amazing.
Location: Various locations across London
3. Holy Carrot
Plant Yourself: Located in Urban Retreat, the leading beauty and wellness destination in Knightsbridge, Holy Carrot will offer a year-round detox that nourishes from the inside out and will provide spa-goers with the ultimate healthy yet fun dishes whilst enjoying their treatments. You can get your hair done, your nails sorted, or even take a yoga class, and then enjoy lunch in Urban Retreat’s resident restaurant, Holy Carrot.
Be Sure to Try: The sexy tofu. If you didn’t know tofu can be sexy, Holy Carrot can show you how. Its ‘sexy tofu’ is organic glazed tofu with aubergine, red pepper & peanut sauce, the sexiest tofu you’ll have anywhere.
Leave Room For: The miso caramel sponge cake. This delectable cake is served with oat and miso caramel ice cream and is seriously good.
Location: 2-4 Hans Cres, London
Plant Yourself: Located on New Bond Street, 123V looks and feels like a Parisian café with its delightful pavement seating area. But when you step inside, you’ll find diner-style booths and an all-new vegan sushi bar.
Don't Miss: If you love sushi, but find it a tricky area of the menu as a vegan, worry no more. Grab a stool at the sushi bar in 123V and you can go wild with those small plates! The vegan salmon nigiri and the sweet tofu pockets are so good, and just knowing you can now enjoy the sushi bar without fear is the best feeling!
Be Sure to Try: 123V's breakfast, served until 12 pm and the buckwheat pancakes with seasonal fruits, caramelized nuts, and maple syrup, are the best way to start the day.
Location: 63 New Bond Street
5. Peachy Goat
Plant Yourself: Situated in the Herne Hill area, Peachy Goat offers a great vegan option to the people of this leafy, trendy suburb. Picnic benches sit on the pavement out front and through this small café/restaurant/bar to the rear is the ‘beer garden’ where you can sit out to enjoy your lunch and drinks al fresco.
Don't Miss: There’s literally nothing on the menu here I don’t want to eat. It’s Italian inspired, and much of it is comfort food, which is always a good thing. It's genuinely hard to choose, but the Smokey McConaughey burger is pure heaven, especially if you like a little spice in your burger.
Leave Room For: The sticky toffee pudding served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. The perfect pudding for misty London days, but with the addition of the ice cream, equally perfect for if the sun comes out.
Location: 16 Half Moon Lane
Check out The Beet's City Guides to find more vegan and plant-based fare anywhere in the world.