Mildred’s: Soho, Dalston, Camden, Kings Cross
No vegan list would be complete without a mention of Mildred’s: a legendary restaurant that put plant-based eating on the map back in the 1980s. Now with four branches across London, Mildred is famed for its lively atmosphere, informal, friendly service, and delicious dishes that are sure to convert even the biggest carnivores among us: from Sri Lankan ‘chicken’ curry to peanut butter chocolate brownies, this is comfort eating at the highest level.
A word of warning, though: whichever branch of Mildred’s you choose, it’s sure to be busy – and it’s a first come, first served kind of place (they operate a no-bookings policy for parties smaller than 8-10, depending on the venue), so be prepared to queue.
Café Van Gogh, Brixton
Café Van Gogh is something special. Both an eatery and a not-for-profit social enterprise, Café Van Gogh offers professional training for people in need (such as those struggling with mental health issues) as well as serving up some of the best vegan food South London has to offer. If you’re in town on a Sunday, there’s no better place to enjoy a vegan Sunday roast (the nut and butternut squash wellington is a particular highlight). During the week, the café caters for all appetites with a diverse mix of small and large plates. We recommend sampling the intriguingly titled ‘old post office savouries’ – a small plate which includes vegan sausage rolls and pasties – as well as the ‘Burger of the Day’.
by CHLOE.: Covent Garden, London Bridge
Since it took the NYC food scene by storm back in 2015, by CHLOE. has been a hit with social media fans and vegan foodies around the world. It was no surprise, therefore, that when the famous American eatery landed in London in 2017 it quickly became one of the capital’s most popular plant-based dining spots. by CHLOE.’s London incarnation has maintained its roots by importing some of its best-known classics – the famous Guac Burger is here to stay – whilst introducing a host of new dishes for an English audience: such as fish and chips and shepherd’s pie, all with a stylish vegan (and highly Instagrammable) twist.
Tibits: Mayfair, Bankside
If you’re looking for an array of cuisine (from Mexican to Italian), the freshest ingredients, and buffet-style dining, Tibits is the place for you. The fast-paced yet relaxed eatery has two branches – one in Mayfair and one near the South Bank – both of which are perfect places to grab a quick lunch or dinner. The self-service style means that you don’t have to spend time deliberating between the plethora of tasty plant-forward dishes on offer: if you fancy both a delicious salad and a spicy quinoa, grab both and tuck in! You’re charged according to the weight of your plate, allowing you to pay as little or as much as you want depending on portion size.
It’s a vegetarian rather than strictly vegan concept, though Tuesday nights are entirely vegan (the rest of the time, the menu is about 80% vegan).
Redemption Bar: Shoreditch, Notting Hill
One for the most virtuous among us, Redemption Bar focuses on animal-product-free, sugar-free and wheat-free dishes – and an alcohol-free drinks list. But super healthy doesn’t have to mean dull, which Redemption proves through an inventive menu featuring barbecued jackfruit burgers, Vietnamese summer rolls, and banoffee pie. The drinks menu is no less varied, with a host of teas, coffees, alcohol-free beers and wines, and flavourful mocktails on offer. Try a delicious-sounding ‘crantini’ (a mix of cranberry, orange, lemon, birch syrup, elderflower and coconut water) or get your tastebuds zinging with a Seedlip ginger spice (Seedlip Spice 94 with maple ginger switchel, star anise and sparkling mineral water). Clean eating never tasted so good.
Vanilla Black: Holborn
Vanilla Black is often regarded as London’s only vegetarian fine dining restaurant – and, at the same time, is frequently compared to Marmite (diners tend to love or loathe the menu). Vanilla Black founder Andrew Dargue aims to push the boundaries of plant-based cuisine with a variety of challenging yet refined dishes. As the website cautions, you’ll find no ‘pasta bake or vegetable curry’ here: instead, you can expect forward-thinking, modern English fare – like lemon dumplings for a main course or cep custard for dessert.
Vanilla Black’s menu is almost entirely vegan, and it makes no apologies for that fact. A truly unique dining experience in the heart of the city.
If you’re hungry for more vegetarian and vegan experiences during your London trip, our earlier plant-based blog ‘Going Green: Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in London’ is worth a look, too. Happy eating!