Veganuary in London: Five Vegan Restaurants to Try
Whether you’re a newcomer to Veganuary or a plant-based dining pro, the start of the new year is the perfect opportunity to try a new restaurant. London is packed full of fantastic vegan and vegetarian options – here are a few of our current favourites!
Forget Veganuary: The Gate has been feeding hungry vegetarians for thirty years, and counts Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow among its celebrity clientele. Though it’s technically vegetarian rather than vegan, 90% of the Indo-Iraqi-Jewish-inspired menu is plant-based. Better still, famous chef Ken Hom has developed a special vegan menu just for Veganuary, meaning that there are a range of delicious new dishes for plant lovers to try. The Gate also serves an amazing brunch at the weekends: a full vegan English and even vegan pancakes. Or, if you’re just in the mood for a tipple, the wines are vegan, too. Cheers!
Location: 51 Queen Caroline Street, W6 1QL (original Hammersmith restaurant). There are also branches in St John’s Wood, Islington, and Marylebone.
The founders of Genesis, brothers Alex and Oliver Santoro, come from a family that has worked in the meat industry for over 100 years – yet their enthusiasm for vegan dining inspired them to buck the trend. The passion they share for plant-based food is clear in the diner’s diverse and exciting global menu: delicious seitan shawarma sits alongside a Yucatan street bowl (the cashew nacho ‘cheese’ is very clever) and mouth-watering tacos (potential toppings include fried avocado, seitan pulled ‘pork’ and jackfruit). There’s also an excellent selection of drinks - we particularly recommend the turmeric margarita (Genesis claims to have the only organic cocktail menu in the UK, don’t you know) and the famous vegan chocolate milkshake.
Location: 144 Commercial Street, E1 6NU.
Whilst Gauthier is (currently) not a solely vegan restaurant, it was the first Michelin-starred institution in the UK to offer a vegan tasting menu – a move that made the headlines when chef patron Alexis Gauthier introduced it back in 2015. That was just the beginning, though: since 2015, the restaurant has been embracing an increasing number of plant-based elements, with the aim of moving towards an 100% vegan menu in the future.
Whatever the occasion, if you’re looking for a truly special vegan meal, there’s no better place to go than Gauthier. At £120, the price tag is a little steep; but the Michelin-star experience, a rarity for vegan diners, is unparalleled. The eight-course menu is varied and sumptuous, incorporating seasonal favourites (such as ‘faux gras’ on sourdough toast) and classic flavour combinations – all paired with a carefully-curated wine selection to ensure you get the most out of each dish.
Location: 21 Romilly Street, W1D 5AF.
A newcomer to the vegan scene, this cosy plant-based eatery has been making waves since it opened in 2019. Though the vibe is both unpretentious and approachable (somewhat unusual for trendy Spitalfields), the dishes at Bubala are anything but: the flavours are eclectic and sophisticated, ensuring that you’ll miss neither meat nor dairy. The majority of the menu is plant-based, but there’s also a vegan set menu for just £30.
Savour Middle Eastern delights like fried aubergine and date syrup, or cauliflower, smoked tomato and ras el hanout freekeh – but make sure you save room for dessert: the coconut and cardamom sorbet is both fragrant and fresh.
Location: 65 Commercial Street E1 6BD.
Think being vegan means saying goodbye to leisurely weekend brunches? Think again: Kin Café is here to make your breakfast and lunch dreams come true. Technically vegetarian (though predominantly plant-based), this charming central London diner is welcoming and warm – the perfect place to start your day or stave off a hangover.
Run by father-and-son team Peter and Charlie Meadows, there’s something for everyone on Kin Café’s ever-changing menu: our favourites include the vegan French toast with fruit compote, the amazing, bright and fresh salads on the counter, or the sumptuous dairy-free chocolate cake.
Location: 22 Foley Street W1W 6DT.