We recently told you about London’s lesser-known vegetarian restaurants - but what if you’re dining out for a special occasion, and want somewhere that caters for both vegetarians and meat eaters?
More and more high-end restaurants now offer vegetarian and vegan menus. Yes, many are expensive, but the price is reflected in the high-quality ingredients, culinary skills and top chefs that go into making your meal.
It's worth noting that many restaurants use non-vegetarian cheeses such as Parmesan, made with animal rennet, on their vegetarian menus. Some also use gelatine in pastries and desserts, failing to point out that these are unsuitable for non-meat eaters. A surprising number of restaurants hide away their vegetarian and vegan menus only making them available on request — so it's always worth asking.
The Clove Club
We’ve already reviewed this widely acclaimed Shoreditch restaurant from a veggie angle. There’s an innovative five-course Modern British vegetarian menu for £65; plus a more extended one for £95. Expect amazing seasonal ingredients such as monk’s beard, Perigord truffle, morel mushrooms and, in one dish, 100-year-old madeira.
The Clove Club, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT
We also reviewed this innovative Clapham restaurant a couple of years ago - and it's only got better with time. It serves a £43 multi-course vegetarian tasting menu, featuring dishes like roasted celeriac with sunflower seeds and almond milk; and roasted aubergines with trombetta courgettes and own-grown rooftop herbs. There’s also a good vegetarian section on their à la carte menu.
The Dairy, 15 The Pavement, SW4 0HY
Pollen Street Social
Jason Atherton’s popular Michelin star restaurant serves superb, separate vegetarian and vegan à la carte menus. The Modern British dishes may include pearl barley with roasted Jerusalem artichokes and New Forest mushrooms; and braised broccoli stems with lemon puree, toasted almonds and seaweed.
Pollen Street Social, 8-10 Pollen Street, W1S 1NQ
Duck and Waffle
Daniel Doherty’s 40th floor restaurant atop Heron Tower serves a chef’s vegetarian sharing menu for groups. For £45, you can try Modern British dishes such as seasonal vegetables with Welsh goat’s curd, toasted buckwheat and pumpkin seeds.
Duck and Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
The Dysart Petersham
We’ve already told you about this marvellous Richmond restaurant. There’s a six-course vegetarian tasting menu to be taken by the entire table for £70; plus vegetarian à la carte. Expect exquisite ingredients cooked stunningly well.
The Dysart Petersham, 135 Petersham Road, TW10 7AA
This long-established celeb haunt decorated in glittering art deco is a London legend. On its vegetarian à la carte, you’ll find ruby beetroot with goat’s cheese croquettes, hazelnuts and mint. There's also 'red dragon pie' - a retro, potato-topped aduki bean pie that hasn't been seen since the 1980s (though this is a more contemporary version) and is something of a vegetarian classic.
The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, WC2H 9NQ
This historic British restaurant serves an elegant vegan à la carte, featuring dishes such as Umbrian lentils with Josper-grilled leeks and baby aubergines. There’s also a separate vegetarian menu with deliciously substantial field mushroom and spinach wellington, spring greens and mushroom-tarragon veloute.
Savoy Grill, Savoy Hotel, Strand, WC2R 0EU
Darwin Brasserie at Sky Garden
This 36th floor British brasserie overlooks the Thames, and has a stunning rooftop garden. The unfussy vegetarian à la carte menu serves dishes such as heritage tomato salad with black olive crumb, basil oil and burrata.
Darwin Brasserie at Sky Garden, 1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3M 8AF
Also worth noting...
- Ritz Restaurant at The Ritz: You can’t get, er, ritzier than the Ritz – and its classic Modern British vegetarian menu is based on seasonal vegetables, nuts and cheeses.
- Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie: Eighth floor Modern British restaurant with views. Its vegetarian and vegan menu features chestnut mushroom rice balls with smoked celeriac, quince, garlic and ‘parsley ceps’.
- Plateau: Canary Wharf’s slick Modern British offers vegetarian à la carte, which includes summer vegetable tart with quinoa, goat’s curd and espelette pepper.
- Skylon: Royal Festival Hall’s third floor Modern British serves a vegetarian à la carte, with dishes like stuffed baby vegetables with black quinoa, bulgur wheat, tomato and cardamom gel.
- Bradleys: This family-run, French-accented Modern British in Swiss Cottage serves a vegetarian a la carte including such dishes as pea flan with cauliflower tempura and girolle mushrooms.
Covent Garden’s lively American theatre restaurant serves a Green Menu that many may not be aware of. Their three-bean chilli is one of the most popular items, but it shares space with other tasty titbits such as warm pretzels with blue cheese dip, veggie burgers and mac ‘n’ cheese.
Joe Allen, 13 Exeter Street, WC2E 7DT
Also worth noting...
- Top Dog: This three-floor Soho diner serves a brilliant vegan menu of burgers and hot dogs cooked in a separate area – at last, a place to get proper vegan ‘dirty food’.
Mayfair’s much-loved European-style grand café serves a vegetarian à la carte, featuring aubergine and gruyere schnitzel, and goats’ cheese, spinach and acacia honey tart. Their famous breakfast menu is also available in a vegetarian version.
The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB
Evocative of early 20th century Vienna, this stylish Marylebone café and konditorei serves a vegetarian à la carte menu. You’ll find vegetarian spaetzle, vegetarian grostl, wild mushroom stroganoff and other beautifully presented classics here.
Fischer’s, 50 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HN
Voted the world’s most romantic restaurant, this Covent Garden venue not only looks gorgeous, but delivers on the flavour front too. There’s a five-course vegetarian tasting menu for £55, with influences from Provence and Tuscany. Dishes include crisp courgette flower stuffed with ratatouille, with baby artichokes, confit peppers and pesto.
Clos Maggiore, 33 King Street, WC2E 8JD
A grand café in the mittel-European tradition, this Covent Garden favourite has an à la carte vegetarian and vegan menu. There’s wild mushroom stroganoff with red peppers and spaetzle here; plus classic pierogi with crispy onions and paprika butter.
The Delaunay, 55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB
Also worth noting….
- Marianne: Former Masterchef finalist Marianne Lumb’s fine Notting Hill dining room serves a five-course vegetarian lunch for £65, and an £85 six-course dinner. The flavours are pure Mediterranean sunshine.
- L’Autre Pied: Marylebone’s Modern European serves a £72 multi-course vegetarian tasting menu; and has vegetarian sections on its à la carte menu.
- Charlotte’s Place: Ealing’s popular Modern European is currently serving a vegetarian summer tasting menu, which boasts potato risotto with morel mushrooms and smoked stilton among the dishes.
- Sketch: Uber-glamorous, fun arty venue with an elaborately executed vegetarian menu in its Lecture Room and Library restaurant.
- Picture Fitzrovia: This smart Modern European currently offers a six-course vegetarian selection summer tasting menu, very much focused on seasonal vegetables.
- Peninsula Restaurant at The InterContinental at The 02: There’s a £55 five-course vegetarian tasting menu at this smart Modern European in Greenwich.
This handsome Michelin star Indian in St James’s offers a multi-course vegetarian tasting menu for £65, and a £70 vegetarian ‘vault menu’. Prepared to be dazzled by dishes such as beetroot chops pav with peanut and sesame chutney, and creamy morel mushrooms with pickle and truffle.
Gymkhana, 42 Abermarle Street, W1S 4JH
There’s rarely a shortage of vegetarian dishes in Indian restaurants – but Atul Kochhar’s upscale Indian in Mayfair serves a delicious, multi-course £89 vegetarian tasting menu that's hard to beat. Treat yourself to enticing dishes like vegetable and green chilli kofta served with sautéed spinach, peanut and poppy seed sauce. There’s also a vegetarian à la carte menu.
Benares, 12A Berkeley Square House, W1J 6BS
This gorgeous Modern Indian in Knightsbridge has lunch and dinner vegetarian tasting menus for £45, with dishes such as spinach and fig tikki, and soya-stuffed jalapeño vegetable biryani.
Amaya, Halkin Arcade, Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JT
Vineet Bhatia’s bold and ground-breaking Modern Indian in Chelsea serves a £79 seven-course vegetarian Prestige Menu. On it are delightful dishes such as pumpkin seekh kebab with 'biryani khichdi', tawa cauliflower and tadka makhani.
Rasoi, 10 Lincoln Street, Chelsea, SW3 2TS
We kicked off our former Vegetarian London restaurant review series with a visit to Trishna a couple of years ago and have enjoyed its vegetarian menu on a number of occasions since. Marylebone’s Michelin star Modern Indian offers a great-value Koliwada menu (named after an Indian region and community). Dishes like paneer tikka with green mango, mint, sweetcorn and pomegranate chaat are as picturesque as they're tasty.
Trishna, 15-17 Blandford Street, Marylebone Village, W1U 3DG
Also worth noting...
- La Porte Des Indes: There’s a mind-boggling choice on the vegetarian menu of this enormous, glitzy Modern Indian restaurant and bar inspired by the former French colony of south India.
Cambio De Tercio
Located in Chelsea/South Kensington, this respected, well-established and critically acclaimed restaurant offers a Spanish vegetarian tasting menu that’s a rarity in the capital. For £40 you can enjoy dishes such as eight-hour roasted tomatoes in sweet Oloroso sherry, with basil caviar and goat’s cheese.
Cambio De Tercio, 163 Old Brompton Road, SW5 0LJ
Sprawled over the 38th and 39th floors at Bishopsgate, this glamorous Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian restaurant offers stunning views from its wrap-around glass windows. There’s an exciting vegan à la carte with dishes such as baby spinach and grilled kabocha squash salad with truffle ponzu, heritage carrot shavings, radishes, apples and mango dressing.
Sushisamba, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Also worth noting...
- Chino Latino: South Bank’s pan-Asian restaurant and Latin bar serves a £35 vegetarian set menu (for a minimum of two) with dishes like cabbage steak with Peruvian corn, polenta and sautéed carrots.
- Crazy Bear: Fitzrovia’s gorgeous and glamorous pan-Asian serves four vegetarian set menus at £29.50 (eight plates), £39.50 (ten), £49.50 (twelve) and £62.50 ('premium').
One of the few London restaurants to be on the ‘world’s best restaurants’ list, this two Michelin star Notting Hill favourite serves an exquisite £105 eight-course vegetarian tasting menu. Dazzling ingredients such as white beetroot, violet artichokes, black truffles, muscat grapes, morel mushrooms and pheasant’s eggs make star appearances; and there’s an impressive range of cooking techniques on display.
The Ledbury, 127 Ledbury Road, W11 2AQ
Pied A Terre
Soho’s acclaimed Michelin star restaurant underwent a complete makeover a couple of years ago, and looks even more elegant. There’s a stunning ten-course vegetarian menu for £94; plus vegetarian à la carte, where two courses cost £65. Dishes include Wye Valley asparagus with lemon and hazelnuts; and brassicas with pink grapefruit and black quinoa.
Pied A Terre, 34 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NH
Michel Roux’s long-established Michelin classic is still many people’s favourite restaurant in London. It’s hard to beat the likes of their perfect cheese soufflé, spiced vegetable terrine with madeira jelly and mushroom toast, and superb pear tarte tatin. The eight-course vegetarian tasting menu costs £128.
La Gavroche, 43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay has been notoriously dismissive about non-meat eaters in the past, but his eponymous restaurant’s vegetarian menu is surprisingly enthusiastic. It features smoked potato and poached egg ravioli with roasted garlic emulsion and sorrel; and spring vegetables with Perigord truffle, aged balsamic and Xeres sherry vinegar. Three-course à la carte is £110; and multi-course Menu Prestige costs £145.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, 68 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HP
Alain Ducasse At The Dorchester
On this French Michelin star restaurant’s Menu Jardin, you’ll find pea veloute à la Parisienne, and gratinated spelt with artichokes and swiss chard. The cost is £110 for seven courses.
Alain Ducasse At The Dorchester, Park Lane, W1K 1QA
Scandinavian influences abound in the cooking of Portman Square’s Michelin star Modern European. There’s a seven-course vegetarian menu for the whole table at £76 per person; plus a separate vegetarian à la carte. Dishes include beetroot with gorgonzola ‘snow’ and walnuts, and cauliflower ‘textures’.
Texture, 34 Portman Street, W1H 7BY
Alexis Gauthier has been offering gourmet vegetarian menus since the days when they were a rarity in London. His French restaurant in Soho has recently introduced a great-value £50 eight-course vegan menu, crammed with seasonal ingredients. There’s spring vegetable pot au feu with apricot chutney, and a few different asparagus dishes. Vegetarian items with eggs and dairy are also available.
Gauthier Soho, 21 Romilly Street, W1D 5AF
Mayfair’s two Michelin star restaurant has the likes of salad of white piattoni beans with fresh green almonds and grilled apricot, and warm duck egg with girolle mushrooms and lovage on its vegetarian menu.
The Square, 6-10 Bruton Street, W1J 6PU
Also worth noting...
- Alyn Williams at The Westbury: You can’t go wrong at this swish restaurant that serves an enticing £80 seven-course vegetarian tasting menu - it's been popular with many veggie diners.
Hakkasan Hanway Place
Still one of London’s sexiest restaurants, this Modern Chinese near Tottenham Court Road has introduced ‘Dim Sum Sundays’. From midday to 6.45pm, there’s a £58 vegetarian Dim Sum menu to share between two. It includes a cocktail, half bottle of champagne, and small dishes like yam bean and shiitake dumplings, and pumpkin puffs. There's a resident DJ to liven up the proceedings. A vegetarian menu is also available on other days of the week.
Hakkasan Hanway Place, 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD
There’s an eight-course vegetarian tasting menu for £78 at this swanky Modern Chinese near Liverpool Street. Here you’ll find pan-grilled dumplings with black truffle vinegar, and crispy chia seed rolls.
HKK, 88 Worship Street, EC2A 2BE
Also worth noting...
- Hunan: An excellent, no-menu Chinese restaurant in Pimlico, where you simply tell them you’re veggie and they bring an impressive and lengthy banquet to your table.
This grand Parisian brasserie boasts beautiful art deco looks. On its great-value vegetarian à la carte, you’ll find delicious mushroom and root vegetable casserole, fennel and leek gratin, and artichokes in lemon sauce.
Brasserie Zedel, 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED
Galvin La Chapelle
The Galvin bothers’ glamorous French-British restaurant offers a seven-course vegetarian menu gourmand for £55, vegetarian menu du chef for £29 for two courses/ £34.50 for three courses; plus vegetarian à la carte. So that’s plenty to choose from. Elegant dishes include risotto of fresh peas, Wye Valley asparagus, girolles and pea shoots.
Galvin La Chapelle, 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
Inspired by the pavement cafés of France, this characterful Chelsea café serves a simple vegetarian à la carte that would be difficult to find even in Paris. Dishes include endive salad with Roquefort and fine green haricot beans, and a lovely Provençal tian.
Colbert, 50-52 Sloane Square, SW1W 8AX
A classic grand café inspired by the Alsatian brasserie heritage, this handsome Islington venue serves a small, charming vegetarian à la carte. Tartes flambees are the focal point here, but there are also soups, salads, and classic egg and cheese dishes.
Bellanger, 9 Islington Green, N1
Also worth noting...
- L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon: This classic French serves an impressively executed £110 eight-course vegetarian discovery menu.
This gorgeous Thai in Imperial Wharf has always had a strong commitment to vegetarian dishes. There’s an extensive vegetarian à la carte menu; plus a well-priced, multi-course vegetarian tasting menu at £38. The many delicious dishes include a soup of roasted young coconut with mushrooms, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.
Blue Elephant, The Boulevard, Imperial Wharf, Townmead Road, SW6 2UB
Also worth noting...
- Suda Thai: Covent Garden’s cosy Thai offers a vegetarian menu with dishes such as chilli and cashew tofu, vegetable green curry, and mushroom tom yum.
Other restaurants with veggie menus...
- Riccardo’s: Chelsea Italian that's long been serving a wonderful, great-choice vegan menu with pasta, pizza and numerous vegetable dishes - well before vegan menus became fashionable.
- Pachamama: Designed for eating with a crowd, Marylebone’s good-looking British-Peruvian serves a vegetarian set menu for £40; plus a vegetarian feast menu. Expect a happy marriage of amazing tropical and top-notch British ingredients.
- The Old Ship: A popular vegan haunt, this riverside Hammersmith pub serves a vegan choice menu that includes a lovely American-style orange-infused coconut milk cheesecake, with mixed berries and ginger.
- Chotto Matte: Soho’s buzzy Japanese serves a vegetarian sharing menu for £40, with dishes like aubergine miso with apricots, puffed soba noodles and sesame seeds.
- Sen Nin: Camden and Islington’s Japanese teppanyaki and sushi restaurants serve a combined vegetarian and gluten-free menu – but what if you’re vegetarian and not gluten-free, or gluten-free and not vegetarian?
- Mestizo: Hampstead Road’s hugely popular Mexican offers several menus, one of which is vegan à la carte. There’s a vast choice centred on corn, beans and avocados. Look out, too, for the many food festivals throughout the year.
- Tartufo: Chelsea’s smart Italian is currently serving a six-course vegetarian spring truffle-tasting menu for £65, in which every extravagant dish contains truffles. This menu is available, we're told, "until the end of summer."