28 June 2017 | 14.9 °C

London's Best Vegetarian Food

London's Best Vegetarian Food

London has always had a wealth of vegetarian food, and currently the offering is off the scale. Fancy schmancy tasting menus, spicy South Indian curries, health-giving delis - heck, even the faceless chain restaurants have upped their veggie game. We've rounded up some of the most excellent meatless eateries and stand-out plant-based dishes available for your eating pleasure. 

Mildreds

Serving Soho veggies for nigh on 30 years, Mildreds is a proper meat-free institution. Food is interesting and hearty with a succession of pies and a rotating burger of the day. There's also amazing global salads to be had at the bar. Prepare to wait or head to the quieter, newer Camden site. 

45 Lexington Street, W1F | Jamestown Road

Mildreds London's best vegetarian food
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The Gate

Another old timer on the veggie scene, The Gate describes itself as Indo-Iraqi Jewish food with French and Italian influences. We describe it as yum. Chilled out vibes, mezze, miso aubergine, mozzarella; what more do you want?

Deliveroo now from Angel

Newington Grn. | 51 Queen Caroline Street, W6 | 370 St. John Street, EC1V

The Gate London's best vegetarian food
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Benares

Indian food can usually be relied upon to look after vegetarians and Michelin starred Benares is a great example of this. Though it caters to omnivores, chef Atul Kochar's talent for pairing complex and subtle flavours and his love for vegetables means here you are spoiled for choice with a full vegetarian a la carte. Get the paneer. 

12a Berkeley Square House, W1J

Benares London's best vegetarian food
Source benaresrestaurant
Benares London's best vegetarian food
Source benaresrestaurant

Manna Vegetarian Restaurant

To our knowledge, this is the oldest vegetarian/vegan restaurant in London at 50 years old. Many make the pilgrimage to Primrose Hill for Manna's nourishing, Californian style food. Meze is a good way to go, but there are comforting large plates like enchiladas, bangers and mash and even Sunday roasts too - all plant based and possibly the better for it. 

4 Erskine Road, NW3

Manna Vegetarian Restaurant London's best vegetarian food
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Vanilla Black

One of the fanciest fully veggie restaurants out there, this is sure to impress. DIshes are refined, innovative and forward thinking, and in their own words 'apologies in advance for no pasta bake or vegetable curry'. Try iced and charred avocado with olive crumb, olive juice, yohurt and sumac instead. 

Deliveroo now from Cockfosters

17-18 Tooks Court, EC4A

Vanilla Black London's best vegetarian food
Source Vanilla Black
Vanilla Black London's best vegetarian food
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Ganapati

Without wanting to teach grandmothers about sucking eggs, South Indian cooking is really where you want to be for fantastic vegetarian food. They know their way around a vegetable patch, that's for sure. This place in Peckham is much loved and though not fully vegetarian, it's everything you need. The vegetarian thali is a must. 

38 Holly Grove, SE15

Ganapati London's best vegetarian food
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Roast

Roast? What are we thinking?! They of the nose to tail butchery. But, bear with us as they've launched what we think could be the best veggie burger around. Their Ultimate Veggie Burger is a quinoa and beetroot based patty sandwiched between a charcoal brioche bun with pickled carrot chutney and an avocado tahini dressing. They've decided to up their commitment to veggie food in general, so watch this space.  

Stoney Street, SE1

Roast London's best vegetarian food
Source roast-restaurant
Roast London's best vegetarian food
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Nopi

Expect nothing less than amazingly spiced food using off the wall ingredients and combinations you'd never thought of from Ottolenghi offshoot Nopi. There's an entire section of vegetable mains, plus sides are mostly doable too. Courgette and manouri fritters with cardamon yoghurt or the Valdeon cheesecake, pickled beetroot, almonds and thyme honey speak for themselves and we definitely want the chargrilled purple sprouting broccoli with tahini and miso. 

21-22 Warwick Street, W1B

Nopi London's best vegetarian food
Source Ottolenghi

Wild Food Cafe

Describing itseld as 'a plant based eatery and wellbeing oasis', the Wild Food Cafe fulfils just about every veggie stereotype going with its open-armed, happily hippy dippy vibes. But importantly, food is good as well as raw, organic, foraged and nutrititious. We had an amazing chocolate tart here and the burger is decent too. Go open minded. 

14 Neals Yard, WC2H

Wild Food Cafe London's best vegetarian food
Source Wild Food Cafe
Wild Food Cafe London's best vegetarian food
Source Wild Food Cafe

Tonkotsu

Sometimes what you need is a big bowl of noodles, and we can't think of a better ramen offering than that at Tonkotsu. Their miso and shimeji mushroom ramen uses a stock that is deeply, deeply savoury with perfect bouncy homemade noodles and packed with veg and that deliciously seasoned egg on top. Get some sweet potato korokke on the side. 

63 Dean Street, W1D

Tonkotsu London's best vegetarian food
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Tonkotsu London's best vegetarian food
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Grain Store

Amazing chef and all round vegetable fan Bruno Loubert's place in King's Cross should be on your to-visit list. His much loved vegetable garden is given star billing, with meat and fish as the accoutrements rather than the basis of the dish. Many are fully vegetarian or vegan, with most being adaptable. Light pea mousse tartlet with parmesan crackling sounds fab. Sit outside if it's warm. 

1-3 Stable Street, N1C

Grain Store London's best vegetarian food
Source Grain Store

Club Mexicana

Actually, these guys are vegan, but we're splitting hairs. The food here is so good, you'll come even if you're a hardened meat eater. It's bright, vibrant, incredibly flavoursome Mexican goodies out of a street food truck and it's great. 

Street Feast #ModelMarket

Club Mexicana London's best vegetarian food
Source kerbfood
Club Mexicana London's best vegetarian food
Source kerbfood

Eneko at One Aldwych

Fresh from three Michelin star Azurmendi (sixth on the Best Restaurants in the World list), chef Eneko Atxa serves up a relaxed menu of informal Basque cooking. Meat and fish feature, but we're after the six course tasting menu celebrating his Basque garden. Try cauliflower textures then rustic wheat stew with truffle and egg yolk. 

1 Aldwych, WC2B

Eneko at One Aldwych London's best vegetarian food
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Kerb Camden

There's many a good veggie thing to be had at the Kerb in Camden (probably London's veggie spiritual home) but you're really here for the halloumi fries from Oli Baba's stall. Deep fried Cypriot cheese drizzled with za'atar yoghurt, pomegranate seeds, mint, sumac and then sharply sweet pomegranate molasses. Get some fresh and healthy fattoush on the side if you can't handle the guilt. 

Camden Lock Market, NW1

Kerb Camden London's best vegetarian food
Source kerbfood

Honey & Smoke

The ex-Ottolenghi husband and wife team have opened this newbie as a smokier version of Honey & Co (also great for vegetarians). The entire mezze section is meat and fish-free featuring delights such as cauliflower with amba and tahini, charred marinated courgettes with smoked labneh and sweet potato in embers, almond tahini, date honey and spring onions. Not cheap despite no frills though. 

216 Great Portland Street, W1W

Honey & Smoke London's best vegetarian food
Source honeyandco
Honey & Smoke London's best vegetarian food
Source honeyandco

Lele's

Passionate vegan and veggie cook Valentina has brought happiness to the meat-free of Clapton, making this cafe and aperitivo bar (well she is Italian) a popular spot in the process. Brunch is excellent with the full English a key player. Food is locally sourced, bright, light and healthy on the right side of hearty. Dogs welcome too. 

Firedog Restaurant

Turkish cuisine probably wouldn't be most vegetarians' go-to, but this modern Anatolian is different. Try grilled halloumi, beetroot hummus, fried eggs, za'atar and parsley or stuffed baby aubergine with red onion, pomegranate and feta. Pescatarians take advantage of the josper. 

92 Newman Street, W1T

Firedog Restaurant London's best vegetarian food
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Bala Baya

Londonist writer Lydia Manch recommends the vegetarian dishes at Israeli restaurant Bala Baya - particularly the cauliflower: 

'Middle Eastern restaurants are usually great at making vegetarian dishes the star of the menu - thanks to a generous way with big flavours like tahini, chilli, pomegranate and citrus. Bala Baya's nailing the vegetarian offering, with the highlight being the caramelised cauliflower dish - charred and scattered with yoghurt and syrup, or stuffed into a pita at lunchtime with salad and pomegranate molasses. There's no shortage of great cauliflower dishes in the city at the minute - we also love White Men Can't Jerk's Caribbean-influenced version and Berber & Q's cauliflower shawarma - this is up there with the best.'

Arch 25, Old Union Yard Arches, SE1

Bala Baya London's best vegetarian food
Source Bala Baya
Bala Baya London's best vegetarian food
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Palatino

If people think vegetarians get a raw deal by being presented so much pasta on menus they should head to Palatino. Here, meat lovers and eschewers alike will swoon over dishes like tonarelli cacio e pepe, nettle agnolotti with ricotta and fried courgette flowers with honey vinegar. One of our faves right now.

Palatino, 71 Central Street, EC1V 8AB.

Last Updated 17 May 2017