When one of America’s top vegan cook book authors, Terry Hope Romero, came over to do a supper club with me, she was very impressed by the selection of vegan products sold in the UK, particularly the range of vegan cheeses. The United States takes veganism very seriously and every city has an exciting array of animal-free foods. London still has a way to go, but here is my selection of vegan food shops in the capital.
Vx: the Secret Society of Vegans
I love this punky food emporium from Rudy Penando, one of the founder members of the vegan movement in the UK. They sell vegan snacks, cakes, sandwiches, groceries, beauty products, drinks, pet food, shoes, clothes. They do stock imported vegan products like Vegg, the egg replacement powder that uses black salt to get the sulphuric odour.
73 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9BT
Organic For The People
The shop hasn’t been open long but I’m hearing great reports. They sell vegan and organic products.
29-30 High Street, Ealing, W5 5DB
Black Cat Cafe
This vegan cafe also has a small shopping section where you can buy vegan cheeses, sausages, tofu, chocolate, vegan cookbooks, cream and snacks. Their opening hours are a little strange, so check them out before you go.
76 Clarence Road, Hackney, London, E5 8HB
Brixton’s vegan bakers, for all your cruelty free-cakey needs. She has a great cookbook too.
408 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LF
Holland & Barrett
This health food store has outlets all over London. It concentrates on body building formulas, healthy supplements, protein powders, dried fruit and nuts, with a large vegan selection in the chiller cabinets from V-bites (Heather Mills's vegan food company) and other vegan companies.
Check the store locator here.
While not vegan Wholefoods has a great selection and many imported American vegan foods that you cannot find anywhere else. In the States they call this shop ‘whole paycheck’ because it’s not cheap. I do love shopping there though. I always feel that I’m channeling Gwyneth Paltrow — WWGB? — What would Gwyneth buy?
Barkers, Kensington High St; 43 Parkway, Camden Town; Glasshouse St, Piccadilly
Earth Natural Foods
I used to buy vegan, natural and organic wine here, which can be difficult to obtain. It has a good range of products, but also sells meat and dairy foods.
200 Kentish Town Road, London NW5 2AE
I don’t know about the rest of the Spar supermarket branches but East London vegans tell me that this shop is stocking many vegan brands such as Laura’s Idea, locally-made vegan cakes and vegan cheese.
Brooksby’s Walk, Chatsworth rd, E9
This Kurdish store is one of my favourite London shops anyway, with a fantastic fruit, veg and nuts selection but it has started to carry more vegan lines: nut milks, soy milk and cream, pulses and products from Biona. Do check out your local Turkish/Middle Eastern/Indian corner shop because they will often stock more original and interesting products than supermarkets. They have to, because as my Where2Save's owner says "the only way we can compete with the big four is by stocking different products to them."
352-354 Kilburn High Rd, NW6
The high street supermarkets
These businesses have woken up to the fact that many customers want free-from products (gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, nut-free) and are starting to expand their range of vegan foods. Vegan blogger The Vegan Womble has helpfully put together an up to date vegan product list for Tesco, Waitrose, M&S, Aldi, Sainsbury's, and Co-op. Morrisons, Asda and Lidl don’t have specific vegan product lists but most things are clearly labelled.
Do you know of any other vegan shops in London? Let us know below in the comments.