London offers some of the best vegetarian food available. The capital’s veggie restaurants and cafés vary from offering light bites and food on the go to fine dining. They take their influences from the UK, the Mediterranean and of course South India amongst many other cuisines.
Many vegetarian places are hugely popular with veggies and non-veggies alike. As we draw to the end of national Vegetarian Week, we choose our own favourite restaurants.
Please leave your comments and let us know your favourites and we’ll add them as we go along.
Mildred’s is one of the busiest and most popular vegetarian restaurants in London. Offering a diverse range of fresh and exiting food from Sri-Lankan to Mediterranean dishes and veggie burgers, it has become one of the most vibrant eateries in Soho, if not London.
Starters come in at around £6 with mains costing between £7 and £11. For the quality of food, this is incredible value. Mildred’s don’t take table bookings, so you have to turn up on spec. This can mean a bit of a wait but with a great selection of drinks available and the promise of some fine food to come, its not too much of a hassle! The one room you can book is the upstairs private dining room, which has a collection of vintage porn on the walls.
Vanilla Black takes inventive vegetarian cooking to the highest level. This Michelin recommended restaurant originally opened in York before moving to its current location in the heart of the city. Since then it has delighted restaurant goers with its funky, modern take on vegetarian fine dining.
The mouth watering culinary creations on offer include such delights as "fried mushroom mousse and pernod pancakes with whipped cider, fennel and butternut squash".
A great location for a treat or a celebratory meal. The set menus help to provide a more affordable option. Lunch is available at £18.50 for two course or £23.50 for three.
Hammersmith’s The Gate has been a favourite with vegetarians since opening in 1989. Run by the brothers Adrian and Michael Daniel, the food is a fusion of Asian flavours mixed with Mediterranean influences. Starters cost around £6 with mains varying from £10 to £15.
The restaurant also periodically offers cookery workshops and the chefs have published two recipe books. Due to the ongoing success of the place, the brothers are opening a second restaurant in Islington on 1 June.
Food for Thought
Covent Garden’s Food for Thought is a well priced, friendly café that is a great option for a quick bite while out shopping. The menu changes regularly but often includes bean stews, quiches, burritos and much more. You can get a fantastic main with a plate stacked full of salads and sides for between £5 and £8.
As the café is quite small and gets pretty busy. It can be a good idea to go either a bit before or after the lunchtime rush.
Food for Thought is at 31 Neal Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9PR
Serving up a buffet of wholesome salads, bean- and pulse-based concoctions and much else besides, this friendly and inviting vegan café has become a favourite among London’s vegetarians, and visitors to Soho alike.
All the food on offer is organic, wholesome and well priced. All you can eat costs between £6 and £9 depending on the time of day.
Vitao is at 74 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TE.
The Bonnington Café
The Bonnington Café is a community café run by a collective of volunteer chefs. The menu rotates with the cooks and there are normally a couple of different options available.
It started life as a squat café during the 1980s and has been a fixture of the community ever since. Starters and desserts cost £3 with mains coming in at £7. The Bonnington is a quirky, friendly and fun place to have a meal. It's also good to support a local community enterprise that’s run on a not for profit basis.
With restaurants in Hammersmith, the West End and Covent Garden, Sagar offers some of the best-value vegetarian Indian food available in London. The menu is based on dishes from south India and offers incredible value with selection plates and Thalis available at lunchtime for around £5. They also serve these preposterously large crispy roll things.
Sagar Hammersmith is at 157 King Street, London, W6 9JT
Sagar West End is at 17A Percy Street off Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 1DU
Sagar Covent Garden is at 31 Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5JS
Primrose Hill’s Manna has been nominated as the best vegetarian restaurant in London during this vegetarian week. Its an accolade that is much deserved.
Manna offers modern, stylish and inventive vegetarian food that takes in a huge range of influences. With dishes varying from organic bangers and mash to burritos, Indian dishes and tofu based concoctions, there is something for everyone here. Starters are approximately £8 with mains coming in around £14. Truly exciting veggie food.
Manna is at 4 Erskine Road Primrose Hill, London NW3 3AJ
Situated in Piccadilly, Tibits is one of the capital’s best vegetarian and vegan buffets. Offering eat-in and take-away options, Tibits serves up a diverse selection of enticing fresh flavours with dishes taking in salads, African cuisine, Asian influences and much more.
With all this on offer alongside a well stocked bar, Tibits is a great place to drop into if you’re out in central London.
Tibits is at 12-14 Hendon Street, London, W1B 4DA
OK, that's our recommendations. We'd love to hear your favourites, though, and we'll add them here.
@paddy_wagstaff suggests Rasa
@DelveBand says inSpiral Lounge in Camden has great food and lovely people
@bonny_vivante recommends "Amico Bio at (ironically) Smithfields for great organic Italian vegetarian dishes. Omnivore friends have been uniformly impressed"
From the comments:
James suggests Woodlands in Panton Street – looks like they also have branches in Hampstead and Marylebone
Probably Jon says Pogo Cafe in Hackney and Jai Krishna on Stroud Green Road or Turnpike Lane
Dave Cross recommends Blah Blah Blah in Shepherd's Bush
dgbdgb says Carnevale on Whitecross Street is worth the money
Marc likes Shahee Bhelpoori in Norbury: "utterly superb food at very, very good prices"
This article is part of our Best of London Food and Drink series. Visit the page for more recommendations of where to enjoy the capital's top food and drink, categorised by cuisine, food type and more.