We've already brought you London’s lesser-known vegetarian restaurants - but what if you’re dining out for a special occasion, and want somewhere special 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, Shoreditch
We've reviewed this widely acclaimed Shoreditch restaurant from a veggie angle. There’s an innovative nine-course Modern British vegetarian menu for £195; plus the option to add wine pairings for an extra £175. Pricey it is, but for the dosh you get to sample what a two-Michelin star restaurant tastes like. Expect amazing seasonal ingredients such as monk's beard, white Alba truffle, morel mushrooms and, in one dish, 100-year-old madeira.
The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT
Pollen Street Social, Mayfair
Jason Atherton's popular Michelin star restaurant serves superb, separate vegetarian and vegan à la carte and tasting menus. The Modern British dishes may include egg yolk raviolo with baked potato velouté and Perigord truffle; and braised broccoli stems with preserved lemon, toasted hazelnuts and seaweed.
Pollen Street Social, 8-10 Pollen Street, W1S 1NQ
Duck and Waffle, City of London
You may not be able to sample the eponymous dish at this 40th floor restaurant atop Heron Tower, but you're far from missing out. It serves a dedicated vegan menu across the board, from all-day favourites to its famous brunch. Try sticky corn ribs for £8, tofu and ginger congee for £14, or dive into a Full Vegan English for £17. Plenty of veggie dishes pepper the main menu, so no member of your party need miss out.
Duck and Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
The Dysart Petersham, Richmond
We’ve already told you about this marvellous Richmond restaurant. There’s a nine-course vegetarian tasting menu to be taken by the entire table for £110 per person. An alcohol-free drinks pairing is available for £45 (alongside a boozy £60 version) — a nice touch. Expect exquisite ingredients cooked stunningly well.
The Dysart Petersham, 135 Petersham Road, TW10 7AA
The Ivy, Covent Garden
This long-established celeb haunt, decorated in glittering art deco, is a London legend. As a chain the restaurant has moved slightly towards the mainstream, expanding to high streets all over the country. However, this classy stalwart of the capital retains a decent vegetarian and vegan à la carte menu. On it, you'll find mozzarella and blood orange salad, Thai red curry and a particular indulgence for vegetarians: risotto served with shavings of black truffle.
The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, WC2H 9NQ
Savoy Grill, Strand
This historic British restaurant serves an elegant vegan à la carte, featuring Delica pumpkin risotto with confit shallot for the main. There’s also a separate, slightly lengthier vegetarian menu with a deliciously savoury wild mushroom, truffle and Winterdale cheddar linguine.
Savoy Grill, Savoy Hotel, 100 Strand, WC2R 0EU
Also worth noting...
- Ritz Restaurant at The Ritz: You can't get, er, ritzier than the Ritz — and its classic Modern British vegetarian and vegan menus put seasonal vegetables and local ingredients centre stage.
The Wolseley, Mayfair
Mayfair's much-loved European-style grand café dedicates a section of its all-day à la carte to vegetarian dishes like aubergine and Mayfield cheese schnitzel, and plum tomato gnocchi. In fact, veggie options appear everywhere from the hors d'oeuvres (Jerusalem artichoke and Swiss chard tart) to the prix fixe (Swiss soufflé).
The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB
Evocative of early 20th century Vienna, this stylish Marylebone café and konditorei also leaves a space for vegetarian dishes on its à la carte menu. You’ll find vegetarian goulash, wild mushroom stroganoff and other beautifully presented classics here.
Fischer's, 50 Marylebone High Street, W1U 5HN
Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden
Voted the world's most romantic restaurant and Instagrammed to high hell, this Covent Garden venue not only looks gorgeous, but delivers on the flavour front too. There’s a five-course vegetarian tasting menu for £85, with influences from Provence and Tuscany. Dishes rotate regularly, but you may get to tuck into the likes of William pear, stilton and chicory salad, or heirloom pumpkin risotto with chestnut and sage.
Clos Maggiore, 33 King Street, WC2E 8JD
Oliveria Kitchen, Shoreditch
Lesser-known but no less worthy, Oliveira Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant with a passion for meat-free fare and a knack for exquisitely-crafted dishes. If you like interesting ingredients, you're in the right place. Graviola fruit from the Amazon rainforest, rare Crimson mushroom, battered kaong seeds — the à la carte is a what's what of imaginative comfort food. A nine-course tasting menu costs £85. Look out for seasonal specials, like a winter truffle tasting menu with optional wine pairings.
Oliveira Kitchen, 80 Paul Street, EC2A 4NE
Also worth noting….
- Sketch: Uber-glamorous, fun arty venue with an elaborately executed vegetarian tasting menu in its Lecture Room and Library restaurant.
This handsome Michelin star Indian in St James's offers ever-changing, seasonal multi-course vegetarian tasting menus which sit around the £90 mark. Prepared to be dazzled by dishes such as beetroot chops pao with peanut and sesame chutney, and pickled paneer tikka with fig and corn chaat.
Gymkhana, 42 Abermarle Street, W1S 4JH
There's rarely a shortage of vegetarian dishes in Indian restaurants — but Sameer Taneja's upscale Indian in Mayfair serves a delicious, multi-course vegetarian tasting menu for £117 that's hard to beat. Treat yourself to enticing dishes like masala-stuffed puri, kale tartlet with mint and tamarind, and broad bean kofta served with cashew nut korma.
Benares, 12A Berkeley Square House, W1J 6BS
This gorgeous Modern Indian in Knightsbridge has lunch and dinner vegetarian tasting menus. Entirely seasonal, options span chilli panner with date and sesame, and spinach and fig tikki. If you prefer to dine à la carte, the ever-changing menu commits to offering around 15 vegetarian dishes at roughly £16 a pop.
Amaya, Halkin Arcade, Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JT
We kicked off our former Vegetarian London restaurant review series with a visit to Trishna in 2014 and have enjoyed its vegetarian menu on a number of occasions since. Marylebone's Michelin star Modern Indian offers a great-value Koliwada tasting menu (named after an Indian region and community) for £75. 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
Cambio De Tercio, South Kensington
This respected, well-established and critically acclaimed South Ken restaurant offers a Spanish tapas menu with veggie options — a rarity in the capital. Enjoy dishes such as eight-hour roasted tomatoes in sweet Oloroso sherry, and Spanish omelette with Perigord truffle.
Cambio De Tercio, 163 Old Brompton Road, SW5 0LJ
Sushisamba, City of London
Sprawled over the 38th and 39th floors of Heron Tower 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
Pied A Terre, Soho
Soho's acclaimed Michelin star restaurant offers a selection of stunning vegan menus, available for lunch or dinner and ranging from two-course à la carte (£77.50) to a mighty 10-course tasting for £120. It's a pleasure to have so much flexibility. Even more so when you learn dishes like sesame-crusted soybean terrine and beetroot pistachio meringue are on the menu.
Pied A Terre, 34 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NH
Le Gavroche, Mayfair
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, seared cauliflower with kohlrabi and miso puree, and superb caramel apple pie. All yours as part of an eight-course vegetarian tasting menu for £186.
Le Gavroche, 43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea
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 grilled brassicas with lemon and sea herbs; and organic spelt studded with artichoke and aged Winchester cheese. The three-course à la carte is £155 at dinner (£135 at lunch), while the multi-course Menu Prestige costs £185.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, 68 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HP
Alain Ducasse At The Dorchester, Mayfair
On this three-Michelin star (yes, three) restaurant's Menu Jardin, you'll find a lucky dip cookpot of seasonal vegetables and fruit, and Kalibos cabbage with clementine. Don't be fooled by the apparent simplicity — every single plate is a work of art. The cost is £165 for seven courses.
Alain Ducasse At The Dorchester, Park Lane, W1K 1QA
Alexis Gauthier has been offering gourmet vegetarian menus since the days when they were a rarity in London. His French restaurant in Soho has been exclusively vegan since 2021 and has introduced a great-value £55 five-course Petit Dîner. It's crammed with seasonal ingredients and available at 5pm only. Of an evening it becomes an eight-course vegan feast for £95. Dishes change with the seasons but elegant flavour combinations and creative gastronomy are a given.
Gauthier Soho, 21 Romilly Street, W1D 5AF
Hakkasan Hanway Place, Tottenham Court Road
Still one of London's sexiest restaurants, this Modern Chinese near Tottenham Court Road has introduced a 'Chrysanthemum' menu. For £78 per person, the fully vegan signature menu spans small plates, a main, sides and dessert. The highlight is Hakkasan's signature vegan dim sum, nestled like plumptious jewels in their bamboo basket. A vegetarian alternative to the weekend brunch menu is also available.
Hakkasan Hanway Place, 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD
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.
Brasserie Zedel, Soho
This grand Parisian brasserie boasts beautiful art deco looks. On its great-value vegetarian à la carte, you’ll find delicious artichoke and couscous ragout, fancy curried butter dhal and, a classic, twice-baked cheese soufflé.
Brasserie Zedel, 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED
Galvin La Chapelle, Spitalfields
The Galvin brothers' glamorous French-British restaurant offers separate five- and seven-course vegetarian and vegan menu gourmands for £85 and £100 respectively. Elegant dishes include risotto of preserved lemon and winter truffle, fondant celeriac with plankton vinaigrette, and poached rhubarb dessert.
Galvin La Chapelle, 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
Inspired by the pavement cafés of France, this characterful Chelsea café serves a simple à la carte with an influx of vegetarian choices that would be difficult to find even in Paris. Omelettes, salads, sandwiches and hors d'oeuvres offer plenty of meat-free options like endive salad with Roquefort, and Jerusalem artichoke soup. As you might expect from a French restaurant, cheese is big business here. One for the veggies rather than vegans, perhaps.
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 menu formule. For £27.50, dig into three courses of simple delights including celeriac remoulade and the restaurant's house quiche. The beloved mushroom tartes flambée resides all on the all-day menu, but there are also soups, salads, and classic egg and cheese dishes.
Bellanger, 9 Islington Green, N1
Other good 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, this good-looking British-Peruvian in Marylebone and Shoreditch serves a decent selection of vegetarian dishes from the à la carte menu. Plus, vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian tasting menus. Impressive.
- Mildred's: Another mainstay on London's vegan scene, Mildred's Soho outlet has been in situ since 1988. It's not posh, per se, but its unwavering quality and international vegan dishes keep it a cut above other contenders.
- Chotto Matte: Soho’s buzzy Japanese serves a vegetarian sharing menu for £55 per person, with dishes like oyster mushroom tostadas and lychee ceviche. Veggie brunch and bento boxes also await.
- 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, with options for gluten, lactose and nut-free diners too.
- Daphne's: Upper-crust Italian positioned between the boutiques of Chelsea and South Kensington. Go for the people-watching, classic flavours and lengthy vegetarian menu.
The original article by Sejal Sukhudwala was updated by Londonist in 2023.