London's vegan scene has grown at an incredible rate in recent years, thanks to the increase in demand from vegan diners. We've been keeping an eye on it, putting together tips and reviewing new vegan restaurants and menus as they've appeared. Here, we've compiled all our vegan London knowledge into a handy guide, whether you're doing Veganuary, are a long-term vegan, or just want to cut down your meat and dairy consumption a bit.
Where to get vegan food in London
- VEGAN RESTAURANTS: We'll start with a simple one — our pick of the best vegan restaurants in London — there are more of them than you might think.
- POSH VEGAN FOOD: Looking for somewhere a bit fancy, for a celebration or special occasion? You need London's best fine dining vegan and vegetarian menus. The restaurants which serve them are predominantly non-vegan, but we've chosen them because they cater for veggies and vegans very well.
- VEGAN SANDWICHES: Lunch can be a tricky meal at the best of times, but even more so when you're avoiding meat and dairy. Snoop around our guide to London's best vegan sandwiches — from East African wraps to stuffed Sicilian flatbreads, there are plenty of tasty midday meal options.
- VEGANUARY IN LONDON: For January 2019, we put together this guide to where to eat in London for Veganuary, covering junk food, comfort food, pub food... all the food, basically.
- VEGAN FOOD SHOPS: If it's home cooking that's stumping you (or perhaps you're cooking for a vegan friend), acquaint yourself with London's best vegan food shops, where you'll find animal-free foods including vegan cheeses, meat substitutes, and even vegan baking ingredients. Get that apron back on and whip up a feast.
- VEGAN FISH AND CHIPS: Fish and chips is a London staple, and vegans can now satisfy their seafood cravings with London's best vegan fish and chips. Fish substitutes include tofu and banana blossom are used. Take it from us — it's all in the texture rather than the taste.
- VEGAN ROAST DINNERS: Our guide to the best roast dinners in London is so popular that we wrote another version for veggies and vegans. Some of the entries are straight-up veggie, so no good for vegans, but others offer completely animal-free weekend comfort food. We present the best vegan and vegetarian roast dinners in London.
- VEGAN STREET FOOD: Donuts, falafels, curries, cakes, flatbreads, muffins... that's right, vegans are very much welcome at London's best vegan street food vendors, meaning you no longer have to make do with a soggy salad (no dressing) while your meat-eating mates chomp their way through burgers, curries and cakes.
- VEGAN DESSERTS: Calling all sweet-toothed vegans — your dessert choices are no longer restricted to fruit salads and sorbets. Eton Mess, cookies and freakshakes all come vegan, if you know where to look. Check out London's best vegan desserts for your pudding choices.
- VEGAN PIZZAS: Given that cheese is an integral part of the pizza experience, vegan options were few and far between until recently, and those that did exist were often... ropey. Now though, London's best vegan pizzas are making the ultimate hangover snack available to meat and dairy dodgers.
- VEGAN CHOCOLATE: Did you know that London is home to a vegan chocolate factory, which uses a recipe that was a decade in the making. The products are available at stockists all over town. Separately, Islington is home to an almost-entirely vegan chocolate cafe, whose products include a vegan chocolate fondue (yes, those are vegan marshmallows).
London vegan restaurant reviews
As more vegan restaurants and cafes open in London — and existing venues roll out new vegan menus to keep up with demand — we've made it our mission to try as much of it as possible, to find out where's doing decent vegan nosh, and where's not quite hitting the spot. You may notice something of an east London leaning — vegans are definitely better catered for in E postcodes currently.
- THE MEET, CLAPHAM: This vegan comfort food restaurant offers both meat-substitute dishes — the soya cheeseburger pleases vegans and carnivores — and dishes that don't resemble meat in the slightest. The mac and cheese is velvety and brilliant, and the Jamaican-style curry packs plenty of heat. Read our full review of The Meet (2018).
- TEMPLE OF HACKNEY: Vegan fried chicken, they said. While the vegans rejioced, the carnivores scoffed, but it turned out to be popular, with queues round the block on opening weekend. The 'chicken' takes the form of fried seitan, crisp to perfection on the outside but somewhat dry on the inside. It's not cheap either — something vegans are used to. Read our full review of vegan fried chicken at Temple Of Hackney (2018).
- ESSENCE, SHOREDITCH: Plant-based food is the essence of Essence, although some of the dishes we tried were so rich and creamy, we found ourselves double-checking with the waiter that it was definitely vegan. It was — jackpot! Read our full review of Essence and watch our video (2018).
- GILLRAY'S STEAKHOUSE: Yeah, you read that right, steakhouse. When even meat-centric restaurants are adding vegan options to their menus, you know it's more than just a passing fad. The vegan dishes were beautifully presented and on the small side, although the options we tried have since been replaced on the ever-changing menu. At time of writing, there's just one vegan main course available, reminding us that this is first and foremost, a steakhouse. Read our full review of vegan options at Gillray's Steakhouse (2018).
- DRAFT HOUSE: One of the top contenders for proving that vegan doesn't have to mean healthy is craft beer chain Draft House. Here, burgers, chilli, and onion rings are among the options for vegans, although the dishes we tried have been removed from the menu since our visit. Read our full review of the vegan options at The Draft House (2018).
- ARANCINI BROTHERS: This rice-loving duo extended Veganuary in 2018, making their Old Street venue permanently and entirely vegan — no mean feat when fried cheese is the crux of your product. But with the help of some mushrooms and other vegan ingredients, vegan rice balls are ago-go and the whole business — including burgers, wraps and stews — is now entirely vegan. Read our full Arancini Brothers review (2018).
- PLATES, HOXTON: Vegan fine dining arrived in Hoxton in the form of Plates. For added exclusivity, the restaurant only opens one evening a week, serving a set menu, but somehow, it feels like the vegan restaurant that London was missing. Read our full review of Plates (2018).
- BIFF'S JACK SHACK: Vegan wings and burgers are a welcome addition to BoxPark Shoreditch, where jackfruit steps worthily into meat's shoes. Texture-wise, it's spot on, but the vegan mac and cheese doesn't quite hit the spot. Read our full review of Biff's Jack Shack (2018).
- TELL YOUR FRIENDS: Yes, it's run by two Made In Chelsea stars and yes, it's absolutely aimed at the Instagram generation, but don't write Tell Your Friends off until you've tried it. Both healthy and junk vegan food are covered, and while it mainly delivers on the taste front, the 'fish' and chips falls short. Read our full Tell Your Friends review (2018)
- THE VURGER CO: The clue's in the name for this one: vegan burgers. The portion sizes are huge — cutlery is required to tackle these beasts — and tasty, although nothing blew us away on our visit. Top marks for sustainability credentials though. Read our full review of The Vurger Co (2018).
- PUREZZA PIZZA, CAMDEN: Purezza claims to be the UK's first vegan pizzeria, and serves up Neapolitan-style pizza, with a choice of bases. The texture is spot-on, the taste moreish, and the only duff note of our meal was the creme brulee, which is chewier than it ought to be. Read our full review of Purezza Pizza (2018).
- RUDY'S DIRTY VEGAN DINER: Another Camden restaurant showing that vegan junk food can be a glorious thing, Rudy's serves everything you'd expect to find in a diner — burgers, mac 'n' cheese, dirty fries, a Reuben sandwich, Oreo brownies... dirty is certainly is, but it's also delicious. Read our full review of Rudy's Dirty Vegan Diner (2018)
- SUTTON AND SONS: Renowned fish and chip shop Sutton and Sons isn't afraid to move with the times, launching its vegan fish and chips in what is now London's only 100% vegan fish and chip shop. All the classics are there, including fish and chips, scampi, battered sausage and pies, all with a vegan twist. Read our full Sutton and Sons vegan review (2018). Note: the vegan location is now different to the one we reviewed — full details on the website.
- PATTY AND BUN: Beloved by London's carnivores, burger joint Patty & Bun opened itself to a vegan audience in the form of the Whoopi Goldburger, a 100% vegan burger made from a tempeh (soya) patty and a vegan version of Gouda cheese. Watch our video or Patty & Bun's Whoopi Goldburger vegan burger (2018).
- YOUNG VEGANS, CAMDEN: This pie shop has a permanent home in Camden Market, serving up vegan 'steak', 'chicken' and katsu curry pies to north London's vegans. Watch our video about Young Vegans' pies (2017).
- PICKYWOPS PIZZA, PECKHAM: For a vegan pizza, the offering at Pickywops doesn't half pack a meaty punch. Vegan cheese is piled high with seitan meat, combinging to create vivid flavours. Read our full review of Pickywops' vegan pizza (2017).
- WHAT THE PITTA, SHOREDITCH: Following the closure of a street food market, vegan doner kebab peddlers were left homeless until they took up residence in — where else — Boxpark. It now has venues in Croydon and Camden too, serving up its famous vegan kebab wrap, and other forms of vegan carbicide. Read our full review of vegan doners from What The Pitta (2017)
- FIREZZA, SOHO: One of London's first mainstream pizzerias to serve pizzas topped with vegan cheese that actually worked. Whatever dairy-free alternative Firezza is putting on its delicious bases we love it. Any of the pizzas can be made vegan for no extra charge. Read our full review of the vegan pizzas at Firezza (2017).
- TOFISH AT CANVAS CAFE: It's a terrible pun, but thankfully, the vegan fish and chips at this Shoreditch cafe is top-notch. Let's be honest, with fish and chips, it's all in the batter and the sauce, both of which are done to a very high standard here. Read our full review of tofish and chips at Canvas Cafe (2017).
- THE DINER: Meat-heavy American chain The Diner is the last place you might take your vegan mate, but it launched a new, separate (and impressively substantial) vegetarian and vegan menu in 2017, and it's now available in the Spitalfields, Strand, Dalston and Islington branches. Read our full review of The Diner's vegetarian and vegan menu (2017).
- WAGAMAMA: When Wagamama launched its new vegan menu in 2017, the fanfare felt overblown — many of the items were already on the chain's main menu, or had just had minor tweaks to make the cut. Solid, but not spectacular was our verdict. Read our full review of the Wagamama vegan menu (2017).
Keep up to date with our latest vegan reviews and features on our vegan London page.