Based on original content by Helen Graves.
Yeah, there are plenty of fats, dressings and cheeses (and the odd kebab) featured in the list below — this is about great, balanced food rather than morose, spartan self-denial. We don't buy the clean-eating propaganda: the healthiest sort of eating is relaxed, balanced and joyful. #nosuchthingasbadcarbs
That's what we think, anyhow. And this list is all about the spots that cram plenty of pleasure into their satisfying, goodness-packed dishes.
The fish-centric menu at this Japanese spot is fresh and satisfying, featuring sushi, sashimi and poke — in case you missed London's massive poke trend, that's a Hawaiian dish of cubed fish, with a selection of toppings and pickles. Tombo also havs a matcha bar with a range of green tea drinks to give you that light caffeine kick.
Tombo, see website for locations in South Kensington, Soho and Fitzrovia
Andina, Notting Hill
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Hold on tight. Last day before the long #BankHoliday #weekend. In the mean time, pop in for #breakfast at #Andina in #NottingHill to try our savoury Corn Cake with #avocado, #huancaina sauce and salsa criolla. . . . . . . . . . . #perufood #peruviancuisine #peruvianfood #corncake #foodphotography #instafood #brunch #healthyfood #foodperu #eatperuvian #ceviche #foodie #foodpic #southamericancuisine #peruviangastronomy #foodiesofinstagram #peruvianfoodisthebest #cocinaperunana #gastronomiaperuana #comidaperuana #londonbrunch #londondining
The menu at this Peruvian joint is crammed with bright colours and just as bright flavours. Filling but fresh, and with a decent value lunch menu (two dishes for £10, three for £12), it also offers a great range of vegan and vegetarian options, hearty enough to easily compete with the meatier dishes in the satisfaction stakes. Order the corn cakes as a priority. That said, we also recommend the decidedly meaty Panca dish — rare steak, spicy potato mash, fermented red onions — for its comfort-food level of warmth.
Andina, locations in Notting Hill, Shoreditch and Piccadilly
Savage Salads, Soho
These guys generate queues that stretch right down Berwick Street every lunchtime and the company has now expanded to a further three sites. The idea of leaves for lunch can seem dreary but these are salads with attitude — substantial, vitamin-packed and a good whack of your five-a-day in one go.
Think chunky coleslaws made with cabbage and orange zest, roasted sweet potato with seeds and lentils, and toppings like grilled chicken, halloumi cheese and toasted pitta. The key to its success is that everything is packed with flavour and you can choose lots of different salads in one box, so there’s no chance of boredom halfway through.
Savage Salads, see website for locations in Soho, Victoria, London Bridge and White City.
The Ottolenghi restaurants aren't cheap, but everything is great quality and tastes amazing as a result. The spread of salad bowls in the window is always super colourful, too. Along the lines of Savage Salads, the way to approach this is to get a salad combination so there are lots of different flavours, textures and varied dressings to make your healthy lunch more of a pleasure than a chore.
Ottolenghi, see website for locations in Belgravia, Spitalfields, Soho, Notting Hill, Fitzrovia and Islington.
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Looking for a #healthybrunch - we’ve updated our #ultrarunner 2 soft poached eggs dusted with sumac, pomegranate jewelled rice, sweet potato hummus, parsley & sumac salad, rocket & fermented kraut. If you’re doing your last London marathon long run today good luck! Great weather for it.
Great vegetarian and vegan options, zingily fresh juices and spicing punchy enough to banish any winter chill — there's a lot to love about this Battersea kebab restaurant, now with a second venue in Highbury. Ingredients are carefully-sourced, with high-welfare meat and free-range eggs, and the freshly-baked flatbread and salad bowl options are both deeply satisfying. We recommend the saffron and orange chicken shish flatbread, or, if it's brunch you're after, the Good Morning veggie kebab, with chermoula aubergine and generous swathes of avocado tahini.
Feeling energetic? First Sunday of every month is the Kebab Chase — run from one of their restaurants to the other (7.5 miles!) and brag about it on social media, and you'll get a free kebab at the end. We're nearly tempted...
Bababoom, with locations in Battersea Rise and Highbury.
The Gate, Hammersmith
The Gate is a popular chain of vegetarian restaurants offering wholesome-yet-interesting dishes — the allergen menus are on-point so it's a good spot for those with lactose intolerance or other allergies.
The menu features internationally-inspired influences, for example, miso glazed aubergine, sweet potato tortillas, Thai green curry and vegan mango cheesecake. The wine list is surprisingly punchy for a casual restaurant but there are cocktails at around the £8-9 mark as well as a selection of beers and other drinks.
The Gate, see website for locations in Islington, Marylebone, Hammersmith and St John's Wood
Atari-Ya Sushi Bar, Ealing
If it’s reasonably priced sushi you’re after, then you could do a lot worse than heading to Atari-Ya Sushi Bar, a sushi and sashimi bar chain from the excellent Atari-Ya Japanese supermarket. There are venues in Swiss Cottage and Ealing Common.
It uses its own supply of fish, so you’ll find options on the menu you won’t see in other places in the same price range, like two types of fatty tuna and grilled salmon jaw (the head parts of fish are prized in Japan, and surprisingly good to eat).
Atari-Ya Sushi Bar, 75 Fairfax Rd, NW6 4EE and 1 Station Parade, Uxbridge Road, W5 3LD.
Honey & Co, Fitzrovia
Shakshuka makes for a great, hearty vegetarian dish at any time of day — and the green shakshuka at Honey & Co. is a thing of vivid gorgeousness. Two eggs, baked in a spinach and herb sauce, rather than the usual tomato, with goats' yoghurt — it's more than just a pretty plate, it's a thoroughly delicious breakfast/lunch that'll have you swooping up every last smear of sauce with the sesame bagel it comes with.
Honey & Co, 25 Warren Street, W1T 5LZ.