Want to make a stab at going full-blown vegan in 2023? Just looking to discover more plant-based restaurants to love in London? With extracts from An Opinionated Guide to Vegan London (Second Edition), we pick out five places doing to-die-for vegan menus — in north, south, east, west and central London. Dig in!
East London - Alter
Alter, as its name suggests, is big on doing things differently. Founded by chef Andy Goodwin to challenge misconceptions around plant-based food, Alter isn't a 'vegan restaurant' so much as just a really great one — whatever your culinary predilection. Its menu is just as colourful as its joyful canary-yellow walls, defying clichéd notions of what vegan food should look like with nutritious morsels of pan-Asian deliciousness. Everything on the menu is heavenly but if you must narrow it down, go for the small but mighty kung-pao crackers, creamy khao-soi noodle laksa and the seemingly misplaced but actually completely necessary pizza-dough 'horns'. Nope, wouldn't alter a thing.
Alter, First Floor of Leman Locke, 15 Leman Street, Whitechapel
West London - Farmacy
Earthy meets glamorous in this much-hyped Notting Hill destination — a bright, wood-bedecked space where hand-thrown pots and rattan sit alongside designer furniture and expensive hairstyles. Living up to its name, Farmacy is all about the health-promoting potential of plant-based food, infusing a long, detailed menu with produce from its own bio-dynamic Kentish farm. Everything from the falafel waffles to the mushroom-based Farmacy benedict — not forgetting the CBD-infused mock- and cocktails — tastes as good as it makes you feel.
Farmacy, 74–76 Westbourne Grove
North London - The Fields Beneath
When the owner went vegan in 2017, so did his coffee shop. Since then, dairy-free lattes and croissants, as well as slabs of mum's banana bread have lifted this Kentish Town West railway arch to new heights. Their new head chef has recently introduced a rotating menu of inventively tempting hot dishes and wraps, including a Korean BBQ with crispy fried onions. A daily fixture for many locals, The Fields Beneath has the lived-in feel of your best friend's kitchen — except here there are monthly wine tastings, five different kinds of plant milk in the fridge and a trusty coffee machine that whirrs into action at 7.30am.
The Fields Beneath, 52A Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town
Central London - Apricity
Consideration is king at lauded chef Chantelle Nicholson's stylish Mayfair restaurant, where genuine concern seems to run through every inch of the operation — be it agonising over supply chains, fretting about food waste or just ensuring employees get home at a reasonable hour. Meat and veggie options dwarf the plant-based ones, but don't let that deter you — the tangy miso-roasted cabbage, delicate red butterhead salad and juicy summer oyster and black pearl mushrooms are easily the tastiest things on the menu, along with an unexpectedly delectable dip made from kitchen leftovers. Apricity even extends its hospitality to diners' dogs. So thoughtful.
Apricity, 68 Duke Street, Mayfair
South London - Kin + Deum
At the point just before London Bridge turns into buzzing Bermondsey, you may spot what looks like a cosily lit living room. Feel free to enter and join a lovely family affair where a sister and brother team of second-generation Thai restaurateurs merge traditional recipes with their flavoursome take on Bangkok street food. Glass noodle broths, fragrant tom kha and aromatic green curry — all the crowd-pleasing dishes and flavours are here, in fresh-tasting, unpretentious but quietly brilliant form.
Kin + Deum, 2 Crucifix Lane, Bermondsey (Other locations: King’s Cross, Soho, Camden)
An Opinionated Guide to Vegan London (Second Edition), published on Hoxton Mini Press, RRP £10.95