London, the capital of the UK, is home to a plethora of iconic landmarks and a bustling, multicultural hub where over 300 languages are spoken. In recent years, it’s also become a bit of a hotspot for vegan eats, having been voted the most vegan-friendly city in the world four years in a row. This is hardly surprising considering that London has Britain’s largest share of vegans at just under 3%.
When it comes to green living, London ranks pretty high, too. In a recent sustainability index of the most sustainable cities in the world, it secured sixth place, having introduced a number of environmental initiatives in recent years.
With over 165 vegan restaurants within a 10km radius of the city center, if you’re visiting the Big Smoke and get a bit peckish, you’ll have no trouble finding a vegan eatery. From cafes to smoothie bars and vegan cheesemongers to Michelin Stars, there really is something for everyone.
Here’s our list of some of the best vegan restaurants in London.
Cuisine: Italian-Korean Fusion
Italian and Korean fusion? Yes, you read that right! Vegan Yes in Shoreditch is a fusion restaurant that offers up delicious creations that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Chef Mauro’s inventive take on plant-based food is inspired by his Italian heritage and his wife’s Korean culture. The menu features a beautiful selection of kimchi-infused dishes that come in four vibrant colors, red (nice and spicy and our favorite), viola (more aromatic), yellow (great if you like a hit of ginger) and green (mild and minty).
There’s plenty on offer for the kimchi-skeptics, too, including the absolutely inspired Toppognochi, a true meeting of east and west, featuring Korean rice sticks, potato gnocchi mixed in Italian tomato passata, and fermented chili sauce.
Run by Michelin-star French chef Alexis Gauthier, this vegan eatery is located in the bustling heart of Soho, and if you fancy something a little boujee, this is the place. Gauthier calls itself the ‘world’s first primary sustainable gastronomic restaurant’ and serves up elegant and refined plant-based dishes that defy expectations.
Offering primarily French cuisine with an inventive spin and a touch of fusion, each dish is prepared to exacting standards and finished with finesse. The Tempeh Hash is a celebration of mushrooms, while the Kind Juniper Game featuring a succulent, slowly-braised Redefine Meat flank served with celeriac, pumpkin, pear, and red wine is phenomenal.
Visiting Gauthier is truly an experience; it brings art to the world of food and reveals the power and flavor of plant-based cooking.
The Cheese Cellar – La Fauxmagerie
Cuisine: Cheese Shop, Contemporary
Made for cheese lovers, La Fauxmagerie’s Cheese Cellar is a vegan cheese monger that offers everything from delicious fermented fauxmage to mold-ripened cheese varieties paired with exquisite vegan wines. Having teamed up with Fabrique and food ingredient experts at Belazu, there is also an exciting array of accompanying accouterments too (organic sourdough bread, baby violetto artichokes, pickled peers – all the good stuff).
It’s hard to narrow down a favorite at The Cheese Cellar because its selection is so unbelievably delicious, but if we had to choose, it would be the Vampire Slayer. It’s garlic heaven, but also, for this reason, it is perhaps one to avoid on date night.
Cuisine: Contemporary, Healthy
Clapham’s VE Kitchen offers a wide variety of colorful, tasty, and imaginative vegan food to match its eclectic and airy restaurant interiors. Despite being a buzzing restaurant, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the super attentive and friendly staff.
Whether ordering from the Guilty Pleasures, Game Changers, or Modern Classics section of the menu, you’re in for an absolute treat. Some highlights include the Mindfulness Game Changer Bowl, the Bali Buddha Rice Bowl, and our own guilty pleasure, the VE Mac & Cheeze.
Sustainability is truly centered at the heart of everything they do, too, whether that’s sourcing produce from ‘low food miles’ outlets, or using zero-plastic packaging for deliveries.
Black Cat Cafe
Cuisine: Cafe/bar, bakery, coffee
This cooperatively run non-profit vegan cafe is located in Hackney and serves up some of the best comfort food in the game, and, unusually for London, at affordable prices too. There are daily sandwiches, soups, pastries, cakes and salads, and an incredible array of specials – our favorite was the chickpea tuna sandwich.
Some staples on the menu include the chickpea pancake with roasted vegetables and fresh herbs (which started life as a special and was so beloved it became a regular feature), the mouthwatering seitan burger, and the absolutely gorgeous Black Cat Lasagne.
It’s plant-based food made with passion, driven by strong ethics. Prepare yourself for generous portions of delicious food.
Itadaki Zen serves up authentic Japanese organic vegan cuisine in Kings Cross – the first of its kind in Europe. Minimalist food that packs a punch is its specialty. Whether you choose the homemade Japanese Shoyu-Koji and Yuzu-koji pickles, or the creamy cold mushroom ramen, you won’t be disappointed.
Alongside its delectable dishes, it also hosts regular art exhibitions and live music, so you can soak up some culture while you dig into your dumplings.
Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in London
Below we’ve included some notable mentions that, while not catering exclusively to vegans, offer some rather stunning vegan-friendly options that are bound to impress.
Atis, City of London
Cuisine: Fusion, Healthy
Atis is a perfect go-to for those grabbing a bite to eat in the lunchtime rush. No fuss, no frills, just tasty, honest food that’s both nourishing and colorful. Atis’ ethos is that food should be balanced, and it’s on a mission to get more people to eat plant-powered food.
The Shroom 2.0 bowl is a standout for us and features a wonderful selection of grains, slaw, shallots, grilled portobello, and chestnut mushrooms. But don’t worry, there’s still a lot on offer for those who aren’t fungi fanatics, including the delightfully fresh Miso Hungry Bowl and the Autumn Kickstarter. And why not mix and match by creating your own bowl?
Yauatcha Soho is a Chinese dim sum teahouse that launched in 2004 to critical acclaim. It offers authentic dim sum with a contemporary influence, and while not strictly vegan, it offers a vegan menu and can veganize non-vegan menu items too.
The golden squash dumpling with pine nuts is a must, while the stir-fried long bean is divine, slathered in ginger, garlic, and black bean sauce.
Perfect for a formal dinner or special date night, Yauatcha Soho provides an effortlessly cool atmosphere, with candlelit tables and twinkling lights in its brick-lined basement room. That said, if you’re out with friends for a more casual, low-key affair, you can opt for the street-level canteen.
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Bubala is a vegetarian restaurant in East London that takes inspiration from the cafes of Tel Aviv and offers a great selection of vegan options. Having started out as a pop-up, the restaurant now has two locations, Spitalfields and Soho, which both showcase the versatility and vibrancy of vegetables.
Its vegan set menu features delights such as beetroot borani, charred oyster mushroom skewers, and Kohlrabi, with ajo blanco, kumquat, smoked almond & basil salsa to tantalize your taste buds. The rest of the menu is 80% plant-based, so you’ll really be spoilt for choice.
Unpretentious, innovative, and delicious, this one’s definitely worth a visit if you enjoy small plates and Levantine flavors.
Madaline is a vegan journalist, writer, and editor specializing in sustainability, current affairs, and social justice and the ways in which they intersect. Her work focuses on innovation and progress, prioritizing rigorous investigation. When she’s not writing, she’s in the kitchen experimenting with new plant-based recipes, reading a good book, or thinking about her next cup of coffee.