As a vegan who is new to London I needed no excuse to eat my way through the umpteen vegetarian and vegan restaurants listed on Happy Cow. However, writing an article about the Top 5 Vegan-friendly eateries in London seemed like the perfect vindication. I am not simply a hungry vegan, but rather could justify it as 'research' .
Over the past three months I have eaten my way through some of the most delectable meals and indulged in some delicious sweet treats. I have nourished myself with organically produced, locally sourced goodness and been spoiled by the taste of fresh, cruelty-free munchies. There were some which were certainly regrettable but others have been rather heavenly. So, all for the greater good I have compiled this list so you don't have to suffer the same type of torture I endured upon my culinary trail.
Here it is, London's Top 5 Vegan Friendly Eateries as decided by me:
Everything is handmade using fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients and vegans need not search the menu for something suitable as all dishes served at Vantra are 100% vegan, gluten free and wheat free. Vantra Viato serves buffet during the day. You can take what you like and weigh your meal at the end (if you're like me, this can be dangerous as you will want to sample everything). The price is calculated by weight and you can eat your meal inside the dimly-lit, earthy restaurant or take it back to work on your lunch break.
Dinner is served from 6pm with an a-la-carte menu offering beautifully presented creations such as the 'Buddha Bowl' or the 'Raw Lasagne'. Nut cheeses, sprouted crackers and nachos all make the light meals whilst for dessert you cannot go past one of their luscious raw cakes. I am thinking of jumping on the tube right now as I flashback to the ambrosial chocolate cheesecake I had last night!
Vantra's 'liquid nourishment' makes for the perfect addition to a meal as they offer raw, alcohol-free cocktails, juices, smoothies and caffeine free coffee-alternatives.
A Feast at Vantra
With such an exciting and elaborate menu and fantastic service, Vantra will be sure to fill the hungriest of tummies, but please remember to visit the ATM prior to beginning your feast as Vantra is strictly cash-only.
Vantra Viato is open from 12pm daily with dinner service beginning at 6pm.
Their philosophy is based on creating beautifully presented, ethically produced, raw vegetarian foods without harming the environment and Wild Food Cafe certainly does this.
Located in the trendy Neal's Yard in Covent Garden, Wild Food Cafe serves a wide variety of diners. Depending on the time of day, you may have to join the queue at the bottom of the stairs and bide your time waiting for a table so make sure your dining companions are good company! However, it is well worth the wait.
Wild Food Cafe
Wild Food sources ingredients from local, independent and organic suppliers wherever possible and describe themselves as 'raw-centric', meaning that, for the most part, their food is raw so as to preserve its 'living nutrients'. Their menu is extensive with offerings of smoothies, juices, kombucha and hot teas to accompany an array of starters, light meals, main meals and divine deserts.
The menu is clearly labelled so those suffering from allergies or adhering to special diets will know which foods have been heated, or contain gluten, wheat or dairy products.
A Wild Salad
I have frequented Wild Foods since my first visit and the 'Raw Pizza' and 'The Wild Burger' have become my absolute favorites.
You must not leave Wild Food Cafe without trying one of their infamous desserts. I have since learned that Wild Foods is renowned among foodies for their selection of puddings, cakes, slices and sweet breads which will entice you as they lay perched across the large counter while you dine. The Raw Chocolate Tart is applause-worthy and will leave you wanting more.
Raw, Nut Free Banoffee Pie
Wild Food Cafe is open from 12pm-10pm every day except Sunday and Monday when they close earlier at 6pm. I highly recommend following them on Instagram to see mouthwatering images of their daily specials and innovative creative masterpieces. The team at Wild Food Cafe have also been lovely enough to share some of their delectable recipes should you be brave enough to try to recreate them at home. Good luck.
Lu-Ma is a relatively young eatery located a short walk from the heart of Wimbledon on Worple Road. Lu-Ma is a cafe-cum-restaurant which, whilst still serving some non-vegan food, is a comfortable spot for vegans.
Lu-Ma Cafe, Wimbledon
Lu-Ma was one of the first places I visited on my culinary odyssey and I was definitely not disappointed. I absolutely adored the homely vibe at Lu-Ma. For a small eatery their menu is huge. They cater for all dietary requirements and the menu is completely dairy and sugar free with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options available. The 'Cleansing Brown Rice Bowl' and 'The Bean Burger' are among my favourites and I am looking forward to testing out the 'Indulgent Pancakes' for breakfast in the summer time.
Lu-Ma use organic, sustainable, local and ethically produced ingredients wherever possible and this ethos comes through in their food, which is lovingly crafted by Lucy (Lu) and Maria (Ma) - clever isn't it/
Lu-Ma also have a kids menu and a wide variety of smoothies, which seem to be an absolute necessity for vegans these days.
I follow Lu-Ma on Facebook and look forward to them posting pictures of their enviable creations and sweet treats.
Tibits, where to begin. Firstly, the idea behind Tibits originated in Switzerland where there are now several restaurants. Tibits' only London location is tucked away on Heddon Street, about half-way between Piccadilly and Oxford Circus tube stations. It's certainly not the type of place you would simply 'stumble across' but it's well worth making a slight detour for.
Heddon Street is a magical place where fairy lights adorn the dimly-lit, elegant looking restaurants and the pace is slightly slower than that of the bustling Regent Street from which it connects.
Tibits will suit not only vegans but also those with food intolerences. It is buffet-style dining and, like Vantra, you pay by weight. Tibits describe their buffet as being 'a bit like a fairy-tale' and I think this is a beautiful analogy. I was so excited to fill my plate once I had seen some of the 40 dishes available.
Again, Tibits pride themselves on serving food made with fresh, locally sourced, ethical and sustainable produce, so you can eat here and leave with a clear conscience.
Tibits promise that 80% of their buffet-boat is vegan, however for peace of mind it is all clearly labelled using adorable symbols so you will know which dishes contain dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, onion, soy, celery and a bit of a spicy kick. If the idea of taking your pick from an array of vegan and vegetarian dishes feels a bit too much like hard work you could make a booking to attend one of their vegan-only days which are held every Tuesday. Hooray!
Anything that contains peanut butter is a winner in my book so if you are anything like me then do not go past their Chiquita shake which is made with a peanut butter cookie. Then treat your self to a Scream Sandwich which involves two of your favourite cookies frozen together with a generous helping of vegan ice cream. I can't begin to describe the deliciousness of this place and am salivating just writing about it.
I wouldn't come to Cookies and Scream expecting an elegantly presented, biodynamic, probiotic, raw masterpiece but I would expect to be totally satisfied upon entering a wonderful food coma.
These treats are fit for the gods but they are probably laden with calories. Luckily, Cookies and Scream promise that they use only the finest ingredients such as coconut oil, agave nectar and coconut and rice flours. Every product is dairy, egg, wheat and gluten free and 'all bakes are low fat, low cholesterol and made with unrefined sugars'.
Cookies and Scream at Camden Lock Market
As with every eatery at the Camden Lock Market, Cookies and Scream is often bustling. However, the service is prompt and friendly so choose your treat (or treats) and take a wander down the river.
Cookies and Scream do have an Instagram account which you can follow and a Facebook page which you can 'like'! They post their daily bakes and new creations which you will undoubtedly dream about during your daily scroll.
Cookies and Scream are open daily from 10am till 6pm.
You should definitely pop into Lu-Ma! They are so friendly in there. Vantra don't use any animal products though they do use things like cashew cheese (which is delicious). Check out their website as it is very detailed and clear about the ingredients they do and do not use.
Hope you enjoyed the article.