This is my current list of London’s best vegetarian restaurants. They aren’t all exclusively vegetarian, but they’re all vegetarian-friendly, which to me means they’ve put as much effort into making their meatless food as tasty as everything else on the menu.
Another thing these restaurants do right is offer a variety of delicious veggie mains, so you won’t be stuck with a goat’s cheese tart as the only option.
I have put a (v) next to places that serve exclusively vegetarian food.
This is in alphabetical order, because I couldn’t rank them.
268-270 Green Street, London, E7 8LF
Three of the restaurants I love enough to feature in this post are Gujarati Indian. It’s the food that I grew up on, so of course I love it, but, personal bias aside, Gujarat is a vegetarian state, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect the meatless meal.
The food at this casual café is a bargain. The décor isn’t gorgeous, and it doesn’t exactly have a central location, but make a beeline for it if you are in the neighbourhood. I would highly recommend the Gujarati Thali, so you get a little taste of everything. The last time I went, I got change from a £20 note after paying for four people. How often does that happen in London?
11 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DJ
People rave about London’s Korean restaurants. I live in Stoke Newington, so have sampled the famous Korean joints on Kingsland Road but have never been impressed with the veggie offerings; perhaps I have always ordered the wrong thing.
I had my first Bibimbap at this self-titled restaurant and it was delicious.
There are 10 different stone-bowl rice dishes on the menu, and they leave you to mix it yourself. Veggies are well catered for with tofu, mushroom or kimchi versions, served with white or brown rice.
If you’re in the area, it’s a great place to stop for lunch: the service is quick and the food is reasonably priced.
55 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BB
I’ve already raved about this place, so I’ll just make you click this link and read what I wrote before. Not only is the atmosphere lovely, but it has a separate vegetarian menu. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it.
10c Bradbury Street, Dalston, London, N16 8JN
You may have seen the odd mention of this restaurant on my blog before: Urvesh and his team catered my wedding!
Gujarati Rasoi started out as a market stall – and can still be found in Broadway and Borough Markets. The stalls were so popular that they opened a charming little restaurant in Dalston last autumn. The food is gorgeous and the menus change each week. It includes favourites such as khadi, a yoghurt soup, and patra, leaves stuffed with a spicy paste. I even spotted that mugg, a spiced lentil soup, was on the menu last week – mugg is my favourite food of all time so next time it appears I will be booking a table straight away.
21-22 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5NE
Some people might choose the more famous of Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurants, his eponymous Ottolenghi, but I adore Nopi. The menu is full of the vibrant, exciting salads that Ottolenghi is famed for, interesting cocktails and not just vegetarian-friendly, but vegan-friendly dishes. I have just bought a copy of Jerusalem and can’t wait to try and recreate the miso-spiced aubergine that I had last time I was there.
7 Long Lane, Finchley, London, N3 2PR
Another Gujarati restaurant! My husband took me here before we started dating – I think he was trying to impress me. It worked! And it was worth the schlep over to Finchley. The menu is vast – try the dahi vada, lentil dumplings topped with spicy yogurt, and kachori, a farsan that is typical of Gujarati cooking.
55 Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16 OAR
This is in my neighbourhood and serves vegetarian Keralan food. I go here so often that the waiters recognise me – or perhaps they’re just being polite. It is my favourite place to get a dosa in London, food that always calls to me the day after too much fun the evening before.
17- 18 Tooks Court, London, EC4A 1LB
I read so much about this restaurant that I was wary of the hype. I refused to watch the movie Titanic when I was a teenager as people raved about it too much – surely after such good press it could only be a disappointment? Eventually I saw Titanic and loved it (don’t judge: it was the best movie ever to a 16-year-old – apart from Clueless, obviously). And eventually I went to Vanilla Black and loved it, too. After my Titanic analogy, I bet you’re dying to go now, too. The food is adventurous and zany and the chefs have created a menu that is a real up-yours to the goat’s cheese tart*. The food at this restaurant shows how cool vegetarian food can be.
Notable mentions: Manna and Food for Thought.
One restaurant I would have loved to have added to this list is Saf, but its Shoreditch branch has closed and I have never been to the remaining one in Kensington. It’s such a shame Saf Shoreditch is gone; I loved its creative raw dishes and garden-inspired cocktails. One day I might trek over to Kensington to see what its remaining place is all about. If I do, I will update.
I’m sure I’ve missed off some gems that I haven’t yet visited. What would you add?
*I actually like goat’s cheese tarts, but apparently I feel like slagging them off today.
Tags: london vegetarian, London's best vegetarian restaurants, vegetarian restaurants london