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Looking for plant-based perfection? Look no further than BBC Good Food’s guide to the very best vegan restaurants in London. Get your fill of mouth-watering pizzas, terrific tacos and wholesome cooking with our selection of vegan-friendly cafés, restaurants and foodie hotspots. Plus, don’t miss our suggestions for vegan sweet treats and other moreish nibbles.
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Best vegan restaurants in East London
The Black Cat
The Black Cat is a relaxed, cooperatively run café, with communal tables and local photography plastered on the walls. The menu is packed with seriously satisfying options, from cheesy lasagne to a seitan and soya mince burger, as well as a tempting sandwich menu of sourdough ciabatta crammed with the likes of seitan steak and smoky tempeh. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be well catered for, with milkshakes (made using dairy-free milks), muffins and cakes on offer, including a luscious peanut butter chocolate cheesecake, which tasted like a creamy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Must-try dish: Chickpea ‘tuna’ sandwich
The brainchild of couple Nelly and John, this popular Brick Lane burger bar’s ethos is to serve nutritional fast food that replicates the non-vegan fare the owners enjoyed during childhood. From gooey breaded cheese sticks to intensely ‘meaty’ burgers and moreish fries, Mooshies delivers pure vegan junk food in a cosy, colourfully decorated setting. Made from high-quality ingredients, the burgers here are a must-try; highly stacked fillings include succulent slow-cooked BBQ jackfruit (‘pulled Mooshie’), an organic quinoa and black bean patty (‘what’s ur beef?’), a spicy oyster mushroom and hash brown (‘magic mushroom’) and fried aubergine with tartare sauce and seaweed (fillet-om-phish).Must-try dish: ‘What’s ur beef’ burger
Burgers: £7.50-£9Temple of Seitan
If you’re craving plant-based junk food, Temple of Seitan is just the place (there’s also a branch in Camden). Deep-fried, crunchy, spicy seitan (dubbed chick’n – it’s uncannily similar) is the star of the show here, served in several genius ways: as hot fillets, wings, popcorn bites and in burgers, piled high with cheese, ‘bacon’, pickles and mayo. Sides hit the spot, too, with options such as crisp skinny fries, a creamy, indulgent mac ‘n’ cheese and a crunchy, tangy slaw, which helps to cut through all the richness. If you have room for dessert, there are several vegan cakes on offer, including chocolate fudge, salted caramel and raspberry, coconut & lemon. Seitan, we salute you!Must-try dish: ‘Temple spicy’ burger
Sides: £2.50-£6Biff’s Jack Shack
The masterful and affordable menu at Biff’s Jack Shack is an ode to jackfruit, featuring wings, burgers, chilli and other sauce-laden fast food. Must-try dishes include the poutine (£6), London’s first vegan version of the famed Quebecois chips-and-gravy dish. The seitan bacon, umami gravy and vegan cheese curds are packed with moreish savoury flavour. The crispy fried wings (two pieces for £6; four pieces for £10) pack a serious punch, as do the bumper vegan burgers, which come cheese-topped and dripping in a vivid cascade of spicy sauces. Biff’s trades from a kiosk at Shoreditch’s street food mecca Boxpark, so seating is communal and informal (it’s also recently opened a second joint in Walthamstow). You’ll find some of London’s best food stalls at Boxpark, including Voodoo Ray’s, The Athenian and Sub Cult, making it a great choice for meeting a group of friends with various preferences. (Photo: Kim Burrows)Must-try dish: Vegan poutine
Death By Pizza
Tucked away in East London’s Netil Market is a gothic-looking matte black stall emblazened with the name Death By Pizza. These dough aficionados don’t do things by halves. Marco Casadei and his wife Carla Monsora have done some seriously tasty experimentation to make all their own vegan cheeses and mock meats, including spicy pepperoni and delicate waves of ham, and their hard-working wood-fired oven churns out delicious, piping-hot pizza. If you’re in need of plant-based comfort food, pull up a seat and tuck into a classic Margherita-style slice, or try their wildly popular ‘devil’s coglioni’, with double pepperoni. Whatever you do, be sure to sample the deliciously decadent ‘dead Barbie’; you can’t beat the mouth-watering mix of homemade seitan chicken and vegan mozzarella on a sweet and smoky barbecue base. Must-try dish: Dead Barbie pizza
The vegan comfort food menu isn’t the only reason to visit Shoreditch-based Genesis. With its millennial pink seating, neon signs and avocado posters, it’s an Instagrammer’s paradise. While we didn’t love everything we tried, the food certainly looks the part. The jackfruit taco with hoisin mayo, cucumber and spring onion could easily pass for crispy duck, and the towering burgers come oozing with cheese just like the real deal.For a dish to satisfy both non-vegans and vegans alike, try the Mexican-style torta Milanese. With its combination of panko aubergine, refried beans, coconut cheese and chipotle mayo cased in a brioche bun, it’s one next-level bean burger. Finish your meal with chocolate milkshake – it’s thick, rich and creamy and tastes just like the inside of a Ferrero Rocher. Booking is recommended.
Must-try dish: Torta Milanese sandwich
Burgers and hot dogs: from £8
Tacos: from £4 Stem + Glory
Stem + Glory near St Paul’s is a sophisticated, trendy and relaxed restaurant, where you can sit at a communal bar area or at private tables. The menu is a refreshing take on vegan food, far removed from the days of generic plant-based restaurants of times gone by. The restaurant recommends sharing a number of the small plates (the kimchi pancakes with fermented onion rings is a real winner) but the mains aren’t to be missed, either – the pulled ‘pork’ bao burger with salad and roasted potatoes was satisfying and packed with flavour. If you’ve missed sipping a pisco sour, you’re well catered for here, with Ms. Better’s Bitters Miraculous Foamer replacing the traditional egg white. The desserts are slightly underwhelming, though, especially for the price. It’s a good spot for a special occasion and is sure to impress non-vegan friends.
Must-try dish: Pulled ‘pork’ bao burger
Best vegan restaurants in North London
The Spread Eagle
In 2018, The Spread Eagle – based in edgy East London’s – became the first 100% vegan pub in the city. With all their food, drinks, fixtures and fittings being plant-based and sustainably sourced wherever possible, it’s the ideal family-friendly, dog-friendly establishment for all pub lovers. The kitchen is run by vegan street food extraordinaires Club Mexicana, who specialise in Mexican-inspired dishes that aren’t typically vegan and the staff are happy to chat you through the menu. We recommend the handmade corn tortillas (two for £7.50 or three for £10), with fillings such as sticky glazed ‘chick’n’ and ‘Baja tofish’. We also loved the Mexican-fried ‘chicken’ burger, dripping with mustard mayo and crunchy pickled cabbage. If you want a night out that both vegans and carnivores can relish, this is the answer.Must-try dish: Mexican-fried chicken burger
Tacos: Three for £10
Small plates: £5.50-£6.50SpiceBox
Keralan-inspired vegan spot SpiceBox – once a street-food stall, now a permanent fixture in Walthamstow – has a cheerful menu that pops with creativity and colour. For brunch, order SpiceBox’s signature ‘doffles’ (dosa pancakes turned into crispy waffles, served with jackfruit beans) with KFC – Keralan-fried ‘chick’n’, made from soy chicken in a bhaji-like batter. The dinner menu (served from 5pm) features vegan takes on traditional dishes like bhaji, samosa, pani puri and chicken tikka, plus inventive mains such as mushroom keema and jackfruit biryani. The narrow shopfront opens out into a beautiful dining room flooded with natural light. Service is warm and attentive and the prices are very reasonable. While you’re in E17, be sure to check out fellow vegan hotspots Hornbeam Café, a community café that’s a Walthamstow institution, and Biff’s Jack Shack, now serving its trademark jackfruit wings from the Eat 17 Spar. There’s also the excellent Bühler and Co, which offers a vegetarian menu with various vegan options.Must-try dish: Doffles
Best vegan restaurants in central London
Nestled on Russell Street, just slightly removed from the bustle of Covent Garden, lies American fast food-style vegan restaurant by Chloe. (there’s also a branch near Tower Bridge, as well as a few locations in the US). The plant-based menu is available to eat in or take away, and the queues on a Friday night show just how popular this spot is. As well as being an Instagrammer’s heaven (think hanging chairs and a neon ‘Guac save the Queen’ sign), the food is seriously impressive – it’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite before hitting the shops. The must-try dishes are, perhaps surprisingly, the sides: make sure you order the ‘market veggie’, which changes seasonally, and the quinoa taco salad, featuring the most delicious spicy seitan chorizo (the real star of the show).Must-try dish: Quinoa taco salad
Best vegan restaurants in West London
Wulf & Lamb
With taglines like ‘fiercely kind food’ and ‘just veg, with edge’, Wulf & Lamb is clear in asserting its 100% plant-based ethos. This stylish and contemporary restaurant in the heart of Chelsea draws a crowd of vegans and meat-eaters alike, employing such clever ingredient substitutions you may forget they’re even vegan. The menu offers an array of colourful and comforting plant-based options, from chilli ‘non’ carne and pulled jackfruit pie to a seitan ‘Wulf burger’ and vegan pizza. Sides also deserve a special mention, with the creamy cashew mac ‘n’ cheese and chargrilled broccoli both stars of the show. If you have room left for dessert, try the zingy mango & passion fruit cheesecake, which is a dairy-free delight, or consider the range of beautiful baked goods on display at the counter. Must-try dish: Mac ‘n’ cheese
Mains: from £10.95
Best vegan restaurants in South London
A 10-minute walk from Tooting Broadway, Vegan Express is a cosy little restaurant in an unexpected location. The restaurant prides itself on its creative use of cashews and the menu is a mixture of pizza, vegan versions of old favourites (we loved the nachos with cashew cheese, although the sweet potato lasagne was a little too sweet for our tastes) and more traditional vegan fare, with bean loaf and teriyaki tofu on offer. Desserts were a highlight, with the smooth mango & passion fruit cheesecake – again made with cashews – standing out in particular.
Must-try dish: Nachos
Starters/appetisers: £7.50-£8.50The Meet
Tucked away under the arches in Clapham North, The Meet popped up in October 2018 and is here to stay. Offering vegan takes on your favourite meat-based comfort food, this is a great place to bring friends who are new to the vegan scene, with plenty of familiar veganised dishes on the menu. We loved the seitan nuggets and ‘chorizo’ mac ‘n’ cheese starters as particular standout vegan alternatives that still felt indulgent and full of flavour. Pop in for brunch at the weekend, with optional extra vegan bubbles.
Must-try dish: Mac Daddy O
Foodie places to try:
This all-vegan bakery serves up a range of deliciously squidgy cakes, brownies and all things sweet. Be sure to try ‘the ambassador’, a Ferrero Rocher in cupcake form, and the Canadian Nanaimo bars for layers of chocolatey goodness.
Is there anywhere we’ve missed? Leave a comment below…