The Gate

Restaurants , Vegetarian Finsbury
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(9 user reviews)
12 Love It
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© Rob Greig

First impressions augured well: on a midweek night, every table was full and the place was humming. Our neighbours had schlepped all the way from Hammersmith while their favourite restaurant – the original Gate – was being refurbished (due to reopen autumn 2013). This is a class act, with a modern and airy interior featuring an open kitchen/bar and big industrial lights under which to examine the menu.

There are plenty of à la carte starters and mains and, for the indecisive, a great mezédes menu – one plate for £4, three for £10, five for £15. Every dish was beautifully presented, with a little dish of aïoli, pepper coulis or harissa to complement the leading flavours: halloumi skewers; artichoke tempura; crunchy balls of couscous, feta and mint; tortilla with tasty beetroot and goat’s cheese filling. Desserts are no less fabulous: lavender crème brûlée, apple tarte tatin with cinnamon ice-cream and, genius this, even a dessert meze (allow 15 minutes) for £15.

We’ve already planned to go back for the weekend brunch, not least because we love the sound of the mamoosa – pan-fried potato with tomato, scrambled eggs and coriander, served with salad and schoog (green chilli dip). Vegetarian food never tasted so good.


Venue name: The Gate
Address: 370 St John Street
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri. Brunch served 10am-3pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sun
Transport: Tube: Angel
Price: Main courses £12.50-£15.50. Set meal (5.30-7.30pm) £15 2 courses
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Average User Rating

2.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
2 people listening
Emily G

Even as a dedicated meateater, The Gate is one of my favourite restaurants in London. The food is really creative; if you’re a vegetarian you’ll appreciate the complete absence of anything resembling a nut roast or Portobello mushroom burger.

Bernice C

We had high expectations and wished to try The Gate to get more inspiration in our own cooking, we are meat eaters but are trying to eat more vegetarian food to be healthier. Unfortunately every single dish we had was overloaded with cheese. The portion sizes were huge but the food was unappetizing, very rich with the cheese and lacking in flavour or texture. We were expecting innovative and healthy vegetarian food but walked away feeling over-full and bloated. 

Jenola S

The meals are overpriced given the very small portion sizes. The food isn't very impressive either. I definitely won't be going again.

Eilzabeth S

I've been to The Gate several times and it has never failed to impress me. The food is consistently delicious and inventive and the service is always friendly and attentive. This restaurant is one of my favourites in London, and always makes for a special evening.


I was really excited when I saw that the Gate was opening in Islington as I'd been hoping for a vegetarian restaurant to open here for ages, but it doesn't really work. The food isn't as delicious as places like Ottolenghi and the atmosphere is the worst thing. They were playing club music when we were in there and the acoustics were really bad with the wooden floor. It didn't make me want to run back, which is a real shame, as I want to love it.


Went to the Gate for Sunday Brunch. Had amazing halloumi cheese and mixed pepper skewer as a starter and for main I had the large beetroot, watercress and goat cheese salad and my partner had the corn cake from the mains menu. Both of the mains were absolutely delicious and nicely presented!


If you want very very small portions of vegetarian food and stupidly high prices, The Gate will suit you. A real disappointment.