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Issy Croker

The best healthy restaurants in London

Eating healthily doesn’t have to mean bland, boring, taste- and fun-free. We recommend these places for great food and no nasties

Written by
Time Out London Food & Drink
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Searching for healthy food in London? You’re in luck. There are loads of restaurants across the city catering for those on a calorie-conscious health kick, diet, or detox (as well as those in need of something coeliac-friendly, dairy-free or paleo).

We’ve rounded up the best healthy restaurants in London, including spots for vegetarian and vegan eats, raw-food specialists and sushi joints. Plus, we've also chucked in ‘regular’ eateries that also offer healthier dishes, so you don’t have to say goodbye to your gluttonous dining pals altogether. 

Healthy restaurants in London

  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • Shoreditch

Originally set up by Martin Morales (of Ceviche fame), Andina gives free rein to calories but makes up for it in the healthy-eating stakes, with more than its fair share of Peruvian superfoods plus plenty of gluten-free and vegan options. Fill up on savoury corn-and-feta cakes, zingy ceviches and out-there salads (anyone for sustainable palm hearts and passion fruit tartare with avocado, pea shoots and potato?). Similar stuff is on offer at Casita Andina in Soho.

Ardiciocca
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Fulham

Gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free… that’s the schtick at this diet-conscious Italian joint from the team behind the Macellaio RC mini-chain. Produce comes exclusively from indie artisan outfits and the kitchen rolls out plenty of decent stuff – from arancini balls and Sardinian gnocchi to surprisingly good pizzas with very thin, flat bases (try the version topped with stracchino cheese and Genoese pesto). To drink, there’s g-f Peroni beer as well as a selection of natural and low-intervention wines.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Broadgate
  • price 1 of 4

Those outdoorsy Aussies have taught us a thing or two about healthy living over the years, and the bright and breezy Beany Green café sells Londoners the whole package in a colourful modern setting compete with a hip-hop soundtrack and a funky heated balcony. Expect to find vegetables loaded into almost everything, from daisy-fresh salads, yoghurt flatbreads and high-protein chargrills to quinoa and millet porridge. Also try Beany Green in Little Venice and Regent’s Place.

Chicama
  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • King’s Road

Although more grown up than Pachamama, this seafood- and veg-centred sibling still magics up a happening vibe. Modish Peruvian small plates play to Chelsea’s carb-avoiders, while specialities along the lines of sea-bass ceviche, grilled cabbage with aubergine purée or trout cooked in banana leaf with red quinoa and mango sauce deliver knockout flavours without troubling size-zero waistbands. It hardly matters that desserts don’t quite cut it – no self-respecting calorie-conscious Chelseaite eats pudding anyway.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Mayfair
  • price 3 of 4

Raw fish is manna to healthy eaters and this calming Mayfair Japanese spot shows the way with a fine selection of sushi and sashimi. The chefs at the counter take their art seriously – witness platters of cut rolls tightly wrapped with nori or glistening slices of fish, beautifully presented with slivers of vegetables and dots of wasabi. There’s plenty of other healthy stuff on the menu, especially if you’re into izakaya-style sharing in the harmoniously neutral dining room.

Cocotte
  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Notting Hill

A Nando’s for clean-living Londoners, Cocotte serves healthy French-reared rotisserie chicken on wooden boards alongside a choice of homemade sauces, pretty superfood-packed salads and other accompaniments. Sadly, sides of truffled mac ’n’ cheese are out of bounds if you’re sticking rigidly to your regime, but other ideas, such as the gluten-free mango mochi (rice cake), are a deliciously sin-free prospect when it comes to dessert. There’s a spin-off in Hoxton, too.

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Cojean
  • Restaurants
  • French
  • St Paul’s
  • price 1 of 4

Cojean is to Paris what Pret is to London: a ubiquitous lunchtime proposition accompanied by a Gallic shrug. Like Pret, it’s also very good at what it does: health-conscious fast food including wholegrain salads, wholesome soups and curries, delicious sandwiches and lots of veggie and gluten-free options. Hardly revolutionary, but a solid lunchtime go-to for anyone on a health regime. You can also find Cojeans in Mayfair and Chancery Lane.

Farmacy
  • Restaurants
  • Global
  • Notting Hill

Owned by well-connected glamour-puss Camilla Al-Fayed (of Harrods fame), Farmacv sells ‘clean indulgence’ to an eager audience of moneyed Notting Hillbillies and aspirational hedge-fund wives. It’s a happy, joyful, ‘free-from’ kind of place – no dairy, no sugars, no additives, no meat – with lots of plant-based goodies ranging from ‘clean curries’ to macro ‘earth bowls’.  Even the most virtuous dishes taste luxurious, especially when eaten in such chic surroundings.

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Granger & Co
  • Restaurants
  • Fusion
  • King’s Cross
  • price 2 of 4

Bill Granger has the youthful looks and otherworldly serenity of a cult leader – a great advert for his chain of sunny-side-up all-day restaurants. Like at its siblings, the goodness-packed line-up at this branch has a whole section devoted to bowls and grains, plus some really inventive salads and barbecue – there’s even a dedicated ‘allergy menu’ flagging up everything from gluten to sulphur. Granger is also known for giving good brunch – healthy, of course. Branches in Chelsea, Clerkenwell and Notting Hill.

  • Restaurants
  • Hawaiian
  • Soho
  • price 1 of 4

A longboard outside the door points up the breezy surfing vibe at this addition to the surging poké roadshow – an airy spot with a clean Asiatic look and a menu of Hawaiian-style raw fish salad bowls. Choose one of the ready-mades or build your own combo from the colourful pick ’n’ mix assembly line. Seating is limited, but Honi is just fine for a grab-and-go lunch or an early-evening refresher. Try the branches in Fenchurch Street, Hammersmith and Marylebone too.

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Itadaki Zen
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • King’s Cross

Japanese, vegan and organic? What’s not to love – and, rest assured, we do love this cool little miracle near King’s Cross station. Only the slurping of noodles disturbs the zen-like tranquillity, as punters dip into a virtuously healthy menu that makes the most of a few key ingredients (expects lots of tofu and seaweed). Laidback staff go with the flow, while zealous foodie workshops, art exhibitions and live music make Itadaki even more lovable.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Bank
  • price 3 of 4

A slender sunshine strip of a restaurant promoting guilt-free ‘clean eating’ within the swanky surrounds of The Ned hotel/club complex, Malibu Kitchen feels like a slice of California in the City. The menu favours veggie and vegan over meat and fish – although there’s something for everyone, including fans of raw food. Vegetable and mango rolls with spicy nuts, poké bowls and zesty salads all fit the bill.  For a full-on LA trip, wash it down with some lip-smacking green juice.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Balham
  • price 2 of 4

South-west London is well-served by Megan’s, and the Balham branch has all the necessary neighbourhood credentials. During the day, its twee interiors, flower wall and roofed garden are manna for local yummy mummies wanting brunch, coffee and cake, or simply a zesty salad and some invigorating juice. In the evening, thoughts turn to posh deconstructed kebabs, sharing boards and naughty cocktails – although just about everything is given some sort of healthy spin.

Mommi
  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • Clapham

Everything is certified gluten-free at this Peruvian-Japanese bar and dining room – a clubby venue where standards are Machu Picchu high and much of the food has a healthy slant. Lean contenders from the regular menu include chirashi sushi power bowls, the house ceviche and sizzling offerings from the grill. Brunch also offers some healthy pickings, although the bottomless booze may knock you off track at the weekends.

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No. Fifty Cheyne
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Chelsea
  • price 4 of 4

An elegant rebrand of Chelsea’s famous old Cheyne Walk Brasserie, No Fifty is a timeless, plush and inviting setting for healthy modern cooking with a touch of class. Creative salad-based dishes and meat or fish from the grill are always worth a punt, but also look for veggie and vegan offerings such as roasted aubergine with pipérade quinoa, honey and soy dressing. Just beware the calorie-laden desserts and the indulgently tempting afternoon tea.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Global
  • Soho

This white-walled homage to flavour is inherently healthy, firstly because founder Yotam Ottolenghi is obsessed with vegetables and grains, and secondly because the sharing plates are so small you’ll struggle to overeat. However, every mouthful of Middle Eastern/Asian fusion food is worth it. Nopi isn’t the greatest bargain in town, so try branches of Yotam’s Ottolenghi café chain for slightly cheaper lunch deals.

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Osh
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Asian
  • Knightsbridge
  • price 3 of 4

A buzzy super-stylish Knightsbridge hotspot that riffs on the cuisines of Central Asia and the ancient Silk Road, Osh is a happy hunting ground for healthy eaters who like to venture to faraway places. The menu is peppered with promising stuff, from hot and cold small plates, such as aubergine tartare with crispy kale and basil dressing, to salads involving Uzbek vegetables and Georgian spices, while shashlik skewers from the grill provide more substantial thrills.

Rovi
  • Restaurants
  • Middle Eastern
  • Fitzrovia
  • price 3 of 4

More spacious than Islington’s Ottolenghi, warmer and buzzier than Soho’s Nopi, this smart-casual outlet from Yotam Ottolenghi sizzles with bright, healthy ideas on small plates. A big chunk of the menu is veg-based, so dive in and lap up the eclectic global flavours, from baked beetroots with green tomato and jalapeño salsa to tempura stems and herbs dressed with mandarin and lime leaf vinegar. Meat and fish are also given the healthy treatment.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bistros
  • Mayfair

Tendril currently has a residency at the iconic Sun & 13 Cantons pub in Soho, which has played host to previous pop-up success stories such as Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express and Budgie Montoya’s Sarap. Serving relaxed, eclectic, feel-good seasonal vegetables for everyone. Try the new seven-course vegan ‘discovery menu’ featuring new and signature dishes such as jerusalem artichoke, cracker, chive and wakame and smoked aubergine, tahini, chilli cucumber and puff pastry.

Yashin Ocean House
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South Kensington
  • price 4 of 4

Japanese chefs often go where others fear to tread, and nose-to-tail gastronomy is part of their DNA – just look at this offshoot of Yashin Sushi, which serves all manner of esoteric piscine delicacies with a typically healthy spin. The menu is littered with appealing possibilities for diet- and calorie-conscious punters, from clean-flavoured carpaccios and sashimi (without soy) to hot tapas plates and protein-packed specials from the robata grill. Don’t miss the miso cappuccino topped with tofu espuma.

Find more healthy food in London restaurants

The best vegan restaurants in London
  • Restaurants

When it comes to vegan-only restaurants, London has got herbivores covered. But what about when you're eating as a group, and only some of you are vegan? We've hand-picked mainstream restaurants, covering cuisines from Japanese and Thai, right through to Peruvian, which 'cater for all'. Because the only thing better than eating out, is eating out with all your friends. 

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