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Photograph: Andy Parsons

The 21 best vegan restaurants in London

Find perfect pizzas, tofu wizardry, and standout small plates at these plant-based restaurants

Written by
Time Out London editors
,
Angela Hui
&
Sarah Cohen
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It's official: vegan food isn't just for veganuary. London's in the middle of a fast-mushrooming plant-based restaurant boom. Across the city, creative chefs are showing off their prowess with plants, creating pitch-perfect imitations of meaty comfort food classics, or dreaming up new veg-based delights.

Whether you're after a lavish night of culinary theatre, a delicate Middle Eastern spread, or a carb-coma-inducing full English breakfast, you'll find it in our list of London's best vegan restaurants. Read on and plan your next plant-free feast.

RECOMMENDED:

Time Out's definitive list of the best restaurants in London. 

London’s best restaurants for vegetarian food.

The best restaurants in London for vegans

  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Mayfair

Sesame-speckled purple sweet potatoes, mouth-puckering ferments and lip-smacking tiramisu are all on the menu at Chef Rishim Sachdeva’s brilliant (mostly) vegan small-plates restaurant Tendril. This dimly-lit, gently romantic spot makes meat-free dining both relaxing and unquestionably delicious: you won't believe you're just minutes away from the madness of Oxford Circus

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Angel

Mention this place to in-the-know vegans and their eyes will glaze over in blissed-out memory of the gorgeous dishes this Islington restaurant serves up. Its menu is packed with classic Chinese dishes crafted from mock meat, tofu, and beancurd galore, but somehow that description doesn't do justice to the exhilarating textures and flavours this joint serves up. Don't miss the twice-cooked 'fish', with its crisp batter coating and meltingly soft interior. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Peckham

Part of the green wave of vegan restaurants that's currently breaking in Peckham, Naïfs is a family-run small plates spot tucked away on a quiet residential street. Its chef Tom Heale used to be a sous chef at much-missed, much-garlanded Kennington veggie restaurant Vanilla Black. Now, he runs Naïfs with his brother Finn alongside him in the kitchen, serving up Middle Eastern-inspired small plates in a low-key but romantic setting.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Soho

After beginnings at summer music festivals, pub pop-ups and Hackney supper clubs, Club Mexicana is in Soho, permanently packed with happily seitan-stuffed burrito fiends. The al pastor taco is still a must-order. But there are other highlights, like the ingenious tofish taco and jackfruit 'ribs'. Another outpost can also be found in Spitalfields.

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Gauthier Soho
  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Soho

Alexis Gauthier is a vegan chef who practises what he preaches. His classy Soho townhouse restaurant satisfies plant-crazy evangelists as well as fans of Gallic gourmandising. The vegan line-up might run from golden glazed swede with citrus marmalade and miso-infused dressing to tempeh and corn with kaffir lime, popcorn and bean shoot salad – all calorie-counted for nutritional impact.

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Black Cat
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Clapton
  • price 1 of 4

Run as a not-for-profit workers’ cooperative, this ethical vegan-only café and bookshop in Clapton is a top spot for budget plant-based food. The menu always features a beef-style seitan and soya-mince burger, a barbecue tofu sandwich, pancakes, curries and meatless lasagne, plus a host of seasonal salad plates involving kale, beetroot, quinoa, noodles and other hip favourites

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Aldgate

This vegan small plates restaurant sits on the first floor of an unlovely glass towerblock in Aldgate: but the food's good enough to make its unpromising surroundings vanish, like clouds on a suddenly-sunny day. Chef Andy Goodwin presides over a menu that's full of both warmth and a sense of fun that's not usually associated with oh-so-virtuous vegan cuisine. Highlights include the triangular, deep-fried 'pizza' (which Off Menu podcast host James Acaster has called his favourite bread-based dish ever) and a laksa that hums with flavour.

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Comptoir V
  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Kensal Rise
  • price 2 of 4

This vegetarian and vegan offshoot of nearby Comptoir Mezze, Comptoir V promises globetrotting plant-based cuisine with lots of exotic nuances and the odd jokey dish name such as It’s No Jerk (a three-bean burger with barbecue sauce). The decor references the Middle East, but the menu covers everything from jackfruit nuggets and beetroot houmous to roti-style curried chickpeas with Moroccan bread. Drinks are vegan too.

Purezza
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Camden Town

The name means ‘purity’ and that’s what you get at this London outpost of the UK’s first vegan pizzeria. The setting is buzzy, modern and relaxed, while the terrific plant-based toppings involve everything from wood-smoked tofu and shaved seitan to rice-based mozzarella and beetroot carpaccio. You can also indulge in some good old-fashioned gluttony by ordering a wicked Oreo pizza for pud.

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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 udon 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). Laid-back staff go with the flow, while zealous foodie workshops make Itadaki even more lovable.

Loving Hut
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Holloway Road

The London outpost of a small chain that focuses on vegan dishes inspired by pan-Asian cuisine, Loving Hut in Archway professes to use organic vegetables and non-GMO products, with ingredients sourced locally where possible. You'll probably recognise much of the menu – including barbecue vegetable ribs and crispy aromatic ‘duck’, as well as a vegan cheesecake.

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What The Pitta!
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Camden Town
  • price 1 of 4

Head down to the Camden branch of this mini-chain, where cooks marinade soya chunks in secret spices to create the restaurant’s signature kebab ‘meat’. You’ll find them in the headline act: a vegan doner where the ‘meat’ comes packed in flatbread, with salad, soya yoghurt, tzatziki and houmous. Portions are huge, but you can take any leftovers home. Check out the syrupy and sweet baklava, too.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Hackney
  • price 1 of 4

It’s never easy to find proper Chinese food in vegan form, but this typically cheery hipster hangout in Hackney (it's the older sibling of now closed hole-in-the-wall Chao Mao) really nails it with a short menu of terrific Sichuan dishes. Current hits range from smacked cucumber with black vinegar, sesame oil and crushed garlic to dan dan noodles topped with vegan mince made to a secret recipe. Prices are pay-packet-friendly.

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  • Restaurants
  • Borough

Mallow, from the folk behind Mildreds, is a new all-day, 100 percent plant-based eatery just off Borough Market serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expect vegetables with a side of vegetables – but fancy vegetables in peng portion sizes and dishes in all the colours of the rainbow. 

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Camden Market

This Camden diner, which we reviewed at its old site in North Yard, serves up hefty portions of US-style junk food. It’s all about the carbs here, with dishes like the Dirty Burger – made using a soya mince patty, fake bacon and cashew cheese – and the Rudy’s Reuben, a vegan version of the classic US sandwich usually made with corned beef or pastrami, swiss cheese and sauerkraut. It’s frill-free comfort grub.

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Temple of Hackney
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Hackney
  • price 1 of 4

London’s first vegan chicken shop (yes, you heard right) was born out of Hackney’s Temple of Seitan street stall. It’s all about ‘meaty’ wheat gluten (aka seitan) here, whether you order peppery popcorn-style nuggets, battered strips or a burger. Add-ons such as zingy red slaw or vegan mac ’n’ cheese with smoky facon cubes are bang-on too. If you want indoor seating and a tad more comfort, try Temple’s sibling in Camden.

Unity Diner
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Hoxton
  • price 2 of 4

‘The future is vegan’, says a neon sign on the wall of Unity Diner – a hugely popular Hoxton eaterie that donates all its profits to an animal rights charity. Fake burgers, dogs and wings make inventive use of seitan, and the menu also touts poké bowls and creative salads involving in-vogue ingredients such as tempeh. Lovely staff add to the feelgood vibe.

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Hackney

The name is an acronym for We Are Vegan Everything, and this trendy café from the team behind Cupcakes and Shhht proves its point with a menu of brekky bowls, Bali bowls, mac ’n’ cheeze, mock-salmon bagels, innovative salads and mighty looking freakshakes. With its chic but cosy tropical-meets-Scandi decor, this is a strong shout for a vegan lunch in Hackney, especially if you stick to the savouries.

Stem + Glory
  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Smithfield
  • price 2 of 4

‘Plant-based food that’s delicious enough to turn anyone vegan’ is the bold clarion call at this London outpost of a Cambridge-born restaurant. If you don’t believe it, try a small plate of kimchi pancakes, banana blossom mock duck or Sichuan sea-spiced tofu with agave dressing. Main-course bowls, bao and katsu curry are equally compelling, as are the weekend specials and bottomless Sunday brunch.

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The Gate
  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Marylebone

Understated, sleek and minimalist, the Marylebone branch of this plant-based pioneer still manages to feel super-comfortable and its wide-ranging menu is a good fit for the surroundings. Global themes and influences loom large, and there’s always plenty in the mix for vegans – from tofu red Thai curry or aubergine teriyaki to wild mushroom risotto cake.

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