A Complete Guide To Vegetarian Dining In London

National Vegetarian Week runs from May 14th- May 20th and we'll take any excuse to go in search of delicious and exciting veggie food.
For those who don't go meat-free all year around, flexitarianism – the practice of cutting out meat for a few days each week – is also on the rise. It's easy to see why: vegetarian diets are generally lower in fat and cholesterol, and kinder to the planet. If you're after a way to be healthier or more environmentally friendly, why not turn to the meat-free side of the menu?
Recent years have seen a monumental shift in vegetarian dining; gone are the days of tasteless risotto and flabby, stuffed mushrooms. London's foodie set is embracing seasonal menus, world cuisine and fresh ingredients for 2017 – preparing locally sourced vegetables only when they are at their peak is a world away from the bland, imported, boiled-into-mush vegetables of old. So if you're thinking of giving the plant-based lifestyle a go, or fancy curbing your meat consumption a little, we've found the finest places in the capital to get your five a day.
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Click through to see the best vegetarian (and the odd vegan) restaurants in London.
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Best for vegetarian food in a relaxed atmosophere

Wildflower

If you're a veggie or vegan who can't decide between Middle Eastern, Mediterranean or Asian cuisine (because let's face it, it's a tough decision), then Wildflower, Peckham Levels' newest – and coolest – haunt, is for you. Head Chef Joseph Ryan (who previously worked upstairs at Frank's Cafe and at Salon in Brixton Village) draws inspiration from all three cuisines to create some of the most vibrant and interesting veggie dishes we've tried.

Think grilled king oyster mushroom with a Szechuan and shitake broth, chilli, red cabbage, and smoked tofu with a ssamjang sauce, bok choi, carrot kimchi, sesame and almond. Nurse a delicious kombucha cocktail and soak up the restaurant's laid-back canteen-style atmosphere as you wait for your feast to arrive.

Wildflower
Peckham Levels, 95A Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST
020 3735 3775
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Best for vegetarian (and vegan) mocktails

Redemption Bar

Why should socialising always be at the expense of your health? That's the question asked by Redemption's founders Andrea Waters and Catherine Salway. It might have started as a pop-up but now the vegan, sugar-free, wheat-free and alcohol-free restaurant has two branches in the capital and crowdfunding is under way for two more sites in Covent Garden and Southbank Place.

Try the sweet corn and red pepper pancakes; probiotic booster bowl and pulled barbecued jackfruit and superslaw. To drink? What about the pious pina colada or an activated charcoal martini.

Redemption Bar
Locations in Shoreditch and Notting Hill
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Best for vegetarian café culture

Kin

The best vegetarian restaurants are sometimes those that make you forget you're vegetarian. Kin is a refuge from the hustle and bustle of central London – the perfect place to sit back and relax with a latte, while contemplating whether that must-have pair of mules is worth the queue in Zara.

It's simply an added bonus that everything on the menu here is vegetarian, while many more dishes are vegan, gluten-free and raw. Every weekday you can find a new daily menu featuring fresh salads, home-baked goodies and unexpected indulgences like vegan mini pizzas and loaded veggie burgers. Make sure to get here early, though, to beat the rush and sample their breakfast menu. Trust us, the pancakes are just too good to miss.

Kin
22 Foley St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6DT
020 7998 4720
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Best for vegetarian bottomless brunch

Jar Kitchen

At Refinery29, we're longtime fans of London's wide range of bottomless brunches, and there's absolutely no reason why veggies should be left out of this marvellous food trend. Jar Kitchen isn't completely vegetarian but this inventive, independent Covent Garden kitchen prides itself on its farm-to-fork policy, and always has something delicious and meat-free on the menu.

Three courses of ever-changing brunch dishes are always available, with a choice of bottomless prosecco, mimosas or Bloody Marys. Make sure you visit with those who are willing to share the love, though – this bottomless brunch is only available if the whole table joins in. Somehow, we don't think such people will be hard to find.

Jar Kitchen
176 Drury Ln, London WC2B 5QF
020 7405 4255
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Best for vegetarian health food

Farmacy

Just because something is vegetarian, doesn't always mean it's healthy. Luckily, for any vegetarian who's in it for the health benefits, there's Farmacy. Founded on the belief that the best way to feel well is to eat well, the food here is organic, chemical-free and cooked in a way which maximises its nutritional benefits.

The menu is studded with healthy, veggie versions of our favourite dishes – like the signature Farmacy burger, made with goji ketchup, or the selection of warming 'Earth Bowls'. Even the drinks menu is full of goodness, from detoxifying ice teas to an alkalising lemon aid. Finally, we've found a restaurant where being good tastes good, too.

Farmacy
74 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH
020 7221 0705
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Best for vegetarian date nights

Honey & Co.

When you're veggie – whether or not your S.O. is, too – date night spots can be limited. Which is why it's great to find a romantic restaurant that has an ever-changing menu of great veggie and non-veggie dishes. Founded by a pair of happily married chefs, love is definitely in the air at Honey & Co.

Filled with light, fresh flowers and platters of cakes, you can pop in here at any time of day and find something delicious. Huge bowls of Israeli salads are always on offer but stop by in the evening for Middle Eastern-inspired cocktails or a dinner stuffed with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Great meals, veggie or otherwise, always taste better shared.

Honey & Co.
25a Warren St, Bloomsbury, London W1T 5LZ
020 7388 6175
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Best for vegetarian tacos

Club Mexicana

Tired of the idea that vegan food was all chickpeas and quinoa, Club Mexicana decided to start their own South American revolution. Sure, all their dishes are vegan and most are gluten-free, but their focus is on packing in flavour and more heat than the Sonoran Desert.

Not only have they updated Mexican staples – try the blue corn quesadilla stuffed with braised jackfruit – but they've done the seemingly impossible, creating totally vegan versions of everything from chicken wings to fish tacos. If you want to take your plant-based dining to the next level, or if you're just after a new taste of Mexico, this is the place to be.

Club Mexicana
Locations in Dalston, Camden & Canada Water
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Best for vegetarian lunches

Bel Air

It can be hard to find a veggie option that makes you feel good when you're dining al-desko; a baked potato may be meat-free but it doesn't always make for an exciting lunch. But if you're lucky enough to have an office in east London, there is a solution.

Both of Bel Air's locations offer salads stuffed with fresh vegetables, whole grains and all natural ingredients. Not every dish is meat-free but there are plenty of protein-packed, plant-based alternatives for herbivores, like black bean falafel and coconut and pumpkin dhal. If you can, leave the sad cheese sandwich at home and treat yourself to a Bel Air box bursting with veggie goodness.

Bel Air
Locations in Farringdon & Shoreditch
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Photo: Via @vegansofldn.
Best for vegetarian sushi

Itadaki Zen

Idataki Zen is more than just a restaurant; it's a revolution. Named for the Japanese concepts of itadaki ("to take the food life") and zen ("to fix, to mend"), every dish here is designed to nourish and heal from within. If you're feeling a little worse for wear after the Christmas onslaught of pies and puddings, this is the perfect antidote.

Sound a bit butter-wouldn't-melt? Rest assured, Itadaki Zen haven't forgotten about taste. Their spring rolls are crispy and golden on the outside, and served with okara as well as fresh vegetables to aid digestion. The vegetarian sushi, made with brown rice powder for added nutrition, is tinglingly fresh. So far, so healthy – and so, so delicious.

Itadaki Zen
139 King's Cross Rd, London WC1X 9BJ
020 7278 3573
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Photo: Via @loveleluu.
Best for vegetarian family dining

The Gate

If family meals usually involve you quietly loading up on mash while your uncle carves a roast and moans about you only eating 'rabbit food', consider decamping to The Gate. Their entirely vegetarian menu has been bringing people together for 27 years, with vegan, gluten- and nut-free options as well to keep everyone happy.

Peace at the dinner table may seem impossible but, with dishes like three onion tart, wrapped in parmesan pastry and topped with caramelised red onions, why argue? The aubergine schnitzel with smoked cheddar and horseradish cream sauce is Nobel prize-worthy, while the children's menu will silence your tiniest, whiniest cousin. Happy families is within reach; just don't mention Brexit...

The Gate
Locations in Islington, Hammersmith & Marylebone
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Photo: Via @trishnalondon.
Best for vegetarian tasting menus

Trishna

Asian cooking has long been a favourite among those of us who don't eat meat; after all, India has the highest proportion of vegetarians in the world. But what if you're after something more exciting than your usual Friday night sag aloo?

Enter Trishna. Nestled in fashionable Marylebone, this award-winning Indian eatery brings together traditional southern Indian cooking techniques and seasonal British produce. A clear standout is the vegetarian tasting menu, pairing wine with their most delicious dishes. Our advice is to arrive hungry, very hungry.

Trishna
15-17 Blandford St, London W1U 3DG
020 7935 5624
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Photo: Via @kitsunetsukiki.
Best for vegetarian fine dining

Vanilla Black

Going out for a fancy meal should always be a pleasure but, for vegetarians, it can sometimes be a chore. If you're dining with carnivores you usually have to endure endless agonising over the many meat-heavy dishes on offer, while you quietly close your menu having pinpointed the one and only vegetarian option. But then Vanilla Black comes along and changes everything.

Every dish on this critically acclaimed restaurant's menu is entirely vegetarian and utterly delicious. Surprises like fried porridge with courgette flower and their signature sweet potato and puy lentil 'dhal' are sure to delight all food lovers, vegetarian or no. Make sure to leave room for dessert; idiosyncrasies like Nutella powder and crispy custard round off a feast in style.

Vanilla Black
17-18 Tooks Ct, London EC4A 1LB
020 7242 2622
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Photo: Via @fitait.
Best for vegetarian small plates

The Dairy

The Dairy's small plates, on-trend interior design and killer cocktails have transformed Clapham's reputation from a hotbed of red trouser-wearers to a foodie paradise. The ever-changing menu and clear appreciation for seasonal produce mean that everything The Dairy serves is unconventional and brimming with flavour.

Some of the most exciting small plates – think truffled Baron Bigod cheese drizzled with honey from the restaurant's own rooftop – can be found in the 'Garden' and 'Vegetarian' sections, which are, happily, among the most extensive on the menu. The only problem, then, is which to choose. We might need another cocktail while we decide...

The Dairy
15 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, London SW4 0HY
020 7622 4165
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Photo: Via @zestatjw3.
Best for vegetarian families

Zest @ JW3

It is an ancient truth that children and vegetables do not mix. So what do you do if you and/or your children are vegetarian? Take them to Zest @ JW3, of course. This modern Israeli restaurant is housed in north London's Jewish community centre and everything on the menu is made without coming into contact with meat.

The café features stacks of freshly baked sweet treats, salads crammed with flavour and mouthwatering savouries with a Middle Eastern twist. If you're in need of a sugar rush, make sure to try their traditional poppy seed-stuffed rugelach and pomegranate seed-studded Victoria sponges. For something more filling, head through to the restaurant for mezze or brunch dishes such as shakshuka and challah French toast. The courtyard hosts an ever-changing rotation of seasonal activities perfect for families.

Zest @ JW3
341-351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET
020 7433 8955
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Photo: Via @sandrakavital.
Best for a vegetarian takeaway

Ottolenghi

Everyone loves a takeaway; especially a takeaway from Yotam Ottolenghi's kitchen. Ottolenghi and its sister restaurant Nopi turn out some of the most exciting vegetarian food in London. Inspired by Middle Eastern cooking and served deli-style from huge platters and tagines, you can take your pick from salads studded with preserved lemon and greens with fried capers and coriander seeds.

These dishes are perfect in the light, open spaces of the restaurant. But if you find yourself chained to your desk or (more likely) glued to your sofa, you don't have to miss out. All branches of Ottolenghi are on Deliveroo, so if you're lucky enough to live or work north, east or west you're just a few taps away from having great vegetarian food delivered to your door.

Ottolenghi
Locations in Belgravia, Spitalfields, Notting Hill & Islington
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Photo: Via @bdxldn.
Best for vegetarian brunch

Grain Store

Brunch: the most important meal of the day, or at least the best meal to enjoy with a mimosa, which is basically the same thing. With outside seats overlooking Granary Square and an interior full of natural wood and fresh greenery, Grain Store is the perfect spot to linger over eggs and cocktails.

Speaking of which, let's get down to the menu. Helpfully marked with tiny root vegetables wherever a dish is fully vegetarian, Grain Store is fantastic at adapting dishes to suit dietary requirements without sacrificing taste or presentation. While away the weekend with sweet potato waffles and a blood orange bellini (or two, or three...).

Grain Store
Granary Square, 1-3 Stable St, London N1C 4AB
020 7324 4466
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Photo: Via @katykatazome.
Best for vegetarian comfort food

Mildreds

An organic wine list, great outside seating and a menu littered with veggie dishes guaranteed to hit the spot every time. What's not to love about Mildreds? Founded in 1988 on the site of a former sex club, Mildreds revolutionised London's restaurant scene by serving vegetarian food that you actually wanted to eat.

Today, it continues to show the competition how it's done, with three locations across the capital, a private dining room and a cookbook. We'd defy anyone to turn down a plate of their sunblushed tomato risotto cakes, or refuse the gyoza dumplings with sweet chilli and soya dip. A trip to Mildreds will leave you sated.

Mildreds
Locations in Soho, Camden & King's Cross
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Best for a vegetarian (and vegan) buffet

Tibits

You'll most likely leave Tibits feeling uncomfortably full, which is a testament to how delicious and varied the food is. The concept at the small Swiss chain restaurant is simple: load up your plate (or takeaway container) with as much food from the "buffet boat" as you think you can manage and pay by weight. Expect savoury dishes as wide ranging as cheesy leek and potato quiche, Asian slaw, ginger fried rice, falafels and barley and radicchio stew.

There's also a dessert buffet which you won't want to miss – regardless of how full you are. Think sweet avocado-matcha cream, bread and butter pudding, mocha bake and both dairy and vegan cream. Vegans are also well-catered for at Tibits, with countless sweet and savoury options.

Tibits
Locations in Mayfair and Bankside
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Best for meat-free middle eastern

Sarona

Middle eastern cuisine is famously good for veggies and Sarona's menu showcases some of the best dishes the region has to offer. The restaurant is not exclusively meat-free but veggie diners have a range of options to choose from, which take inspiration from Israel, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, and further afield. We'd recommend getting a few dishes to share – but don't forget to leave room for dessert. Try the Palestinian cheese with organic tomatoes and balsamic vinegar (£10), the burnt aubergine with tahini and date syrup (£8), the cauliflower steak with asparagus and parsley (£9), and, of course, plenty of hummus (£7). If you haven't had enough tahini by that point, we urge you to top off your meal with the ice cream made from the sesame seed paste (£8). It's the stuff of dreams.

Sarona
27 Clerkenwell Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 5RN
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Best for vegan fast food

By Chloe

London vegans went nuts on Instagram when By Chloe launched its first UK location in Covent Garden in January, which was closely followed by a second opening in Tower Bridge in June owing to its popularity. The fast casual chain already had a cult following in the US, so it's no surprise we're also digging its signature dishes. Don't miss the popular guacamole burger, quinoa taco salad or mac 'n' cheese made with sweet potato cashew cheese sauce, shiitake bacon and almond parmesan. The new British additions to the menu are also worth going back for: there's crispy tofu fish and chips, sticky toffee pudding and even a full vegan roast. The restaurant's interiors are made for Instagram too, so it would be rude not to let your followers know where you've been.

By Chloe
Locations in Covent Garden and Tower Bridge
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Best for juicy vegan burgers

The Vurger Co

You'd be hard pressed to find a better vegan burger joint in east London, maybe even in the whole city. The Shoreditch-based joint serves up "vurgers" made from vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains – there's not an unhealthy processed burger in sight. Highlights include the classic (an aubergine, red onion and Tabasco Chipotle chickpea patty), the aubergine-based Auberger, the vegan mac and cheese side, and the heavenly homemade shakes (the Oreo with a shot of rum is to die for). Trust us: after all that for lunch, you won't be hungry for a long time.

The Vurger Co
Unit 9, Avant Garde Building, 6 Richmix Square, Cygnet Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LD
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