Best Veg-Friendly Omni Restaurants in London

Plant Based News contributor Ania Jomard reviews the best non-vegan restaurants to eat vegan at in the UK's capitol

1: Le Pain Quotidien

This Belgian chain has been popping up everywhere around London, and is playing into the healthy eating trend sweeping the capital. It’s one of the best things that’s happened to veganism recently, in my opinion, as it’s established itself as mainstream “go-to” fairly quickly, where vegan options are the “base” of every dish, with an option to add animal products. Not only are we getting a better price for being vegan, LPQ is also demonstrating how vegan food can be diverse and delicious to the sceptics. It’s always packed, especially in central London, so effective activism at its best. A great place to support and delicious food – I’ve been there a slight bit too much recently.

          - Several locations around London

2: Mestizo

A non-descript little restaurant on Euston Road, that I’ve walked past a million times without giving it a second thought. When I finally went there, it became a fast favourite. Firstly, it’s one of the most well stocked tequila bars in all of London, with product coming straight from Mexico. If you think Wahaca is good Mexican, go to Mestizo right now, because you have no idea. The menu is best described as “authentic”, with Cactus Salad and flour tortilla coming in a cloth pouch to keep them warm.  Mestizo also has an exclusively vegan menu that you can ask for, no hunting around for the “v” on a busy menu, then trying to figure out if you can take the egg and cheese off. Brilliant! Oh, and their Mango margaritas are amazing.

          - 103 Hampstead Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 3EL

3: Wasabi

The Asian chain known for its affordable-but-not-horrible sushi is incredibly vegan friendly. Their “veg” sushi is all vegan, both the sets and the individual sushi. They also seem to be coming out with more and more vegan options sushi wise, that are tasty and creative. The hot meals all have tofu equivalents and are vegan as well. Obviously, the price point is affordable – making vegan affordable and accessible is always a massive win. Wasabi is definitely a place to support, hopefully it will follow Prêt-à-Manger steps in opening a veggie only restaurant.

          - Several locations around London

4: Prêt-à-Manger

The healthy fast-food chain has quite a few vegan options, and a menu to make even the most heterogeneous friend group happy. As with Wasabi, the price point is great. Both of these reasons are enough to recommend it, but I think Prêt deserves our money because it is fast “veganizing” a lot of its popular animal product options, making it easier for consumers to choose vegan without feeling deprived. Prêt also opened a Veggie Prêt in Soho, demonstrating to us all that voting with our dollar actually works to make a difference. Since this company has shown its consumers it reacts to what we buy, then it’s basically activism to choose vegan food there. Get yourself a vegan sandwich now!

          - Several locations around London

5: Chipotle / Barburrito / Tortilla

All these burrito chains that have been popping up around London have got me really excited, because I love burritos – and, really, who doesn’t? Most importantly, they are making vegan accessible and cheap. A lot of sceptics will berate vegan food as lacking flavour a “meaty deliciousness”. Now these burrito bars marinate everything in their blend of spices, so taking away the meat isn’t even noticeable – I did go to these places before I started eating a vegan diet, and I definitely didn’t notice a difference. Added bonus, veggie burritos often have free guacamole – a usually expensive condiment – which perfectly balances the lack of dairy.

          - Several locations around London

 6: Banana Tree

This Indonesian fusion restaurant sells Westernized Asian food, that still packs a real kick, great for people who actually love spice – and those who actually don’t, as you can just request any dish without spice. Banana Tree is great because they do some of the best fake meats for their vegan options, and offer most dishes to be “veganized” as well. The menu is incredibly diverse, with each dish type having at least one vegan option.

          - 3 London locations

7: La Polentaria

This is a tiny restaurant in Soho, that only has a few tables, so booking is recommended. This Italian place centres their menu around “polenta” a naturally gluten-free grain. The menu is succinct, but every type of dish has a vegan option. I like that this independent restaurant has spontaneously added vegan to their menu, without pressure from costumers, which is usually what happens in large chains. I would go here for the “polenta” first, as it’s a completely different Italian dish, but to support them second, as this kind of initiative deserves reward.

          - 64 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4UQ

8: Franco Manca

This popular pizzeria chain has been taking the foodie capital by storm. The Tottenham Court Road branch always has a queue coming out onto the pavement, usually in the rain. Their main selling point is the sourdough – which is pretty amazing. They have one vegan option on their permanent menu, where I usually add one or two toppings from their extensive list. However, as the chefs make every pizza from scratch, it’s pretty easy to ask that the veggie option be made without cheese. The main event is the dough, so, in any case, you’re getting what you came for.

          - Several locations around London

9: Beni Shoga

A small Korean Asian fusion place in Fulham that offers a vegan option for every dish “category” – noodles, bimbimbap, soup, etc. The quality of service and food is very high, and the setting – by the river, in a quiet residential block, candlelit and quiet – is a great date place. I would recommend the “Big Veg Roll” – sweet potato sushi, need I say more – and veggie BimBimBap – make sur to ask for no egg.

            - Imperial Wharf, 7 The Blvd, London SW6 2UB

10: Slug and Lettuce

Perhaps the least vegan friendly place on this list, but I included it because it’s a popular “pub food” option and often has a lot of great deals for big groups. There are a lot of vegetarian options, and it’s pretty easy to just ask to hold the cheese – there’s a high incidence of lactose intolerance in the UK, so most restaurants are very understanding. There are a few vegan options, but only one or two that aren’t salads. Still, because of it’ accessibility, both price and location wise, it’s a nice suggestion to give when a group of non-vegan people are looking for a place to eat. You know there will be food for you, and sometimes, that’s the most important thing.

          - Several locations around London

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PBN Contributor:

Ania Jomard grew up in France, and moved to the UK in 2012 to study at University College London.

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