Mallow, Borough Market


Talisa Dean 04/01/24

London’s Best Vegan Restaurants

London’s vegan restaurants may have come a long way, but they’ve never forgotten their roots.

Gone are the days where wanting to avoid animal products meant that you probably wanted to avoid eating out altogether. Or when it was just a few brave pioneers opening up vegan restaurants in far-flung corners of London, with a heavy reliance on lentils. Now over half a million people aged 15 or over follow a vegan diet, and the food scene is taking note.

It’s not even that there are more exclusively vegan restaurants (although there definitely are); it’s also that chefs are quietly adapting their menus to include more vegan options. Of course, with more choice comes the immediate decision paralysis.

So, with the hope of making things a little easier – at least with where to go – we’ve put together a list of our favourite vegan restaurants in London right now.

Lettuce begin.


Mallow | Borough Market, Canary Wharf

mallow vegan restaurant

Mallow started life as the all-vegan branch of the Mildred’s family, before those restaurants went all-vegan, too. Clearly, they were onto something. And it won’t take you long to see why – Mallow’s inventive, varied and globe-trotting menu definitively proves that missing meat doesn’t mean missing out. There’s spicy pimento sosis (sausages) with an apricot harissa sauce; a hearty sweet potato laksa; indulgent ‘chorizo’ croquettes and roast beetroot with whipped ‘feta’ and hibiscus. And those fluffy pandan daiquiris… wow.

Details: Borough: 1 Cathedral Street, SE1 9DE | Canary Wharf: 12 Park Drive, E14 9ZW | Book here

Pockets | London Fields

pockets vegan pitta


Believe the hype. Pockets’ falafel-stuffed, puffy Middle Eastern pittas offer the ultimate lunchtime gorge. Having drawn queues round the block with their original stall in Netil Market, the team have recently upscaled to their own permanent spot just up the road. It’s still takeaway only, but that’s for the better – this is a something best enjoyed sat in London Fields with zhoug and tahini dribbling down your chin, not in front of a load of strangers watching you from the table opposite.

Details: 367 Mentmore Terrace, E8 3RT | Takeaway only

Tofu Vegan | Islington, Golders Green & Spitalfields

tofu vegan restaurant

Tofu Vegan – a temple to lip-smackingly spicy, salty, flavour-packed Chinese cooking – is entirely vegan (you’d never guess it from the name). Now boasting three vegan restaurants across London with the arrival of Tofu Vegan Spitalfields, their veg-elevating dishes like the sesame-laced hand-shredded oyster mushrooms sit alongside dishes with genuinely great meat alternatives, and of course the eponymous tofu makes appearances in its most perfected, crispy form.

Details: Islington: 105 Upper Street, London N1 1QN | Golders Green: 28 N End Rd, London NW11 7PT | Spitalfields: 54 Commercial Street, E1 6LT | Book a table

Tendril | Oxford Circus

tendril vegan restaurant

Okay, full disclosure, Tendril is only “mostly vegan”. But that’s because they’re trying to attract the vegan curious crowd, and show them just how good life on the virtuous side is. It’s comes courtesy of ex-Chiltern Firehouse and The Dairy chef Rishim Sachdeva, and after years of critically acclaimed pop-ups, the place has finally put down permanent roots by Bond Street station. And the menu’s stunning – a hit list of flavourful dishes showcasing vegan in their own right that will knock any meat FOMO right on the head.

Details: 5 Princes Street, W1B 2LQ | Book a table

Naifs | Peckham

naifs vegan restaurant

Naifs is the brainchild of ex-Vanilla Black chef Tom Heale and his partner Anne Stokes, who run a simple, no-frills kind of space in Peckham where they serve up beautiful & refined vegan food. The set menu currently comes in at a reasonable £30pp for a family-style five dish feast, with the option to add on desserts like chocolate mousse with date caramel. Drinks, meanwhile, run the gamut from natural wines to locally brewed beers, with some exceptional house cocktails thrown in to boot.

Details: 56 Goldsmith Road, Peckham, SE15 5TNBook a table

Black Cat Cafe | Hackney

Black Cat Cafe - best vegan restaurants London

Charlie and Freya

If you’re vegan and you happen to cross paths with Black Cat Cafe, you’re in for nothing but good luck. It’s a friendly, unpretentious place that feels more like a community space over a restaurant. As well as a number of very simple wooden tables which run in strips down the middle (and which, should you choose to sit there, you’re likely to end up sharing), you’ll find a bookshop in the corner selling fanzines, political literature, and vegan cookery books. The all white-walls are also awash with multi-coloured flyers about the local area. Those trombone lessons you wanted to start… sorted.

Black Cat Cafe opens mid-morning so it’s perfect for a coffee and a vegan pastry, while later in the day they offer larger, heartier dishes like burgers, curries, lasagnes, pot pies, and pasta bakes. Top it all off with a vegan cookie or thick slice of cake for dessert, and you’ll probably be just about ready for a cat nap.

Details: 76A Clarence Road, E5 8HB | No bookings

Moko | Tottenham

moko bar tottenham

After the success of their debut bar Jumbi in Peckham, Nathanael Williams and Bradley Zero have wasted no time in bringing their love of great music, food and drink from the African-Caribbean diaspora up to Tottenham. Just like its south-east sibling, they’ve filled the place with stacks of records, a top-quality sound system and a list of inventive cocktails like the Coriander Martini. In fact, the only thing they couldn’t duplicate was resident chef Naz Ramadan. So here at Moko, they’ve enlisted the help of chef-educator Safiya Robinson to bring her outstanding vegan soul food to the table. Dig into Rudeboy Sandwiches with cornmeal fried oyster mushrooms and spiced ackee remoulade, or the springy spelt cornbread with pickled peaches, and you’ll be fuelled up for the rest of the night.

Details: 39b Markfield Road, N15 4QA | Book a table

Temple of Seitan | Camden & Hackney

temple of seitan vegan chicken shop

© Charlie McKay

A cinderella story that saw a vegan street food stall grow into the city’s first entirely vegan ‘chicken’ shop. All the nostalgic classics are here: family-style tubs of sharing nuggets; sauce-laden burgers; hand-spun vegan shakes and more. The seitan (a kind of glutinous tofu) tastes like the real thing too – all of the flavour yet none of the guilt. The only downside is that we’re not the only ones to have realised that, so it’s not unusual to find a queue.

Details: Camden: 43 Parkway, NW1 7PN | Hackney: 10 Morning Lane, E9 6NA | No bookings

Mildred’s | Soho, Camden, Dalston, Covent Garden, Kings Cross

mildreds vegan restaurants

Mildred’s needs no introduction: it’s been a pioneer of vegetarian dining since 1988, now with five Mildred’s restaurants across the capital (plus two spin-offs, Mallow). In recent years they’ve switched from vegetarian to entirely vegan menus, bringing together globe-trotting dishes like spinach gyoza and chipotle ‘chorizo’ croquettes – but it’s their incredible vegan breakfasts that take top billing: banana butterscotch pancakes; Indian-inspired thali breakfasts; and Full Englishes with all the trimmings. It’s also worth noting that this Veganuary they’re running a special, limited-edition Caribbean menu, including dishes like Haitian plantain tostones and Trini corn soup.

Details: Soho: 45 Lexington Street, W1F 9AN | Camden: 9 Jamestown Road, NW1 7BW | Dalston: 1 Dalston Square, E8 3GU | Covent Garden: 79 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4AA | King’s Cross: 200 Pentonville Road, N1 9JP |  Book a table

Facing Heaven | London Fields

facing heaven vegan restaurants

Facing Heaven (named after an upwards-growing chilli pepper) is run by Julian Denis, who was raised in LA by a Haitian & Puerto-Rican father, and a Portuguese mother. The unique blend of culinary influences that left him with is poured out into the menu at this cosily kitsch vegan restaurant in London Fields, with dishes like Macau-style baked oyster mushroom fried rice; spicy & numbing Jerusalem artichokes with careen chilli; whole sizzling aubergine; and Malta caramel & strawberry powder ice cream sundae.

Details: 1a Bayford Street, E8 3SE | Book a table

Club Mexicana | Soho, Spitalfields & Brixton

club mexicana vegan restaurants

Club Mexicana has gone from street food trader to pub resident to a trio of permanent restaurants: a hot-pink taqueria in Carnaby’s Kingly Court, the spacious Club Mexicana Shoreditch, and a micro-diner in Brixton Market. The Mexican-inspired menu includes BBQ ‘short rib’ tacos with jackfruit and hickory smoked BBQ sauce; cheezeburger burritos; and fully loaded nachos with ground ‘beef’, guacamole and pickled jalapeños, all washed down with frozen margaritas. And on Tuesdays, you can scoff as many tacos as you can handle for £20. Vegan doesn’t always have to be healthy, right?

Details: Soho: Kingly Court, W1B 5PW | Shoreditch: Commercial St, London E1 6LT | Brixton: 14B-C Market Row, Sw9 8LD | Book a table

Holy Carrot | Kensington

holy carrot vegan supperclub

While Holy Carrot prepares to move from Knightsbridge to Notting Hill, the team are stopping along the way in Kensington, with a weekly supperclub at Maria G’s. On their elegant six-course menu you’ll find some of your signature hits from the last two years alongside newness like crunchy oyster mushroom ‘hot wings’ and lemon tart brûlée with frozen coconut yoghurt. As well as being all-vegan, the menu’s also gluten-free and free of refined sugars – but you will get a complimentary welcome cocktail, just to be a little naughty.

Details: Maria G’s, Coe House, 2-4 Warwick Lane, W14 8FN | Book a table

Cookies and Scream | Holloway

cookies and scream vegan bakery

If the thought of giving up butter and eggs horrifies you, head to Cookies and Scream. This all-vegan bakehouse has the goods to convince even the hardiest dairy fan, with gluten-free cakes, cookie ‘ice scream’ sandwiches, blondies, banoffee pies, peanut butter donuts, and er, ewoks (chocolate-coated cookie bars). If it’s been one of those days, treat yourself with one of the scream shakes, which blends brownies, cookies, ice scream and sauces together in one giant pint of joy.

Details: 130 Holloway Road, N7 8JE | No bookings

Andu Cafe | Dalston

Andu Cafe

Hidden amongst the bustle of Dalston’s Kingsland Road is Andu Cafe, a small but increasingly popular Ethiopian joint serving up tasting platters of traditional vegan food. Priced from just £11 a head, the platter comes loaded with six dishes, including a mix of spicy lentil and split bean stews, vegetable dishes like tikil gomen, and folds of injera bread to mop it all up. Plus it’s one of those rare BYOB restaurants that doesn’t charge corkage, making Andu hands down one of the best value vegan restaurants in London.

Details: 528 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AH | Book a table for 6 or more, or walk in/takeaway

Itadaki Zen | King’s Cross

There’s few things a trip to Japanese vegan eatery Itadaki Zen can’t fix. As the name suggests (itadaki means ‘to receive food’, and zen means ‘to fix’), the restaurant was built from a belief in the medicinal value of plants and plant-based food, both for your body and for your mind. And so, from their clean-cut wooden space in King’s Cross, they serve up a menu of all vegan Japanese dishes like their vegetable spring rolls, homemade kimchi, and mixed vegetable tempura. For drinks they have a very select number of wines and beer, as well as Baekse-ju, a fermented rice-based drink boasting an impressive ten different oriental herbs. Sounds like it’s basically good for you.

Details: 139 King’s Cross Road, WC1X 9BJ | No bookings

The Gallery Café | Bethnal Green

gallery cafe vegan restaurants london

An independent, charity-run vegan cafe where – in addition to serving a selection of homemade wraps, salads and sandwiches, Nude espresso, baked goods and a rotating list of house specials – they host spoken word gigs; live music nights; book launches; film screenings and a number of other events. Which are also vegan.

Details: 21 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PL | No bookings

222 Vegan | Fulham

222 vegan restaurant fulham

222% vegan and mostly gluten-free, this long-standing vegan restaurant is celebrating two decades of feeding happy punters at the top of North End Road Market. Chef-owner Ben Asamani has been vegan since his teenage years, and draws from influences across the globe to put together his own menu of satisfying bowl food, all made with fresh, natural and (where possible) organic ingredients.

Details: 222 North End Road, W14 9NU | Book a table

Courtyard Café | Kennington

courtyard cafe vegan food

Part of South London’s Jamyang Buddhist centre, the Courtyard Cafe is open to all and uses surplus food to provide free meals to those in need – so you never really know what’s going to be on the menu. Except vegetables. Pay it forward to sponsor their work, and enjoy an all-vegan feast, rustled up by volunteer cooks from Vauxhall’s sorely missed Bonnington Cafe.

Details: The Old Courthouse, 43 Renfrew Road, London, SE11 4NA | No bookings


So there you have it. London has vegan restaurants for special occasions; for community vibes; for righteous, raw platters and unabashedly filthy comfort food. The selection’s never been more bounteous. So if you’re thinking about signing up for veganuary this year… there’s never been a better time to turn over a new leaf.

Not ready to take the full plunge? Dip a toe in the water at London’s best vegetarian restaurants