Vegetarians have a great choice of eateries in London. It seems that one can be found on pretty much every corner of every street! But, as with any type of restaurant, the quality can vary widely from one to the next. And if you don’t do your homework, what should be a treat for the senses can end up a bitter disappointment.
But fear not, because after much searching (and eating), we’ve come up with a list of which we, in our humble opinion, think are some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the capital.
If you need a break from some Oxford Street shopping, then head for the wonderful, Ethos, located near Oxford Circus. This self service restaurant boasts food from all regions of the world, and is open for breakfast from 08:00hrs – perfect for a yummy start to the day before hitting the shops.
2. Amico Bio
If you like Italian, then you’re going to love Amico Bio. This organic vegetarian restaurant has a daily changing menu that caters for vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten free diet. You can be sure of wonderful, seasonal products here. In fact, since opening in 2010, the restaurant has proved so popular that they’ve opened a second branch. So you can now choose from two venues, in Holborn or Barbican.
Delights on the menu include such Italian staples as Antipasto, Bruschetta, Tortino di Farro, Gnocchi and Risotto.
3. Vanilla Black
This Michelin recommended restaurant is something of an institution amongst good food lovers. Located in Holborn, the classy Vanilla Black opened in 2004, and has been delighting vegetarian diners ever since. You won’t find vegetable curry or pasta bake here. The chefs love to experiment with flavours and ingredients, and the contemporary menu hosts ever changing delights.
Nearest tube stations are Holborn and Chancery Lane. This is a great choice for a night out with that special someone. Just be sure to book in advance, because it certainly is a popular choice.
If you enjoy curries, then Rasa in Stoke Newington is a must visit. One of the best known vegetarian restaurants in the whole of London, the South Indian (Kerala) cuisine is divine. The restaurant is so popular that it’s branched out, with others now located as far away as Newcastle. But this is the original and, in our humble opinion, the best… You can’t miss it, with its bright pink exterior, and it’s an easy stroll from the nearest tube station, Manor House.
5. Inspiral Lounge
This Camden restaurant serves 100% gluten free, vegan and vegetarian dishes from around the world. Inspiral Lounge is in a wonderful location overlooking Camden Lock, and is great retreat from exploring the delights of Camden Market. Open daily, treat yourself to a great selection of main meals, snacks, desserts and snacks. Open from 10:00hr, and at the weekends it doesn’t close until at least 02:00 in the morning.
Beatroot, in Soho, is all about offering a great range of budget vegetarian food from around the world. The café began life in 1997, and the concept of offering ten hot dishes along with wonderful salads proved a hit, hence its popularity is still burgeoning nearly two decades later. In addition to this, they serve an amazing range of smoothies, cakes and hot drinks. You can eat in or take away, perfect if you’re exploring the surrounding districts of Leicester Square and Covent Garden.
The café is open from 09:00hrs weekdays, and from 11:00hrs at weekends.
Grainstore might not be a solely vegetarian restaurant, but put it this way, vegetarian food takes top place on the menu. And, we have to say, you get a far better selection and quality of veggie food here than you’d find in many other, vegetarian only, establishments!
Enjoy such delights as Wild Mushroom Croquettes, Preserved Piquillo Pepper Paella and Chilli con Veggie, and there’s a decent selection of desserts as well.
The restaurant is a 4 minute walk from King’s Cross, a formerly down-market area of London that’s undergone amazing refurbishment over recent years, and is now a great part of town to visit.
8. Gauthier Soho
Gauthier Soho, whilst not being totally vegetarian, offers superb French cuisine that is very veggie orientated. Yes, it’s a little pricey, but the dishes are well worth the cost. And for that extra special occasion, they also offer private dining options, with rooms for 4 people up to 20, so you can dine in secluded luxury with friends, family or simply that special someone.
Located in trendy Islington, the Australian chef who cooks for Zilouf’s knows a thing or two about creating sumptuous vegetarian dishes. Sure, there’s also the odd meat dish on offer for your carnivore friends, but the menu is definitely vegetarian heavy – and they offer a pretty special cocktail menu as well. Try the Courgette and Water Chestnut Fritter, or enjoy the wonderful Pad Thai that includes wild mushrooms, bean shoots and tarimand.
10. The Wallace Restaurant
This little known establishment is located in the Wallace Collection Museum. Housed in a French style brasserie in a glass covered courtyard, The Wallace Restaurant opens for breakfast (10:00hrs-12:00hrs), lunch (12:00hrs-15:00hrs), afternoon tea (14:30hrs-16:30hrs) and dinner (18:00hrs-21:30hrs Friday and Saturday only).
Although not a totally vegetarian menu, the dishes on offer rival other restaurants that cater solely for veggies. Admittedly not the cheapest menu in the world, but sometimes special meals are worth paying that little bit more for…