LDNGuide

The Best Vegetarian Restaurants In London

Where to eat when you want more vegetarian options than a side order of salad.
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photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

There was a time when eating out and avoiding meat meant having to pay for an overpriced seasonal side salad that you’re 99% sure Bugs Bunny would have turned his nose up at. But despite what your weird uncle who's convinced Quorn is the antichrist might think, there’s never been a better time to be a vegetarian in London. From stalwart all-vegetarian spots to a little Japanese restaurant that just so happens to have a walnut and miso udon that we challenge anyone not to love, these are the best places in London where you definitely won’t encounter anything that resembles an accident at a chickpea factory.

Heads up, some of these spots have some vegan options but you can use our full guide if you’re looking to eat plant-based.

100% VEGETARIAN SPOTS

photo credit: Jake Missing

Caribbean

Brixton

$$$$Perfect For:LunchVegetariansVegansQuick EatsOutdoor Seating

This corner of Brixton Village market is slowly being taken over by bright Caribbean flavours and one of London’s great suntrap courtyards, and we’re very much here for it. It’s all vegetables at casual spot Veg & Tings, little sibling to Fish, Wings & Tings: be it Trinidadian doubles with doughy roti and pleasingly humming chickpeas topped with tamarind sauce, or a generous plate of Rastafarian ital stew. It’s hearty, healthy-feeling stuff that’s all about satisfaction.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

A meal at Asher’s Africana is worth it for the roti alone. This cash-only Gujarati canteen in Wembley makes wafer-thin flatbreads dripping with ghee that you could quite happily shovel, one after the other, with nothing else. But they’re even better as part of a thali. The platters come with a choice of warming curries that change not just by the day, but by the hour, and there’s an entire a la carte menu should you want to lean in for the long afternoon or evening.

The £30 sharing menu at Persepolis is one of best-value and best-tasting all-vegetarian feasts you can have in London. This Persian-influenced deli and restaurant in Peckham makes a conveyor belt of food that begins with Wotsit-topped meze, moves to a soup of the day, before honey-drenched halloumi, a dessert platter of ice cream sundae, paklava, and fresh fruit. All of it is served in a bric-a-brac cafe space with different patterns, textures, and trinkets all over the shop.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

As far as handheld, two-gobble snacks go, vada pav—a slider-sized Maharashtrian snack of deep-fried potato in a little doughy white bread bap, alongside whacks of chilli and coconut chutneys—is very much up there. Get one, or three at Shree Krishna Vada Pav in Harrow. It’s a colourful, casual, fast food-ish space that’s just as good for a solo lunch as it is a quick and delicious good-value dinner. If you’re after something heartier and more gravy-heavy, get the vada misal or the methi malai mutter.

This place is exclusively vegetarian, but trust us, even if you come here with Big Mac’s number one fan, they won’t notice once they try the stupidly good fried aubergine with date syrup, or the confit potato latkes, or even the shiitake mushroom skewers. Near Spitalfields Market, Bubala is a proper little charmer of a Middle Eastern restaurant, complete with enough foliage and zen beige walls to make it perfect for anything from a cool catch-up over some drinks and a light bite to a casual date night.

The Gate is one of London’s original and best all-vegetarian restaurants. The Islington spot serves food that jumps around the world from aubergine schnitzel to a seitan katsu curry, but the common thread that ties everything together is that it’s all vegetarian and all very tasty. The Gate is properly laid-back for a nice brunch, but also feels fancy enough that you could bring a date and charm them over a plate of couscous fritters.

Indian food is where it’s at for vegetable-focused dishes. Head to East Ham, Wembley, and other locations across London to Saravanaa Bhavan, which has some of the best South Indian food anywhere in town. Get a few idlis and a dosa, and maybe some spicy rasam. And if you want to go the whole hog, pop into one of the local Asian sweet shops afterwards for dessert.


PLACES WITH GREAT VEGETARIAN OPTIONS

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You’ve got the founders of Frieze to thank for this tasteful and consistently tasty Mediterranean restaurant. While you might expect something that smirks towards pretension given its location and founders, Toklas is anything but. The seasonal menu is seductive in its simplicity, and full with excellent vegetarian options: things like warm courgettes with mint and ricotta, and refreshing asparagus stand out. The combination of a charming outdoor terrace, a stylish dining room, and a pleasantly buzzing atmosphere will leave you feeling in the know.

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You’d think that alcohol and 200-odd foot wouldn’t go well together but, it turns out, frozen negronis, a view over Peckham and beyond, and grilled flatbread with taleggio and pickled fennel are actually an excellent mix. Forza Wine, up on Rye Lane, is all sharing plates, with the majority being vegetarian: cauliflower fritti with aioli, white beans with asparagus and peas. And, as the name suggests, there’s a solid and natural-filled wine list too.

Berenjak serves Iranian mazeh and kebabs in a corridor-like space on Romilly Street. Order the taftoon—clay tanoor-baked flatbread—and swipe through coal-cooked aubergine dips, goats’ curd with Persian shallots, and black chickpea hummus. The kebab section of the menu is a no-go for vegetarians, but the snackable corn on the cob and pickled cauliflower means there’s plenty to pick from in the sofreh section. 

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

$$$$Perfect For:LunchTakeawayDining Solo

You’ll quickly get where Good Vibez’s name comes from when you take one spoonful of its steaming hot, flavourful chickpea curry on a dreary Wednesday lunchtime. The Caribbean spot on Deptford High Street is a favourite among locals who stop by for a chat and a lunchbox heaving with rice and peas. The vegetarian options include callaloo, potato salad, steamed vegetables, and dessert cake slices like rum and pineapple. 

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If you’re vegetarian or in need of halal options, this old-school Thai mini-chain has got you covered with the purple flower chor muang and chilli-lime-papaya som tum. Patara has locations in Knightsbridge, Hampstead, Wimbledon, and Mayfair, but it’s the Greek Street flagship that’s your best bet for a no-nonsense dinner with mates, dates, or a group of hungry colleagues. 

This Taiwanese restaurant in Peckham specialises in bao and is pretty much impossible to hate. Much like the setting, the menu is small and sweet. Although there aren’t countless options, vegetarian or otherwise, all you need to know is that the best thing here is their shiitake mushroom bao with teriyaki and miso mayo. If for some reason you don’t like the sound of that, the tofu bao with squash kimchi is also a winner, and you can’t go wrong with their smacked cucumber or sweet potato chips.

Hey, you know what’s nice? Yes, tzatziki. But also, smiling. And that’s exactly what we do every time we go to Lemonia, a great little Greek restaurant in Primrose Hill that’s been open for over 40 years. Thanks to its classic look and endearing quantity of plants, this neighbourhood spot is almost always packed. It’s particularly perfect for a big, buzzing birthday situation where you can get involved with everything from their tahini to their damn good pourgouri—a soft, spiced, and crunchy wheat pilaf. Just be sure to book ahead for easy access to their dolmades.

A casual neighbourhood restaurant with tasting menus often translates to meat, meat, more meat, and two types of scallop. Casa Fofò in Hackney is the exception. Yes, they do have the kind of ceramic crockery that will make you question whether it’s normal to be physically attracted to a bowl. But they have an entirely vegetarian tasting menu that isn’t wildly expensive, and dinner here makes for a top, cosy date night.

The Barbary does brilliant Middle Eastern-style food and its vegetarian-friendly items are arguably the best things on the menu. The whole of this Covent Garden restaurant is counter seating so order the deep-fried halloumi and a cocktail, and watch the cooks and bartenders make your dinner in front of you. All of these factors make The Barbary an excellent spot for a date.

Because vegetarians have the right to eat exceptional food at pretty restaurants too, Morito on Hackney Road dedicates a whole section of their menu to our veggie friends. And that section contains the Spanish-North African menu’s knockout dish: the labneh, which is smooth yoghurt topped with vegetables and nutty good stuff. Order a side of the warm flatbread and get deep into it.

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

A delicious temple of noodles and soups and all manner of good things, Japanese restaurant Koya can legitimately lay claim to having some of the best udon in London. And the vegetarian dishes here are genuinely the best things on the menu. We’d happily come to Soho any day to eat the walnut miso udon or the curry udon soup. There can be a wait for a table or a seat at the bar when it’s busy, but it usually moves quickly.

At Ottolenghi, the food is vastly vegetable-based (with the occasional bit of meat or fish). But it’s all so good that meat-eaters will ponder swapping sausages for things like grilled broccoli and roasted squash salads. Most Ottolenghi locations have cafe-style seating but the best outpost is in Spitalfields, which has a full sit-down restaurant.

Look, we all want to be at a yoga retreat in California with eight kinds of roasted cauliflower to choose from. But seeing as this is London, Rovi is about as close to vegetable heaven as you can get. The shawarma is some kind of celeriac revelation. The stem tempura is some of the best we’ve ever had. And, well, if urfa chilli gnudi had their own phone, we’d have them saved in our contacts as SALIVATION STATION. Basically, you’re in safe hands no matter which vegetable dish you go for.

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Suggested Reading

A group of vegan dishes including mushroom skewers and tiramisu at Tendril in Mayfair.

The 19 Best Vegan Restaurants In London

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