Despite having a name that sounds like a perfume, Essence is actually just a raw vegan cafe in Shoreditch with food that’s actually quite enjoyable. You should probably avoid it if you’re allergic to nuts, but if not, expect great veg bowls, filling salads, ‘noodles’, and wraps. The raw pad thai and caramel brownie are particularly good. That said, the slightly awkward space feels like something out of The Matrix, so we’d skip a sit-in meal in favour of grabbing something to take away.
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Two Lights is the Shoreditch restaurant an algorithm might design. It doesn’t quite add up, but, if you use it in the right way, it’s a good bet.
Sardine is a very hip Shoreditch restaurant with a mural on the wall, a communal table, and an open kitchen serving southern French-inspired dishes.
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Kerb Camden is a great street food market in Camden Lock, with a great lineup of street food dishes, but becomes a complete tourist trap at weekends.
There are a few Mildreds dotted around town, and the Camden outlet for their vegetarian dishes is as solid and enjoyable as the rest.
Persepolis is a BYOB deli-cum-café in Peckham serving excellent Persian meze at fantastic prices.
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