I moved to London in 2011 and the vegan food scene wasn’t one that I paid much attention to. To be honest, I’m not sure I even knew what the word vegan meant!
I’m not a vegan, however, I do eat a lot of vegan food. Good food is good food, regardless of what category it falls into! Over the last few years, I’ve educated myself about veganism and the effects that our food choices are having on our bodies and the environment. So if it’s possible to do your bit for the world and still eat delicious food then why not!
So if you’re vegan or not, here are 7 delicious vegan places in London that a non-vegan will love!
I always thought pizza would be a hard one to do for someone who’s vegan because let’s face pizza is 50% cheese… the good ones anyway! Well, Purezza seems to have cracked it. Their pizzas are as close to a ‘real’ pizza as you can get and I’d go as far as saying that they are better than some ’real’ ones I’ve had too. They use coconut, cashew & brown rice to replicate the cheese which imitates the real stuff surprisingly well but I would point out it’s a bit ‘silkier’ than you might be used to. Add a fantastic crust, some creative vegan toppings (pesto manifesto with sundried tomatoes!) and boom you’ve got one great vegan pizza even the fussiest of pizza lovers will love.
43 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PN, http://purezza.co.uk/
Non-profit vegan cafe
Van Gogh Cafe is a non-profit, vegan restaurant in South London. Walking in you’ll immediately be in awe of the charming decor and quaint setting. Especially if you look up because the ceiling is painted just like Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ painting (hence the name!) I’d liken the food to what you would get in a good pub with a menu of hearty comfort food like pies, burgers, mac and cheese. All very affordable and all 100% vegan. Van Gough Cafe work with 3 charities to provide on the job training for people who have learning disabilities or mental health problems so you’re doing your bit for the world when you eat at here. The Metro called them London’s best vegan roast so it’s one to try on a Sunday!
88 Brixton Rd, London SW9 6BE, https://www.cafevangogh.co.uk
In my experience, vegan burgers have been dry, bean-based pieces of cardboard with a bit of salad on top. Nothing to make ever make me come rushing back for another one. That was until I tried one from the Big V! The Big V make proper burgers and I mean proper burgers! They are stacked high with cheese, bacon and plenty of sauce and amazingly, no animals were harmed in the process. How’s that then you might think? They’ve been uber creative with using plant-based cheese, their own creation of bacon and all the condiments are homemade. If you are a meat eater you will notice the difference in the patty which is a bit more crumbly than what you might be used to. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not tasty AF!
Good London food markets. See website for more info. https://www.bigvlondon.co.uk
Ms Cupcake was London’s first ever entirely vegan bakery. It sits just a few meters from Brixton tube station and you will certainly smell them before you see them. Inside this bright, retro bakery, they cook up colourful and decadent cupcakes, giant cookies as well as brownies, shakes and even sandwiches! My personal favourite being ‘The Ambassador’ which is basically a giant Ferrero Rocher! All 100% vegan and very naughty.
408 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8LF
Vegan or not you will love the selection of food on offer at Tibits. Tibits are strictly vegan and vegetarian buffet with over 40 hot and cold dishes plus desserts which are self-serve. You load up your plate and pay by weight so you can eat as much or as little as you want. It’s a pretty casual affair inside with informal seating and a good one if you’re in need of a quick bite or solo dinner. With so much choice and delicious choice at that, meat eaters I promise you’ll be spoilt for choice.
12-14 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4DA, https://www.tibits.co.uk/en/
Vegan American comfort food
There is no shortage of American style diners in London but not many like 90 Degree Melt. They have brought all the bits of American comfort food we love but made the entire menu is vegetarian and vegan. Brunch means you can have things like scrambled ‘eggs’ or a stack of pancakes – all completely vegan! Lunch is grilled sandwich melts and battered corndogs on sticks. Somewhere for when you want a bit of hearty comfort food. 90 Degree Melt is the brainchild of vegetarian Nidhi who turned from a career in finance to food. We can’t thank you enough Nidhi!
4BJ, 235 Mile End Rd, London http://90degreemelt.co.uk
Bad Brownie are probably London’s top market trader for all you brownie needs and amongst there regular brownies they do a real decadent vegan version! Their vegan flavour is salted caramel which is dark, rich and oozes plenty of sweet filling. Not only are they made with completely plant-based ingredients but they are dairy, nut and gluten free as well. I have no idea how they do it but take all of my money! Bring a friend and you both have vegan and non-vegan options. Hooray!