2020 has really been a year of agonised wails, hasn’t it? Our latest is on account of the fact that we miss restaurants. For some of us, this is because we enjoy good food – others simply can’t cook. Either way, the pain of their absence is felt equally by both parties. While the thought of new restaurants opening in 2021 is enough to make us feel positive about a year that may well be somewhat similar to 2020, there are still restaurants already in existence that we want to go to again (and again) as soon as restrictions are lifted.
In honor of those who try – but don’t quite succeed – at Veganuary, we’ve gathered the best vegetarian restaurants in London for your perusal. Sadly, a few that would have been on the list pre-pandemic (Vanilla Black and Ethos, for example) are now permanently closed. Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t befall these ones.
While the food at Bonnington Café is always delicious, it’s also unpredictable: the menu changes each day along with the chef. But that’s what makes it so fun – and two decades in business can’t be argued with.
Don’t laugh! Veggie Pret was probably many people’s segue into realising that vegetarian food is ‘actually quite nice’, and therefore it deserves a mention. Besides, the seemingly eternal WFH order has us hankering after their salads and sandwiches.
Back before the invention of the term ‘unprecedented times’, all fun nights in Peckham would ideally begin with a meal at this Persian delicatessen-cum-restaurant. It’s cheap and the meze platter usually features cheetos – what more could you want?
Founded in 1988 (and now at four locations across London), Mildreds is perhaps one of the original wholly vegetarian restaurants in the capital. But both in taste and appearances, their menus are thoroughly modern. We defy you not to take a decent grid post of their soul bowl or Aztec cacao brownie.
The Gate could also have gone in our 'everywhere' category, but Google currently seems to have other ideas. While we hope its branches in Marylebone and Islington reopen eventually, there's nothing wrong with the other two. This is where we like to go for special occasions.
Rasa's Instagram bio states that it's 'The Most Loved In North London'. This seems pompous, but it's true – so there! Vegetarian (and gluten-free) Keralan food never tasted so wonderful (apart from perhaps in Kerala itself).
Spinach is not a vegetarian restaurant as such, but a 'vegetable-centric' one. This essentially means that, while there's meat on the menu, vegetables are allowed to hog all the best lighting. We'll be having the brioche French toast with roasted plums, Greek yoghurt and maple syrup for brunch, an open-faced smashed avocado and roasted tomato sandwich for lunch, and the courgette and spinach fritters for dinner – 'once this is all over'.