My guide to eating vegan in London (or 20 reasons I *may* have put on weight being vegan)

Conversation Pieces' London vegan guide

Before I went vegan, one of my fears was that I would miss out on eating out. I wouldn’t call myself a foodie but I do get rather enthused about eating. And one of the surprising things about going vegan is how even more enthused about food I am – I genuinely love food more than ever before. (Which might explain why me and my other started a little shared Instagram account so we could rave about our favourite eats.)

And now that I’ve been 13 months vegan (you can read about my journey here and here), I thought I’d share my favourite London vegan eats – as a handy guide for anyone deliberating, wanting to eat less meat or vegan curious! I’ll try and update it too as I discover new places as there’s new pop-ups and places still on my to do list.

(Oh and yes the title of this post. A friend recently asked me: “But can you put on weight being vegan?” Answer, yes, you totally can. I certainly did at first. Blame all the vegan doughnuts and vegan pizza!)

So here’s my eating vegan in London guide… and my favourites in no particular order.

  1. Oh BrewDog, let me count the ways I love you… Vegan beer? Check. Ridiculously big seitan steak burger (that’s loaded with hummus, kale and tomato relish)? Double check. Locations all around London from Soho to Camden – all the checks!
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    London vegan guide – Brewdog burger
    London vegan eating out guide – Brewdog burger
  2. Thanks to BrewDog’s pop-up Punk Kitchen in Islington, we discovered vegan laksa from London Laksa… which was so good I was tempted to order two portions just for myself!
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    London vegan eating out guide: Conversation Pieces
  3. For brunch, it has to be the Small White Elephant in Peckham which I absolutely adore. Nice people, good vibes, never failed me food. They have a brilliant dahl… but it’s their avo on toast I love. Yes, avocado on toast is a cliche but I swear to you that you haven’t lived until you’ve had their avocado on toast with homemade chilli jam. It’s a thing of spicy beauty. (They also recently made butter an ask for as opposed to an ask to be removed making them even more vegan friendly.) Oh and they had damn good vegan cakes too. Did I mention that I love these guys?
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    London vegan eating out guide – best avocado on toast screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-18-13-33
    Vegan cake at the Small White Elephant in London
  4. For music buying and bagels, it’s got to be Brill Cafe in Exmouth Market… their vegan special is a messy but oh so good mix of hummus, avocado, mustard, seeds, gherkins and lettuce. Brill by name, brill by bagel.
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    Vegan bagel at Brill Cafe London
  5. For burgers and hotdogs with a side of heavy metal, it’s got to be The Waiting Room in Deptford (which is an entirely veggie/vegan joint). Go here with a hangover or a proper appetite and order up a vegan Oreo milkshake, vegan hotdog, vegan wings, vegan burgers and go heavy on the hot sauce. Then go for a lie-down!
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    The Waiting Room in Deptford London
    Vegan hotdogs at The Waiting Room in London
  6. For midweek dinner, it’s got to be the frankly f***ing brilliant Cook Daily in Boxpark – their noodle bowl with spice and cashews is the f***ing business. You can also do some celeb spotting here too every now and then, though you’re likely to not notice them as you’ll be concentrating on your bowl!
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    Vegan dinner at Cook Daily in London
  7. Or Voodoo Rays for a slice of their Queen Vegan pizza – which I used to order before I was vegan as it’s so damn good. So vegan or not, this is one you have to try.
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    Vegan pizza slice at Voodoo Rays London
  8. For tacos, yes that’s a whole category of food! Taco Queen inside Rye Wax in Peckham who do a bad-ass cornflake battered avocado tacos and have just started a damn good tofu one too…
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    Taco Queen vegan tacos in Peckham London
    … and Club Mexicana (who can be found 7 days a week at KERB Camden and at weekends at Street Feast venues) for their pulled jackfruit or tofish tacos. And their cheeze fries, which are the stuff that vegan dreams are made of.
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    Club Mexicana vegan tacos in London
    Club Mexican cheeze fries – vegan London eats
  9. For fish and chips… yes, really… go to the Coach and Horses in Soho (or the Secret Tearoom upstairs) for tofush and chips with a side of peas too. The batter has seaweed in it to give it a sea-like taste. It’s not healthy but oh so good.
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    Coach and Horses – vegan fish and chips in London
  10. Vegan Doner! From the ridiculously good What the Pitta in Shoreditch. This is the first doner I’ve ever had in my life and the first one that the other half had in 15 years! And man, it was worth the wait. Go, now, if you can.
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    Vegan donar in London
  11. And if you’re heading to Borough Market, there’s an entire stall dedicated to veggie and vegan burgers. YES!
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    Vegan burger at Borough Market
  12. For colourful vegan matcha lattes, get yourself to Palm Vaults – possibly the cutest cafe in all of London. I kind of want to move in.
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    Vegan matcha lattes at Palm Vaults in London
  13. For a treat, then it’s got to be Mildreds in Kings Cross or Soho – from the starters to the puddings, everything here is delicious. Oh and the cocktails aren’t so shabby either!
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    Vegan pudding at Mildreds
  14. The sweetest place you’ll ever eat at… Bonnington Cafe is a new find of mine (even though it’s been around for ages) and I just adored it. There’s a rotating list of guest chefs – all vegan – and you have to text them to book yourself into the restaurant. It’s BYOB but you can grab some beers from the deli across the road if you forget the booze.
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    Bonnington Cafe – vegan restaurant in London
    Bonnington Cafe – vegan cafe in London
  15. Have you been to Persepolis in Peckham? It’s such wonderful and eclectic and good fun. There’s a vegan set menu so just order that and prepare to do a lot of eating – and enjoying the relaxed, almost holiday vibe. I almost rolled out of here I was that full by the time were done. (I did stop to speak to the fish though first!)
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    Eating vegan in Peckham London
    Eating vegan in Peckham London
  16. Vegan Italian on a converted bus… because why not! For something a little different, get yourself to Just Fab. We ate until we were stuffed when we visited – from arancino and lasagne to Tiramisù, we ordered a little more than we had room for but we regretted nothing!
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    Vegan bus in London
  17. Ice cream… Yorica in Soho is THE best. All vegan ice cream, with lots of fun toppings, and free sprinkles. I’m weirdly obsessed with their lavender ice cream with vegan marshmallows, while the other half goes for all the chocolate-y ones with fudge and Oreos.
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    Vegan ice cream in London
  18. Cake! My favourites are Ruby’s of London in Greenwich, Mydetoxdiet at Brockley Market every Saturday and Ms Cupcake in Brixton. (Also an extra shout out to Greenwich Market for having vegan churros too!)
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    Vegan cake at Brockley market
    Vegan churros in Greenwich Market London
  19. For snacks, it has to be VX at Kings Cross for vegan marshmallows, Vego (the best chocolate bar), vegan jerky and other things you don’t need but really want!
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    VX at King Cross in London
  20. Black Cat Cafe in Hackney… we were so hungry when we ate here that we clear out forgot to take any pics. Which tells you something… and means we need to go back soon!
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    If you have anywhere you think I should try out and add to the list, do let me know… gives me an excuse to go eat more!
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