Neat Burger spread of burgers and fries Neat Burger is one of the best restaurants in central London - and all the food is totally plant-based - Media Credit: Neat Burger

These Might Just Be The 10 Best Restaurants In Central London (And They’re All Vegan-Friendly)

The best vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in Central London, as picked out by Fat Gay Vegan

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5 Minutes Read

Central London is a boomtown for vegan food options in 2022, but it hasn’t always been this way. In fact, it used to be a bit of a plant-based wasteland with very few options for compassionate food fans.

I first arrived in London at the start of 1998, fresh off a plane journey that took me away from Australia for the first time in my life. Back then, I was a vegetarian (it took me another two years to see the light) and I don’t recall vegan food being very plentiful at all around the UK capital.

I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle sometime around the year 2000. But, as this was before it was trendy to celebrate “veganniversaries,” I can’t recall the exact date.

All I can remember clearly is that there were not a lot of vegan options in restaurants, cafes, or supermarkets around London at the turn of the millennium.

A lot of time has passed since I first stepped onto the streets of central London looking for meat-free dining. It wouldn’t be possible for 1998 me to comprehend the plant-based culinary landscape of 2022.

It’s a different world!

To celebrate just how bountiful the vegan food of London is these days, I’ve created my own list of the Top 10 places to eat plant-based in London Zone 1.

I hope you get some inspiration from my list. Be sure to mention in the comments if I’ve missed your favourite.

1. Neat Burger – Soho

Nearest tube: Leicester Square

Old Compton Street is just one of many locations for this soon-to-be global chain co-founded/funded by plant-powered race driver Lewis Hamilton. The Neat Burger menu provides everything you’d expect from a fast food joint, including cheeseburgers, fries, shakes, and desserts. This restaurant is in the heart of London’s party zone and is a top spot to bring friends before a big night out.

2. Temple of Seitan – King’s Cross

Nearest tube: King’s Cross St. Pancras

Temple of Seitan made its name in Hackney, but it’s the restaurant’s service hatch (inside the Goods Way food hall and entertainment venue located just behind Kings Cross station) that helps land it a spot on this Zone 1 compilation. All of the Temple classics can be enjoyed moments before you catch a nearby gig (or train!), meaning vegan fried chicken in central London is now a delicious reality.

3. Tofu Vegan – Islington

Nearest tube: Angel

Angel’s Tofu Vegan manages to slip just inside Zone 1, and it’s one of the most popular restaurants on this list. Book a table or you might not get inside to sample its menu, which specializes in cuisine from the Dongbei and Sichuan regions of China. Don’t forget that the plain rice is refillable!

4. Holy Carrot – Knightsbridge

Nearest tube: Knightsbridge

Holy Carrot is your chance to get posh in Zone 1. This Knightsbridge restaurant showcases a menu overflowing with inventive plant-based cuisine that tastes as good as it looks. You can dust off your good jacket for a visit to Holy Carrot and be sure to keep it on your ‘special occasions’ list. With a great selection of wines and seasonal desserts, you’ll definitely leave with a smile on your face.

5. Wulf & Lamb – Marylebone

Nearest tube: Baker Street

Wulf & Lamb has a location in the heart of Marylebone with a dining room about as pleasant as they come. Huge windows allow for lots of natural light, meaning you’ll have no problem getting the Instagram content needed to show off your globally-inspired cuisine and inventive cocktails. It’s kind of a posh part of the city, and you’ll feel like a million quid hanging out here.

6. Gauthier Soho – Soho

Nearest tube: Leicester Square

Gauthier Soho is the Zone 1 restaurant most likely to be your once-a-year destination, considering the set menu runs to just under £100 per person (wine pairing an additional £75). Multi-award-winning chef Alexis Gauthier has taken his dedication to veganism and crafted it into modern French fine dining in the heart of London’s West End. Book a table for that special vegan in your life and you’ll be in their good books for a long time.

7. Club Mexicana – Soho and Covent Garden

Nearest tubes: Piccadilly Circus (Kingly Court), Covent Garden (Seven Dials)

Club Mexicana do what they do extremely well, and the Instagram crowd loves it for its bright colours and bold flavours inspired by Mexico. Loaded nachos piled high with spicy jalapeños are washed down with cold beer and icy cocktails. Choose from fashion and music historical hotspot Kingly Court near Carnaby Street or the Club Mexicana location in the heart of Theatreland’s Seven Dials.

8. Itadakizen – King’s Cross

Nearest tube: King’s Cross St. Pancras

Itadakizen is the unassuming champion of Zone 1 when it comes to vegan cuisine. This Japanese restaurant nestled around the corner from King’s Cross station has been serving beautifully-crafted vegan food for more years than I can recall. I adore its crispy tofu, and every time I stop by for a meal consisting of a few small plant-based plates, I think to myself: “Why don’t I come here more often?”

9. Mali Vegan Thai – Earl’s Court

Nearest tube: Earl’s Court

Mali Vegan Thai is another restaurant managing to be a Zone 1 destination by just a few metres. A street away and it wouldn’t qualify for this list. The restaurant’s extensive plant-based Thai menu is packed solid with mouthwatering dishes including Chu Chee Pla Tip Tod, a sizzling fried vegan fish plate topped with red curry sauce.

10. Humble – Chelsea

Nearest tube: South Kensington

Humble is a casual eatery on the King’s Road that is perfectly welcoming no matter the time you rock up for food. Nutritious breakfast options give way to grab-and-go sandwiches and cauliflower base pizzas perfect for lunch can be swapped for burgers and fries as evening approaches. Save space for the soft-serve ice cream.

Notable mentions:

Mildred’s – multiple central locations from this fast-casual mainstay featuring hearty comfort food.

The Gate – another ‘chain’ serving seasonal vegan cuisine with a slightly smarter feel.

Stem & Glory – internationally-inspired flavours with top-shelf desserts close to the Barbican.

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The Author

Sean O'Callaghan

Sean O'Callaghan is a community organiser, vegan activist, and social media personality known as Fat Gay Vegan. Based in London, Sean loves potato and enjoys supporting independent vegan business.

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