So you decided to try a month going vegan, found some recipes (maybe even bought a vegan cook book) but are now really worried that you won’t be able to eat out? Worry not, choose wisely and you’ll be fine.
London is full of choices for amazing vegan feasts all around.
Chains like Leon, Pret, and Giraffe are now catering well for the vegan demand. So whether you are a January vegan, or if you chose this diet for longer – the options are catching up with the increasing demand.
To experience how great vegan food can be – definitely try following places:
- Wildfood Café in Covent Garden – When my niece visited me from Hungary a year ago she thought vegans only eat salad leaves – sound familiar? So I took her to this gem in Covent Garden, she had the most amazing vegan burger and beautiful raw cheesecake, she literally licked the plate clean and told me that her lunch there was the best meal she’s had all week in London. And her take home message was that vegan dishes can be made super delicious, nutritious and beautiful for the eyes as well.
- Farmacy in Notting Hill – A recent favourite (as it’s on the other side of town for me). Trust me this is the place you will keep returning to, and you will certainly improve your health by becoming a regular guest.
- Cook Daily in Shorditch and Croydon – If you’re more east London like myself this is an important must try. The place is simple, it’s a small place in Box Park, Shoreditch, but those meals are heavenly.
- Redemption in Shoreditch, Notting Hill and Covent Garden – This will provide you with the most amazing, beautifully presented vegan meals and the best non-alcoholic cocktails you’ve ever had in your life.
The choices are countless and it’s exciting to discover new flavours and ideas on how to make vegan food super tasty. Tripadvisor, Timeout, Happycow all have their top vegan restaurant list with descriptions and reviews. It’s an exciting time to be vegan in London.
If your friends are the ones choosing where you will eat but you still have a say, go for following cuisines: Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, Mexican and even Italian.
- Middle-Eastern restaurants will offer plenty of options – falafels, hummus, chickpeas, salads, they have a great selection if you have a dinner with your meat eater friends.
- Ethiopian curries and stews are mostly vegan – and super yummy as well. Well worth a visit. They are often at food markets too, so if your group decided to go on a food market stroll – head to the Ethiopian stand and you’re sorted for a tasty and nutritious meal.
- Mexican meals can be easily turned vegan by removing the cheese and meat and the beans will give you plenty of protein to feel nourished and full.
- Indian restaurants offer many vegetarian dishes, and many can be made vegan quite easily, so long as the sauce is not cooked in ghee. Chana masala is always a great choice!
- If you don’t have issues with gluten, Italian restaurants can be quite accommodating, and they are increasingly offering dairy-free cheese as an option for all pizzas.
If you can’t influence the choice of restaurant you’re going to go to, have a look at their menu in advance and even make a call to ask them if they are able to serve you anything vegan. In most cases it will be possible, and you are likely to find good vegan options on the menu as standard anyway.
If the restaurants are quite new to vegan requests, make sure you say what you mean – no eggs, no cheese, no fish – to avoid later disappointment.
I hope you’ll have fun with the colours and vegetables, they are so amazing for us. We all need to eat more of them and the more colourful our meals are the healthier they are as well. We need those vitamins and phytonutrients for our body to function better.
Edi Csanalosi – www.nutreena.co.uk
Edi is a naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and functional medicine practitioner – practicing in London. She believes that her most important mission is to help her clients find the root cause of their problems. Edi believes in the healing power of food and herbs, thoughts and deeds. Edi chose this holistic approach to help people find the key to a balanced life – to their “wholeness”, to find a way that suits them most to become healthy again, regain their energy, calm and confidence and to be able to maintain this new healthy way of living in the future as well.
For more information on Eating Out as a vegan please see our Eating Out Guide
PAGE UPDATED JULY 2020