This is a guest post from Stephanie Brookes; BBC Radio London foodie contributor, presenter and writer. She’s gonna talk to y’all about some great places to eat vegetarian food in London…
Stephanie: There are an abundance of great vegetarian dishes to be discovered in some of London’s top restaurants. For most meat-eaters, (myself included), vegetarian dishes are often considered as an alternative dining option, or simply as an accompaniment, rather than the centrepiece of the main meal. I have, however, found myself increasingly drawn to the vegetarian options as my first choice.
Any outdated stereotype that vegetarian food is somehow dull or uninteresting should be swept aside with such an incredible array of flavourful and inventive dishes to try.
I have chosen some of my top restaurants where I feel they truly excel at vegetarian cuisine. I hope you enjoy my suggestions, and the food even more!
This much beloved vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the heart of Soho is a popular destination for foodies everywhere. Mildreds started back in 1988 and revitalised the way Londoner’s approached vegetarian cuisine. Mildreds is well-regarded for introducing more exotic flavours, with their international cuisine attracting a loyal customer base who return for the inventive and ever-changing menu.
As well as the Soho original, Mildreds has expanded to two further restaurants in King’s Cross and Camden. If you’re looking for a tasty, and flavour-packed meal try the Ricotta and truffle tortellini, wild mushroom masala sauce (£7.00) and for your main course: Smoked tofu, fennel, apple and white bean sausage with cider jus, pan-fried cabbage with peas, dill and mash (£12.00), and finally, the vanilla ice-cream with warm salted caramel and coffee sauce (£5.00).
45 Lexington Street
NOPI is the restaurant collaboration between world-renowned chef, Ottolenghi, and head chef Ramael Scully. Their speciality is Middle-Eastern inspired cuisine, with an incredible array of flavoursome dishes on offer – some of them look too good to eat! The emphasis here is on sharing plates which is a great idea if you’re dining with friends and fancy trying a range of different dishes.
The restaurant offers a superb selection of vegetarian options. My top dishes include the Roasted aubergine, black garlic, broad beans and basil (£9.50) and the Courgette and manouri fritters with cardamom yoghurt (£11.50). For a larger plate, I highly recommend the Chickpea pancake, spiced peas, tomato and yuzu salad (£19.90).
21-22 Warwick Street
The Grain Store
For sophisticated yet modern, casual dining, you can’t go wrong with The Grain Store in Granary Square. This restaurant is unique in that even though both meat and vegetarian dishes are served, it is the vegetables that are the real star of the menu here. I have visited this restaurant many times but I find it is always the vegetarian dishes that I return to.
For that perfect lunchtime treat, try the Mushroom & Montgomery cheddar croquettes with pickled walnut mayonnaise (£9.50) and the Pumpkin and barley risotto, homemade boudin blanc, morels and sweet wine sauce (£17.50) and if you’re feeling extra peckish, a side of Grilled sweet potato, sweet chilli yoghurt and lime dressing (£5.00). Also, if you happen to have a good day weather-wise, take advantage of the charming outside seating area with views over Granary Square.
The Grain Store
1-3 Stable Street
In the heart of bustling Oxford Street, you can find some of the tastiest and varied Vegan cuisine in London. Vantra Vitao is a buffet-style restaurant with a delectable choice of dishes on offer from curries, salads to stews. All of the dishes are freshly prepared, using local and seasonal ingredients. Food is priced by weight so it’s a great opportunity to try a few different dishes.
I recommend opting for the Spicy coconut curry with squash, courgette and chickpea and then a Lasagne of squash, tomato and seed cheese. It’s a great choice if you have a big day of shopping ahead, and as an alternative to the usual chain restaurants in the area.
25-27 Oxford Street
The Modern Pantry
This popular modern restaurant is consistent in serving the freshest, seasonal produce with a modern twist. It has a great location in the heart of St John’s Square, with a gorgeous outside seating area. The food, however, is even better than its location!
Just try the warming Smoked red pepper and tomato soup, yuzu tofu cream and crispy vine leaves (£6.00) and then for the main attraction: Chermoula roast pumpkin, lemon roast fennel and red pepper filled cassava spring roll, carrot and yuzu puree, pumpkin seed, padron pepper and seaweed relish (£17.00). This restaurant does get very busy so my advice is to book ahead so you can relax and simply enjoy the food to come.
The Modern Pantry
47-48 St John’s Square