Veganism is undeniably becoming increasingly popular as people are taking more of an interest into what they are consuming, whether it be diet, toiletries and medicines or even entertainment (zoos, aquariums etc).
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to animals. The new year saw a lot of people trying ‘veganary’ – turning vegan for the month of January, at least attempting the vegan diet anyway. A vegan diet involves avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey. Well-planned plant-based diets are rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. The plant-based sources of these nutrients tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants, helping mitigate some of the modern world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer as well as increasing energy and improving skin complexion – doesn’t sound too bad does it?
Aside from the obvious fruit and vegetable choices it can be hard to know which foods do not contain any animal produce; there are definitely some surprising ones, for instance some apple juices are clarified using the bladder of fish, isinglass, and some flavoured crisps contain traces of milk and/or animal fat. On top of this it can be a struggle to create tasty and inspiring dishes, especially if you’re a big meat eater.
The movement towards veganism isn’t going away anytime soon though and so London’s restaurants and pop-ups are responding accordingly. We have sourced some of the best vegan eats in town that we recommend you to try for yourself – get inspired by unique, innovative and deliciously flavoursome dishes.
East London’s, Shoreditch Boxpark, a complex of shipping containers home to a selective bunch of small shops and restaurants includes vegan hot spot: Cook Daily. Owner and head chef King Cook has a Laotian heritage, which is reflected in his cooking. Generous colourful portions are served in bowls made from recycled cardboard with a wooden fork, unpretentious, deliciously healthy food at its best. Currently there are 16 different bowls to choose from, each going for under a tenner, try the ‘Yoga Fire’ a spiced chickpea and sweet potato veggie curry with turmeric and dhal simmered in golden coconut milk served over brown rice or go for ‘Da Infamous!!’ inspired King Cooks mum’s green curry served with brown rice and your choice of veggies, tofu, chickn or chickpeas.
| Cook Daily Shoreditch
| Boxpark, Unit 48, 2-4 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GY
| Mon – Wed 12 – 9pm, Thu – Sat 12 – 10.30pm, Sun 12 – 8pm
| Shoreditch High St Station
| 07498 563168
| Instagram: @kingcookdaily
| Twitter: @kingcookdaily
REDEMPTION BAR AND RESTAURANT
With the motto ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’ Redemption Bar is actioning the increasingly popular movement that socialising should not be at the expense of your health. The first Redemption bar opened in Notting Hill shortly followed by a second site in Old Street, Shoreditch. Lead by two female entrepreneurs Catherine Salway and Andrea Waters, who together have created one of London’s healthiest restaurants, serving up vegan, sugar-free, and wheat-free food with an alcohol-free bar. Find a full range of super-healthy, nutritional and Instagram friendly dishes, it has been described as one of the best vegan restaurants in London! We recommend ordering a few dishes to share such as the grilled aubergine & tahini – sticky baked white miso and sesame glazed aubergines, served with creamy lemony tahini dressing and toasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and micro basil for £9.75 and the maki rolls platter – a gorgeous platter of maki rolls filled with quinoa, avocado, enoki mushroom, shitake mushrooms, chives, and sesame seeds, with wasabi and micro red amaranth for £12.75. Save some room for one of their raw desserts that are actually ‘good for you’ and make sure to take a photo of the Redemption angel wings mural painted on their Shoreditch exterior wall.
| 320 Old St, London EC1V 9DR
| Mon – Fri 12pm – 10.30pm, Sat 10am – 10.30, Sun 10am – 5pm
| Old Street Tube Station
| 020 7613 0720
| 6 Chepstow Rd, London W2 5BH
| Mon – closed, Tue – Fri 12pm – 10.30pm, Sat 10am – 10.30, Sun 10am – 5pm
| Notting Hill Tube Station
| 020 7313 9041
Sick of chick peas and chia seeds? Try Club Mexicana for some banging Mexican-inspired street food that is 100% vegan. Find burritos, nachos, tacos and even fried vegan cheese, we recommend you try the ‘BBQ-pulled jackfruit burrito’, stuffed with guacamole, shredded lettuce, pink pickled onions, salted chillies, sour ‘cream’, ancho chilli sauce, fresh lime and coriander or the ‘Beer Battered Tofish Tacos’, served with chimichurri, pink onions, pickled chillies, sour cream and hot sauce. Grab a burrito or pick a mixture to share all for under a tenner.
Club Mexicana can currently be found at:
| Street Feast Dinerama – split-level, global street food market housing clusters of stalls & bars in a lively environment
| 19 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3EJ
| Wed – Sat 5pm -11pm
| Shoreditch High St Station
| The Spread Eagle – corner pub with bespoke display tables and funky outdoor space, also serving craft ales, wine and cocktails that are 100% vegan
| 224 Homerton High St, London E9 6AS
| Thu – Fri 5pm -10pm, Sat 12pm – 10pm, Sun 12pm – 8pm
| Homerton Station
| Camden Lock Market – a collection of stalls and shops selling everything from vintage clothing, hand-made jewellery, artwork, gifts, music, street-food and drinks
| Unit 215 – 216, Camden Lock Market, Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AF
| 7 days a week 11am – 6pm
| Camden Town Tube Station
Follow the links below to stay tuned on Club Mexicanas up and coming pop-ups.
THE BLACKSMITH & THE TOFFEEMAKER
The Blacksmith and Toffeemaker has been all about sustainability for some time, using biodegradable products wherever possible, menus, napkins, toilet paper, blue roll, takeaway bags and boxes are 100% recycled, even the food preparation gloves used are compostable. Drinks are served without plastic straws, and if you really want a straw they have biodegradable ones behind the bar for a 10p donation to Greenpeace. Since January 2018 the next step was to introduce a 100% vegan menu, which has resulted in the pub doubling its revenue. Try their ‘Nashville hot ‘chicken’ burger with pickle, garlic mayo and shredded lettuce’ or the ‘chorizo’, jalapeño and refined bean grilled ‘cheese’ sandwich or why not go for the ‘Green Mac n ‘Cheese’’. All the food at this pub is vegan, but note that not all the alcohol is just yet, opt for the vegan beer! Head down on a Monday night from 7pm for the pub quiz, £2 per person, prizes and 2 for 1 food deals. The pub is also dog friendly – check out their Instagram to see some local doggie regulars.
| The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker
| Mon – Sat 12pm till late (closed Sundays)
| 292 – 294 St Johns Street, London EC1V 4PA
| Angel Tube Station
| Instagram: @blacksmith_and_toffeemaker
| Twitter: @TB_and_TM
| Facebook: @TheBlacksmithandtheToffeemaker
BIFFS JACK SHACK AT HAUNT LONDON
Taking permanent residency at all-vegan bar and eatery Haunt London is Biff’s Jack Shack unleashing a “vegan AF” dinner and brunch menu consisting of ‘Bangin’ Jackfruit Wingz’ drizzled in vegan blue cheese and buffalo hot sauce, a ‘Samuel Hell Jackson burger’ (voted one of Time Out London’s best veggie comfort food dishes) and a vegan hush puppy – deep fried crispy cornbread bits studded with sweetcorn and spring onion, served with a sweet-salty whipped maple butter. This is the ultimate vegan junk food – no compromises and total indulgence! Pick a dish for under a tenner and accompany it with a drink from Haunts all-vegan drinks menu consisting of hand picked organic and vegan wines and a brand new cocktail list.
| Haunt London
| 182 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY
| Mon closed, Tue – Thu 5pm – 11pm, Fri 5pm – 2am, Sat 12pm – 2am, Sun 12pm – 9pm
| Just over a 10 min walk from Stoke Newington (TFL Rail), Dalston Junction/ Dalston Kingsland Overground
| 020 7249 1203
| Instagram: @hauntlondon
| Twitter: @hauntlocal
| Facebook: @hauntlondon
QBIC BAR + KITCHEN LONDON
Not strictly a vegan restaurant however for this week at Qbic London we’ll be adding some tasty vegan dishes to our specials board. For breakfast why not swap your scrambled eggs on buttered toast for a scrumptious polenta with sautéed spinach, tomato and a mushroom puree or for a quirky twist, try our eggless omelette filled with red onion, spinach and peppers – we promise the lack of egg does not mean any lack in flavour. For dinner choose between delicious vine leaves stuffed with fragrant rice with vibrant rainbow vegetables and a confit pepper served with a red pepper puree or why not go for the grilled vegetable terrine packed with up to 7 different vegetables, you’ll be getting your recommended daily intake in one, especially if accompanied with a cold press juice or high sobriety cocktail!