Unsurprisingly, London has quite a lot to offer cruelty-free gourmets – the UK capital could very well be the Euro capital for all things vegan goodness. With this in mind, you can imagine the difficulty of choosing three – just THREE – restaurants to recommend Vilda readers who may be Londoners or tourists, vegans or veg-curious, visiting the very core of the city. The selection involved lots of taste testing, many dinner reservations and more than one glass of vegan wine and slice of vegan cake (hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!). Here are the three that made the cut:
12-14 Heddon Street
Perfect off-Regent Street location: check. Tastiest vegan buffet we’ve ever had: check. Authentic Italian coffee machine: check. Tibits is the fresh, lightweight and delicious choice for every buffet lover (that’s us!) that want to keep it healthy. A scrumptious selection of hot and cold foods offers a vast selection for something for everyone, veggie or omni (we’ve had non-vegan friends that loved it!) as well as fresh juices and lovely cocktails, all in a relaxed yet chic ambiance. Not to be forgotten: the fabulous vegan desserts. The tiramisu has all the creamy richness of an authentic Italian one (my Milanese fiance couldn’t have told there was no mascarpone) and the sticky toffee pudding is heaven on a plate. Bonus: Tibits is one of the few London restaurants that serves authentic Italian coffee – a ristretto here tastes pretty much like a ristretto in Rome. Other reasons to give it a try: vegan breakfast, lovely tea and very helpful and friendly staff! We’ll definitely be back.
37 Panton Street
Indian vegetarian with a vegan menu – all of our vegan readers certainly will know the overwhelming happiness of holding a menu in your hand and knowing that, for once, you can eat everything on it! The set menus are amazing – the food is beautifully presented and absolutely delicious! If you don’t like spicy foods, then maybe this isn’t the right place for you (but in that case, you’d hardly be eating Indian, would you?). The (vegan) wine is simply delicious and – yes, really – Woodlands even offers vegan dessert and quite good coffee.
This recently reluanched restaurant, conveniently located right next to the Tottenham Court Road tube, looks like a buzzing cafe from the outside, welcoming potential visitors with a vibrant ambiance, but little idea of the haute gourmet experience they’re about to have. This is far from your typical incense-smelling lentil-soup vegan lunch place. Every dish, from the starters to the dessert, is expertly thought-out and thoroughly creative. The presentation is worthy of an exclusive haute cuisine restaurant and, despite absolutely everything on the menu being extremely healthy, it all tastes like heaven on a plate. Many dishes on the menu are raw and each one of there – incredibly delicious – desserts is sugar-free. Vantra doesn’t serve alcohol, but a vast selection of healthy mocktails, juices and “vespresso” coffee-style drinks are available. Owner Lenny is extremely knowledgeable about all things healthy vegan living and is, effectively, transforming Londoners’ (and hopefully, tourists’) view on vegan food. Vilda absolutely recommends a visit to Vantra, even if you’re an omnivore – all your misconceptions will be swept away with one taste of the raw lasagna, the cheese and crackers or the chocolate cake.