London Vegan Guide (continued III)

Hello and happy Sunday!

After an extended weekend in London, I’m back with another post about awesome plant-based food in London. If you’ve missed my previous posts on vegan eating in London, feel free to check these out too:

As all my trips back to London, this one included catch-ups with friends over as much delicious vegan food as possible. I always have fun trying to fit in as many new places as possible, although there are always favorites I could go back to again and again.

Here are some further places I can warmly recommend:

The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker

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How much more British can you get than a pub with a quirky name? This newly vegan pub near Angel has a special place in my heart, as I used to live 5 minutes away from it. I can’t tell you how many times I walked past it, and how gladly I would have stopped by for some vegan pub grub! (Probably this way turned out better for my wallet and waistline 😉 ).

All the items on the menu sound so tempting, from the “halloumi” kimchi burger and “mozzarella” sticks to the EPIC Green Mac N “Cheese” & Marinara Sauce Grilled “Cheese” Sandwich – this is serious comfort food! I absolutely fell in love with that sandwich and the bread (they get it fresh from a bakery) was so satisfying. I also tried the polenta fries, which were nice and crispy on the outside and soft (but just a tad bland) on the inside. Not exactly health food, but on the other hand it wasn’t very greasy and didn’t leave me feeling gross after. I definitely recommend! Maybe also stay for a pub quiz sometime? 😉

 

The Canvas Cafe 

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I found out about this cute little all-vegan place off of Brick Lane because of its freakshakes, and I’m so glad I fit it in my “schedule”. I’d just had an amazing vegan burger for lunch (next recommendation) and was feeling pretty full, not gonna lie, but I knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I had the option of raspberry or blueberry (no surprise which one I went for), and was told the shakes are made of bananas, frozen fruit and a bit of sugar and topped with a brownie. This was quite a pleasant surprise, as I’d assumed they’d mostly be made from some sort of super-processed vegan ice cream. The smoothie tasted quite wholesome, not overly sweet, and the fudgy brownie really was the perfect cherry on top! The only regrets I have is being to full to have any of an insane-looking chocolate fudge layer cake (that we all agreed looked like the one Bruce Bogtrotter from Roald Dahl’s Matilda was forced to eat).

We sat outside in the little backyard and soaked up some sun. I found it a really cheerful place with friendly staff and amazing things on display – a great place to also just grab a coffee and little bite of something sweet. Another one I’d go back to again.

 

The Vurger Co

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Ok, now this isn’t technically new, as I’ve had these delicious plant-based burgers in the past from pop-ups and Wilderness festival, but this was my first time at the permanent location in Shoreditch that opened recently. There are four soul-satisfying burgers on the menu, although I’ve only ever tried one (it’s that good): the MLT ❤  This is a mushroom, borlotti bean and parsley patty with tomato, rocket, ketchup, cheeze and the best sundried tomato and walnut pesto and is IN-credible. I practically forced my carnivorous friend to try one and she admitted it was pretty darn good. They also serve fries (sweet potato and regular) as well as mac n cheese and coleslaw. If you’re craving something sweet, there is Miiro ice cream and housemade shakes – including an oreo one! If I hadn’t planned on having a freakshake after (see above), I would definitely have given this a try – maybe next time 😉

 

Yeotown Kitchen

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Ok, before you think this post is only about vegan “junk” food (which, I’ll admit, it kind of is) let me introduce you to a more nutritious place. Yeotown Kitchen in Marylebone is not vegan, but serves many vegan options in a relaxed environment. My friend and I went for breakfast, for which I had matcha pancakes (gluten-free) with banana, toasted walnuts, maple syrup, coconut yogurt and blueberries – divine! I also tried a pine pollen latte, which had a really mild, comforting flavor. The list of savory dishes also sounded super tempting – like the Power Poke Bowl (Hawaian style BBQ jackfruit, glazed aubergine, avocado, edamame, coriander roasted corn, cucumber, marinated seaweed, radish, shaved cabbage, nigella tomato and rocket with vegan poke turmeric dressing), lemon hummus and roasted vegetable sourdough panini or the vegan lentil burger.

This place not only nourishes your body, but also your mind, with its meditation pods on the lower floor. Here you can chill out after your meal and listen to guided meditation – how cool is that?

 

By Chloe

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This originally American restaurant/diner chain has finally come to London and of course I had to try it. (There is one in Covent Garden and one opening at Tower Bridge).

I’d heard good things about its burgers and mac n cheese, but I was honestly just too full from my burger and freakshake to verify these claims. Luckily they also have salads, so I got the Detox Kale salad from the grab-and-go section. It was just what I needed, but probably the least exciting thing on the menu, so I’d definitely recommend giving their signature dishes a go. My friend really liked his burger, and we both agreed that they had the best sweet potato fries ever!

 

Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner

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Ok, more fast food – I couldn’t help giving this place in Camden a try, as we just don’t get vegan food like this in Switzerland! My friend (check her out for more vegan food recommendations in London: @brixtonfoodfiend) and I went all out, ordering a hot dog, corn dogs, mac n cheese, the meat ball sub (their current special) and fries – a true vegan fast food feast! Although not something I’d generally be super tempted to try, the meat ball sub was SUPERB. The combo of (I’m guessing jackfruit-based) “meat”-balls on a soft roll with a delicious, flavorsome sauce and “parmesan” was just the dream – as were the fries. I can’t explain how good this was! My friend wasn’t too blown away by the hot dog, but those corn dogs were definitely something! (She also really enjoyed the mac n cheese, but personally I’d 100% say go to Wulf and Lamb for that cheesy pasta fix – trust me). This is definitely the place for some dirty vegan grub, and perfect for showing your skeptical friends how indulgent and unhealthy vegan food can be 😀

 

Pitch Coffee (at Dog House Fitness, Balham)

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On Sunday, my friend (@_lifeofleila) and I decided to go sweat it out in a boxing class at Dog House Fitness – and boy did we do that! This cardio-intense HIIT-style boxing class was an absolute killer, so we were in need of some serious refuelling after. Luckily there is a cute little health-food joint within the gym, where we were able to treat ourself to something nourishing and refreshing. I had an açai bowl with an iced oat mylk matcha – the perfect post-workout breakfast that wasn’t so filling as to ruin my appetite for burgers later 😉

The coffee shop is really relaxed and I can also recommend the gym itself (they do box, spin or stretch classes).

 

Crosstown Doughnut Cafe

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While, again, not technically new (I used to get the odd Crosstown donut at Leather Lane Market on a Friday, if the vegan ones weren’t already sold out), Crosstown recently opened a cafe with only vegan donuts, close to Selfridges. I went here for a relaxed breakfast on my last morning in London and enjoyed the peanut butter one with blackcurrant jam (the best bit was biting into the jammy center and having that epic PB&J flavor combo). I had my donut with some ginger-ginseng-lime tea from ZigZag, which was wonderful – I definitely need to stock up on some the next time I’m in the UK.

It was the perfect satisfying yet slightly naughty breakfast – and I really enjoyed chatting with the woman working there, exchanging recommendations for vegan food (her favorite is the Black Cat Cafe in Hackney – on my list!) and hearing about the local companies, such as ZigZag and Jarr Kombucha, that they work with.

Other places I went to that are in my previous recommendations are: Raw Press Co. (where I had a delicious PB&J smoothie bowl and pitaya rose latte, and picked up a healthy takeaway for the airport), Planet Organic (for a rainbow bowl, Moju Acerola shot and a cookie to eat in a park) and Whole Foods (still obsessed with their tofu!).

That’s it for this time – stay tuned for further recommendations, both in Zurich, Switzerland and back in London sometime in the hopefully-not-too-distant future.

Have a lovely evening!

Celine

 

London Vegan Guide (continued II)

Hello and happy Friday!

Time is flying, Christmas is nearing, and I still haven’t uploaded a post about my most recent trip to London from earlier this month! So, without further ado, let me share some of the food spots where I had delicious plant-based meals while catching up with friends.

Wulf and Lamb

 

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This fully vegan restaurant near Sloane Square is an exciting new addition to the London vegan scene, and a must-visit in my eyes. They serve breakfast (including a unique scramble made of “ackee” – a fruit notably used in Jamaican cuisine) lunch & dinner and desserts, including amazing looking cupcakes by Rubys of London). I went there for lunch, and I strongly (!) recommend getting the Wulf Burger (made with seitan and comes in a dreamy brioche bun with cashew aioli, sauerkraut and perfect potato wedges) AND (trust me!) a side of mac & cheese. This was honestly one of the best meals out I’ve had in a long time. Tip: go sit upstairs – it’s much nicer!

 

Farm Girl Cafe (1 Carnaby Street)

 

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While Farm Girl Cafe is not a new one for me (it’s in my Ultimate London vegan food guide), this was my first time going to the recently opened one inside the Carnaby St Sweaty Betty store. The space upstairs is beautiful and has a great vibe. As expected, the food was absolutely delicious. I had the pitaya bowl, which was probably the best I’ve had! Tip: ask for nut butter (they have almond butter) on top if, like me, you’re nut butter obsessed. I also couldn’t resist trying the (blue) Butterfly Matcha, which didn’t actually taste like matcha though. That’s probably because blue matcha apparently isn’t actually green tea, but is made from a flower known as butterfly pea or blue pea. It had a nice, mild taste that reminded me of saffron, but I probably wouldn’t order it again. It was definitely worth it for the novelty of it, but taste-wise I’d rather have a regular old green matcha next time 😉

Mr Bao 

 

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This Taiwanese joint in Peckham is another must! A friend brought it to my attention as they recently added vegan baos to the menu – and who can resist a good steamed bun? Not me, that’s for sure. There is a shiitake mushroom bao and a tofu bao, which was an absolute dream! I tried to eat it as slowly as possible, to savor the wonderful softness of the dough as well as the incredible flavor! We also had some sides, including the delicious sesame spinach (fresh spinach with a fantastic dressing), tenderstem broccoli and sweet potato chips. It was a wonderful meal. Just make sure to book a table in advance!

Yum Chaa Cafe

 

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To fuel my extensive walking around London I had to stop by the Yum Chaa cafe on Berwick St (there are also other locations) for a wonderful almond milk hot chocolate and (warm!) banana bread. This is the same banana bread I had during the yoga & mindfulness workshop of theirs I was kindly invited to a few months ago, and it’s absolutely delicious. Not all the bakes are vegan, but there definitely are some plant-based options, and all the drinks can be made with plant milk. They also have a massive selection of their speciality teas that I definitely recommend checking out. (I talk a bit more about their teas in my Yumchaa Indian Summer Porridge post). I also love the interiors of the cafes – perfect for a catch-up with friends or a little solitary recharge from bustling London 😉

Kaia 

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This asian-pacific-inspired restaurant located in the gorgeous hotel The Ned (near Bank station) has been on my list for a while due to the amazing things on their breakfast menu. The morning I went there the options were somewhat limited, however, as the chef had not turned up that day – no black rice porridge for me! There were some smoothie bowls ready in the take away fridge though, so I wasn’t too disappointed. I had the pitaya smoothie with an oat milk matcha latte – a wonderful start to the day. If you’re at the Ned I also highly recommend Malibu Kitchen for dinner (this is also on my more comprehensive London vegan guide).

Doughnut Time

 

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I came across this little food spot after my banana bread and hot chocolate at Yum Chaa (see above), on my way to lunch at Salad Pride (also in my ultimate guide) and more extensively here).  Walking down Shaftesbury Avenue I spotted donuts, so of course I asked if they happened to have any vegan ones. I did not expect a yes, the whole middle shelf is vegan (!!) and simply had to get one. The ‘Jolly AF’ was an epic chocolate-covered donut with cookie dough on top and tasted like a proper, indulgent, all-out donut. (The Crosstown vegan chocolate truffle one is still my all-time favorite, but I definitely recommend checking out the Doughnut Time ones; they also have awesomely wacky names – Veruca Salt anyone?).

That’s it for this trip – hopefully I’ll be back with more London recommendations in the future 😉

xoxo