The boring mixed-leaf salad is (thankfully) long gone, and in its place are swaths of specialist vegetarian dishes from restaurants determined that meat-free doesn’t have to be flavour free.
The gallery above details the best of what London’s vibrant veggie scene has to offer: no longer need you resort to mushroom risotto. There wasn’t room to include all our favourites, though, so have a read below for some alternatives:
Tiny Leaf: Rice cake and kimchi
One place you’re not going to have #meatenvy is at “London’s first and only organic, zero waste, vegetarian restaurant”: kale is the order of the day. It’s everywhere including in the rice cakes and kimchi, served with a jazzy tomato chilli sambal to spruce up the green.
Info: £12, tinyleaflondon.com
Black Axe Mangal: Falafel kebab
Ordering falafel in famous vegetarian Jeremy Corbyn’s consituency is a safe bet and the chickpea and broad bean balls here are brillaint. They come in homemade flatbread, with plenty of tarragon. This might officially be a kebab shop but it’s worth coming just for former St John chef Lee Tiernan’s vegetarian flatbreads — he does incredible things with pumpkins.
Info: £10, blackaxemangal.com
Brunswick House: Rye & Walnut porridge with artichoke, cauliflower and egg yolk
An event porridge featuring delicate slices of spiced cauliflower with a cheery egg yolk in the middle and cheese that has been blowtorched to the perfect ooziness.
Nanban: Mojiko Yaki-Curry
At his Brixton restaurant, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson makes a mean vegetable curry with melted cheese, onsen egg, pickled ginger, and crispy shallots. If it’s good enough for Gregg Wallace, it’s worth a try.
Info: £9, nanban.co.uk
Pharmacy 2: Brik à l’oeuf de carnard
It’s an egg pie. Except it’s from a restaurant attached to Damien Hirst’s gallery, so there’s a twist: duck egg is wrapped into filo pastry, then fried into what the Standard’s critic Fay Maschler called a “frangible golden envelope”, enlivened by a punchy rose harissa.
Info: £6.95, pharmacyrestaurant.com
The best restaurants for healthy eating in London
Tonkotsu: Shimeji, Shiitake & Miso Ramen
Tonkotsu has spread its noodley tendrils all over London — the latest in Notting Hill. Its hearty veggie-friendly ramen is better than anything else on the menu: miso-based, konbu and shiitake stock with shimeji mushrooms, noodles, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and half a seasoned, soft-boiled egg.
Info: £9, tonkotsu.co.uk
Lucky Chip Burgers and Wine Woody Harrelson
He might have won PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian award in 2012, but that’s nothing compared to having a Lucky Chip burger named after you. This is a belter: Portobello mushrom.