Mini Restaurant Reviews: Eating Vegan in London
Unfortunately for me, eating vegan in London, England was not nearly as simple as it was in Dublin. In Dublin, most omnivorous restaurants all had a vegan option labeled on their menu or at least were willing to work with me at finding something substantial to eat. This was not the case in London. I did, however, still manage to find a couple of great all-vegan restaurants in the city as well as a few options at omnivorous restaurants.
The Inspiral Lounge is an interesting place. It’s an all-vegan, mostly raw restaurant with limited seating and a DJ on some nights. The ingredients they use are all fresh and their food is all made in-house. Silver Spork News recommends mixing and matching their appetizers instead of getting just one meal, because they have a huge menu and it’s impossible to commit to one thing. The Baked Macadamia & Thyme Soufflé is on the top of our list of things to order. The soufflé is made with silken tofu, has a light crispy top crust, and comes with a side salad of rhubarb & gojiberry chutney. If it’s desert you’re looking for, we recommend the hazelnut cake. This cake is cheesecake-like in texture with an all-nut crust. You can actually see the nuts when you cut into the cake, it’s amazing. It also has a carob chip top layer that brings in the light hazelnut flavor thought the cake.
If you’re in London, Vantra is an absolute must for their juice alone. This restaurant specializes in fresh juices, and they are not joking about them being fresh. Silver Spork News recommends ordering their Citrus Immunity. It contains orange, salt, lemon, basil, lime, mint, and some cayenne pepper. All of the ingredients they use are squeezed fresh on the spot and are full of flavor. You can distinctly taste all of the ingredients, and the cayenne pepper brings everything together with a little kick. They also have a serve yourself style lunch and dinner, with desserts to order all day long.
Wasabi: Sushi & Bento
If you’re looking for some vegan options on the go, Wasabi is the place to stop. You can find a Wasabi on almost any major street in London. They sell individually wrapped sushi rolls, and they are adorable. The flavor doesn’t beat fresh, but in a hurry Wasabi is ideal. At the time I went they had a few different vegan roll options, including avocado, cucumber, and vegetable. They also had a vegan soup that was misolike but with carrots in it, and it was the temperature of hot lava, so be careful when ordering. All of their products had really great labeling, so it was easy to tell what was vegan and what wasn’t.
The Swiss Cottage has mostly omnivorous options, however, they have one really good vegan meal: the Sweet Potato, Chick Pea, & Spinach Curry. The restaurant is a traditional English pub, and their take on curry is incomparable to other types I have had in the past. The vegetables they choose to put in the curry were not traditional, such as corn and sweet potatoes, but they all made for a unique flavor that paired well with the yellow curry they used. This meal was the perfect size for one and was full of unique flavors.
Silver Spork News does not recommend Cafe Rouge. Though the interior is quite pleasant and their olives are very good, their vegan options were terrible. I attempted to modify a robust salad option they had to be vegan, by taking away the cheese and dressing, and what I got was romaine lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, and green beans. It was insulting. Walmart pre-made salads are more exciting than whatever I was served. Then on top of that, they attempted to charge me almost ten dollars for it, which did get sorted out after some minimal protesting. In addition to this, I ordered a Bloody Mary with HP sauce, a delicious alternative to worchestire sauce that can be found in the UK and Ireland. They made me a Bloody Marry that was literally tomato juice, vodka, and they physically handed me two catsup-sized packets of HP sauce. They put no spice in it, no pepper, not salt, absolutely nothing. They didn’t even mix the HP sauce in for me. I had to do it with my straw. I left confused and hungry.
Post and Photos by Kylie Torres.