By Phoebe Ollerearnshaw
After a long and stormy winter, placated only by comforting pies and warming soups, many of us are in need of a change. As spring approaches, restaurants often experience a heightened demand for fresh and healthy offerings.
Over the last few years, the UK has seen an influx of vegetarianism and veganism. However, for some individuals attempting to go the whole hog, these regimes can prove to be a struggle. As a result, casual diets have started to emerge that encourage following consuming a plant-based diet fare with the occasional meat treat. This lifestyle is being referred to as flexitarianism. Restaurants in London are welcoming this flexible new attitude and are meeting the demand with newly thought-out menus. We take you on a tour of the best vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian eateries in London.
Redemption Bar’s philosophy focuses on rejuvenating the body with nourishing food, at no cost to the planet. Led by female entrepreneurs Catherine Salway and Andrea Waters, this joint serves up delicious vegan, sugar-free and wheat-free dishes. They also have an alcohol-free bar with tempting concoctions that aim to stimulate both the body and mind. Their inventive range of alcohol-free cocktails has been created in association with Seedlip—the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit. The restaurant now has locations in Shoreditch and Notting Hill, both of which are creating a buzz amongst the healthy -food- oriented. Their menu is brought to life via a range of colourful ingredients such as avocados, coconut, micro amaranth shoots, chia seeds quinoa and raspberry coulis. Redemption Bar’s imaginative take on cooking is enough to convert even the most avid meat- lovers.
Redemption Bar Notting Hill | 6 Chepstow Road, London, W2 5BH
Redemption Bar Shoreditch | 320 Old Street London, EC1V 9DR
The Vurger Co
What better place to satisfy a flexitarian appetite than at The Vurger Co? The Vurger Co’s mission is to revolutionise fast food through the power of plants—they’ve certainly got our vote! The menu is focused on burgers made from legumes, seeds, nuts and vegetables. Their range of lip-smacking sides are also 100 percent plant-based too. Some of the moreish options include The Classic, The Aubuger, The Mexican and The MLT. The Shoreditch branch is the first permanent site to have housed the brand—it’s already proving popular with vegan, vegetarian and flexitarians alike.
The Vurger Co | Unit 9, Avant Garde, Richmix Square, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LD
Blanchette is proving to the public that vegan and vegetarian cuisine can be refined. While the entirety of their menu isn’t meat-free, there are regular specials to suit plant-based diets. Chefs Tam Storrarr and Will Alexander pride themselves on culinary excellence and therefore enjoy the challenge of catering to different tastes and demands. Both Blanchette branches—situated in Soho and Brick Lane—are notorious for delivering fantastically balanced dishes. Blanchette Brick Lane’s signature baked Moroccan eggs with peppers, and flat bread and saffron couscous with spiced artichokes and pomegranate yoghurt is enough to get anyone’s taste buds tingling.
Blanchette Soho | 9 D’Arblay Street, W1F 8DR, Soho, London
Blanchette Brick Lane | 204 Brick Lane, E1 6SA, London
Tootoomoo—the notorious pan-Asian restaurant group—have a treat in store with their exclusive vegetarian menu. Their delicious vegetarian dim sum offerings are delicate and especially scrumptious. Try their kimchee veggie dumplings and ‘mountain jelly’ vegetable dumplings. They also offer a number of delightful salads and sides, creating a bank of options for their customers. The best part about Tootoomoo? You can get your order delivered or to take away from the Crouch End, Islington and Whetstone branches. Dim sum will never be the same again.
Tootoomoo Crouch End | 12 Crouch End Hill, Crouch End, N8 8AA
Tootoomoo Islington | 278 St Paul’s Road, Islington, N1 2LH
Tootoomoo Whetstone |1371 High Road, Whetstone, N20 9LN
Asia de Cuba
Flexitarians can rejoice at the sight of Asia de Cuba’s brilliantly sculpted menu. This is one of those eateries in London that shouldn’t be missed and, luckily, can be enjoyed by almost anyone. Set in the heart of Covent Garden, Asia de Cuba focuses primarily on fusion: encapsulating bold flavours of the Orient and merging them with culinary elements from other regions. There is a selection of tasty treats to suit vegetarians and a few that would be suitable for vegans too. Their chilli-rubbed tofu with black rice, black beans, roasted cauliflower and Japanese aioli is to die for. Alternatively, try the sofrito pad thai with wok-fried shimeji mushrooms, peppers, gai choy, bean shoots, peanuts—yum!
Asia de Cuba | 45 St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4HX
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