Review: Eating Vegetarian In Central London | Restaurants & Cafes

Eating Vegetarian in Central London

There are times when some people in a group want to eat vegetarian, but not everyone in the group wants to do so. Everyone wants to have a good time and most people do not want to go to an all-vegetarian restaurant when eating out.

Here are some restaurants in Central London ranging from cafes and chain restaurants to Michelin star restaurants, including some all-vegetarian ones , where it’s easy to find delicious, vegetarian food.

Scandinavian Kitchen: Scandinavian Kitchen (or ScandiKitchen) serves and sells gourmet foods from Scandinavia – salads, traditional smörgås (Swedish for sandwich), and many other Scandinavian delicacies. Scandinavian Kitchen might not be an obvious choice for vegetarian dishes but it does offer a wide range of choices. The daily soup is always vegetarian.

The cauliflower salad, the pizza salad (cabbage with oregano), the sweet potato salad, and the beet and apple salads are all wonderful choices. To finish up, the Swedish Love cake with coffee, chocolate and coconut on the icing is an excellent option. Seating at ScandiKitchen is first-come first-served but with some patience, one is likely to find a cozy spot for lunch – just make sure you don’t go with a large group!

Apple and Beet salad at Scandinavian Kitchen
Apple and Beet salad at Scandinavian Kitchen
Cauliflower salad with rye kernels, cheese and herbs at Scandinavian Kitchen
Cauliflower salad with rye kernels, cheese and herbs at Scandinavian Kitchen
Carrot and Butternut Squash soup at Scandinavian Kitchen
Carrot and Butternut Squash soup at Scandinavian Kitchen
Swedish Love cake (chocolate sponge cake with coffee and coconut icing) at Scandinavian Kitchen
Swedish Love cake (chocolate sponge cake with coffee and coconut icing) at Scandinavian Kitchen

Rossopomodoro: Rossopomodoro is a global chain of restaurants that serves traditional Neapolitan food at affordable prices at many locations in London. Many ingredients used by Rossopomodoro are sourced and imported from Italy – mozzarella, burrata, San Marzano tomatoes are just a few.

There are many pizza choices that are vegetarian (delicata, verduretta, verace, sfilatino etc.) and so are the pasta choices (spaghetto, gnocco, lasagnetta, puveriello etc.) . Their best vegetarian appetizers are the burratina and the crostoncini (with a tangy sundried tomato and olive and caper spread). Do not miss their desserts either – their twist on the tiramisu with warm nutella is decadent!

Crostoncini – grilled bread served with a sun-dried tomato, olive and caper dipping sauce – at Rossopomodoro
Crostoncini – grilled bread served with a sun-dried tomato, olive and caper dipping sauce – at Rossopomodoro
Burratina – fresh burrata served with rocket, cherry tomatoes, basil and olive oil – at Rossopomodoro
Burratina – fresh burrata served with rocket, cherry tomatoes, basil and olive oil – at Rossopomodoro
Tiramisu – with warm Nutella – at Rossopomodoro
Tiramisu – with warm Nutella – at Rossopomodoro

The Gate: The Gate is an all-vegetarian restaurant at Hammersmith with a relatively new location in Islington. The open, airy feel of the dining room is extremely inviting. The Gate serves many wines – white, rose, and red – that are organic, bio-dynamic, and vegan. The dishes at The Gate are a fusion of Indian, Iraqi, Asian and Jewish cuisines and draw upon French and Italian influences.

The appetizers and salads are extremely filling as are their main courses and desserts. Some irresistible dishes from their Summer / Autumn menu were stuffed and fried courgette flower and the tomato involtini. Many of the dishes at The Gate are naturally vegan or gluten free or can be made so with the exclusion of some ingredients. Their Christmas menu at £25 for 3 courses is very reasonable for the excellent quality of food at The Gate.

Inside The Gate in Islington, London
Inside The Gate in Islington, London
Filled with fava bean, feta cheese mint and pine nuts, cooked in a crispy batter with puy lentil salsa and preserved lemon aioli – at The Gate
Filled with fava bean, feta cheese mint and pine nuts, cooked in a crispy batter with puy lentil salsa and preserved lemon aioli – at The Gate
Involtini (Roasted tomatoes, basil pesto, roasted red peppers and apple wood smoked cheddar rolled in char-grilled breadcrumb encrusted aubergine, served with salsa rosso) at The Gate
Involtini (Roasted tomatoes, basil pesto, roasted red peppers and apple wood smoked cheddar rolled in char-grilled breadcrumb encrusted aubergine, served with salsa rosso) at The Gate

SAF: SAF restaurant, stands for Simply Authentic Food is located on the 1st floor of Whole Foods in Kensington High Street. SAF serves raw, vegan and gluten free food drawing from various cuisines in the world. The plant based food at SAF is aimed at healthy living without sacrificing essential nutrients and taste.

The SAF menu contains a section of fermented appetizers, because fermented foods contain certain bacteria that are invaluable to the human digestive system. While eating the food at SAF, especially the three bean corn tacos, it’s easy to forget that it’s all vegan and gluten free. The wines at SAF are organic and bio-dynamic and their cocktails are made from pure spirits and fresh juices. If you are keen to check out some vegan food and drinks for this New Year Eve – SAF and the Fat Gay Vegan are hosting a party for £30 for 3 courses and a welcome drink.

Vegan gluten free corn tacos with blackened beans, guacamole, and vegan slaw at SAF in London
Vegan gluten free corn tacos with blackened beans, guacamole, and vegan slaw at SAF in London

Hakkasan: Hakkasan is definitely high end Michelin star dining, but eating at Hakkasan does not have to burn a hole in your wallet, if you try their vegetarian options. Some of the best dishes at Hakkasan are the vegetarian dim sum platter, the salt and pepper pumpkin tofu (crispy outside and very soft inside), Hakka noodles with mushrooms.

There are plenty of other vegetarian dishes on the Hakkasan menu that are labelled appropriately. One of the upsides of eating vegetarian at Hakkasan is that you will be left with enough money to spend on their specialty cocktails and some excellent desserts!

Salt and pepper (pumpkin) tofu at Hakkasan
Salt and pepper (pumpkin) tofu at Hakkasan
Vegetarian dim sum platter (crystal dumpling, vegetable shumai, yam bean and shitake dumpling, and vegetable bean curd roll) at Hakkasan
Vegetarian dim sum platter (crystal dumpling, vegetable shumai, yam bean and shitake dumpling, and vegetable bean curd roll) at Hakkasan

Whether you end up eating at an all-vegetarian restaurant or one of the others listed here, you are bound to enjoy tasty, flavourful meals at any of these restaurants.

Note:  The author, Vidya Narasimhan, is an expert on vegetarian food having tried some of the best vegetarian food in India and in NYC. She writes for her own blog at Not Just Vegetarian.

Take a bow Vidya, this article has just blown our minds. Eating vegetarian in Central London has never seemed more appealing. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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