Hot Dinners recommends

Looking for restaurants that do much more than merely accommodate those with a plant-based diet? We showcase the best veggie-friendly establishments in the city.

 

bryn

Bryn Williams at Somerset House

Where: Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Across the courtyard from Spring, this new restaurant sets out to put vegetables at the heart of its offering, with meat and fish playing more of a supporting role, if at all.

What to order: as well as the brilliant soda bread and salted butter - the roasted cauliflower with salted grapes, golden raisins, capers and a big dish of cheesey polenta is the star of the show.

Our Bryn Williams at Somerset House Test Drive

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clipstone

Clipstone

Where: 5 Clipstone Street London W1W 5QW

A cool, minimalist space with consistently outstanding food, always interesting, and creative, seasonally based vegetable dishes on the menu which are always an exciting prospect to try.

What to order: the menu changes regularly depending on market produce - but the pasta is always a must-have, like the fermented mushroom ravioli with wild garlic pistou and toasted buckwheat. Starters might include grilled green asparagus with hazelnut miso and egg yolk. And don't forget their house-made sourdough with lemon olive oil.

Our Clipstone Test Drive

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craft

Craft London

Where: Peninsula Square, Greenwich. SE10 0SQ

The team at this uber stylish Stevie Parle restaurant slap bang next to the O2 centre have come up with some fantastic plant-based ideas during their Test Kitchen Tuesday sessions.

What to order: some of the veg specials like goats curd dumplings with wild sea leaves and dulse butter.

If you're vegan: try the organic red lentils with roast tomatoes, wet garlic and sourdough miso dressing.

Our Craft London Test Drive

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dairy

The Dairy

Where: 15, The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, SW4 0HY

Head chef Richard Falk and team create beautiful seasonal dishes - sourcing fruit and veg from their section of Igor Vaintraub's 'food waste' farm in Sussex - turning restaurant surplus into compost, to fertilise new crops for the kitchens in a very virtuous circle.

What to order: There is an entire vegetarian menu, including a six-course tasting menu - dishes are seasonal but could include asparagus with lovage and pink grapefruit, cauliflower cheese gougeres, and truffled Baron Bigod on fig and walnut toast.

If you're vegan: call ahead so they can create a plant-based menu, which could include a dish of polenta with roast onion and vegetables from 'our farm'.

Our The Dairy Test Drive

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duckwaffle

Duck and Waffle

Where: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Executive chef Tom Cenci has created a brilliant selection of veg dishes across the menu - with more than enough to keep anyone happy from brunch through to dinner.

What to order: the grilled flatbread with aubergine and sumac yoghurt is a great start - followed by the seasonally changing filled ravioli ‘for the table’. Plus they’ve created a special plant-based version of the eponymous duck and waffle, featuring curry scraps and spiced cauliflower.

If you're vegan: Vegan options always available by request.

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garden

Garden Museum Café

Where: Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB

Tucked away inside the museum, next to Lambeth Palace, this really is worth seeking out. As you might expect, really excellent fresh produce features prominently on the menu - available daily at lunchtimes and evenings Tuesday to Friday.

What to order: the menu changes daily, but might feature dishes like a wild garlic and chard barley risotto, or panisse with roast onions, tomatoes and goats curd. Save room for the excellent desserts - especially if there is crumble.

Our Garden Museum Café Test Drive

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honey

Honey and Smoke

Where: 216 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QW

Round the corner from Clipstone is the newest outpost of Itamar Srulovic and Sarit Packer's joyful Israeli restaurants, where the byword is generosity, with fabulous cooking to match. There is certainly no shortage of vegetarian dishes, with vegan options too.

What to order: Go for the set menu - basically every single mezze dish (all vegetarian) plus a main from the wood-fired grill and a dessert. You will regret not ordering everything as there is not a single dish you won't want to try. Must haves include the roasted cauliflower with tahini and homemade amba (a spicy mango pickle), their version of falafel, fragrant with cinnamon, burnt celeriac with urfa butter, and whole roasted tahini aubergine with jewelled rice.

If you're vegan: try something like the lentil, courgette and cashew koftas with quinoa tabbouleh and cashew tahini.

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indian

Indian Accent

Where: 16 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4HW

Pure pushing-the-boat out territory, this newish Mayfair spot challenges every preconception you might have about Indian food. Trouble is you might prefer that someone else is picking up the bill at the end of the night.

What to order: Don't leave without having the soy keema - their meatless version of keema, a dish typically made with minced mutton curry. Made with a soy base, it’s topped with a quail egg and served with lime leaf butter pao.

If you're vegan: there's a 9-course vegan tasting menu which is £80 per person

Our Indian Accent Test Drive

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luca

Luca

Where: 88 St John Street, London EC1M 4EH

A relaxed and stylish space from chef Isaac McHale and the team behind the much-celebrated Clove Club - there's a more informal bar menu too. The focus on pasta and fresh vegetable starters mean you can share a selection of dishes without being restricted to a single choice.

What to order: The pasta dishes which might include a plate of malfadine with pistachio pesto. At breakfast, this pesto features again in a focaccia sandwich with smoked ricotta. Or maybe a verdant risotto of wild garlic with spring greens.

Our Luca Test Drive

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ninth

The Ninth

Where: 22 Charlotte Street, London W1T 2NB

A wonderful, comfortable restaurant by chef Jun Tanaka which manages to retain a neighbourhood feel in the heart of Fitzrovia, winning a Michelin star in the process. The food is always full of flavour with enough veg choices to keep a large group happy, sharing many small plates and desserts.

What to order: pastas like orecchiette with egg yolk, morels and tarragon, and fabulous pastry which features in the Treviso tart tatin with blood orange and walnuts

Our The Ninth Test Drive

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nopi

Nopi

Where: 21-22 Warwick Street, London W1B 5NE

As you'd expect from Yotam Ottolenghi, vegetables really are a star on the menu here - with so much choice there's no need to even look at the meat and fish offerings. Everything is so fresh and vibrant, it's a joy to eat vegetarian food here.

What to order: the signature courgette and manouri fritters with cardamom yoghurt are a must - along with seasonal dishes like chargrilled asparagus with miso tahini and poppyseed.

If you're vegan: check ahead of time, but plant-based dishes might include green beans with coconut sambal. cucumber and pumpkin seeds, or spiced potato cake with tamarind and pine nut yoghurt.

Our Nopi Test Drive

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oldroyd

Oldroyd

Where: 344 Upper Street, London N1 0PD

A tiny and much-loved neighbourhood restaurant where the vegetarian choices often make the rest of the table envious that they didn't order it too. Plus now they're doing Meat Free Mondays - an entirely veg and vegan menu every Monday night.

What to order: The malfatti - gnudi-type dumplings made from spinach or nettle and ricotta, with sage butter and plenty of parmesan, are a menu staple and an absolute must. Also, the outstanding croquetas to start, which come with an irresistible truffle mayo.

If you're vegan: the team will knock up an entire vegan menu on request, including dishes like roasted jersey royals and grilled leeks with a punchy romesco sauce.

Our Oldroyd Test Drive

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salon

Salon

Where: 18 Market Row, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8LD

Nick Balfe has turned this tiny upstairs space into a wonderful opportunity to showcase his seasonal cooking, often featuring foraged ingredients, cooked with skill and imagination. From the soda bread and focaccia to the house made pasta, it's a veg-focused delight.

What to order: evenings involve a set menu, with vegetarian choices throughout - with vegan friendly options like smoked cauliflower, miso, red onion and ramsons.

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spring

Spring Restaurant

Where: Somerset House, New Wing, Lancaster Place, London WC2R 1LA

An elegant and peaceful restaurant, with an emphasis on the excellent produce from their exclusive partnership with Fern Verrow biodynamic farm. There is plenty of choice for veggies, not least on the pasta section.

What to order: as well as beautiful pasta, there are creative vegetarian options on the seasonal menu, like panisse with artichokes, crushed broad bean leaves and pine nuts.

Our Spring Restaurant Test Drive

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tredwells

Tredwells

Where: 4A Upper St Martin's Ln, London WC2H 9NS

Executive chef Chantelle Nicholson has set out to create a range of outstanding plant based dishes as part of the main offering, not hidden away in some separate menu 'by request'. There's also a special 5 course vegan menu available for just £35.

What to order: Fantastic choices include a spice roast cauliflower with vegan aioli and triple cooked chips with romesco - and don't miss Chantelle's famous vegan peanut butter pudding with chocolate sorbet, utterly glorious.

If you're vegan: you will love the many choices available, with no compromise on taste.

Our Tredwells Test Drive

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