London's ethical food & fashion guide

London’s best vegetarian restaurants know there’s much so more to life than goat’s cheese and sweet potato fries. Although, of course, there’s always a time and place for these. They offer top-quality modern cuisine and dairy-free gourmet dishes in stylish and lively settings…

  • Bonninghton

    Bonnington Cafe

    Top London restaurants
    Vauxhall, SW8

    Why go: Each night brings a different chef with a different menu to this vegetarian and vegan restaurant run by a collective of member cooks to Bonnington Square Community Centre. But every night holds the promise of good-value and a relaxed, bohemian atmosphere.

    Why else: Set amongst the beautiful community gardens of the square, candle-lit dinners and burning fires add to the intimate atmosphere. Plus it’s bring your own bottle, and no corkage is charged.

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  • Carnevale

    Carnevale

    Top London restaurants
    Barbican, EC1Y

    Why go: This independent Mediterranean restaurant offers a warm welcome and hearty selection of dishes in the City. Options include marinated helium and fig kebabs, aubergine and red pepper harissa casserole, and chickpea, lentil and spinach curry.

    Why else: If you a like cosy restaurants and home-style cooking then this is the restaurant for you.

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  • Ethos II

    Ethos

    Top London restaurants
    Oxford Circus, W1

    Why go: Deliciously different is Ethos’, well, ethos. From the bright Scandi-style interior with trees dotted around the room, to the extensive, colourful menu which is inspired by dishes from around the globe, they have achieved just that. It’s self-service and pay by weight, but don’t let this put you off –  relaxed it may be, but their approach to food is anything but lazy.

    Why else: Everything is made from scratch in their kitchen from locally-sourced products and about half of their dishes are vegan. Plus, they serve wine and beer.

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  • Itadaki Zen

    Itadaki-zen London

    Top vegetarian restaurants
    Kings Cross, WC1X

    Why go: Itadaki-zen cuisine is based on the healing qualities of plants and food – Itadaki means ‘to take the food life’; Zen means ‘to fix, to mend’. Their sushi, tempura, noodles and soups are vegan and organic.

    Why else: You can learn more about the food and agriculture of Japanese cuisine at the free workshops held at the restaurant. Plus, look out for live music nights.

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  • Manna

    Manna

    Top London restaurants
    Primrose Hill, NW3

    Why go: With restaurants in London and LA, Manna’s ethos is healthy dishes with ‘connoisseur taste and gourmet presentation’. Expect dishes such as spaghetti and veatballs, polenta tarts, maki rolls and arancini.

    Why else: Everything at this vegan restaurant is made in-house, including the bread. All ingredients are sourced from socially responsible producers and even the wines and beers are organic and vegan.

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  • Mildreds

    Mildreds

    Top London restaurants
    Soho, Camden, Kings Cross

    Why go: The people behind Mildreds have been reinventing the vegetarian scene since 1988, offering a variety of salads, curries and cakes in trendy and lively settings.

    Why else: They use organic ingredients and small businesses for their supplies.

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  • Nativerestaurant

    Native

    Restaurants for meat lovers
    Covent Garden, WC2

    Why go: Native offers a seasonal British eating experience that is so fresh and wild they warn you might even find a piece of shot on your plate.

    Native has separate lunch and dinner menus, or guests can choose from a two- or three-course dinner set menu. Whichever you opt for, you can be sure to find the UK’s best foraged food and game.

    Centrally located in a quiet corner of Covent Garden, in Neal’s Yard bustling streets, their menu will appeal to both meat-lovers and vegetarians.

    Why else: Even their drinks menu is seasonal. There's a strong selection of wines and craft beer, plus they offer their very own foraged cordials and juices, too.

    Native's founders have strong links to the Great British Outdoors, one of the founders started at River Cottage HQ so has a passion for natural produce, and the other has turned her hand from falconry to wild food.

    They are so waste conscious that your receipt will be emailed to you, rather than printed.

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  • Poco

    Poco

    Best of the UK restaurants
    Bristol

    Why go: Multi-award winning Poco is open all day, every day. It offers both a brunch and lunch menu, plus a light tapas selection. Whatever time you're visiting an array of fresh, seasonal ingredients, will emerge from the kitchen. Food is inspired by world travel experiences, including Moroccan harissa and home-made chorizo and merguez sausages.

    The menu is completely organic and more than 90% of ingredients are sourced within 50-100 miles of the restaurant.

    Poco purchase all their ingredients from the source, and know exactly where the ingredients in the kitchen and liquids lining the bar are from. Their carefully selected English wines, Poco’s collaboration beer from Bristol Brewery, Wiper & True and their homemade liquors, infused with foraged and herbal ingredients are well worth a sample.

    Why else: With renowned ethical chef, Tom Hunt, at its helm it's no wonder Poco's ethical credentials are top notch. Poco monitor their kitchen wastage to avoid squander, meaning 95% to 100% of food waste is composted and recycled. Even the restaurant itself is built out of recycled materials and reclaimed timbers.

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  • Sagar

    Sagar

    Top London restaurants
    Covent Garden, Hammersmith, West End, Harrow

    Why go: South Indian vegetarian cuisine proudly cooked by chefs from Udupi, a small town in the coastal region of the Western Ghats. The colourful and flavoursome curries are served alongside rice dumplings with sambar and coconut chutney, soft lentil doughnuts, rice and lentil spicy pancakes.

    Why else: Whatever your dietary requirements – vegan, nut-free, garlic- and onion-free, wheat-free – this restaurant group has got it covered.

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  • DukeofCambridge

    The Duke of Cambridge

    Restaurants for meat lovers
    Angel, N1

    Why go: Being the only certified organic pub in London is no small feat. The Duke of Cambridge takes pride in ethical food menu offering everything from a full-blown Sunday roast to sumptuous curries, vegetarian dishes, and tasty salads. Menus change seasonally, meaning the best organic vegetables are used from their partner farm, Riverford, in Devon. They also celebrate small independent breweries and independent wine merchants at the bar. And, there's always the options of a hot Fairtrade cuppa.

    The Duke of Cambridge's attitude to traceability is consistent with all their produce: their fish is sourced from Fish by Kernosashimi in Cornwall, whilst their Venison, pork and game is from Rhug Estates.

    Why else: Riverford at the Duke of Cambridge is run by an organic pioneering, married couple – Geetie Singh, founder of the Duke of Cambridge and Guy Watson, whose family owns organic farming company Riverford. Even the furniture which you sit on is either second hand, repurposed or recycled and their food waste is collected for generating energy.

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  • The Ethicurean

    The Ethicurean

    Best of the UK restaurants

    Meaning: Derived from the term Epicurean – the hedonistic philosophy of Epicurus which was devoted to sensual pleasures, especially food and drink – an ethicurean is a person who attempts to eat ethically without depriving oneself of taste.

    Bristol

    Why go: The Ethicurean serves modern British cuisine, locally and ethically sourced, in the magical Barley Wood Walled Garden in Bristol.

    The award-winning kitchen garden restaurant is founded on 'a sense of place', the idea of having a connection with the native land and the community who grow seasonal food upon it.

    They offer everything from three- to five-course set menus, Sunday lunch and morning as well as afternoon tea. They serve meat but veg is the star of The Ethicurean show. Plus they have a wonderfully experimental bar (and seasonal soft drinks).

    The Ethicurean

    Why else: You'll learn something new. Co-founders, two brothers Matthew and Iain Pennington, are keen foragers and aim to put at least one foraged garnish on each meal.

    “A lot of what we do is to try to help people understand the process behind food production,” says Matthew. “Guests commonly say ‘I had no idea you can eat that – it’s all over my garden and I thought it was weeds’.”

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  • The Gate

    The Gate

    Top London restaurants
    Hammersmith,W6 and Islington, N1

    Why go: ‘Indo-Iraqi Jewish’ is how the owners of The Gate describe their cooking, a blend of Indian and Arabic cuisines with  traditional Jewish food and a touch of European influence – think mezze platters, lentils, and aubergine schnitzels.

    Why else: It’s been going for 25 years and is somewhat of a London institution owned by two brothers, Adrain and Michael  Daniel, who have stayed true to their roots.

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