Being veggie or vegan can be tricky when it comes to picking a restaurant, especially if you’re with your meat-eating friends. But East London is an absolute cornucopia of meat-free venues. From bottomless vegan brunch to vegetarian burger feasts, hop on the overground to Hackney or get a bus to Shoreditch and you’ll be in veggie heaven. Here’s our list of some of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in East London…
The Field, London Fields
Tucked away in a railway arch opposite Netil House, The Field is inspired by “casual plant based eating”. It’s a vegan restaurant, mostly, but there’s a catch. They also serve meat. The overwhelmingly vegan menu can be supplemented by meaty, eggy or cheesy extras for an additional cost. But with such incredible dishes as Killer Tomatoes, Roasted cauliflower with vegetable jus and caramelised yeast and deserts like Sweetcorn custard tart with lions mane, who needs extras? Vegans can take their determinedly meat-eating friends and show them what vegan cooking really has to offer. And don’t miss bottomless brunch at weekends – two courses and bottomless prosecco and/or mimosa for £35pp
The Gallery Cafe, Bethnal Green
Well known among locals, you’ll find The Gallery Cafe on Old Ford Road next door to York Hall. A cosy casual cafe, busy with freelancers on their laptops on weekdays and families enjoying the large back garden at weekends. The cafe is exclusively vegan and serves top quality coffee from local roasteries. As the name suggests the Gallery Cafe is a gallery too. Art works for sale are on display from exciting London artists and several evenings a month the cafe comes alive with a variety of events from live music to book clubs and film screenings.
Mildred’s has a very colourful history. Established in Soho in 1988, founders Diane Thomas and Jane Muir readily admit their ambition to open an exclusively vegetarian restaurant was risky. But the risk paid off and today they have no fewer than four restaurants across London. Mildred’s in Dalston is bright and light, with outdoor seating and chilled vibes – it’s a great way to step away from the hustle and bustle. From brunch to dinner you can choose from an abundance of vegetarian and vegan dishes including burgers, currys, small plates and a great selection of vegan deserts.
Redemption in Shoreditch serves up a various vegan offering from brunch-happy pancakes to healthy protein packed plant-based burgers. Their weekend day menu mixes up the usual brunch classics and spans breakfast to lunch – early risers can go for a smoothie bowl or party animals can rock up for energy boosting pasta or a restorative salad, all from 10am. The evening menu features creative vegan dishes such as pulled barbecued jackfruit, watermelon and thai cucumber salad and a great selection of deserts completely free of animal ingredients.
Biff’s Jack Shack
Aside from having one of the catchiest names on this list, Biff’s Jack Shack serves pretty mean vegan food. They’re on a mission to make vegan friendly junk food and show the world that veganism isn’t all kale and chia seeds. The shack pitches up at markets across London, including Broadway Market every Saturday, to serve hungry people burgers and fried “chicken” all made from jackfruit – a savory fruit from South East Asia that Biff says has a uniquely meaty texture.