Eating out as a vegan in the UK
The vegan movement is really starting to take off. I've been vegan for just 2 years now, and over that small period of time, I've seen veganism boom. Nowadays, wherever you go, you’ll easily be able to find amazing plant-based options. Whether it’s a fully vegan restaurant, quirky cafe or chain restaurant, this lifestyle choice is definitely not so abnormal or alien these days. Even though I’ve only tried a handful of places in the UK, with many more I still need to visit, here are some of my personal reviews and recommendations (in alphabetical order), covering everything a foodie will want to know!
location QUALITY TASTE SELECTION Price Portion Sizes allergen friendly
Quality | Definitely my favourite spot for vegan sushi, and the best thing is that you can always find an Itsu!
Taste | My favourite box has a mixture of avocado baby rolls, veggie sushi, dumplings, salad and a thick green dip. The dumplings are not fried, making them much healthier, and Itsu also offers free unlimited seeds on the side.
Selection | As well as different sized vegan sushi selections, it also has some sides of salad, drinks, and fruit pots for you to grab quickly on-the-go. They also have vegan options on their hot menu.
Price | For a quick, light and healthy lunch or dinner, this sushi is a very budget-friendly option. Students also get discount.
Portions | Personally, I find that Itsu is quite a light option.
Allergens | There is a list of the main ingredients in each box or dish, and full allergen information is available online. Staff in store will always be able to help as well.
Quality | Mildreds was the first vegan-veggie restaurant I went to, and it now has 4 locations all around London.
Taste | One of my favourite dishes on offer is the sweet potato curry. It's a large warming dish with rice, cashews and a refreshing hint of coconut that just simply hits the spot. However I am yet to try more on their menu!
Selection | This is a great place if you want to please a lot of hungry mouths. This restaurant has amazing food with everything from burgers to salads, buddha bowls to curries, and even delicious desserts.
Price | Average prices for restaurants in central London, and I think the food is excellent value for your money.
Portions | Mildreds knows that vegans love their food. The portion sizes are perfect.
Allergens | Allergen menus are available. Also, don't be afraid to ask to swap certain ingredients, as sometimes this is possible. For example, I had the dairy cheese in one of their dishes kindly replaced with tofu.
Quality | Pho is a Vietnamese restaurant offering curries, rice bowls, noodle soups, crispy wok-fried vegetables and more.
Taste | The rice paper rolls as a starter are honestly delicious. I have never tasted better peanut dipping sauce, it is heavenly. They also have incredible banana fritters for dessert. Based on my experience, their vegan options were on-point!
Selection | Considering that Pho is not a vegan restaurant, I was really surprised at how many plant-based options there were available. They had starters, main dishes, sides and desserts that were all vegan, so there is plenty to choose from.
Price | Very reasonable prices for quality food and excellent service.
Portions | I think a main dish alone would be quite light, but on the other hand, after devouring a starter, main dish, side and dessert, I can definitely say I was left feeling pretty full. So somewhere in between is a good shout if you want to leave with a happy stomach.
Allergens | The menu highlights vegan, gluten and dairy free options.
London & Brighton
Quality | Without any doubt, Purezza offers the best fully vegan pizzas in the UK, and I highly recommend going with an empty stomach! The restaurants are both extremely friendly and even allow fury friends on four paws too.
Taste | Their pizzas are loaded with a range of fresh toppings, including home-made cheese that I would rate any day, despite not being a cheese fan at all. Purezza's pesto is honestly the besto, and the aesthetic will definitely spoil your Instagram feed.
Selection | As well as pizzas, the menu offers smoothies, starters, sides, amazing desserts and even fully raw options.
Price | Amazing value for money and students get 10% discount.
Portions | Perfectly sized pizzas leaving you feeling totally satisfied.
Allergens | They offer 3 pizza bases, one of which is gluten free. There are also raw options on the menu.
Vegan - vegetarian
Quality | The Rainbow Cafe is an small, quirky, underground cafe in the city centre of Cambridge. You won't find this place anywhere else in the world, and I highly suggest you make a visit.
Taste | Each dish is freshly-prepared, vibrant and colourful, made from wholesome and healthy plant-food ingredients. This cafe never fails to make plants taste amazing, and without any doubt, it is my favourite place to eat in Cambridge.
Selection | The menu has a large range of both vegan and vegetarian options, as well as daily specials and lots of desserts to choose from.
Price | Excellent value for money.
Portions | The portions are just right, and the majority, if not all, come with a generous side salad.
Allergens | Very allergen-friendly, with all information in the menu.
Stem & Glory
Quality | Very high quality and healthy food, freshly prepared each day.
Taste | I recommend the VLT (Vegan, lettuce and tomato) sandwich. It has a very unique taste, quite salty and almost meaty in flavour. I also love the kombucha, which is home-made and not bought in.
Selection | There are now 2 locations in Cambridge. The one in town centre is more of a cafe, with less on the menu, however the other on Chesterton Road has more on offer.
Price | Fairly expensive.
Portions | Their buffet-style Sunday roast will see your plates piled high with roasted veggies, potatoes, nut roast and more. On the other hand, their main portions in general are on the smaller side, coming from my Mum and I with large appetites!
Allergens | The menu is very allergen-friendly.
Vegan - Vegetarian
Quality | Food is definitely a 10/10 from me.
Taste | I don't think I've ever had so many different flavours all on one plate before. Some of my favourites were the guacamole, which was incredibly creamy, as well as the lentil dahl.
Selection | Tibits has a huge selection of nutritious, wholesome dishes, both sweet and savoury. I was honestly spoilt for choice and pretty much tried everything. The majority is vegan, and they even do a fully vegan Tuesday each week.
Price | You pay by weight and get a small, free bread roll. It's difficult to know how much your food wieghs, so it is very easy to spend a fair amount (£15 in the photo on the left). However, I am very happy to splash out on quality vegan goodness.
Portions | As a buffet, you get to decide!
Allergens | The restaurant caters for all allergens, including for those who cannot each celery for instance, so just check out the labels.
Quality | My first ever experience in Wagamama as a child was not great at all, however when I went back years later and as a vegan, I am now completely hooked on their Japanese-inspired cuisine.
Taste | My favourite dish has always been the Pad Thai, with rice noodles, crispy tofu, peanuts and a chilli kick, although the new seiten Katsu Curry may just about rival it. I would also suggest trying their steamed mushroom buns for starter.
Selection | My current wish is for Wagamama to expand their dessert manu. Although the sorbet is the best I've ever tasted, being so fresh and creamy, it would be nice if there were a few more options.
Price | Very similar to most other chain restaurnats in the UK.
Portions | The main dishes are a perfect size for you to enjoy a starter and dessert alongside, and even a fresh-pressed juice.
Allergens | Ask a waiter for an allergen menu when you arrive and they will cater for your dietary needs without question.
Quality | In the UK, Wahaca is the place to go if you want some Mexican-inspired food, with all things from nachos to burrito bowls, and tacos to enchiladas. I've been told that true Mexican food is on a whole new level, but until then, Wahaca will be my go-to spot.
Taste | I've been to Wahaca just once and shared their 2 vegan burritos on offer with my Mum, one with sweet potato and the other cactus and courgette. My favourite was definitely the former, with sweet potato, green rice, cabbage and black beans all piled into a warm, soft wrap, although I still thoroughly enjoyed the other.
Selection | Wahaca has a fully vegan menu on offer.
Price | It is a chain restaurant, so prices are competitive but totally affordable.
Portions | The nachos to start are great for sharing between 2 or 3 people. In terms of main dishes, the burritos are pretty filling, and I assume the enchiladas would be too, but I felt a very comfortable fullness when leaving.
Allergens | Ask on arrival for an allergens menu.
Wild Food Cafe
Quality | This little gem in Neal's Yard has a fully organic and plant-based menu offering the complete epitome of healthy food.
Taste | I can only speak on behalf of their sweet foods selection, and I highly recommend those, however I have no doubt that the rest of the menu is completely delicious.
Selection | The menu is pretty extensive, where the restaurant focuses on quality over quantity.
Price | The Wild Food Cafe is definitely a more expensive place to eat when out in London.
Portions | The dessert portions were generous, however it seems that their main dishes were on the smaller side.
Allergens | Enquiring about the ingredients used would be a wise option, however I have no doubt they'll be able to cater for anyone and everyone.
Wulf & Lamb
Quality | I rate the food quality 10/10 for sure.
Taste | 'The Wulf Burger', made more unusually from seiten and stacked high in a brioche bun with cheese and mayo, has got to be the best burger I've had in my life. Even better than anything non-vegan I've tried. The carrot cake and doughnuts are also to die for.
Selection | The menu offers food that will cater for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a diverse selection on the savoury menu, from curries to burgers, and salads to pies, yet on top of that the restaurant has sandwiches, wraps and freshly-made soups on offer each day. I highly recommend you check out their desserts and cakes as well!
Price | The prices are on the more expensive side, however Considering Wulf & Lamb is situated in Central London, I think it is totally worth it.
Portions | Perfect all round, and in particular, Their cake slices were very generous. Nobody likes a slither now do they!
Allergens | Nut, soy and gluten free options are available.
Quality | Grab yourself a loyalty card because you'll be back again once you've tried it. Getting that free dessert at the end of it won't be too hard I'm sure!
Taste | If you want ice-cream or fro-yo, check out Yorika in Soho. You wouldn't even believe it was vegan!
Selection | My go-to is the soft serve, of which there are 4 flavours to choose from. You can even mix-and-match your favourite couple. Yorika also offers a huge selection of ice cream, as well as shakes and hot sweet treats.
Price | No more expensive than any other non-vegan places in Central London, although I do feel the toppings are quite pricey, except the sprinkles (because they're free and unlimited)!
Portions | You have a choice of a classic, big or epic sized pot. My go-to is the big one in the middle.
Allergens | Probably one of the most allergen friendly places I've been too. I mean, you're not even allowed to eat nuts in store!
Quality | Zizzi is probably my favourite chain restaurant to go to if I want Italian food.
Taste | Pizza is my favourite option to choose from their menu. Even though I am not gluten-free, personally, I love this pizza base because it tastes almost like one giant pancake! However the giant Pizza Rustica is also at the top of my list.
Selection | The vegan menu keeps growing and every time I go to Zizzi they have new dishes on offer, including fabulous desserts, which is unlike most other chain restaurants offering either nothing on the sweet side or just sorbet.
PRICE | They are pretty standard for a chain restaurant, and remember to use your discount cards if you're a student. NUS offers substantial offers so check out the app before you go, for example they used to offer 50% off your bill on Mondays!
Portions | I always leave feeling pretty full, but sometimes the restaurants have been quite stingy with their pizza toppings. I'd say don't be afriad to speak up if this is the case. Every time I've done so, the chefs have kindly added more.
Allergens | Ask for the allergens menu when you arrive and it will have everything you need. In fact, there is a full list of all the ingredients in every dish.