2018 is turning out to be the year for veganism. Worldwide, the number of people opting out of meat, fish, egg, and dairy consumption (as well as honey – save the bees!) has risen exponentially over the past decade, helped in no small part by Meat-Free Monday campaigns and more. London is no exception to this animal-friendly and health conscious trend, either. With benefits including lower cholesterol and blood pressure, not to mention a lower BMI and reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, opting for a vegan diet really does seem the most sensible option for Man (and the kindest for animals).
Veritably a way of life most suitable to an increasing environmentally concerned world, the ability to purchase vegan-appropriate products from supermarkets and smaller stores in the capital has become much easier, too (almost to Californian standards). However, it has taken a little longer for restaurants to catch up – but now, finally, they are starting to do so. Here are One City’s top picks for a delicious vegan luncheon or supper – whether you’re fully vegan or mere flexitarian and curious.
(1) Amico Bio, Barbican
Opposite St. Bartholomew the Great church on Cloth Fair, Amico Bio claims to be London’s “first vegetarian-organic Italian restaurant”. Known for its Vegan Cheese Tray, there are – unusually – plenty of vegan options among the ordinary vegetarian here. A three-course meal with wine will set you back £30, but the tranquil setting is worth it.
(2) VeganYes!, Shoreditch
Also known as Italko due to its Italian/Korean fusion, this splendid company is “now offering Italian beer and vegan wine” to suit its edible choices, too. With seaweed and kimchi options aplenty and tofu pocket wraps galore, this is an unusual but tasty option for lunchtime indulgence. And they have Dark Chocolate Mochi for dessert…
(3) Essential Vegan Café, Shoreditch
A Brazilian-inspired vegan café (run, as it is, by Brazilian vegan chef Vanessa Almeida), Essential is open Tuesday through Sunday and offers takeaways as well. Note that if you want a naughtier tipple with your food they aren’t licensed but are quite happy to run a BYO policy. Dogs are welcome too.
(4) Mooshies Vegan Burger Bar, Shoreditch
Situated on Brick Lane, Mooshies serves the tastiest non-animal flesh burgers going. Open 7 days a week from 12 noon to 9.30pm (later Thursday through Saturday), Mooshies’ vegan burgers are all handmade fresh daily and served on a multigrain seeded brioche bun. The options include “What’s Ur Beef?” (an organic quinoa and black bean patty), “Fillet-Om-Phish” (battered aubergine), and “The G Burger” (chickpeas, spinach, and green peas; limited edition). Vegan-friendly cheesy fries and nachos are also available. This is fast food for kind hearts.
(5) Andina, Shoreditch
Although known for its ceviche, vegan options at this delightful eatery include the nibbles menu “torrejas” (carrot fritters with maca powder and avocado uchucuta), the lunch special “Locro and brown aromatic rice” (a Peruvian vegetable stew basically), and the side order “Ocopa chips” (thick cut fries with ocopa peanut herb and Amarillo chilli sauce). Yum!