Meat-Free Menus: National Vegetarian Week!

Kimberleigh Tessendorf

A new generation of restaurants, offering meat-free menus, has London veggies spoilt for choice. Lifeless lettuce and tasteless tofu, are replaced by an array of tempting options. National Vegetarian Week runs 16-22 May, and we’ve put together a list of the best vegetarian food the country has on offer: from light bites to fine dining.

Mildreds – Soho

Established in 1988, Mildreds is a Soho institution that is worth visiting whether you are vegetarian or not. They have the rare ability to translate the latest food trends into inexpensive, unusual, meat-free dishes. Expect to find Vietnamese soups, Japanese gyoza and a Moroccan chickpea tagine on the menu. An incredibly high standard of food ensures that the narrow dining room is always filled with noisy chatter and bustling bodies.

Silo – Brighton

At Silo, the produce is sustainable, the menu seasonal, the sourdough milled and baked on-site. The wine list celebrates natural, local wines and they even have an onsite botanical brewery. Silo just happens to be the world’s most sustainable high end restaurant, a chic and intimate venue where vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and carnivores are all welcome.

Ethos – Fitzrovia

This self-service vegetarian buffet gets everything spot-on, right down to the last lentil. Ethos offers diners an exploration of flavour, colour and texture. Set in a Nordic inspired dining room, take a world tour tasting dishes, piling your plate with tarka dahl, Lebanese loubieh salad and miso glazed aubergines.


Vanilla Black – Chancery Lane

The crème-de-la-crème of the Vegetarian scene in London, has to be the Michelin-recommended Vanilla Black. The exciting menu dispels misconceptions of bland, uninspiring vegetarian dishes. They boast contemporary cuisine with yellow pea soup and marmite dumplings, dried yeast and pumpkin terrine with orange purée, or brie ice cream and poached blackberries. Experimenting with original flavour combinations and modern techniques has earned them the reputation as one of London’s finest vegetarian restaurants.

Carousel – Marylebone

Carousel’s head chef Ollie Templeton selects excellent talent from around the globe to work alongside him at the restaurant’s pop-up dining experiences. His beautiful rotating menu features a variety of vegetarian options, including Jersey Royals with wild sorrel and horseradish, Watermelon and tomato tartare with basil, and Salmorejo with avocado, chopped egg and breadcrumbs.


Alyn Williams – Mayfair

Restaurant Alyn Williams is located in London’s most exclusive neighbourhood, at the opulent The Westbury hotel. After years working with culinary names such as Marcus Wearing and Gordon Ramsay, Chef Williams opened his eponymous restaurant in 2011, and 2012 saw him awarded a Michelin star, and named National Chef of the Year by Craft Guild of Chefs. The restaurant offers a vegetarian tasting menu that is guaranteed to satisfy.

The Gate – Islington

Adrian and Michael Daniel have been running one of London’s most successful vegetarian restaurant since December 1989. Their cooking reflects a diverse cultural background, a blend one might call Indo-Iraqi Jewish. The menu pays homage to their childhoods, modulated by French and Italian influence. At The Gate the philosophy is that food is sacred, and should be celebrated. Ingredients are sourced with care, and the result is visually appealing dishes served in an intimate way.Enticing dishes include artichoke gallettes, a potato, celeriac and truffle rosti, butternut tortellini and aubergine teriyaki.