A few weeks back I wrote this post, in which I stated my belief that we vegans* ought to be championing actual full vegan restaurants more. The one question that post raised is: what do you do when non-vegan friends want to join you for dinner? You bloody well take them with you to the vegan place! Meat-eaters can eat absolutely everything on a vegan menu, AS CAN I, so we should 100% be doing that. It’s incredibly insulting to go somewhere where one guest has 48 choices whilst another has just 2. Like, come on, did you even want me to eat with you? Omnis, if there’s any of you reading this, please for the love of God stop expecting your vegan friends to rejoice over a plain pasta dish.
I’m fairly sure the only meat-eaters in my life consist of my Dad, a few of my bandmates, and Ryan’s family. It’s not often that we dine together, but it’s a good idea to have some suggestions ready in case the situation arises. I thought I’d share three independent, 100% vegan restaurants in London that I would DEFINITELY take a meat-eater too. Read on!
One of my favourite eateries in London, fed By Water is an Italian restaurant is in the heart of Dalston. They boast a revolutionary approach to pizza which you can read more about on their website! From the black, chalk-boarded walls to the small potted succulents, it’s a cosy and atmospheric place. The menu runs the gamut of traditional Italian pasta and pizza dishes, whilst more experimental eaters can opt for green or black pizza dough (both delicious). Make sure you save room for the dessert menu (and seriously good luck; the pizzas are huge), and I also recommend the extensive beer and wine collection. Just make sure you book in advance or go at a very off-peak time as they are always RAMMED.
I want to point out here that their website contains a heartbreaking paragraph about the effect Brexit has already had on their costs. Go and show some support people! If it does all come crashing down then at least you tried the incredible garlic bread whilst you could.
Ahhhh Loving Hut. My local vegan “Asian” eatery, the menu is a combination of mainly Chinese and Thai dishes, but they also randomly have a selection of western foods. Seriously, the menu is astonishingly diverse – pad thai, fish and chips, cheesecake, fritters? Seriously, take a look. Loving Hut use vegan meats that are crazy accurate; prawns that look like prawns, chicken satay skewers and so on. Loving Hut is in Archway and conveniently about 2 minutes from my house, so I’m maybe biased, but honestly, the food is great. My housemates and I get a big takeaway at least once a fortnight and we’ve never been disappointed. I thoroughly recommend the shredded chicken, the satay skewers and the chocolate cream cake.
The Archway location is small, but atmospheric with wooden benches, soft white cushions and fairy lights. I should point out that Loving Hut is a chain internationally but there’s only 5 in total in the UK. Also if you go, try and pick a time when they’re not busy – in our experience, the service is absolutely abysmal during busy times (but great if there are only 2 or 3 other tables taken). Or do what we do and collect it to go!
I don’t know WHY people aren’t raving about Vegan Hippo. Where are people going for their vegan dogs? Vegan Hippo is located smack bang in the middle of London, it’s open until 9:30pm and as a fast-food burger joint/cafe, there’s nothing better in London. The menu is smaller than the other two places I’ve mentioned, but for burgers and “junk” food it’s unbeatable. I like to drop by whenever I’m in central either before or after rehearsals; the to-go sandwich selection is incredible and they also have amazing cookies. My personal favourite is the hot dog – don’t forget the pulled jackfruit! The cafe is surprisingly spacious, with simple decor and some GREAT vegan art pieces which add a wry wink to the omnis amongst you.
So there you go. If you do browse the sites of all the places mentioned, you’ll see that as committed vegan eateries, each restaurant sports a section talking about veganism. They all share an ethos to make the food as good as possible so that is cruelty-free, affordable and most importantly, delicious. I’d far rather my money goes towards that kind of an establishment then somewhere that expects me to enjoy a cheeseless pizza, and I’m sure you do too. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these spots!
*I want to clarify here that most of the time when I’m writing about veganism, I’m aiming at vegans. If you’re not vegan and read my blog anyway, then sure, be welcome, hi and please take a seat. Just know this isn’t aimed at you.