For the best plates of plants in the City we all love…
Let’s face it, we’ve all either judged a vegan person, meal, dish, order, restaurant, fart, statement, or (insert almost anything else here) from both sides of the plant based plate.
Whether you are carnivore, omnivore or just confused by fads, there’s no denying that the world has woken up to the vegan diet. London is well ahead of a lot of places in offering some of the weirdest, wackiest and most importantly, tastiest, plant based dishes around.
I’m not going to preach to convert, or discuss the benefits, advantages or even hang ups of whatever you lovely people choose to eat – BUT, what I will do, is urge you all to wrap your gums around some of these meat-free gems I’ve come across on my wanders around the big smoke….
I’ll start with two of my fast food favs….
Biffs Jack Shack
Filthy vegan junk food as they brand it. It’s incredible. Alongside some residencies, pop up markets and aptly named burgers, Biff boasts some of the best wings I’ve ever had. It’s a great team, great vibe and even better food.
I first got the Samuel Hell Jackson burger from one of their food market vans (I know) – I was quickly back there soon after and not long later, went into their short term residency in a pub in Stoke Newington.
Now Biff serves, flips and dips straight out of Walthamstow, Shoreditch and the occasional food market. Go check them out – you will not regret it.
What the Pitta
I got introduced to this by one of my vegan friends – yes, he has a beard. He does wear socks though…
We went to Boxpark in Shoreditch to rub this vegan doner kebab all inside our faces, but you can get one in Croydon, Camden and now even Brighton too.
These guys have had a lot of great press and loads of celebs come to get their fix there all the time. It’s seitan, but not as you know it (if you do happen to know it in the first place).
Very, very, very tasty. Well worth the trip to get one – but they also deliver. You’re welcome.
The Bonnington Café
This is a real hidden stem (see what I did there..?|) of South London.
Not fast food, but rather a cooperatively run, lovely little restaurant, in Vauxhall – not far from the river.
It’s one of the coolest, yet honest places I’ve been. With no one actually being in charge of the restaurant, the chef runs it on the night. Here’s where it gets cooler, there’s a different chef each night, each with a different menu.
To book a table, you need to text said chef and wait for confirmation. If you didn’t think it could get any cooler, it’s also BYOB. I actually don’t think I have to say much else about this wonderful place. Check their website for details on booking. But please, don’t tell all your mates.
Peckham levels has cropped up before in our blog series. It’s one of my favourite places and I’m not alone. Sometimes, a lot of us South Londoners sit down and think about what London ‘used’ to be like. There was a time when it wasn’t safe to sit upstairs on a bus, and there were no chai lattes in South London, everyone wore socks and no one knew what beard oil was – the good ol’ days.
Not anymore. Not in Peckham.
Peckham levels, the bussey building and Peckham springs are just three of the places that make me think all that change might not have been all that bad. This is a very different discussion for a very different time though….
Back to plants and vegetables – Wildflower is inside Bussey building, and offers the nicest vegan breakfast I’ve ever had. I’ve had a bout 4 if you’re asking. This was the best.
Zionly Manna Vegan Rastarant
Again, we stay in Peckham. We’re in the indoor market off Rye Lane – where all the magic happens.
No spelling mistakes, just quirky names and absolutely delicious, honest, fantastic food. The Rastarant is a place you have to go if you want a real sense of what South London and Peckham are – but you don’t want any flesh. The Caribbean inspired menu is almost as lovely as the people that work there too, I urge you to visit.
If you’re after somewhere between the Fast food of Biff or the sit down intimacy of the Bonnington, or maybe you’re new to this plant stuff. You may need home comforts and a good old reliable pizza pie. Head straight back to Peckham Levels (stairs!). I‘m talking coconut mozzarella, cashew camembert and almond ricotta. Get it in ya.
No need to thank me now, thank the wonderful plant lovers of London for opening your eyes, tearing out your tastebuds and smearing their wonderful tasty all over your soul. Before they ram your satisfied mouth shut and send you on your way. Give them all your money.