As a vegan in London you can’t help but explore the millions of cafes that are on offer! I always used to find that many restaurants and cafes just opted out for some sort of a vegan curry or a pathetic plate of half-cooked vegetables. But no longer do we stand for such minimal enjoyment! I have culminated my top list of cafes in London that I would consider hidden gems.
My main criteria for a good cafe tends to be: a good selection of milks (I like to vary my flavors), a good selection of drinks too (I sometimes prefer matcha over coffee) and most importantly a decent array of vegan food and snacks. Now I’m not saying every cafe has to be 100% vegan, but it’s nice when they remember the little guys, and give us more than a stale slice of banana bread.
So here we go with my top choices…
Vegan-Friendly Cafes in London (with Food & Drink Options)
First in the list is actually somewhere I used to go with my ex-boyfriend; he was trying to impress me with his knowledge of vegan places. We went into the cafe and the board on the outside said “ask us about our plant-based options.” Little did I know the entire place was vegan! The gold mine if you will. They had everything from croissants to sandwiches, cakes to donuts and brownies to cookies! They even had the most amazing spinach boreks which are little swirling filo pastry parcels filled with spinach, aka swirls of heaven. The pricing is perfect and the staff are amazing. It’s a very wholesome vibe-y atmosphere and croissants are especially delightful. It’s located in South Ealing along a high street, it’s a perfect stop for anyone (not just vegans).
Next on the list is kin café, located in Fitzrovia, central London. Me and my mum are both vegan so whenever we’re in London we always try and find new places to try for food. We came across this place and found that it was an entirely vegetarian and vegan menu. Everything could be made vegan if you wanted. It’s tucked away in a back street but that doesn’t stop its popularity (especially at lunch time). I would like to give a shout-out to their vegan omelette, possibly the best vegan brunch item I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying! It’s made with chickpea flour but tastes like the real deal, maybe even better. Their sweet treats are brilliant, too. I have always found that the hardest treat to find was properly gooey vegan cookies, and Kin Café hit the nail on the head there.
Metronome is most definitely a hidden gem if ever there was one. Located in Morden, it’s not the typical place you’d think to go to for a good cafe. It’s linked to a music studio, hence the name metronome. The vibe is very arty, especially with all original music playing in the background. I was recommended this place when I worked at a school nearby. Every Friday my school was closed but we’d come in for admin. I’d get the train and go to Costa, the vegan options were lacking and so my satisfaction was lacking too! Then when I was told about this place, I thought it had to be somewhat better. Although not a vegan cafe in itself, it had a brilliant range of vegan pastries. The vegan almond croissant is just amazing. Vegan almond croissants have become my love language ever since I found amazing ones in Paris. But many of the UK counterparts never did the job, till Metronome. My Fridays became my favorite day, I’d go into work early (by choice!) for the sole purpose of running to the cafe and getting my almond croissant and watching passersby.
Although farm girl has multiple branches, once again they all seem to be tucked away. I went to the one in Soho, it’s just above the Sweaty Betty shop so unless you look up you wouldn’t even know it was there. Once again, not a vegan cafe but a bounty of choices. It’s a cute little secluded cafe, cozied up in close proximity with a view of Soho. All their food seems very wholesome and void of unhealthy ingredients. I went with a friend and had to try their blue latte! Turns out I’m converted to blue drinks now. They have amazing gooey brownies as well as a great selection of handmade sandwiches and breakfast delights. I’m always a big porridge fan so they didn’t disappoint there.
Finally on my list is The Watchhouse. I found this place completely by accident when showing my friend around tower bridge and we stumbled down a hidden cobblestone street and there it was! I couldn’t believe the amount of vegan options they had. Their banana bread is just a slice of fruity divinity. Their menu is expansive with vegan toasts and espresso vegan butter! They are a branch franchise and have locations all around London including Seven Dials (which I’ve also visited). It brings a very modern atmosphere with a strong sense of coffee intelligence (if ever there was such a thing). Their porridge is also a 10/10—they somehow find a way to make oats and syrup classy, and I am here for it.
So there you have it, being vegan can be easy in London, but it helps to know the best spots to go. I love exploring and finding new places to eat and enjoy. Showing people that veganism can be so delicious and nourishing in ways you never would’ve guessed. So get to it, go and eat!
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Photo: Kin Cafe via Facebook; Clemency Drew