London

Travel and location information for vegans, restaurant, hotel, B&B etc reviews. If you want to meet people from some area, post here.

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Re: London

Postby lover of cuttlefish » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:44 pm

baldy wrote:
lover of cuttlefish wrote:Baldy, I would double check the ingredients on the tofu noodles at Wasabi - pretty sure it's not vegan! I used to get wasabi couple times a week when I lived there, and was sure only the tofu rice was okay (can't for the life of me remember the proper names haha!)

At the one I go to (Waterloo Station) they have an ingredients list on the counter Tofu Rice and Tofu Noodles are both marked as vegan. Tofu Curry is only vegetarian though.


Oh sweet - maybe they've changed it or else I was mistaken!! (If that's the case, if only I'd known, haha!)

Also, Chilangos do real nice vegan burritos, there's one on fleet street and one in angel on the main drag across from the station.
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Re: London

Postby flightlessbirds » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:21 pm

I'm reviving this as I am heading to a meeting in London in mid May for a couple days. There's a lot in this thread already but I would like to pose a few questions:

1. What are your favourite reasonably priced vegan places in London?
2. What is your favourite place with out considering cost
3. If one has only a day for touristing, what would you recommend I see? I will likely spend a lot of that time just walking walking walking since that's what I like to do in interesting cities but I wouldn't mind suggestions for museums/parks/interesting streets/whatever.

Thank you kindly!
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Re: London

Postby Hiking Fox » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:05 pm

flightlessbirds wrote:. If one has only a day for touristing, what would you recommend I see? I will likely spend a lot of that time just walking walking walking since that's what I like to do in interesting cities but I wouldn't mind suggestions for museums/parks/interesting streets/whatever.


I am in London right now. Here's some ideas:

Walk the South Bank
If you set off from Westminster Tube Station and cross the Thames via Westminster Bridge, you can do an excellent two-mile walk. The embankment footpath takes you past the London Eye attraction, the National Film Theatre and the Oxo Tower, with stunning views North across the river. After passing Blackfrier's bridge, you reach the Tate Modern gallery and the Globe Theatre, which is a re-construction of an Elizabethan theatre and hosts regular Shakespeare plays. You then have to turn right and head inland along Southwark Bridge Road, then left along Southwark Street through the excellent Borough Market, which is a great place to get food on Fridays and Saturdays. Carry on past Southwark Cathedral and London Bridge Station to cross the river again via Tower Bridge, or finish your walk at the station. You can get great veggie food at Carnevale or Wagamama. Alternatively, do the walk in reverse and book a seat at Bonnington Cafe (open lunchtimes and evenings, but not afternoons), or head North towards Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square.

Follow the canal to Camden Lock and Regent's Park
Spend a relaxing morning browsing stalls in Camden Market with breakfast at Inspiral Lounge or Alchemy, then stock up on picnic food at Fresh and Wild, Holland and Barrett or Loving Hut and take a stroll along the canal to Regent's Park. The West End is then a short hop away, or you can continue along the canal to Paddington. Alternatively you can head up Primrose Hill, which is small but steep, with excellent views across the city. The now all-vegan Manna restaurant is 5 mins walk away.

Roam the Heath
Hampstead Heath is so wild and attractive that it's hard to believe you're in the centre of London. It's the perfect place to let kids and dogs run around, while you relax under a tree. Get the overground train to Hampstead Heath station and load up on picnic food at House of Mistry Wholefoods or Friendly Falafels, then it's less than five minutes walk to the heath itself. You can then get the train a couple of stops to Camden Road, a short distance from Green Note vegetarian cafe, which has live music most nights. Or get the Northern Line from Hampstead to Camden Town. Both Hampstead and Camden have some friendly, lively pubs with outdoor seating. If you'd prefer to carry on walking, stay on the Northern Line to Mornington Cresent or Warren Street, then walk about half a mile westwards to Regent's Park. If you're tired of fresh air and crave the city lights, stay on a few more stops to reach Leicester Square.

Go Womble-spotting
Get the train or District Line tube to Wimbledon, then 10 mins walk along Wimbledon Hill Road brings you to the famous common (home of the Wombles), which is a lovely, wild place to stroll. If you want even more exercise, cross the road bordering the north west of the common to enter Richmond Park, which is even bigger and has herds of red and fallow deer, along with ancient trees, birds and unusual beetles. You can get a decent meal in Richmond from Tide Tables, Hollyhock or Giraffe, or get the District Line or a bus back into London.

Get your fill of Museums
The Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Natural History Museum are right next to each other and all are free to enter (through there's also special exhibitions that charge admission). You can then do the tourist thing and walk along Brompton Road to Harrods, or head north up Exhibition Road into Hyde Park. Veggie food is thin on the ground in this part of London, so your best option is to get the Piccadilly Line from Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner to Leicester Square or Covent garden. From the North side of Hyde Park, you can get the Central Line from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road. Alternatively, walk up Edgeware Road and check out one of the many Lebanese cafes, where you can get lovely falafel, stuffed vine leaves and fresh juices such as pineapple and melon.
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Re: London

Postby Hiking Fox » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:15 pm

flightlessbirds wrote:1. What are your favourite reasonably priced vegan places in London?


There are nearly 200 vegetarian places in London, of which around 30 are vegan and some are so new I haven't been there yet, so it would be really difficult to say. What type of food are you into? For £5 you could get a box of raw salad from some places, or a fried breakfast in others.

2. What is your favourite place with out considering cost?


Manna, Primrose Hill. Some people rave about Saf (mostly raw), while others hate it. I've never been, so can't comment. The Gate in Hammersmith was excellent when I last went, but that was nearly 10 years ago. Rasa in Stoke Newington is a brilliant Indian. VitaOrganic has lots of fans and serves uber-healthy food. Avoid Vanilla Black, which is shit for vegans.
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Re: London

Postby NatB » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:06 am

Is Vanilla Black shit now? have to confess I havent been for a couple of years and it was ok back then but places do change. Vantra is my pick, just off Soho Square. Also like 222 which was a nightmare to get to but a lovely place! London is now easy as a vegan but not many places that really blow my hair back!
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Re: London

Postby flightlessbirds » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:47 am

Wow, thanks for that write up, Hiking Fox. I want to do all of it! Great that the museums are free.
I think where I go to eat will probably depend on where I go to walk. I am sure Happy Cow can be of help if I just look up places around the areas you suggest I explore.
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Re: London

Postby Hiking Fox » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:34 pm

NatB wrote:Is Vanilla Black shit now?


They used to have a vegan chef. Now all I hear from people is that the vegan portions are tiny and uninspiring compared to the dairy and egg-dominayted meals. I emailed them to ask for a vegan menu and the dishes listed were basically just vegetables. I wouldn't pay £35 for summat that is effectively posh cauliflower and potatoes with chutney.

Vantra is my pick, just off Soho Square. Also like 222 which was a nightmare to get to but a lovely place!


I've only heard good things about 222, but have never been. I'm going to Vantra today and will report back :)
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Re: London

Postby Hiking Fox » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:35 pm

flightlessbirds wrote:I am sure Happy Cow can be of help if I just look up places around the areas you suggest I explore.


Happy Cow is pretty useless IMV as it lists all kinds of places that closed down years ago.
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Re: London

Postby fredrikw » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:39 pm

Happycow is only as good as its readers, its information is based on people reporting what's out there.
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Re: London

Postby loveliberate » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:19 pm

I second what Fredrik says and encourage all of you to help make HappyCow a better resource. If a place is closed down, a new places opens up or you just want to let us know what you think of a place - then by all means post that info on HappyCow!

There is also a lot more to HappyCow then just the restaurant listings: groups, a worldwide event calendar, forums, chat, etc - all sadly underutilized & all very much dependent on people like *YOU* getting involved. :D
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Re: London

Postby NatB » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:53 pm

Thanks Hiking Fox let me know! Perhaps a London VF get together at one of the vegan spots is in order sometime!
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Re: London

Postby Hiking Fox » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:34 pm

Hiking Fox wrote:I'm going to Vantra today and will report back :)


OK, I ate in Vantra this afternoon and here's my opinion:

Food: 5/5
Service: 2/5

When I walked in, the place was packed and bustling, with only one table free, which is always a good sign. I ordered a strawberry soya lassi, which was absolutely gorgeous and the woman who served me was friendly. I then got the buffet plate, which is £9.90. I think this is good value, because the place is totally organic and right in the city centre. You can pile your plate up as high as you like, and I did. You get a bowl of soup with your meal, so you're effectively getting a starter and main course for £9.90.

The buffet has a salad section (about 8 options), a carbs section (rice, noodles, quinoa) and a hot stews section. The stews include things like Thai green curry, chickpea curry and a tomato and roast veg stew. I ate everything and loved it; the food is really well-flavoured with lots of herbs and spices and not too much salt. The salads are imaginative and contain things like radishes and oranges. There was a selection of dressings containing things like tahini, miso and beetroot. The soups had options like hot and sour.

I then had a gluten-free blueberry muffin, which the staff said they'd bring to my table, even though it would have been easy enough for them to just stick it on a plate and hand it to me. The cafe had got much quieter by then, so there weren't exactly people queueing behind me. I went back to my table and waited about 30 minutes for my muffin, asking passing staff three times whether it was coming, until I eventually decided to give up and ask for a refund. Then it came. It was a very tasty muffin, but it was stupid that I had to wait so long and take up a table that another customer could have used. The people on the table next to me also had problems with their order and had to keep querying the serving staff.

TL;DR: The food at Vantra is absolutely lovely, but the staff need some training in getting the orders right, time-management and multi-tasking or they could lose loads of customers.
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Re: London

Postby NatB » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:45 am

Hmmm yes I agree with you on the staff side. Never eat there if you are in a hurry! Though I haven't had am experience as bad as yours! i guess I like the fact that they are never in a rush to see you fed and out the door but then the flip side is you do wait a lot for things. Are you going to send them some feedback? think you should :)
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Re: London

Postby Dawn » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:33 pm

I do reckon London could be better vegan-wise. I do wish we had more restaurants and a few have closed recently. I love London and I'm not doing down any of the lovely places we've got but it's a big place and I think we deserve more good vegan food options (although I think vegans should rule the world so I would say that).

On the questions:
1. What are your favourite reasonably priced vegan places in London?
I still like Mildreds, the prices have gone up a bit, and it's always too busy but their mushroom and ale pie is delicious. Make sure you ask for the vegan garlic mayo to go with the chips. It used to always come with that but they are being skintflints now.
I also think Carnevale (a tiny bit pricier) is a lovely little restaurant and every time I've been there the food has been good.

2. What is your favourite place with out considering cost
Probably Carnevale or Saf. Actually Tibits is good too.
Apparently 222 is good but still haven't got there.

3. If one has only a day for touristing, what would you recommend I see? I will likely spend a lot of that time just walking walking walking since that's what I like to do in interesting cities but I wouldn't mind suggestions for museums/parks/interesting streets/whatever.

I would take a walk along the South Bank, you've got the London Eye, and lots of sights to see along the way. And the river is always a great place to people-watch. Pop into the Royal Festival Hall in case there's some free concert or event. If you keep on walking you'll eventually reach the Tate Modern which is just great in my opinion.

In terms of other restaurants people have mentioned like Vantra and Vanilla Black I wasn't overly impressed with either. Vantra'a service was bad. And on my visit to Vanilla Black I found it overpriced and the food rather dull. The first time I went to The Gate years ago it was brilliant, but on my last visit last year I was really disappointed with the lack of vegan options. But don't know whether that's changed. It often depends on the kind of chefs they are employing, they come and go I think. Maybe other people have had different experiences.

I still think Happycow.net is an excellent resource. Yes, the odd restaurant has closed down but then we can all contact them and tell them that! As someone else said, it's up to the people that use it. I rely on that website whenever I go anywhere and it has served me very well. I think we are very lucky that someone set it up in the first place.
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Re: London

Postby baldy » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:09 am

Came across this list this morning http://www.sustainweb.org/jelliedeel/vote/
London’s top veggie restaurant competition

The Jellied Eel magazine and the Ethical Eats network are running a competition to find the best veggie restaurant in London.

It lists top 30 vegan restaurants in London, well greater London.

Karma pizza looks awesome, but all the way out in Harrow.
https://sites.google.com/site/karmafreepizza/
A vegan cheese alternative is also available at no extra charge.
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