My first trip to London is complete after spending nine days there celebrating the wedding of one of my very best friend. While the sights and sounds of the city are undoubtedly incredible, I found plenty of delicious tastes along the way too. I definitely found most restaurants to be vegetarian-friendly (including many pubs that even had vegetarian sausage in their traditional English breakfasts) which was awesome to see.
If you plan on visiting anytime soon, or you're there already, here are my favorite vegetarian meals I had during my time in London! It's a huge city with limitless choices, but these are some of the stops I made along the way. Lots of these pictures aren't the best quality because it's hard to get a good shot in a dimly lit restaurant, but I ate a lot there and I'm only sharing my favorite meals so I promise they all tasted even better than they look!
Jamie Oliver's Italian in Covent Garden
There are several of Jamie Oliver's restaurants in and around London and we visited the one in Covent Garden. We had to wait about half an hour for a table, but the interior is really trendy and cool and there are little tables you can stand at or you can browse through his cookbooks.
I didn't get any pictures of the restaurant while I was there - too focused on food (what else is new?) but I grabbed this one from the website.
To start, we had the "Italian Nachos" and they were sooo good!
From the menu: "Fried four-cheese ravioli & spicy arrabbiata sauce"
They were seasoned so nicely and had a really unique flavor. Definitely recommend trying these!
For my main course, I had the lentil bolognese. If you visit and you're vegetarian, ask for the vegetarian menu and they'll give you a separate menu with so many options!
I loved that this still had the meaty texture of a traditional bolognese. It was so flavorful and satisfying!
My mom had the lamb pappardelle and she loved her meal too.
Elephant and Castle in Kensington
My mom and I walked around Kensington one night (which is where we were staying) and decided to try the Elephant and Castle Pub. It looked beautiful from the outside and was buzzing with lots of energy and what appeared to be regulars.
You know I wasn't going to go the whole trip without having macaroni and cheese, so when I saw "Smoked Applewood Macaroni Cheese" on the menu, I HAD to have it. It was so rich and creamy and the applewood cheddar was a nice touch. As if a big bowl of mac and cheese isn't enough, it came with a generous side of garlic toast. My mom had traditional fish and chips here and really enjoyed it as well.
Dishoom is a really trendy chain of "Bombay Cafes" in London, and we went to the one in Shoreditch. We had tried to get into the one in Covent Garden a different day, but there was a two hour wait! We ended up not having to wait at Shoreditch because we got there around 5, but there was a line when we left at 6:30, so plan accordingly. I will say, if you do have to wait, it's worth it!
When I was searching for great restaurants in London, this one came up time and time again, and several people also recommended it to me. We sat out on the verandah and it was so lovely. Here's a picture of it I found on Pinterest from Jenny Nguyen:
Their vast menu includes breakfast and all-day food, as well as a vegan and vegetarian menu, dairy-free, gluten-free, and children's options.
We had the basmati rice, garlic naan bread, vegetable samosas, chilli cheese toast, paneer tikka, gunpowder potatoes (the yoghurt that comes with them is incredible - we both said we wished it came with more!), and my mom had corn on the cob (butter-buttha) and lamb chops that she said were amazing! If this sounds like a lot of food, it was, and we took a bunch home! But I wanted to try so many things because it's so hard to pick and I knew I would only get there once on the trip. We really liked everything we had (and OOOOH MY GOSH the chai they serve you is UNREAL!).
The Chelsea Ram
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see I was VERY excited to find a place called the Chelsea Ram in Chelsea. So, of course, the Chelsea Kram took herself (and her mother) to the Chelsea Ram for brunch and it was all I dreamed of and more!
It was a really charming place with eclectic furniture and it's dog-friendly, so I loved seeing the cute pooches inside the place.
I started with the red pepper and tomato bisque. It was really light but hearty enough and be satisfying, and full of awesome flavor.
My mom and I both had the avocado toast for our main (Crushed avocado, lemon, chilli & poached eggs on sourdough) and we both loved how light and fresh it tasted.
Bonus points for our server (I think her name was Jade) because she was lovely!
We were walking around Notting Hill on our first night, and when it came time to eat we decided to try out Polpo. It had a real buzz to it and you could just tell how cool it was even from across the street! There are a few other locations throughout London other than the one we went to as well. We both had pizza there and it was some of the best crust I've ever had! It was thin, but bubbly in the right way and perfectly salty. Mine was a special that had soft white cheese and mushrooms on it (and they also have other vegetarian pizzas all the time). They sell a beautiful cookbook, but since it would be so heavy to bring back, the server let us take a picture of the pizza crust recipe!!! Can't wait to try it out because daaaamn, that was some good pizza.
You can buy the cookbook on Amazon here:
Byron Proper Hamburgers
Even though they have "veggie" in the name, I really prefer veggie burgers that aren't just a bunch of vegetables mashed together. There was a restaurant across the street from our VRBO in Kensington called Byron Proper Hamburgers, and we saw several other locations throughout the city. I looked up their menu and was pleased to see they had several vegetarian burgers, including one that had fried cheese as patty called The Cheese Melt. It's like it was made for me. So, on our last night, we ordered take-out from Byron to eat while we packed. The burger was AWESOME. The bun was really fresh and I loved the sauce on the burger. I knew if I ate all the fried cheese I'd get sick (#gallbladderremovalproblems), so I cut it into a thinner strip and it was perfect. I've never actually seen a burger with a fried cheese patty anywhere else so I loved trying this! My mom also really liked her burger (she had the classic Byron burger) but we were both pretty disappointed in the fries. They basically tasted like stiff McDonald's fries without the salt. Maybe we just got a bad batch, but either way, I was more focused on the burger and it did not disappoint! Oh, and neither did the Oreo cheesecake I had for dessert.
I was going to include Sketch London in this post, but it was so good that I think it deserves its own blog post, so keep an eye out for that!
What are some of your favorite places to eat in London? I'm already dying to go back!
xo - C
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