Veganism is most definitely on the rise. There are now over 600,000 strict vegans in the UK, meaning over 1.1% of the population is now shunning meat, dairy, eggs, honey, wool, silk and leather and instead adopting a greener and more ethical way to live. Even if you’re not a strict vegan, the movement is reaching the British public in other ways. Over half of the British population adopts vegan buying practises such as checking their toiletries are cruelty free and buying vegan products.
The sign-ups for Veganuary – where people eat Vegan for the month of January – doubled in 2019, with over 250,000 people signing up. In comparison, there were 168,500 participants in 2018 and only 59,500 in 2017.
London is undoubtedly one of the best cities in the UK for vegan food. Whether you want a vegan burger at 3am after a night out, or a plant-based fry up as the sun rises, you can find it. In fact, orders of vegan meals grew 388% between 2016 and 2018 meaning it is now the UK’s fastest growing takeaway choice. This is something that UK restaurants have most definitely noticed. Previously meat-heavy restaurants such as Greggs, McDonald’s and Burger King all now have vegan options, alongside the rise of lunchtime chains such as Pret and Itsu taking key products and ‘Veganising them’.
The UK plant based market was worth a whopping £443m in 2018 with that figure expected to be significantly higher when the 2019 results arrive. Several reasons are cited for consumers turning their backs on the meat and dairy industry. Animal cruelty is often the main reason for people to turn vegan, closely followed by health benefits. Indeed, the scientific data for the health benefits of a vegan diet is plentiful. A key Oxford University study found that a global move to a vegan diet would advert 8.1 million premature deaths a year. The British Medical Journal found that those who eat seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day have a 33% reduced risk of premature death, compared with people who eat less than one portion. One of the most recent 2019 studies of more than 12,000 people found that those who ate mostly plant-based foods were 32% less likely to die from heart disease.
Whether you are interested in switching to a vegan diet or fancy more of a flexitarian approach, we have a great selection of vegan-friendly restaurants in South West London, specifically in Battersea, Chelsea and Clapham areas, which offer a whole host of plant-based dishes to dip your vegan toes in.
Wulf & Lamb – Chelsea
Heading across the river into Chelsea you’ll find an Instagram Blogger’s favourite Wulf & Lamb. ‘Run with the wolves, eat with the lambs’ is their ethos, creating tempting and delicious food made entirely out of plants. Expect luxurious Truffle Pasta to a Smoked Tofu Caesar and Chargrilled Cauliflower Steak. For dessert treat yourself to a Brownie and Ice Cream or something from their takeaway counter to nibble on later.
Megan’s – Battersea
Located on the waterfront of the iconic Battersea Power Station development, Megan’s boasts outdoor seating, an abundance of macramé and fairy lit booths. This is the perfect place for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary meal but equally works for a mid-week meal with flair. Alongside their brunch options (which are available until 5pm) they offer vegan and vegetarian options such as Garlic Spinach Filo Parcels, open Posh Kebabs and Buddha Bowls. Mezze platters are a great option if you’re going as a group (and as long as you don’t mind sharing). Their venues are available to book for large groups for private dining options, perfect for Christmas or birthday parties.
Cinnamon Kitchen- Battersea
Also located at Battersea Power Station is Cinnamon Kitchen, famed as one of London’s best contemporary Indian restaurants. Vivek Singh, the man behind ‘The Cinnamon Club’, has designed a full vegan tasting menu. For only £35 you can enjoy mouth-watering dishes such as Chutney Potatoes, Kale and Quinoa Kofta with date and ginger, Punjabi Curry, Tandoori Roti and Saffron Poached Pear. If you’re a fan of Indian Cuisine you really must visit this exquisite establishment.
Eat Of Eden – Clapham
Eat of Eden has two London branches, both of which are in the South West, in Clapham and Brixton. Their motto is to offer vegan food for everyone, with fair and affordable prices and delicious and tasty meals that even non-vegans will be impressed by. It’s perhaps a more casual dining experience, however this does not mean the food is anything other than perfect. Their menus are inspired by Caribbean Ital and European recipes that are ‘made with love’, perfect for a big group of friends or when family come to visit. All their food and drink is organic, meaning you can leave feeling not only satisfied but also content in the knowledge that you’ve eaten ingredients that are as nature intended.
Pho – Battersea Rise
A small but growing chain, Pho gives hungry diners an authentic Vietnamese experience from the moment they step through the door. Whilst they offer an omnivore menu, they have exceptional vegan options to leave you feeling comforted, replenished and most importantly satisfied. Their signature dish is their Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup that is eaten throughout the day in Vietnam to keep works full and warm. Vegan options include Rice Paper Rolls with a sticky, rich peanut sauce, Tofu Pho, Mushroom Pho and an Asian Greens option that can be made spicy or not spicy depending on how you’re feeling.
Fiume – Battersea
Fiume or ‘river’ in Italian, is located at the iconic Grade II Listed Battersea Power Station. This classic Italian restaurant offers several vegan options across its menu. Perhaps their most impressive is the fact that their vegan pizza is not just a tomato base (like many other restaurants) but instead offers vegan cheese alternatives. For dessert they also offer a rich and creamy vegan chocolate mousse with crispy rice and persimmon, which is definitely a much better affair than the usual vegan sorbet options that restaurants call dessert!
If you visit any of these delicious vegan friendly restaurants, or if you know of any others that should be on this list, feel free to tweet us!
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