Myra's Vegetarian London Guide
Banish thoughts of limp veggie burgers and half-hearted mushroom risottos, Myra's favourite vegetarian restaurants in London serve up original, meat-free dishes worthy of the capital's foodie status.
This Soho stalwart of over 20-years is a hot favourite with the Myra team at lunchtime and you'll often find us braving the queue for dinner too.
Mildred's is no secret so be prepared to wait for a table at peak times, but once you're seated you'll eat some of the heartiest veggie food in town, with a vibrant laid-back atmosphere.
The international-inspired menu changes seasonally, but old favourites include stir-fried Asian vegetables, a black bean burrito, a Sri Lankan sweet potato curry and a chocolate and peanut butter brownie (a real crowd pleaser - at lunch and dinner.)
Lexington Street, W1 | Mildred's
|•| Vanilla Black
Proper grown-up vegetarian food is not easy to find even in a city on the crest of a culinary wave, especially in the testosterone-heavy Square Mile.
Stepping into this meat-free black hole is Vanilla Black. Elegant and sophisticated, this City-based restaurant banished all vegetarian clichés with beautifully crafted, imaginative and contemporary meat-free food.
The menu changes regularly, but as a taster expect to find dishes such as double-baked Ribblesdale pudding, smoked croquette and dried yeast ice cream with red pepper and almond milk purée. Now that beast a pasta bake any day.
Tooks Court, EC4A | Vanilla Black
Surely the country's chicest vegan restaurant, this perennially popular Primrose Hill restaurant is a gourmet destination for the area's discerning crowd, both herbivores and carnivores alike.
The elegance of the simply furnished space is reflected in the food - original, inventive, fresh and, crucially, delicious dishes. The chef is continually updating the menu, but recent dishes include coconut nectar and lime grilled tofu steak, grilled aubergine pockets and artichoke and mushroom and basil risotto.
Erskine Road, NW3 | Manna
A falafel throw away from Oxford Circus, Ethos is staging something of veggielution with its approach to accessible, affordable meat-free food in an easy-going buffet-style atmosphere. You pay by weight and the only problem is one plateful when the marble-topped hot plates groan under the weight of a multitude of delicious dishes.
Alongside traditional veggie favourite such as bean chilli, hummus and baba ganoush, there's an impressive array of inventive salads and hot dishes including feta and aubergine fritters, creamy mushroom pasta and "meatballs". You mustn't leave without trying what is fast becoming their famous scotch egg.
Eastcastle Street, W1 | Ethos
|•| The Gate
Adrian and Michael Daniel opened their first restaurant in Hammersmith in 1989 and expanded north to lovely bright space in Angel a few years ago. The menu across both sites reflects the Daniel brothers' diverse cultural background, one they described as Indo-Iraqi Jewish.
Growing up, Adrian and Michael absorbed their grandmothers' kitchen skills that blended Indian and Arabic Cooking with traditional Jewish food, a culinary lesson that's transferred to their restaurant.
The result is Middle-East-meets-Mediterranean dishes of finely-tuned flavors where vegetables take centre stage with no apology.
St John Street, EC1V & Queen Caroline Street, W6 | The Gate
|•| Amico Bio
Vegetarians can nearly always rely on Italian food as a reliable meat-free standby, but it's rarely as imaginative and lovingly-sourced as Amico Bio, London's first organic Italian restaurant. With its old-school rustic charm, Amico Bio is a nod to traditional Italian restaurants, a feel that's reflected in the food that's full of Mediterranean warmth and panache.
Proprietor and head chef, Pasquale Amico trucks in produce from his family's organic farm in Italy twice a week. The daily menu depends on what is delivered, but signature dishes include melt-in-your-mouth ravioli, fresh piadina and rum baba.
New Oxford Street, WC1A | Amico Bio
Just off Regent Street, this London outpost of the family-run Swiss restaurant serves high-calibre vegetarian comfort food that takes old favourites (pasta, tofu, dal, gnocchi) and conjures up creative, inspired dishes from them. Open from breakfast through to supper, Tibit's unpretentious approach is reflected in the self-service buffet that allows you to choose from over 40 vegetarian and vegan salads, hot dishes and desserts on their signature food boat. A great takeaway option for lunch.
Heddon Street, W1 | Tibits
|•| Jai Krishna
Aesthetically, this Finsbury Park hotspot is most definitely not The Savoy, but what this South Indian restaurant lacks in shabby-not-so-chic décor, it more than makes up for with food so tremendously good that you'll soon forget that sticky laminate tables and the shambolic service.
Try the sambar, dosa and chana kachori for the taste of a world far away from N4 and you can eat like a green queen for little more than £10 a head.
The restaurant is unlicensed so bring your own Kingfisher (there's an off-licence across of the Road).
Stroud Green Road, N4 | Jai Krishna