Did you know the 1st October is World Vegetarian Day? Whether you and your family choose to follow a strictly veggie diet or you like your kids to embrace meat-free meals now and again, we’ve searched high and low across the capital to bring you fifteen of the finest family-friendly vegetarian restaurants. Some hidden gems and a few high street heroes, it’s pretty tasty list…
Buhler + Co
A favourite of Table Talk guest and editor of The Early Hour – Annie Ridout, Buhler + Co in Walthamstow is a divine veggie cafe that’s become a neighbourhood favourite. Owned by New Zealand sisters Meg and Rosie Bühler, both day and night menus shine with world flavours. Forget drab vegetarian fry ups, Buhler + Co have it licked – fried corn and polenta cakes, fried eggs, halloumi, smashed avo, house made BBQ and black bean sauce and a moreish paratha to mop up every last bite. The French toast is a winner will little ones and by night, the sweet potato croquets and halloumi fries, both small plates, are an ideal bite for kids. Bookings only accepted for ten or more, so rock up early mamas as this veggie joint is queue-worthy.
8 Chingford Road, London E17 4PJ
The Hive Wellbeing
If a weekend trip to the V&A Museum of Childhood takes you to Bethnal Green, be sure to save time for a bite at The Hive Wellbing. With a focus on simple organic food, their cold pressed juices detoxify, food nourishes, coffee ignites the senses and their natural wines warm the soul. Whilst the kids sink their teeth into The Hive’s signature veggie burger – a yummy mix of mushroom, courgette and pumpkin seed formed into a patty and topped with chutney, coleslaw and rocket, big kids can aperitivo to their hearts content with an indulgent Italian cheese board and glass of biodynamic wine.
286-290 Cambridge Heath Rd, cnr. Vyner St, London E2 9DA
A cafe with a conscience and kicking vegetarian and vegan bites to boot, MOTHER in Hackney Wick understands the importance of organic ingredients and they proudly source over 90% of their products and produce from organic suppliers. From breakfast to dinner, food is flavoursome and entirely vegan. Bagel fiend tots will go nuts for their peanut butter and banana gluten free bagel with cinnamon + date syrup, for lunch spice up September with a Sri Lankan inspired curry with shredded jackfruit, sweet potato and spinach and coconut rice and for sleep-deprived mamas The Kick Starter smoothie laced with coconut Mylk, espresso, cacao, dates, cashews and cinnamon is a dream and perfect for that one-handed parenting at mealtime juggle!
1 Canalside, Here East Estate, London E20 3BS, UK
Possibly not one for prams but with older tots, the small and stylish Kin is a must-visit. A hop, skip and a jump from Goodge Street station, the team at Kin keep things simple, seasonal and scrumptious. Healthy superfood pots, banana and chia puds and polenta scrambles are served for brunch and come lunchtime their colourful salads, soups, stews and quiches line the corner in abundance. If you’re off with the kids on a Friday, Kin’s Burger Fridays are a meat-free marvel. Stacked high and bursting with flavour and colour, you won’t be in disappointed. Cold-pressed juices and cakes are great for a grab and go treat. A true veggie find in Fitzrvoia.
22 Foley Street, London, W1W 6DT
If you’re looking for a deliciously different meat-free meal whilst out for a mooch around Oxford Circus, then take a hop, skip and a jump to Eastcastle Street to feast on the wonders of Ethos. With marble for days and stripped birch trees lining the restaurant, this stylish pay-by-weight eatery is not only rich with vegetarian dishes but also specialises in vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free treats. With oodles of choice, kids can pile their plates with goodness including corn on the cob oozy with vegan butter and spring onions, moorish Thai sweetcorn fritters and an abundance of scrummy salads. For a divine treat, the dessert table is heavenly – peanut butter bombs, raw caramel flapjacks and gooey chocolate brownies are just the tip of the sugar-free iceberg.
48 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8DX
Promoting healthy eating for nearly three decades, The Gate’s Middle-East-meets-Mediterranean dishes hero vegetables from starter to Sunday roast. If heading for brunch with the babe, why not add a little spice to your mid-mornings with their lip-smacking Heuvos Rancheros. A golden corn tortilla laden with re-fried beans, fried organic eggs, a fiery Colombian Aji salsa, green jalapeño and corriander relish, between bites be sure to keep your cool with a mean-green with a kale, green apple, lemon and lime juice. With a dedicated kids menu serving up two courses for £6.50, little ones will go nuts for sietan nuggets served with mushy peas and chips and for finger-food loving tots why not order the potato and cheddar croquettes.
22-24 Seymour Pl, Marylebone, London W1H 7NL
Pre-babe we could often be found braving the queue for a post-work bite at their Soho eatery. Now with toddler firmly by our side, our love for one of the capital’s oldest vegetarian restaurants hasn’t waned. Swapping Soho for the child-friendly outpost in Camden Town, whether central or north, the seasonal menu is still winning. Hearty vegetarian dishes see wood roasted mushroom and ale pie sit alongside stir fried vegetables, green falafel and a kicking sri lankan curry. Order a set of the small plates for dinky diners – gyoza dumplings will be gone in a flash as will the smashed avocado and corn chips, a scrummy noshy bite big and little kids will love.
9 Jamestown Road, London, NW1 7BW
Jaz and Jul’s Chocolate House
Yes, you read correctly – Chocolate. House! Located on Islington’s Chapel Market, Jaz and Jul’s naturally flavoured hot chocolates have won them accolades. From the Gingerbread man, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger to the Orangeytang, a potent citrus and cardamon hit, their kids hot chocolate – a smaller and sweeter serve is still a divine treat. If we can steer you away from the cocoa-laden loveliness, you’ll be pleased to hear their Jaz and Jul’s food menu is packed with vegetarian dishes perfect for the nippy Autumnal days. Back bean chilli in savoury chocolate and tomato sauce, veggie sausage rolls and chickpea pancakes both loaded with salad. North London bound this half term? Head to Jaz and Jul’s Chocolate House for cookie decorating – they provide you with shaped cookies to suit the season – be it gingerbread, snowflakes, hearts, ghosts and witch hats, icing and sprinkles. £6 per person, minimum 5 people. Must be booked in advance.
1 Chapel Market, London, N1 9EZ
Maple & KING’S
Bringing balance to the plates of London, Maple & Co have been touted as one of the best healthy restaurants in the capital. Canadian chef Adria Wu has fused together her learnings at Le Cordon Bleu and the College of Naturopathic Medicine to delight family diners with ingenious lunch boxes packed with protein and then layered with veggies of your choice. From smoked five spice tofu to grilled halloumi transform your base with a green poke bowl or quaint English garden. With kids in tow, the halloumi wrap in a multigrain flatbread is a great nutritious swap for the usual lunchtime sarnie. The Sunday Funday smoothie is also a fab sweet treat loaded with raw cacao, banana, honey, avocado and oat or almond milk.
Unit 1, 3 Pancras Square, N1C 4UR, King’s Cross, London, UK
The brainchild of three Swiss brothers – Daniel, Christian and Retro Frei, tibits was designed to change the face of vegetarian family dining and that it did. With 8 restaurants across Europe and 2 in London, this pay-by-weight eatery has over 40 vegetarian and vegan salads, hot dishes and desserts lined up for you to try on their signature food boat. Seasonal, fresh and influenced by Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, wide-eyed little ones can savour classics with a twist such as macaroni & broccoli cheese to fusion flavoured salads – raw Pad Thai vegetables, avocado mint hummus and orichette pasta salad.
124 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SW
Wimbledon based mamas and papas if you’re on the hunt for a family-friendly veggie gem then hot foot it over to the bijoux Lu-Ma Cafe. Celebrating fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, Lu-Ma’s children’s menu is stacked with choice. From homemade baked beans (sugar-free) on gluten-free toast to the incredible BBQ jackfruit burger, served in a toasted bun and topped with mashed avocado, lettuce, marinated red onion and red cabbage, this truly is one of the finest vegetarian-friendly children’s menus in the capital.
143 Worple Road, Wimbledon SW19 4JZ
Parsons Green parents will already know the virtues of Californian hip hangout Hally’s. Opened in 2013 by hubby and wife duo Anna Halliday and husband Philip Beatty, the menu boasts an array of farm-to-table produce. Bet it bountiful salads or a comfort food family classic – succulent meatballs in a spicy tomato stew with toasted gruyere on sourdough, the small plates and sarnies are ideal for dinky diners looking for lunch. For Parsons Green mamas on the school run, Little H across the road from Hally’s is the perfect pitstop for coffee, bliss balls and a warming bowl of quinoa, oat and almond milk porridge.
Hally’s: 60 New Kings Road, London, SW6 4LS / Little H: 267 New Kings Road, Parsons Green, SW6 4RB
VEGGIE HIGH STREET HEROES
Dinner at Wagamama
Designed around the notion that meat-free needn’t mean taste-free, Wagamama’s vegan and vegetarian menu features six flavoursome family-friendly dishes – four sides and two fruit loaded sorbets for dessert. Kid’s will adore the Yasai Gyoza packed with vegetables and a moorish dipping sauce and the Yaskai Yaki Soba is a noodle dream packed with mushrooms, peppers, beansprouts and spring onions – a plate is perfect for two little ones to tuck in and share. Discover the full menu here.
Various locations around London
Whilst it’s not exclusively veggie, Zizzi’s Bambini menu deserves a mention. With vegetarian dishes outweighing meatier morsels, kids can kick-start their meal with crunchy crudités with bean and basil pesto dip. Veggie mains included a myriad of pasta dishes including a classic pomodoro, a winning cheese and pea formaggi perfect for slurping with spaghetti and a veggie packed super green pesto. Decorate your own Margheritas allow for extra veggies to be scattered atop and the greens keep on coming sides including. Tender stem broccoli and green beans. Tiny Tummies and babes early into exploring baby-led weaning will love weeny portions of the pomodoro pasta and garlic bread.
Various locations around London
It may be a high-street stalwart but if you’re scooting around town with the kids and looking for a vegetarian bite then Veggie Pret is hard to beat. Affordable, accessible and now in three locations across London, Veggie Pret has flourished since its days as a Soho pop up. We love their rainbow veggie pots for a kiddie friendly snack, hummus, carrots, radishes and mustard cress is always a winner and for a pud alternative the dairy-free chocolate chia pot is super – a rich and creamy vegan chia pot combining soaked chia seeds, coconut yoghurt and a dark chocolate sauce topped with fresh blueberries and pomegranate.
Various locations: Exmouth Market / Great Eastern Street / Broadwick Street