London, aah London. My favorite city ever.
It is considered a heaven for vegans and vegetarians, not surprisingly it’s ranked as the second city more “vegan-friendly” in Europe (the first is Berlin).
So if you are thinking of traveling to the UK, do not think twice and book the tickets because it’s definitely worth (also over the food :D).
I have been in London three times, of which one as a vegetarian (2013) and one as a vegan (2015).
Now I’m going to tell you how I survived!
With the hotel where I stayed in 2015 I’ve been lucky enough.
Cheap, clean, located in central London and friendly, helpful staff. Breakfast was included in the price.
And guess what? The hotel owners were very probably vegetarians because at breakfast instead of the typical English breakfast with sausage, bacon and eggs there were toast with butter (with the possibility to choose also vegan butter! :D), English style beans and eggs (that I have politely declined).
Drink choices were two: tea or coffee.
VEGAN FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS AND FAST FOOD CHAINS
In the British capital it is now widespread the veg philosophy, so you can always find a veggie or vegan option, even in places where you couldn’t expect.
In the menu 90 times out of 100 there is a space dedicated to vegetarian dishes or simply there is a indicating that the dish is “suitable for vegetarians and vegans“.
Also fast food chains have veg choices, even in places that represent the “antivegan” like McDonald’s and Burger King that sell veg burger called Vegetable Deluxe (Mc) and Veggie Bean Burger (BK).
If you love ethnic food instead, in Indian, Chinese and Japanese restaurants you can find alternatives different from the usual curry chicken or salmon sashimi.
For example Yo! Sushi offers a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes (with a small change some can become vegan).
When I was having dinner at this restaurant I ate noodles with vegetables, fried dumplings made of potatoes and spices, veggie sushi and wakame (seaweed seasoned with soy beans and carrots).
In the Japanese fast food Wasabi there were various types of vegan sushi, too.
I took the mixed box with avocado, cucumber and carrots sushi, fried tofu and rice, seaweed salad and soy beans.
But the best Asian restaurant in my opinion was Wagamama, which however has more vegetarian options than for vegans. Such as ramen that I loved so much.
Instead if you would like to eat Italian food, it’s very easy to request at any pizzeria to omit the cheese and let it fill with only vegetables.
So I did at Pizza Hut and Prezzo Italian Restaurant.
Never seen so much choice of vegan products in a supermarket.
The most provided of all is Whole Foods, it sells vegetable milk of all kinds, tofu or seitan sausages, vegan mince, puddings and soy, rice or coconut yogurts, vegan cheese, chocolates of all kinds (also the white one :cool:) and so on and so forth!
I don’t know how I managed to not take away everything.
Also Holland and Barrett’s is very provided, they have a lot of plant based products such as chickn’ nuggets, ham and salami of all kinds, roasted duck made with seitan 8-O, soy cheese and even vegan marshmallows!
However generally in any market you enter you will find a vegetarian dedicated department with always something new to try, but watch your wallet.. these products are not the ultimate in convenience! :Neutral:
TYPICAL ENGLISH DISHES (or almost ..)
Why “almost”? Simple!
Because in the land of the Fish & Chips and the Black pudding (a pudding made with pork blood :S ) most typical vegan dishes are vegan because they are revisited.
But sometimes you can turn a blind eye and give in to the temptations .. and so I did.
I tasted a delicious dish of traditional fish and chips, accompanied by peas and tartar sauce. Yummy!
Ahahahah I’m just kidding, this is not a real fish, but a TOFUSH, made with tofu and seaweed. 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
You can find this dish totally vegan with other delicious dishes at the first London’s vegetarian pub, The Coach and Horses, Soho.
In some restaurants it was possible to have a Full English Breakfast revisited in vegan style (with scrambled tofu, seitan sausages, veggie bacon, beans and toast), but unfortunately I never had the opportunity to have one.. 😦
SWEETS AND SNACKS
I don’t go crazy for sweets, especially if they are too caloric, but sometimes there can be ok.
How could I renounce to the taste of vegan cupcakes of Ms. Cupcake?
Ms. Cupcake is a vegan bakery located in Brixton, she also sells some sweets in the various Whole Foods chains around London, so you can find them almost everywhere.
In the moment I saw them in the shelve I immediately bought some.
This I tried was the chocolate and peanut butter one but there were every imaginable kind: banana, chocolate, strawberry ..
If I had had a low blood sugar, I would have bought them all!
But don’t worry, if you plan to stay on a diet, the temptation would reach you everywhere. Even in clothes shops!
Now I understand why most of the people who live in big cities like London is fat. The companies find a way to make you eat 24h-24h, even when you don’t think about food! Ahahaha
Lola’s Cupcakes for example had a sweet stand even in Topshop, a clothing store!
When I saw that they had vegan brownies I could not resist them.
I would like to conclude this article with vegan delicacies of Camden Town Market, that besides the stand that sells kangaroo, crocodile and zebra meat there are many stands that sell vegan food.
And that’s where I had for lunch.
The stand was called QUINOA VEGETARIAN and they sold a mixed vegan dish with a savory pancake, peppers, potatoes, rice, lentils, broccoli, a kale salad and quinoa, garnished with a delicious pink sauce.
Other stands were selling vegan churros, raw cakes, veggie burgers and more..
In short, London is a perfect city for vegans and vegetarians, full of beautiful places, such as big green parks, interesting museums to visit and admire, various attractions..
And for the lovers of the most famous wizard boy of all time I would advise to go to visit The Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studios (where vegetarians can taste the Butterbeer!) and the real King’s Cross station to catch the train at platform 9 3/4 and relive the magical moments that the protagonist of the saga lived.
And you? Have you ever been to England? How did you approach the situation? Comment telling me your veg experiences!
And if you’ve never been to London, I hope this guide will help you if one day you go there!