London is my home, where I was born and where I have lived for 24 years. But I have now lived abroad for 4 years so when I come back I feel like I am discovering a new city.
Over the past few trips back I have been exploring my home city finding the healthy food options London has to offer.
Kings Cross is becoming a little food hub with such great places opening up. Granger & Co (they have other locations around the city) is a little gem. The décor is lovely, very smart and the use of elegant gold and brass give the place a special feeling. The menu is good for gluten-free and vegan diets, although frustratingly not so good if your vegan and gluten free, but they were very accommodating. The chef even wrote over the menu for me highlighting what I could eat, and they made a few adjustments for me to make what I wanted. I had the chia parfait and the buckwheat bowl, which had poached egg, seeds and coconut yoghurt. The buckwheat bowl was amazing, one of the best breakie ever. It had such a great range of flavours and textures bringing this dish together. The coconut yoghurt which they substituted for me instead of the goats yoghurt provided an amazing sweetness alongside the beets, the grains and seeds the crunch and the coriander perfectly uniting the meal. I highly highly recommend this bowl.
We used to go to the smaller Caravan site in exmouth market and when the Kings Cross one opened we were there all the time. It is such a great space, in my view one of the nicest eating spaces in London, it is very casual and vibrant. The Kings Cross site has a more interesting menu and an allergy menu. I had the grain bowl which was very similar to the dish I had a Granger and Co and again I loved it.
Home for me will always be Islington as I have lived most of my life here. I love this borough, it is diverse, with great markets and shops, it’s close to everywhere and it now has a great range of restaurants with new ones opening all the time.
People travel far to come to this pub. It is like stepping into the countryside in the city. We used to go to this pub every week with my dog, yes they allow dogs and it is such a warm and cozy place. My favorite part is the salon room with sofas, armchairs and a fireplace, the main bar area is also really lovely to sit in for food (I’m not such a fan of the restaurant seating area it is a bit more formal and less cozy). It is also an amazing place in the summer with a gorgeous back garden with fairy lights in the tree. The food is typical pub food but very good, its not as good for intolerances you may be just having some side salads but its great for just a drink if not.
Ottolenghi in my opinion changed the face of vegetarian eating, Yotam Ottolenghi was one of the firsts to make vegetables the main event and to bring a range of flavours and choices to one plate. When you step into Ottolenghi you will be drooling instantly. First you’ll see the amazing dessert display, it is always packed and full of amazing mini cakes, loafs, meringues, cakes, pastries, muffins and more it is pretty spectacular. Then you will see the salad plates, again stunningly displayed and such mouthwatering choices. You can order from the menu and from these displays. There are lots of great vegetarian options and the menu is always changing. There are not many explicitly vegan or gluten free options but you can more often than not make substitutions and find something yummy. Not so lucky with cakes, there are gluten free cakes but no vegan ones.
I love this little cafe, it is in the residential area of Islington so you wouldn’t expect it to have been so successful, but it is always packed and at the weekend there is a huge line. This is a testament to just how good this place is. The menu changes and there are really interesting items. There are a couple of delicious gluten free and vegan options I had the avocado on gluten free toast which was super scrummy.
I adore Exmouth Market, it is a little hub of restaurants, cafes and cute shops. There are stalls that open at lunch serving quick lunches and in the evening people are spilling out onto the street socializing and drinking, there is always a lovely atmosphere.
A new Mexican restaurant as just opened up and they serve yummy food and some really delicious salads, which can be vegan and gluten free.
This is another great restaurant in exmouth market, but not as great if you don’t eat meat or fish but as a fish eater I love this place.
Modern pantry is run by a chef who has been inspired by her time in New Zealand and she has created these bright clean spaces. The cafe is a fantastic spot for breakfast. We had one of our nicest mornings here, a gorgeous walk there from Angel, walking through some of the gorgeous backstreets of London on a rare fresh dry morning in London. I had a bit of a splurge having two drinks, I rarely order drinks in cafes but I had the green juice and the Matcha coconut latte, both which were scrummy. It was the best Matcha latte I have ever had, it has the perfect Matcha strength. Then for breakfast I had the chia seed pudding with blackberries, quinoa, caraway and toasted buckwheat served with honey and coconut yoghurt, it was gluten free and vegan and the flavor of the caraway with the coconut and blackberries was really special. We also went to their other location on Finsbury Square, this site is a bit more corporate but still really beautifully designed and great food.
Camden/Primrose hill/ Hampstead Heath:
Make sure you are in London and near chalk farm/Hampstead heath on Wednesday as this fish and chippy serves gluten free fish and chips on Wednesdays only. Being able to indulge in a yummy crispy slightly greasy meal is always a big treat as this is something I can’t really make myself at home.
Primrose hill is a very beautiful part of London, I love walking along the canal through Camden to regents park and primrose hill. They are two of the nicest parks in London. Greenberry is this lovely cafe just up from primrose hill, which has a good allergy friendly menu where you can stop in for just a drink, breakfast or lunch.
Although very touristy a few of the stalls serve great allergy friendly options.
Is located in a yoga studio but they serve great range of vegan and gluten-free snacks, treats and lunches. I love their range of drinks, interesting waters, coconut waters, teas and smoothies.
From Angel walking the opposite way along the canal you get to Hackney and Broadway market. I adore the canal, there are not many better places to be in London than walking along the canal. Especially from angel to Broadway market. It has been kept so well with beautiful flowers along the way and there are cafes along the way like the Towpath cafe which serves yummy looking items. https://towpathcafe.wordpress.com
This was one of the best meals we had, it is a Middle Eastern restaurant, which is one of my favorite cuisines. They were really helpful with my intolerances and I had the roasted eggplant, the pumpkin, hummus and they were exceptional dishes. The eggplant in particular was completely divine. The restaurant itself is in a great setting under the railway arches so it feels very intimate, romantic and fun.
This is a great cafe in braodway market, allergy friendly foods, serving great salads and yummy sweet treats. They have a fab tea menu with lots of options. Such a cute spot.
Next to Tiosk is this fab deli and they have some gluten free and vegan savory and sweet items. We had one of the salads, and falafels which was ace.
we didn’t get time to try this place but next time I am back for sure we will. They have a good looking gluten free menu.
One of our favorite places to go on the weekend is borough market. We go there early before it becomes packed with tourists and enjoy a lazy mooch through the stalls getting delicious fresh produce. There are many great food stalls serving scrumptious things like free from baked goods, yummy vegan indian food stands and now some cafes in the area that have great allergy friendly options.
A lovely noodle bar serving great gluten-free vegan options.
Has some yummy dairy free hot chocolate and chocolate.
A great spot if you are looking for a yummy special spot for dinner. The menu isn’t particularly allergy friendly but you can find some things that you can have but choice is limited. What you will find will be packed with delicious Middle Eastern flavor.
Nr Oxford St
When you are having a shopping day around Oxford street, these are some great food options.
How amazing to have a fantastic healthy food place on Oxford St. For years I have been searching for nice places to eat after shopping with my mum and finally a place you can have a delicious meal.
Walking into Vantra and you can immediately see all the delicious options out you can eat. Select a box size and you can fill it with any of the lovely dishes. All vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free etc. I had a scrummy box with chickpeas, aubergines, coconut curry and sprouted lentils. It was such a delicious lunch, with good inside seating and great drinks and sweet options.
This restaurant is styled like a Ottolenghi restaurant if you have ever been there you know what I mean- with platters of food, all looking very beautifully presented and yummy. Ethos is great for intolerances clearly highlighting what allergies in each dish – unfortunately if you have lots of intolerances like me there are not many dishes that are vegan and gluten-free. They are a popular spot so prepare to wait for a table. Overall it is a nice setting to have a meal and some nice food options so it’s a good one to try but I wasn’t left wowed by anything.
Selfridge’s food hall is such a great place when you’re not sure what you feel like. You can walk around all the different stands and get whatever you want in whatever quantity you want.
There are a few branches of this great cafe/restaurant, including two near oxford street. I love places that have huge platters of food to choose from, this place has delicious options, amazing salads that will have you salivating, great drinks and sweet treats. There are labels so you can identify what is gluten-free and dairy-free etc.
Tucked away inside this beautiful building in Carnaby street is this little cafe. It is a part of a yoga studio so there are limited seats but if you need a pretty place with great health snacks juices and smoothies to escape to this is the perfect place.
Start of your time in Covent Garden at 26 grains for a delicious bowl of grains or pop here for lunch. They have porridge, muesli’s and some savoury options. When I say porridge you may be thinking I can just have that at home but these bowls of grains are particularly special and the presentation and taste is hard to recreate. They have their own oat roller so the oats are gluten free and they use many other gluten free grains. Most of the items are also vegan. I highly recommend the Nordic porridge and Turmeric latte, totally yummy.
I loved this place so much I went back for another meal this time for lunch and had the sweet potatoe amaranth and kale bowl, it was so delicious and such an interesting way to use amaranth. The flavors were spot on and it’s a perfect size for lunch.
Once you have explored Covent Garden for lunch or dinner head to this fantastic place. It is actually just opposite from 26 grains. You can easily spot the building as it is beautifully coloured on the outside. You will not be disappointed here, a totally vegan and mostly gluten-free menu containing such scrumptious items. I could not decide I wanted to try everything, I ended up choosing the falafel wrap, which was made squash and coconut pitta, this was a truly delicious dish, packed with flavor. Then the raw chocolate tart which was melt in your mouth good, and richly divine. Wild Food Cafe has a homely warm space serving a huge range of innovative food. It is a must in London.
Salad Pride, we didn’t get time to try but it was next to 26 grains and looked yummy.
We stopped by here for breakfast but they also serve yummy lunch items. We tried a range of things; the acai bowl, the so fresh and clean bowl, the paleo waffles and they were all really scrummy. I was really impressed with the menu, a huge selection and a good range of allergy friendly items but also catering to a wide range of people.
We didn’t have time to try but I wish we had it is all dairy free, gluten free and free from refined sugars.
We didn’t have time to try but I wish we had it is all vegan, raw and gluten free.
Again another one we didn’t get to try but I wish we had, all vegan gluten free options and menu looks super scrummy.
Leon was one of the first healthy fast food options in London. You can check their website online for a comprehensive breakdown of ingredients in each item. Lots of gluten free, vegan options, not so many soya free options though.
Serving a great range of Asian dishes, when you are there ask for the allergy menu, this is a comprehensive amazing menu where you can order with peace of mind knowing exactly what is in each dish.