London’s Most Sustainable Vegan..ish Restaurants
by Emily Harris
London’s restaurant scene is set to cater to almost any dietary requirement, food preference and culture, but what about restaurants that place fresh seasonal vegetables, locally sourced produce and zero food waste at the forefront of their ethos and practices?
You might think that offering a vegan menu or even being wholly vegan means that a restaurant is 100% automatically planet-kind. But some of the spots included in this article go that one step further into introducing more sustainable practices from produce to plate (and everything in between).
Photo credit: Spring
Somerset House, Lancaster Pl, London WC2R 1LA
Spring is at the top of this list because it has so many different initiatives at play. While they do have vegetarian and vegan options, this is a good choice for all you flexitarians. With renowned Australian chef Skye Gyngell at the helm, Spring has its Pre Theatre Scratch Menu which uses ingredients that would otherwise go to waste, so each menu is altered daily with zero waste in mind. Spring has also pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastics, to be one of London’s first plastic-free restaurants. On top of all this, their produce is organic and brought in from Heckfield Place Home Farm who use a biodynamic calendar to grow their fruit, veg and flowers. Oh, it also has a stunning interior, ideal for the ‘gram.
Photo credit: Farmacy
74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH
With their motto ‘from soil to sun’, Farmacy serves fully plant-based, seasonal meals that are free from dairy, refined sugar, additives and chemicals. The ingredients they use for each delicious dish are grown on their very own farm based in Kent or sourced from sustainable, conscious suppliers. The Farmacy farm, too, works off a biodynamic calendar which grows fruit, veg and herbs. These are delivered weekly to their restaurant in Notting Hill in an electric van, no less. Their aim through biodynamic farming is to challenge traditional food systems and reconnect the food we eat back to the soil it’s grown in (while eating nothing but plants).
Photo credit: No. 11 Pimlico Road
11 Pimlico Rd, Belgravia, London SW1W 8NA
Each restaurant part of the Darwin & Wallace group is thoughtfully created and impresses every time. With a vast vegan menu, each dish is cooked from scratch daily. Being part of the Sustainable Restaurant Association since they began in 2013, Darwin & Wallace have always been conscious of controlling food waste, product packaging and sourcing British or local produce. Darwin & Wallace also have outdoor spaces and bar gardens in a number of their restaurants, which they recognise as crucial to creating more green space in an ever-growing concrete city. You can read some more about their sustainability practices here. We particularly love the sites at No. 11 Pimlico Road if you’re based in the West of London, or No. 35 Mackenzie Walk if you’re further East.
Photo credit: Mercato Metropolitano
42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR
Mercato Metropolitano pride themselves on being ‘London’s first sustainable community food market focused on revitalising neighbourhoods and protecting the environment’. Based in Elephant & Castle and Mayfair, with another set to open in Ilford (fab news for East Enders,), they’re leaping ahead with their sustainability initiatives and supportive development processes. These include the banning of single-use plastics, a partnership with Too Good To Go (one of London’s best food saving apps), reducing office waste with Paper Round, and the inclusion of water refill stations as part of the Refill London Campaign. With over 40 food stalls to choose from, many of them are vegan or have tasty vegan food and alcohol options.
Photo credit: Daylesford
208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W11 2RH
Daylesford is arguably one of the biggest names in the organic farming market, but they also have a few cafes in London where you can have a taste of their fresh produce in action from a few of their vegan options. Their farm in Gloucestershire is rooted in pioneering the future of organic farming through zero waste, using clean energy (they aim to be 75% energy self-sufficient by 2020), using 100% recyclable reusable or compostable packaging (like our packaging at allplants) and finally, sourcing ingredients responsibly and naturally.
It’s incredibly exciting to see all of these restaurants place sustainable development at the forefront of their practices and beliefs, and how veganism is increasingly a part of that.
Know any other great sustainable restaurants in London that fit the bill? Let us know in the comments!
By Emily Harris
Emily is our Social and Content Assistant who you’ll find at an art gallery, snapping away on her camera, or updating her Instagram with a gin in hand (so millennial).