Veg Dining in London

London Notting Hill

Who knew that London was so vegan/vegetarian friendly? Well, I’m sure Londoners have long known, but this Louisvillian certainly did not. Having never been there I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

Now, I’m going to make a little confession: While we go vegan whenever possible while traveling, we tend to relax a bit and go vegetarian when that is not an option. I realize that this doesn’t adhere to the strict vegan code of conduct, but that’s what works best for us.

But, moving on, our veg food journey actually started with our flight. When booking our tickets with Delta, we requested the vegan/vegetarian option in the check box. However, we weren’t expecting to actually get a special, full-on vegan meal. But to our surprise, that’s actually what we got. And not only that, it was really good (for airplane food, that is).

While in London, we made an effort to hit a number of pubs. All of the pubs we visited or checked the menu had a vegetarian option (including a vegetarian English breakfast, which I’m going to recreate in vegan form this weekend), and we’re not talking a sad veggie burger. And restaurants make sure to advertise that they offer vegan/vegetarian options, too. We stopped at the Duke of Wellington pub in Notting Hill (the picture above was taken on a stroll through Notting Hill) on two separate occasions. The first time was for dinner, which was a dish of grilled vegetables with goat cheese served over warm polenta and topped with almonds and a spring mix salad on the side. The second time was for a delicious vegetarian breakfast, probably the best we had.

In the neighborhood we stayed, Kensington, we dined at a wonderful Lebanese restaurant, Orjowan. The hummus was outstanding, and I had a delicious okra dish that I’m hoping to recreate as well.

London has several huge markets that go on every day. We stopped at the Borough Market in Southwark, which is more food-focused than the other markets. The smells from all of the food vendors was amazing and we had the best falafel ever at this little, nondescript stand.

The best meal of our trip was on our last night there. Our travel book recommended Diwana Bhel Poori House (can’t find a website) on Drummond Street in Bloomsbury. The place is small and very simple, and the booths aren’t the most comfortable and the service not the most friendly. But the food makes up for it. We split a huge dosa, and a poori dish that came with all of these enticing sauces and small pakoras. Apparently, their lunch buffet is outstanding and cheap.

We actually rented an apartment instead of a hotel, which I highly recommend. This allowed us to make breakfast there and bring home leftovers so we could save money. London certainly does not have a shortage of small groceries, which we made use of, and we even stopped in the Whole Foods. While similar to the Whole Foods here in the states, there were still a lot of products I had never seen before. We were able to pick up some wonderful vegan banana muffins for breakfast, and stock up on lunch items for a couple of days.

London is truly an amazing city for so many reasons, and we feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to go. As a vegan or vegetarian, you certainly won’t go hungry, that’s for sure.

I hope you all are well!

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