London 2019 🇬🇧Ⓥ
London is one of my favorite vegan destinations in the world, and they are always ranked in the top 10 on all lists for international destinations for vegans. On my first trip in 2017, I didn't expect too much flavor or culture; however, I left with an addiction to Cookdaily and Temple of Seitan. This is my third trip here, so I wanted to discover new places and a few recommendations by local friends.
After a $30 flight on Eurowings from Cologne, I landed at Heathrow and took the metro to meet Twiggles at Picadilly Circus station. We walked to Thai Metro, which was fitting for my long journey through Europe to get to Thailand. Thai Metro is not a vegan/vegetarian restaurant, but you can request vegan options (tip: remind them no fish sauce). I usually don't recommend non-vegan restaurants, but either I was really hungry or Pad Thai was really good.
Travel tips for London: You don't need a metro card for public transportation, if you have Apple pay or a touchless credit/debit card. Don't take the express train from the airport, just use the metro. I used public transportation to get everywhere, but it takes an hour minimum on most trips. If you need to get to your destination quicker, take an Uber as they are much cheaper than taxis.
I prefer to only eat at vegan/vegetarian restaurants, so the next stop was Wicked Vegan. Found this restaurant on HappyCow, and it was one of the closest and highest rated vegan place in the area where we were staying. There menu featured American-style foods; like burgers, wraps, shakes and brews. We got the Wicked Chicken and Bean Jammin (cashews on a burger, I'm here for it) burgers with fries.
Afterwards, took a stroll through Carnaby Street, which features tons of shopping and pubs. As you walk through London, you'll always noticed cruelty-free protests. We happened to pass the Canada Goose store, where protesters were showing how the furs and feathers were sourced and removed from helpless animals to be fitted on the hoods and jackets stuffed to keep you warm. On that note: please stop contributing to torture for your fashion needs.
Travel tip: My favorite neighborhood is Shoreditch located in East London. There's tons of vegan food and the culture and atmosphere is unparalleled. Boxpark, which is a retail development from shipping containers featuring pop-ups, is always my favorite spot to grab dinner and drinks before heading out. The Shoreditch station is located right underneath it, so you can't miss it when you exit the station.
Got the chance to meet up with Saskia, the plant-based marketing guru of London. She recommend Genesis which is just around the corner from the Shoreditch station. The menu was international, featuring veganized versions of cultural favorites from all over the world. The fryer was down for our visit, so we were forced to eat like healthy vegans and we still couldn't complain. We ordered the Middle Eastern salad, New York Deli taco, and a vegan döner kebab.
Saskia also recommended the Green Grill, located inside The Green Vic – "the world's most ethical pub." We stopped in for dinner before a JMSN concert at Underground Village. Highly recommend making reservations as it seems to be a popular spot. We ordered the Red Devil with a beetroot bun and Mighty Meaty with a charcoal bun. Our friends from Nashville joined us, and they ordered the cheez bites and a vegan cheez board (not pictured). All the food was amazing, even tried vegan blue cheese and became a fan.
Interesting thing about traveling around the world is that you run into people that you've met in other countries/continents. During my trip to Australia in 2018, Amira (planttbasedbae) gave me the vegan tour around Newtown in Sydney. Fortunately, she was in London when on my trip through, so it was only necessary that we continue to indulge in plant-based goodness in another country.
She took me to Camden Town, which has more than enough vegan options to satisfy all your cravings. We went to the vegan pizza spot, Purezza. They had a stacked menu with all things pizza, a speciality assortment of crusts, cheeses, and toppings. Our plan was to overload on carbs, so we got two pizzas and mac&cheese. One of the pizzas came with lemon zest, who knew!? (Don't knock it till you try it.)
We strolled around Camden market afterwards for churros and drooling over all the other vegan restaurants. You definitely can't go wrong stopping through Camden neighborhood, and it's definitely worth the trip. Honestly, there's vegan food all over London at every hour of the day; you can't miss it.
My last and favorite spot was recommended by so many people; however, only a few people in London had heard of it. Eat of Eden is a Caribbean style restaurant, offering large plates and shareable portions. We made it there just before closing, so we decided to take whatever they recommended to-go. They stuffed everything from plantains, greens, sweet potatoes, chickpea curry, fritters, and mac&cheese in one bowl. Best meal on the entire trip, it just felt like home and warmed my heart.
If the pound was ever less valuable than the US dollar, I would move to London. However, it's just too expensive for my taste, but it will forever have a place in my heart. London is top 3 on my personal list of vegan travel destinations, so I'll be back soon.
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