Book Review: Vegetarian London

Please note: This article was first published on The Vegan Tourist and last updated February 20, 2012.

Vegetarian London is the ultimate guide to all things vegetarian in London, England. The book does not only provide reviews of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, it also lists shops, veggie-friendly accommodations, caterers, local and national animal welfare groups, vegan festivals, and the like. It’s a comprehensive guidebook, and really the only one you’ll need.

The restaurant reviews are grouped into five sections (Central – East London – North London – South & Surrey – West & Middlesex) and those sections are further divided into smaller neighbourhoods. The book also contains maps for many individual neighbourhoods, so if you are looking for restaurants in Soho, you’re immediately able to see where they’re located.

At the front of the book, there’s a summary of all the vegan, vegetarian, and traditional restaurants, and all the shops in each neighbourhood. For example, in Soho there are eight vegan restaurants, eleven vegetarian restaurants, and 32 traditional restaurants (with good vegetarian options) reviewed in this guidebook, as well as 23 shops which might be of interest to ethical consumers.

At the back of the book, you’ll find a number of indexes: shops and restaurants are grouped into “vegan,” “organic,” “cheap eats,” “veggie breakfast,” and a few more. Very useful stuff.

I especially like that this book does not just list restaurants and shops, but also promotes businesses owned and operated by vegans (moving company, certified accountant, etc.).

One thing is immediately obvious: there is a need for more suitable, “vegan-friendly” accommodations in London. There are a few guest houses and B&Bs, and some very expensive hotels, which will provide vegan food upon request, but altogether the list is quite short. Demand exceeds supply.

I found this guidebook very useful, my only complaint is that it includes a large number of traditional restaurants in addition to vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Almost half the listings are for traditional restaurants. I’d prefer it if they weren’t included in this book.

The current, 6th edition is from 2008, and some of the listings are outdated. But there’s a website, which lists updates, so check it out before you travel to London.

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