Veggie Friendly Restaurants in the City




PATTY & BUN (Location: 22/23 Liverpool Street, London EC2M 7PD) ££


I visited Patty & Bun one lunchtime and now wished I hadn't bothered. Not only is the venue expensive for what it is £7.50 for a burger without chips. OK so pretty average priced for a burger bar but not if you are mainly set up to catch people on their lunch hour. The burger was greasy and was simply a large mushroom. I couldn't even stomach the whole burger. I'm not going back even if you paid me.




PING PONG (Location: ) ££


Ping Pong offers a wide variety of dim sum and refreshing cocktails. For vegetarians you can choose from spicy vegetable dumplings, vegetable puff (with a honey sauce for those with a sweet tooth), spinach and mushroom dumplings, vegetable bun (not so keen on) and vegetarian rice. As well as the usual veggie spring rolls and a wide selection of vegetables. Make sure you order rice, otherwise it's not very filling. The food is served quickly and the atmosphere is laid back. At £3 a dish plus 12.5% service charge, it can get quite expensive for what it is as you end up ordering around 5/6 dishes per person plus drinks. But it's a great place to go with a group of friends, as more dishes to share!





BENGAL TIGER (Location: 62 Carter Lane, London, EC4V) ££


Bengal Tiger is located on a quiet cobbled road behind Ludgate Hill near St. Paul's station. It is uniquely designed and spacious, with tiger themed art displayed throughout. The menu is ample, with a great choice to choose from. They offer a vegetarian platter which includes Samosas, Onion Bhajees, Aloo Chat and Paneer Tikka (£5.50 per person). This is tasty and enables you to try various different dishes. Next up, for your main you can choose from either a side or main dish portion. A side dish portion is exactly that, it is barely enough for one person so don't be tempted to order all side dishes (if you're sharing) but is small enough that you can order a few dishes and don't end up with lots of leftovers. I tried Bengal Tiger's own recipe Paneer Jalfrezy dish and Channa Masala. Both dishes were not too spicy and were perfect to fill a curry craving. A starter portion is £4.25 and a main dish is £7.25. You are likely to spend over £15 on food alone here - so not exactly a cheap curry!


CINNAMON KITCHEN (Location: 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4WY) £££  


Cinnamon Kitchen is located near Liverpool Street in Devonshire Square, within a newly created complex complete with its own mini golf area and an array of bars including Cinnamon Kitchen's own beautifully decorated Anise bar.

You can choose to sit on the terrace, which is covered by a high ceiling - giving an illusion of being outside or you can sit inside. The set menus are pretty dire (even if you do receive a discount), containing dishes not even available on the a la carte menu. So we ordered straight from the a la carte menu.

Complimentary items include a glass of bubbly and a small portion of what can only be described as a 'veggie spring roll,' which certainly creates high expectations in your mind of the high standard of food to come as well as providing nice touches to your overall experience.

For starters I ordered the spicy portobello mushrooms, something different from the usual items available at an Indian restaurant but does not compare to its 'paneer on a large chilli', which was a welcome change from the typical paneer dishes. Not only is the presentation top notch, it doesn't disappoint in the taste department either. The paneer is cut into small cubes and filled into a large big chilli.

For the main dishes, the options were either a vegetables biryani, an aubergine dish or a cauliflower and rice cakes meal. I chose the last dish and unfortunately it was a disappointment. The rice cakes were plain and the cauliflower wasn't much better. We also ordered naan, which arrived with the starters so by the time the main dish arrived, the naan was cold - make a note  to specifically ask for the naan to arrive with the mains.

The meal was approximately £35 per head, which includes a glass of wine and dessert - not bad.



MASALA ZONE (Locations: ) £ 


Masala Zone is from the same team behind Chutney Mary's and Amaya, but unlike the other two restaurants it is reasonably priced. The concept of the is different from your average 'Indian curry house' by offering 'thalis' i.e a selection of different dishes. For £7.95 you can choose one curry (from a choice of three including a paneer in a tangy tomato dish) and either roti or rice. The thali also consists of two vegetable dishes and a lentil curry, together with half a poppadum. For £10.95, you have a choice of two curries, raita (yoghurt and cucumber), rice, roti and half a poppadum.

The vegetables change from day to day, which is a shame as the aubergine saag was by far my favourite dish. The paneer curry and lentil dhal were only average as they both lacked spice and flavouring. But there is a large selection of vegetarian starters (hot and cold), which makes up for there being only a limited selection of curries. I recommend that you try their salted chaas to drink - perfect for a hot summers day. For £7.95 you are get to experience a range of dishes, which is great value for money and the staff are friendly too.




CAFFE VERGNANO 1882 (Location: Festival Terrace, SouthBank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1) £££ 

What a delight! A great Italian find located in the scenic area of South Bank. The restaurant is designed with modern touches. As soon as seated on chocolate colour seats, you are hit by the array of wine bottles at the back of the restaurant. Luciano Franchi's restaurant ensures that you get to experience not only Italian food, but Italian wine, desserts and most famously their home made coffees.

Caffe Vergnano may be lacking in choice, but what there is on the menu is splendid. For starter, I opted for Filetto di Verdure e caprino (£8.50) which is warm grilled vegetables, goats cheese, garlic and rosemary oil dressing. The mains I ordered Penne E Spinaci (£10.50) pasta tubes with spinach and cream sauce. The penne was perfect, not under or over cooked and the sauce was so scrumcious, I even thought about licking the bowl clean (I refrained - luckily!) Unlike a majority of Italian restaurants, Caffe Verganano offers tasty but still differentiates itself from other Italian restaurants in that the dishes are unique.

For dessert, I tried their Tartufo Classico (£4.95), which is Chocolate ice cream with a zabaglione centre, coated with crushed hazelnuts, served with a shot of their 1678 Vergnano chocolate. Again, this was a perfect dish, just what any chocolate lover would expect. But Caffe Vergnano also prides itself on its wine selection (I wouldn't disagree with this) and its coffee. Their coffee is described as 'proper coffee.' It is strong but worth a try.

Although the meal was expensive, at £8.50 for a starter you are looking to pay approximately £40 per head. But if I were you, stop visiting your local Italian and save the pennies to visit Caffe Vergnano, as you won't be disappointed.



GIOVANNI'S RESTAURANT (Location: 12 City Road, London EC1Y 2AA) ££

I came across Giovanni's after work, eager for a change from the usual pizza/pasta eateries. Giovanni's was a pleasant surprise in that the service was friendly, the food tasty and it wasn't expensive either. The decor and atmosphere is great here - perfect for a date.

We tried the pizza garlic bread - which is huge but still tasty (beats Prezzo's version!) I went for the tomato ravioli (main course) which tasted fresh and not too heavy either. The pizzas are also worth trying, which is also huge but a 'proper' italian pizza. You can't go wrong at Giovanni's!




FENG SUSHI (Locations: ) ££  


As far as sushi restaurants go, Feng Sushi has a lot to offer vegetarians. There are various side dishes available including spring rolls and soups, as well as various options of sushi. A personal favourite is their tofu roll with hoi sin sauce (similar to the duck wraps available in chinese restaurants) and their vegetable tempura. It works out at just under £25 per head as you end up ordering 3-4 dishes each. A great place to visit on your first foray into eating vegetarian sushi.


SUSHI SAMBA (Location: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY) £££   


Sushi Samba has a vegetarian menu which includes sushi options and vegetarian dishes. The eggplant with miso is pretty tasty along with the veggie maki. I was not a fan of the plantain chips, so sticked to the Japanese dishes over the Brazilian and Peruvian dishes. Good food, great views and atmosphere... this is a must visit place, but be warned it isn't cheap.




CHAMPOR CHAMPOR (Location: 62-64 Weston St London, SE1 3QJ) £££ 


'Never judge a book by its cover'… this saying applies to Champor Champor, as the outside of the restaurant just does it no justice. Chompor Champor offers Malaysian food which is quite similar to Thai food. As soon as you walk through the door, the splendor of the decor hits you. The restaurant is filled with tribal artifacts and littered with buddhas. There is also attention to detail as even the cutlery is unique. There is also a choice of rooms from the private room for 6-8 guests or the Mezzanine. The Mezzanine is a 'special' romantic table for two, overlooking the restaurant.

The food is certainly unique, using a whole range of ingredients. A complimentary dish of friend banana skins is offered on the table, rather than the usual dishes you see - which are an acquired taste! The menu offers both one vegetarian dish and one vegan dish for both starters and mains. For starters I chose Mysore lentil, furry leaf and caramelised potato soup and deep fried shallots (vegan dish). I found this rather bland and disappointing. My initial thought was to pour salt in it, just to give it some taste. For my main, I ordered Lotus root and aubergine koorma; tofu and young mango rojak; red pepper rice (again a vegan meal). The alternative dish contains duck egg. This meal was completely opposite to the starter and completely redeemed Champor Champor in my eyes. Although, if you are not a fan of aubergine, probably best to avoid.

The meal was expensive, as came to approximately £40 per head including a glass of wine. But, Champor Champor is more of an experience rather than a restaurant.




HAZ RESTAURANT (Location: 6 Mincing Lane, London EC3M 3BD) ££

Haz is airy with huge windows, perfect for a hot summer's day. In fact, sitting inside you would forget that you were even in the City except for the constant flow of suits in and out of the restaurant. What is nice about Haz is that rather than a usual salad bowl (a whole cucumber and carrot) you ae met with olives, humous and bread. At £5 a dish, it is better to opt for their only vegetarian meal deal for £13.95 which consists of numerous dishes (albeit in small portions). This is great if you fancy nibbling at various dishes including halloumi cheese but as a standalone the food is much better at Maroush. I guess you get what you pay for...




EL PARADOR (Location: 245 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BA) ££  


This is a great little family run Tapas restaurant in Camden and the best bit is that the Vegetarian part of the menu is dizzyingly long! There are lots of delicious flavours to choose from. Some of my favourites are Ensalada de Remolacha Asada - beetroot salad with pumpkin seeds, goats cheese and balsamic dressing, Esparragos a la Plancha - for any asparagus fans this is perfect, not overly greasy, sautéed in walnut oil and seasoned with lime and black pepper, Alcachofas al Argelino - chargrilled artichoke hearts and Pure de Batatas con Queso de Cabras y Puerros - roasted sweet potato cakes with goats cheese, a delightful mix of savoury and sweet. I normally steer clear of Tapas bars here because I'm bored of never having many choices but this is definitely a fabulous find that will tickle those taste buds…