Five vegan-friendly chains with a sustainably sourced menu
Given the climate crisis, increasing numbers of people are switching to plant-based, vegetarian or flexitarian diets. Even hardcore carnivores are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint whilst still enjoying high-quality produce. Luckily, vegans and eco-warriors no longer have to scour London for a guilt-free meal: a whole host of delicious new options have been popping up across the capital, and even classic chains are rethinking their menus to accommodate a planet-first approach. Here are five brands who are paving the way for affordable yet ethical dining.
Ground-breaking plant-based eatery Kojo – launched by Nobu London Portman Square executive chef Michael Paul and nutritional therapist Alina Gromova-Jones in December – is opening a Kojo To Go in London’s Liverpool Street this month. The duo believe in creating authentic and naturally delicious plant-based meals that help support health and wellbeing. The new Devonshire Square site is the second location for Kojo after its flagship Hampstead venue, but the first Kojo To Go concept focusing on grab and go only. Kojo dishes are 100% plant-based, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined, sugar-free, free of all chemical additives, freshly prepared and made on site daily; and the company are committed to compostable processes on top of recycling, re-using and sourcing ingredients locally. For further information visit the website here.
Neat Burger, the plant-based burger sensation founded by F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, has now opened a new North London branch in Finsbury Park (following launches in Prince’s Street, Camden and Soho), with more venues to come in Victoria, Westfield Stratford, Canary Wharf, Bishopsgate, Kings Road & Ealing. The chain prides itself on its clean, green burgers, made ethically and sustainably without compromising on flavour. Pick up a classic Neat Burger with a succulent double patty, indulge in an onion-ring-stuffed, cheesy, BBQ-sauce-smothered Smoke Stack, or if you’re on a health kick, try a burger bowl (everything minus the bun). On top of the usual fires, choose from sides including Tater Tots and Southern Fried Chick’n Bites. For further information visit the website here.
Smashing Plates is a lively new restaurant serving up a fresh and unorthodox take on Greek and Cypriot street food classics, with branches located in Canary Wharf, Tooting, Wembley and London Bridge. Open all day, the restaurant specialises in gyros and boasts a balanced offering of both meat and plant-based dishes packed with the bold Mediterranean flavours for which Greek street food is renowned. Founder and Greek restaurateur Neofytos Christodoulou has designed a menu that is centred around unconventional takes on the classic Greek street-food dishes and gyros made using responsibly sourced meat, which is butchered in-house, marinated and grilled to order. There are no freezers in the restaurant, and the vegan Roasted Tomato Croquettes are a must-try – a creamy, completely plant-based delight. For further information visit the website here.
Honi Poke has now opened a new branch within the bustling Fulham community, with sites in Bishopsgate, Victoria and St Paul’s due to open in the coming months. Inspired by Hawaiian flavours and with wellbeing at its core, Honi Poke is renowned for its use of incredibly fresh ingredients, responsibly caught seafood and premium vegan offerings, differentiating itself from alternative poke brands by preparing each poke bowl to order on site. Vegan options include the Korean BBQ Pulled “Pork” with jackfruit, pineapple, steamed broccoli and BBQ sauce, and the option to customise your own bowl allows for infinite varieties. Moreover, all packaging is compostable, made using pulp from fibres of plant origin, and as nothing is pre-prepared, each site has close to 0% waste. For further information visit the website here.
Street food fans can now get a taste of the corn ribs trend at Wahaca with the arrival this month of the Mexican restaurant group’s new summer specials. With corn being indigenous to Mexico and a staple of Mexican street food, it came naturally to Wahaca to create its own take on the TikTok trend for the summer season. The “ribs” are lightly fried, tossed in lime and served with a smoky chipotle mayo, making for a dish that’s sure to be snapped and shared before it gets devoured. The dish is another tasty seasonal addition to Wahaca’s existing meat-free menu, with around 50% of its street food options now being veggie. Another super-sustainable snack that’s packed with protein, Wahaca’s new Cricket salsa was an instant hit with diners earlier in the summer and will continue to be available on the house. For further information visit the website here.
The editorial unit