Six of the best vegan restaurants
Published 19 January 2019

Dishoom, King's Cross

Whether you’ve gone vegan for January – or forever – or have simply vowed to consume less meat, eating out needn’t mean missing out. Indeed, it can be a valuable source of inspiration, especially for those who have only recently embraced a non-meat-based diet. And if you’re more flexitarian in your approach, all of these restaurants serve non-vegan food as well.  

Gauthier Soho, London
There’s no reason for vegans to feel left out, even when it comes to fine dining at this Regency townhouse restaurant that showcases fabulous British seasonal produce cooked in a modern French style. The glass of (vegan) Champagne that kicks off the lunchtime tasting menu (£50) sets the tone for the five exquisite vegan courses that follow. Expect the likes of celeriac and apple velouté, wild mushroom tortelloni and blackberry tartlet with chocolate ganache, along with wine pairings (£35) from a predominantly French list. There’s an eight-course version at dinner (£70), and non-vegans can eat from the Goût du Jour menu. gauthiersoho.co.uk

Dishoom Edinburgh, London and Manchester
This independent-minded chain, based on the Irani cafés of old Bombay, recently added a Manchester branch, bringing its total locations to seven, including five across London. With queues often snaking out of the door (reservations are for parties of six or more), Dishoom is perennially busy, but it’s hard not to be seduced by an all-day menu that takes in everything from The Vegan Bombay, a riff on a full English, to small plates and curries, many adapted from non-vegan dishes. Chole puri combines puffed puris, a hearty bowl of (ghee-free) spiced chickpea curry and sweet halwa, and there are vegan lassis made from soya milk. dishoom.com

The Cauldron, Bristol
On the face of it, a solid-fuel restaurant where everything is cooked over flaming logs or glowing coals is perhaps not the obvious choice for vegans, but alongside its classic Sunday roasts, this much-loved place serves up plant-based alternatives. A Wellington of haricot beans, celeriac and capers with cauldron-brewed gravy is a satisfying plate that puts a hugely positive spin on the oft-maligned ‘vegan option’.
Expect perfect roasties, crisped up in coal oil, which is also used to give a smoky depth to greens and swede mash. There’s a kids’ menu, as well as vegan wines and beers and – joy –dairy-free truffles. thecauldron.restaurant

The Small Holding, Cranbrook, Kent
A new entry in this year’s Good Food Guide, this homely ‘farm and kitchen’ set in the glorious Kent countryside has been wowing diners with its fiercely seasonal dishes and use of hyper-local ingredients. Whatever isn’t produced on the farm may have travelled only a few short miles or been foraged from local hedgerows. There are vegan versions of the five-course half acre (£30) and 10-course full acre (£50) tasting menus, plus a three-course lunch – a snip at £20. Kick off with the fabulous house bread and sunset-yellow Kentish rapeseed oil, followed by caramelised cauliflower and wild mushrooms. thesmallholding.restaurant

The Anchor, Ripley, Surrey
This 16th-century brick and timber-fronted hostelry on Ripley’s high street may look like the archetypal pub with its heavy beams and cosy snugs, but there’s a light, modern touch to the cooking which reflects British and broader European styles. And the vegan menu is no exception: precise flavours and careful sourcing are apparent in a starter of braised gem lettuce, Granny Smith, salted grapes and walnuts, or a main course tomato and aubergine casserole with curly kale and a basil dressing. Try them with the suggested wine pairings, or one of the handful of draught ales. ripleyanchor.co.uk

Salt House Tapas, Liverpool
Think of tapas and you may well conjure up images of oozy Spanish tortilla, garlicky, paprika-laden chorizo or crispy chipirones, but this buzzing Liverpool eatery has also created short, plant-based menus for both lunch and dinner. Alongside classics such as blistered padron peppers with flaky sea salt or triple-cooked patatas with punchy bravas sauce, expect more inventive vegan combinations including roasted tomato with pickled onion and croutons or cauliflower à la plancha with salsa rosso. The flair in the kitchen extends to puds which might come in the form of fig, blackberry and torched peach with agave syrup. salthousetapas.co.uk

Vegan eats | Sustainable restaurants | Five great pubs with fires

Published January 2019