We round up some of London’s best veggie roasts, because meat eaters shouldn’t be the only ones who get to overdose on roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, and copious amounts of gravy.
Manna, Primrose Hill – Manna’s vegan nut roast has been on their menu for over 10 years and, judging by its popularity, the restaurant daren’t take it off. In a world where soggy nut roasts are abundant, Manna offers salvation with a soft-on-the-inside-but-crispy-on-the-outside concoction of hazelnut, cashew, pea, mushroom, and herbs.
The Wilmington, Clerkenwell – With its comedy nights, live music, and decent range of beers, The Wilmington has the makings of a decent local. For a pub only four years young (it was converted from a music venue in 2013), it’s awfully mature in its food offerings, as the kitchen’s wild mushroom and goat’s cheese wellington, with Yorkies and all the trimmings, should demonstrate.
The Rye, Peckham – There’s a lot of love going on for vegetarian café and small plates restaurant Snackistan down the road, but when a hearty Sunday lunch is what you’re craving, local vegetarians aren’t exactly spoilt for choice. Step forward another local favourite, The Rye, with its nut roast and pesto sauce, alongside roast potatoes, parsnips, greens, et al.
Karamel, Wood Green – Pushing Manna for the top spot on many a vegan’s dining out list is Karamel. A couple of years ago, the restaurant launched their contribution to the Sunday lunch tradition with a glorious dish of smoked tofu, chestnut, and almond wellington. A real game changer for N22.
Crown & Anchor, Brixton – A pub with one of the better beer selections around Brixton, chefs at the Crown & Anchor aren’t afraid to use these brews in their cooking either, adding another dimension to anything from glazes to gravies in your roast lunch – including the excellent chestnut wellington with spinach, leek and blue cheese.
Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington – Beer-adoring vegetarians, rejoice: Stoke Newington’s go-to pub for an excellent selection of local and world beers (the bar holds 20 or so lines with lots more bottles to choose from in the fridge) just happens to offer up a delectable vegetarian-friendly chestnut wellington Sunday roast.
Old Queen’s Head, Islington – The Old Queen’s head is one of the many pubs who proclaim to be the best in London. Given their permanent Lucky Chip residency, stellar cocktails, and an ever-present local buzz, they might not be far wrong. Vegetarians and vegans must watch out for the pub’s mushroom wellington with vegetable gravy and all the trimmings.
The Jones Family Project, Shoreditch – From the way they source their ingredients from independent suppliers on first name terms, to their contributions to Action Against Hunger, you can tell The Jones Family Project kitchen takes care in what they do. The restaurant serves one of the better versions of nut roast (with cheese sauce in lieu of gravy) in East London, and their cocktails are definitely worth a try.
The Duke of Cambridge, Islington – Run by Riverford Organic Farmers as Britain’s only official organic pub, these guys know a thing or two about the getting the best of their bounty from their Devon farm up to Islington. The pub is environmentally conscious and strong on its ethics, which is sure to sit amicably with vegans and vegetarians. After all, the pub’s squash-stuffed roasted pepper with onion gravy certainly does.
Kew Gardens Hotel, Kew – As well as the obvious, Kew Gardens Hotel provides another reason why those with a high appreciation for plants should visit Kew. A brief saunter from the Gardens, on Sundays the hotel restaurant puts on a hearty mushroom and nut roast, complete with rosemary potatoes, honey-roast carrots, swede mash, hispi cabbage and Yorkshire pudding.
Have we missed your fave spot for a meat-free roast? Let us know in the comments.
This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.