From pubs using only locally-sourced produce to smart cafes with vegan menus, London has the perfect selection of places to visit if you like to know exactly where your food has come from. Reducing our environmental footprint any way we can is becoming increasingly important and luckily these organic restaurants and cafés make eating out with a conscience a real pleasure!
Aprés Food Co
With a menu devised by a nutritional therapist and a focus on locally sourced, fairly traded and organic ingredients, Aprés Food Co has to be on your list of places to visit in London. Its message is clear – the owners want you to make friends with food, and enjoy healthy dishes that are both comforting and delicious. The café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and among the menu you’ll find delights such as roast butternut squash and red pepper salad with feta, aubergine and pomegranate salad, and seabass with roast pepper, cherry tomatoes, wilted spinach and new potatoes. This place doesn’t just deliver good food too – its surroundings are pretty and inviting, with soft pastel colours and trailing foliage.
Aprés Food Co: 72 St John Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1M 4DT
A magnet for wellness warriors and nutrition gurus, this Notting Hill restaurant is the brainchild of entrepreneur Camilla Al Fayed. The plant-based menu features ingredients from its biodynamic farm in Kent, which are delivered to London by an electric van, and everything is free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals.
The choices on offer include earth bowls (think grain-inspired dishes with plenty of veg and spice), sharing platters (such as mezze plates and artichoke pizzetta) and desserts including probiotic jars and a mouth-watering good raw chocolate tart. There are also ‘farmaceutical’ teas, superfood smoothies and artisanal cocktails.
Farmacy: 74 Westobourne Grove, Notting Hill, W2 5SH
Riverford at the Duke of Cambridge
If you’re looking for a welcoming pub which serves up delicious organic produce in the centre of London, you can call off the search. Riverford at the Duke of Cambridge in Islington is Britain’s first and only certified pub and has been proudly promoting sustainability since 1998. Chefs at the pub use the best organic vegetables from the Riverford farm in Devon, and create dishes that have a focus on taste and flavour at the core.
Depending on the season, you might find appetising meals such as saffron risotto, with courgette, asparagus and chard, wild garlic soup, or white crab and fennel salad with a citrus dressing. And, the focus on sustainability doesn’t end with the food – all the furniture is second-hand, any packaging than can be recycled is, and food waste is used to generate energy via an anerobic digester.
Riverford at the Duke of Cambridge: 30 St Peter’s Street, Islington, London, N1 8JT
With nine different locations across the city (including Marylebone High Street, Baker Street and Waterloo Station), you’ll never be too far from Natural Kitchen. It offers a variety of healthy, organic options throughout the day and visitors can choose to eat in or take away their food.
Expect to spend hours poring over the carefully put together menus - making a decision is certainly hard here. Vegans and vegetarians have lots of options (we love the sound of the vegan mushroom bolognese and the halloumi, carrot and broccoli burger), but there’s plenty to keep fish and meat-eaters happy too (wild line caught tuna loin with superfood pesto anyone?). Don’t leave without trying a dessert either – we love the flourless chocolate torte.
Natural Kitchen: Various locations
This Californian-inspired haunt in Parsons Green has a relaxed vibe and a menu packed full of fresh, nutritious bites with bold flavours. The café-cum-deli offers an array of daily changing salads, sweet, cakes and heartier options set aside a backdrop of whitewashed walls, brightly coloured stools and trendy tables.
Enjoy a bottomless brunch at the weekend and Californian favourites such as colourful salads and a classic burger at any time in the week. And while you’re in the area, pop over the road to Little H, where you’ll find juices and smoothies, breakfast and lunch offerings and nourishing snacks – perfect for an on-the-go boost. As an extra bonus, Hally’s is also dog-friendly, so feel free to bring your four legged friend.
Hally's: 60 New Kings Road, London, SW6 4LS
If you’re following a vegan diet, it can be frustrating when there are only one or two things on the menu suitable for you. You won’t find this at the characterful Vantra Loungevity in Soho, however, as the whole menu is dedicated to plant-based dishes.
The team here focus on nutritious and delicious meals and use three key techniques to prepare their food, serving it either raw, fermented or steamed. This, they say, ensures the highest amount of nutrients are retained in the food. Choose from the à la carte menu or fill your plate from the extensive all-day buffet which includes an impressive array of stews, curries, salads and more.
Vantra Loungevity: 5 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6PB
Serving up organic Hungarian food from its base in New Cross, The Rosemary certainly offers London diners something a little bit different. Outside you’ll be greeted with an impressive façade of greenery and inside the authentic décor includes furniture made by the owner’s son.
Choose from hearty Hungarian dishes such as goulash, lecso, chicken paprika, gipsy roast and stuffed cabbage and experience a real taste of this often-overlooked cuisine. There’s also an extensive selection of organic wines to choose from, which are perfectly paired to the dishes on offer.
The Rosemary: 178 New Cross Rd, London, SE14 5AA
Words: Claire Munnings