Want to know where to find the best vegan restaurants in Covent Garden and where to pick up the most delicious vegan treats!? Read on!
The vegan treats that Covent Garden has to offer are OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD. Just to name a few:
- Hot chocolate with the kind of coco whip that you can only dream of creating
- Soft, whippy, raspberry-swirl ice cream topped with warm waffles and chocolate sauce
- Light and fluffy cupcakes with jammy centres and mouthwateringly creamy buttercream
- Hearty doughnuts topped with chocolate sauce, sprinkles and little nuggets of vegan cookie dough
It was one epic weekend and an absolute MUST TRY for any vegan.
We headed to Covent Garden at Christmas time, with festive feelings and high hopes of the vegan delights that awaited us. What we didn’t know is just how brilliant this trip would be!
London is a magnificent place whenever you choose to visit but at Christmas time there is something so special about it – especially the beautiful Covent Garden.
The cool air and strings of Christmas lights provided a warming festive ambience as shoppers browsed for gifts and treats. We wandered the streets in awe before heading to our first stop – Wild Food Cafe.
Wild Food Cafe
The Wild Food Cafe is a real gem.
Set in the beautiful Neal’s Yard in a private square of colourful structures, it sits atop a stunning red brick building. The restaurant is small but perfectly formed, with cosy decor and windows overlooking the square.
The all-vegan menu is inventive with intriguing combinations and obscure but tantalising ingredients.
I opted for the ‘Queen of the Forest’ for my main which tasted like a tomato soup from another world! It was topped with coconut seared plantain, pretty romanesco, black rice, amaranth, cacao nibs, Brazil nuts and camu camu. Open-mindednes is a prerequisite of course – it’s got banana in it after all (well plantain) but hey, I have banana on pizza so I was game.
The dish was absolutely incredible; tangy, sweet, pretty. There were so many flavours and textures but they complimented each other perfectly.
To drink I ordered the orange hot chocolate which was made with raw cacao, pumpkin seed milk, maple syrup, medicinal mushroom powder, tonka bean and orange zest. It was topped with coco whip and mixed sweet glazed seeds.
It’s fair to say that I am now officially a ‘seeds on hot chocolate’ kind of gal, this hot chocolate was lushhh! And they’ve given me some serious coco whip goals. How did they get that so thick and sweet and heavenly?
For dessert I opted for the walnut and date banana bread with almond vanilla custard. The presentation was beautiful and the bread was lovely; nutty, chewy, not too sweet. I would have liked a little more of the delicious custard and for a slightly moister cake but that is just personal preference – it was still a winner!
You simply must not miss Wild Food Cafe if you are heading to Covent Garden any time soon – it will blow your mind and your taste buds! It was busy and popular with a friendly and warm service. They’ve got some serious kitchen talent working for them that’s for sure…. I for one will be back without a doubt.
Pride Neals Yard
This tiny little cafe is located opposite Wild Food Cafe and can be easy to walk past. Make sure you don’t miss it because it is a beauty!
There are only a couple of tables inside and out, with an entirely vegan menu with a range of salads, burgers, hot drinks and desserts.
I opted for the ‘Protein Feast’ salad bowl with chickpea ‘farinata’, black peas, tamari mushroom, houmous, cashew cheese, sauerkraut, toasted seeds and a mustard dressing.
It was so much more than salad; it was one of the most flavoursome bowls of food I have ever had! Served with a side of rosemary flat bread which was delicious and a cashew cheese that was out of this world. It is making me SO HUNGRY writing this and remembering all of those flavours squeezed into one bowl. Yum yum yum.
I also ordered a fresh turmeric latte on the side which was the best I’ve tasted – fresh, creamy, sweet, frothy, perfect! The HB had a hot chocolate with oat milk, which would be a perfect bedtime treat – sweet and creamy.
Unfortunately Pride Neals Yard has closed down but they are opening a new restaurant soon!
I must admit, I am rather partial to a cupcake.
In my pre-vegan days, a dessert-style cupcake was one of my favourite things to bake… and colleagues at work were rather happy with my obsession.
Lola’s is one of the best cupcake chains around and they now stock a growing range of vegan varieties. In the name of research (ahem) I tried them all.
In a 24 hour period.
And didn’t regret it for a minute.
First up was a vanilla sponge cupcake, with a strawberry custard centre (literal heaven) and a strawberry and coconut buttercream. The sponge was light, fluffy and moist against the smooth, sweet and creamy buttercream, all topped off with a tangy fresh strawberry.
Perfection in a cupcake.
Next was the dark chocolate cupcake with a dense mud-cake style sponge and a thicker, dark chocolate buttercream. It was decadently rich and chocolatey, you wouldn’t be able to eat too many of them but it tasted blinking fab.
I eyed the pistachio mini cupcake with suspicion. I like pistachios. And cupcakes. But do I like them together?
The answer is yes, yes I do.
This little delight had a light chocolate sponge base, a silky smooth pistachio buttercream and a generous sprinkling of chopped pistachios to give it a fabulously nutty, moreish flavour.
My favourite cake/chocolate/dessert flavour is anything fruity and tangy – think lemon, raspberry or passion fruit, so I was somewhat excited about the next two flavours (yes I ate five cupcakes, don’t judge me).
The lemon and raspberry was tangy and delicious with lemon sponge, lemon buttercream and a raspberry compote centre and swirl on top.
The passion fruit and coconut flavour rocked my little cupcake world. Delicate and light flavours with a hint of tang in the passion fruit custard centre and the most perfect creamy coconut buttercream that you could wish for. I LOVE LOLA’S!
The HB helped me devour the cupcakes and he commented in amazement that you just wouldn’t know they were vegan – they are as excellent as any cupcake you can find; be it vegan or non vegan.
*** Recipe re-creation ***
Lola’s Cupcakes were so fabulous that I just HAD to have them as one of my recipe re-creations from this trip. I have created a vegan Raspberry Trifle Cupcake with a raspberry jam striped vanilla buttercream topping and a creamy custard centre – don’t miss the recipe here!
We booked into Sagar in Covent Garden one evening before heading to the theatre to see Matilda (which I HIGHLY recommend BTW – the best theatre show I have ever seen, riotously funny). They had a separate vegan menu including wines, which is always a bonus.
I ordered the fried potato doughnuts for starter which were delicious. They were coated in a soft and fluffy chickpea flour batter and came with a rather delicious dip. For main I had sag aloo with rice. Other options included lentil pizzas, soups, breads and a wide selection of different curries. It was a pleasant meal, a great location for the theatre and Covent Garden and was reasonably priced.
P.S. Book Matilda NOW. YOU MUST NOT MISS IT!!!
Technically Yorica is in Soho but if you squint at the map it’s more or less on the border with Covent Garden so that’s good enough for me.
Seriously though, who is going to turn down a vegan froyo shop that tops its desserts with hot waffles?
Um not me.
We actually ended up going to Yorica for breakfast (needs must when you are trying to squeeze in all of the deliciousness that Covent Garden has to offer) but you won’t see me complaining. I have a massive sweet tooth at all times of the day but especially at breakfast so this was right up my street.
Yorica is a fab little cafe, the decor is cute with a modern hippy vibe. It’s clean, tidy and the aroma of fresh waffles and crepes seeps from the open door, pulling in any passers by.
I opted for a raspberry and vanilla swirl froyo tub topped with hot waffles, blueberries and chocolate sauce. It was HANDSOME.
The fact that Yorica is an entirely vegan ice cream shop meant it was always going to get extra brownie points but on top of that you could not fault their product. It was delicious. The froyo was fresh and light and the waffles chunky and warm, with sticky chocolate sauce and fresh blueberries to compliment perfectly.
It was a real challenge choosing the toppings, they’ve got a lot to choose from including marshmallows, jelly sweets, fruit, chocolate and biscuits. I’d have had them all if I could. Even the HB nailed half of my froyo and waffle bowl, despite not having a sweet tooth in the morning. A must visit.
*** Recipe re-creation ***
Yorica was a revelation and just had to be my inspiration for a recipe re-creation from Covent Garden. Click here for my recipe for the perfect Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Waffles with fresh berries and lashings of homemade coco-whip, along with a generous sprinkling of icing sugar and chopped nuts. Yummmm!
We don’t have many Pret’s down our way (I know, sigh) so when I spotted one across the street from our hotel, I just had to pay it a visit to grab a quick lunch.
I was desperate to try the vegan Christmas dinner sandwich and boy did it live up to expectations. It had layers of stuffing, grated veggies and sweet cranberry sauce on granary bread. What made it even tastier was the addition of crispy onions – so blinking delicious!
Yes yes yes to Doughnut Time!!!
Doughnut Time was a last minute discovery and goodness me am I glad we found it. They serve a range of vegan doughnuts, which during our visit included:
Pump Up The Jam – a raspberry jam-filled doughnut dusted with cinnamon sugar
Sia Later – a red velvet doughnut with buttercream frosting and freeze-dried raspberries
Jolly AF – a chocolate coated delight with sprinklings of cookie dough
I, of course, ordered all three and proceeded to eat them that afternoon and for breakfast the next morning (I know, I know, don’t follow my bad habits people).
The light was fading as we headed back to our hotel that afternoon so I decided to wait until the next morning to take a photo. Unfortunately, the Pump Up The Jam doughnut was calling my name and after a quick decision that it was the least photogenic of the three, I decided to nail it for my starter before heading out for dinner.
It was out of this world.
Perfect fluffy, soft doughnut dough with lashings of sugar and a tangy berry-jam centre. It was heavenly.
The next day, after showing restraint and waiting until after I had taken a photograph, I opted to try the other two. The Jolly AF doughnut was a work of genius. It had little balls of cookie dough on top of a chocolate glazed vanilla doughnut. All topped off with coloured sprinkles. At that moment I was fairly content that my life was complete.
The red velvet ‘Sia Later’ was such a pretty little doughnut. Just as wonderful as it’s buddies but with the added mind-blowing cream cheese frosting. I am genuinely stumped. I don’t know how they created such a brilliant frosting – you would never know that it was vegan.
I never expected these doughnuts to be as good as they were. I’ve had a couple of vegan doughnuts in the past (genuinely only a couple, I know unbelievable) and they were great, but these were on another level. They were a generous size, light, soft and fluffy on the inside and were fried to perfection.
You would never know that any of these doughnuts were vegan. They were hands-down the best doughnuts I have ever had – vegan, non-vegan, whatever. Incredible.
*** Recipe re-creation ***
Doughnut Time was the highlight of a most incredible vegan trip to Covent Garden, it was always going to be the inspiration for a recipe re-creation… but I’ve made not one but TWO recipes inspired by this fab Aussie company!
Click here to get the recipe for beautifully bitesized Pump Up The Jam Doughnut Holes, complete with tangy raspberry jam and a generous sprinkling of sweet cinnamon sugar.
For the pièce de résistance I present to you my Epic AF Chocolate Cookie-Dough Doughnuts with a chocolate glaze, pink sprinkles and little nuggets of chocolate chip cookie dough on top. A beautiful sight and an out-of-this-world taste – click here for this epic vegan recipe.
Here is my list of my top three vegan eats in Covent Garden, London:
- Doughnut Time – Aussie genius-ness in doughnut form. An absolute must-try.
- Wild Food Cafe – A beautiful, friendly and warm cafe with an inventive and inspiring menu.
- Lola’s Cupcakes – Look no further for the perfect cupcake.
My recipe re-creations from this trip:
- Epic AF Chocolate Cookie-Dough Doughnut, inspired by Doughnut Time – soft and fluffy vanilla doughnuts with a chocolate glaze, pink sprinkles and little nuggets of chocolate chip cookie dough on top.
- Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes, inspired by Lola’s Cupcakes – complete with a tangy raspberry ripple buttercream topping and a creamy custard centre.
- Pump Up The Jam Doughnut Holes, inspired by Doughnut Time – soft and fluffy vanilla doughnut holes filled with tangy raspberry jam and coated in a generous sprinkling of sweet cinnamon sugar.
- Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Waffles, inspired by Yorica – the perfect vegan chocolate chip waffles with fresh berries, lashings of homemade coco-whip and a generous sprinkling of icing sugar and chopped nuts