Our selection of the best healthy restaurants in London serve such delicious food that you won’t feel like you’re missing out. In fact, they might even convert you to the greener side of life… Check out these restaurants to give your January health kick a tasty boost!
You can always trust the Brazilians and Japanese to know how to inject flavour into guilt-free dishes, and Temakinho serves a tastebud-tingling fusion of both cuisines with a big dollop of fun which is so often missing from health food joints. Bright colours, tropical prints and caipirinhas set the party mood, and you’re slap bang in the middle of Soho so you can quite literally feel the buzz. Sidestep fried Brazilian tapas (delicious though they are) and make your way through the innovative sushi rolls – but prepare for a few surprises as bananas, mangos, passion fruit and mint feature throughout. The restaurant was the first in the world to be given a ‘Friends of the Sea’ certification for dedication to top-quality sustainable fish, and you can really taste the difference. Traditional ceviches are fresh and citrusy, while poké and tiradito all boast fabulous flavours as well as low calories. If only eating well was always this fun…
TRY: The most exotic-sounding temaki rolls on the menu – you won’t regret it.
You’ll no doubt have seen the Good Life Eatery on your social feed at some point, thanks to their naturally Instagrammable health food dishes and drinks. Luckily, they taste pretty good too – especially the superfood salads and build-your-own bowls that are packed with goodness as well as exciting and different flavours. Lovers of a good breakfast will be eternally grateful for the skinny benedict and royale – a stroke of genius.
TRY: The open-faced teriyaki salmon avocado sandwich is a dead cert for lunch.
For those in need of a light lunch without forgoing taste, service or indeed decadence, Swan Bar’s new lunch menu at charming Maison Assouline is the ticket. Not only is the building off Piccadilly an architectural marvel (previously a bank designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1922) but the visual feast of books and art lining its walls is a sight to behold. The beauty of Maison Assouline is its covert existence in such a busy corner of London. Relatively few tourists know about the bar or lunches offered here, but those who do blend in seamlessly with the chic interior design, wafts of jazz and fashion icons framed above the tables.
Seafood takes precedence on the menu, along with speedy favourites from chilled oysters to caviar and crab salad. Make a note to return on a ‘cheat day’ for the L’Ami Louis Foie Gras. The salads and tartares are light enough to leave room for their beautifully presented coffees on silver trays, but satisfying enough to avoid an afternoon slump. For those in no rush, the puddings, exquisite cocktails, cabinet de curiosités and a sea of coffee table books (from hefty Dior hardbacks to guides on how to be Italian) are enough to keep you occupied for a week.
TRY: The Salmon Tartare reminds you that ‘healthy’ is occasionally synonymous with hedonism
By Rosalyn Wikeley
Everyone knows that Japanese food is good for you, as long as you manage to avoid the tempura. Swish restaurant Aqua Kyoto has gone one step further with its new Ikigai menu – a selection of perfectly balanced and nutritious dishes which incorporate a ‘root to leaf’ method, inspired by the age-old ikigai philosophy which encourages striving towards a more purposeful lifestyle. The resulting dishes exude goodness and taste wonderful, too. It’s like yoga for the soul (and stomach).
TRY: Miso cured sea trout, kombu, asazuke vegetables and ikura – served over ice for a Japanese take on ceviche.
The hip Notting Hill cafe has finally opened its first all-day restaurant in Chelsea to meet the huge demand for their legendary rose lattés and avocado on toast – and, finally, it will be open for dinner too! The health-conscious South London lot is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of an entirely new dinner menu and superfood cocktail bar (mostly the latter). Snaps of the new dishes will no doubt be coming to an Instagram near you very soon.
TRY: The acai bowls are renowned for a reason. Eaten for breakfast with an added dollop of almond butter, you’ll be full for hours.
The lunch buffet at Ravi Shankar on Drummond Street is one of London’s best-kept secrets. For less than £10 you can feast on as many veggie Southern Indian delicacies as you like, including dosas, thalis and Bhel Puri. The flavour-packed dishes fly in the face of those who think Indian food is unhealthy.
TRY: The mango lassi.
Your best bet for seasonal and organic in London just opened a new Brompton Cross outpost that takes wholesomeness to a new level. We love Daylesford for its sleek, clean vibe that really ups the ante from a familiar gamut of historically au natural decor in natural food eateries. Only Daylesford could manage to stick a giant tree trunk in the middle of the restaurant and make it work in a palate of clean whites. The quality of organic meat really shines on the menu, as does the pizza – the butternut squash base with nut ‘cheese’, romanesco and chard really hits the spot. A wide selection of seasonal salads that can be mixed and matched are our top tip for a lunch fix, too.
TRY: The blueberry cheesecake made without dairy.
Antipodean cuisine is having a moment, and Darcie & May Green is one of the latest to jump aboard the trend… Literally. The restaurant is actually in a barge designed by none other than pop artist Peter Blake, providing a quirky riverside foodie spot day and night – the Aussie-inspired brunch is one of the tastiest in town, and the Jackfruit curry packs quite the punch. Absolutely delicious – just stay away from the duck fat fries.
TRY: The halloumi fries with pomegranate yoghurt, lemon and mint are scarily addictive.
A hotspot for West London’s trendy veggies and vegans, Farmacy’s entire menu reads like your nutritionist’s wishlist. Unlike similar London establishments, Farmacy has gone with glam as opposed to quirky, boasting a glitzy central bar, lush foliage throughout and £5 ‘farmaceutical syringe’ health shots. Food-wise they’re best known for their meat-free burger, but there are too many delicious options to count so go with a sense of adventure.
TRY: The guacamole. Eat with absolutely everything.
London’s original veggie and vegan restaurant first opened in 1988, and now has four restaurants across town. Its original concept of serving honestly-priced and genuinely delicious healthy food was clearly a winner, as it continues to be the health-conscious Londoner’s go-to.
TRY: The Soul Bowl, a duo of superfood salads which donates 50p to Compassion in World Farming.
America’s favourite vegan restaurant by CHLOE. finally crossed the pond this month to open its first European site in Covent Garden. You’ll be surprised to find that their plant-based menu features the likes of mac ‘n cheese, fries and the famous guac burger, as well as new British-inspired additions. Quashing the idea that a plant-based diet is bland and unexciting? Tick! Find out more about what to expect here.
TRY: The air baked sweet potato fries are to die for.
Not so much a restaurant as an upmarket deli, Detox Kitchen is one of the best spots in town for a quick, nutritious lunch that will leave you feeling energised. All their dishes are free from wheat, dairy and refined sugar, and the Soho branch even has a fitness studio downstairs for all-round healthy living. The stews and soups are a fragrant pick-me-up on a cold winter’s day, while the salad and protein combos are a winner year-round.
TRY: The banana bread with compote and COYO is a great healthy snack for those with a sweet tooth.
You might think that Italian food is nothing if not for its gluten component, but you’d be wrong about that at Ardiciocca. The restaurant manages to pull off all the Italian traditions without even a trace of wheat (the restaurant is actually on its way to achieving Coeliac certification). Start with salami and bread and be amazed by a dense, chewiness that gives its crumbly cousin a run for its money (the secret is 12 different cereals and grains). The brave might opt for breaded and fried brains, while a classic pizza Margarita is a safe choice- and in this case, the crispy base made with gluten-free flour and Ferrarelle water, let rise for 72 hours, is not just safe, but delicious.
A new addition to London’s health food landscape, Japanese restaurant Omoide recently opened its doors in Bermondsey, headed up by chef Angelo Sato. Taking inspiration from Japan’s multi-course dining experience, Omoide specialises in healthy chirashi (scattered) sushi bowls: rice mixed with fish, vegetables and whatever else fits the bill. Diners can customise meals themselves or opt for one of Angelo’s well-thought-out combinations – signature dishes include ‘The Humble Chicken’, made with dashi-braised chicken (a Japanese broth), umami mushrooms, shichimi mayo and spicy beansprouts; and yuzu-spiked salmon, topped with avocado, cured cucumber, sushi ginger and crispy shallots. Despite Angelo’s Michelin-star experience it’s not fancy dining, just top quality food with a casual, grab-and-go feel. The colourful, pretty bowls are guaranteed to brighten up your Instagram feed too.
Avocado fans, this one’s for you: London’s first avocado restaurant, celebrating the far-reaching potential of everyone’s favourite green super fruit. This was dreamed up as a pop-up devoted to all things avolicious, but near the end of last year it found a permanent home on Henrietta Street, in the heart of Covent Garden. The eclectic menu proves everything can be made from avocado, from butter to cheesecake to burgers. Standout dishes include their Insta-famous Avo Burger: a sweet potato and red lentil patty sandwiched inside a whole avocado, and their Smashed Chilli Avo, a twist on the classic avo-on-toast: smashed avocado served on sweet potato ‘toast’ with coconut labneh. If you fancy something sweet go for their zingy avocado cheesecake, made with vegan ‘white chocolate’ and lime, and wash it down with one of their creamy smoothies – we recommend the ‘Avobanaberries’. Their Californian-style interiors are just as Instagrammable as the food, with a beachy, laid-back atmosphere, leafy decor and earthy wooden seats. The perfect spot for brunch or for a nutritious evening meal with friends.
Enjoy a slice of Melbourne in London at Bill Granger’s Aussie-inspired eatery, now with four branches across the city. Tuck into small plates of tuna tartare, kimchi and pickled nashi pear; and courgette chips, nigella seed and tahini yoghurt, followed by a wholesome yellow fish curry with spiced butternut squash; a big colourful bowl of goodness; or a lentil dahl with coconut yoghurt. Whichever outpost you choose, you can guarantee hearty, fresh food paired with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere – a winning combination.
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