5 veggie dishes every Londoner should know
Take a plant-based food trip across London
Five vegetarian and vegan dishes, as selected by the Vittles food newsletter editor, Jonathan Nunn
Eat your way from Israel to the Caribbean as Jonathan Nunn, the editor behind successful food newsletter Vittles, takes us on an odyssey from East London to Elephant and Castle, sharing his top five vegetarian and vegan dishes, each paying homage to its chef’s roots.
The falafel pocket
Pockets, London Fields
Seeing this falafel pocket being assembled by Itamar Grinberg in Netil Market has something of a meditative effect, in the same way your mind might be empty of thought upon watching the careful, ordered moves of a master conducting a tea ceremony, except it comes with a big chip on top.
The bean cake
Ekuru is a Yoruba bean cake, turned into a slim ingot by Chishuru chef Joké Bakare that tastes something like how I imagine it might feel to eat cumulonimbus.
Asher’s Africana, Wembley
Asher’s Africana is an all veg restaurant in Wembley featuring a semi-open kitchen of aunties stirring steel pots big enough to hide in. The roti, so featherlite and decadent with ghee, but with the savoury backbone of wholemeal that makes you feel virtuous for eating it, is worth the trip alone.
The pani puri
Dosa Express, Wembley
Dosa Express is one of my favourite dosa spots in Wembley but it now has an outwards-facing stand making pani puri. It’s very easy to inhale eight pani puri in the blink of the eye, like a Hungry Hungry Hippo.
The veg plate
Kaieteur Kitchen, Castle Square
This is the only restaurant where I never order from the menu from, I just ask chef Faye Gomes what she wants to feed me and she decides. Her vegetarian cooking is every bit as good as her meat: a completely verdant plate of spinach rice, cooked down with coconut milk, chickpeas, extra stewed spinach, plantain, and roti makes me feel like a king for the rest of the day.
Vittles publishes food and culture writing from across the world, platforming voices not given space within traditional food media.
What’s so good about this?
Eating less meat and more plants is better for your diet and the planet. Growing and producing plant-based foods has less environmental impact as it usually uses less land, energy and water. However, stepping into a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing vegan proposition or happen overnight. Get creative with a cauliflower and take it one step at a time to have less impact on our iconic wildlife.