Only a decade ago, a list of London’s best vegan desserts would have consisted of a fruit plate and a sorbet selection. Other than this, sweet treats were practically non-existent in the world of Veganism. Luckily, times have changed. Those who are plant-based can now have their cake and eat it too. That is thanks to an increasing number of eateries catering to them. Here is my list of the most delicious vegan dessert places in London. Hopefully, I’ll be proving to you that being vegan doesn’t mean a life riddled of pure indulgence.
Being vegan for over 3 years, I’ve been able to visit each of these places. Of course, simply trailing for writing purposes only. While on my visits, I’ve captured lots of photos of their delicious desserts – some of which are in this article.
#1: Juice Baby
Juice Baby is a fully vegan modern café located in both King’s Road in Chelsea and Notting Hill. As well as selling some interesting sandwiches and salads, they sell yummy, sweet treats. They have a brilliant variety of açaí bowls available which are made up of tasty ingredients including cacao powder, almond butter and dates. These vegan dessert bowls are the perfect balance of nutritious and delicious.
More so, Juice Baby sell some mouth-watering raw desserts. These include brownies, caramel bars, hazelnut tiramisu and pumpkin pie, to name just a few. I think it is safe to say that Juice Baby is one of my sister’s favourite vegan dessert spots in London. Like me, she is vegan and frequently visits this healthy haven with her friends. Great desserts, great company; nothing is better.
Yorica is a fully vegan ice-cream parlour located in Soho and Notting Hill. All the recipes are made without wheat, gluten and nuts, so it is completely free-from.
They offer a large array of ice-cream flavours. For example, salted caramel, banoffee, chocolate orange and gooey vanilla brownie. But wait, it gets better, you can also get waffles, crêpes, shakes and frozen yogurt too. It’s as if you’re entering a vegan dream world. There’s even a great selection of toppings for your dessert at the counter including fruits, marshmallows, cookies, brownies and popcorn. All that’s left to do is cover your dessert in sprinkles from the sprinkle machines – free of charge – and enjoy.
Besides, Yorica is, without a doubt, my favourite quick vegan dessert spot in central London. Whenever I’m somewhat close by, I end up having to make a detour there. I’ve visited with vegans and non-vegans and they all love it. You really can’t go wrong with Yorica.
#3: Veggie Pret
Many people would know about or have visited Pret a Manger. They are a chain of coffee shops located all over England. Well, now, meet Veggie Pret – Pret a Manger’s sister stores, founded in 2016. They are in Soho, Shoreditch and Exmouth Market.
Veggie Pret sells only vegetarian and vegan food. Of course, they have a vast choice of delicious plant-based sandwiches, salads and wraps alongside a hearty vegan macaroni cheese. However, I want to focus on the range of sweet treats they have on offer for the meat-free masses.
Exclusively at Veggie Pret, they have a rich and indulgent chocolate brownie filled with gooey salted caramel – my favourite, hands down. More so, they sell a tasty chocolate coconut bar which is, put simply, a vegan bounty bar. For healthier vegan dessert alternatives, you can purchase chocolate or mango creamy chia pots made with coconut yogurt.
It is worth noting, Pret a Manger has recently launched a vegan chocolate and almond butter cookie. People are raving about it. So, if you can’t make it to Veggie Pret’ soon, pop into your local Pret a Manger for a delectable afternoon pick-me-up.
Cookies and Scream is a fully vegan, gluten-free and wheat-free bakery located in Holloway Road, North London. They offer an indulgent selection of cookies, brownies (and blondies), pies and donuts baked fresh daily. With food made from healthy ingredients, this plant-based bakery is not one to miss. I must make a special mention to their increasingly popular milkshakes, which they call thick shakes. A truly irresistible treat come rain or shine.
#5: Wild Food Café
Wild Food Café is a fully vegan restaurant tucked away in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden. They are known for creating innovative and interesting raw dishes made from organic and wholesome ingredients. All their food is free of gluten, wheat, soy, peanuts and refined sugar too.
They have an incredible and unusual array of vegan savoury dishes – perfect for lunch and dinner. Furthermore, they offer some truly scrumptious and beautifully hand-crafted desserts. Some of them include the indulgent chocolate tart with gooey date caramel, the sweet banoffee pie and the creamy blueberry and vanilla cheesecake. All of them have been tried and tested by me and they are all divine and worth a try. Go with your friends or family and share all their desserts would be my advice.
Also, Wild Food Café change their menu seasonally. Therefore, you really can never get bored of the choices. Whether your vegan or not, it’s certainly one to visit if you’re in Covent Garden.
#6: The Gate
The Gate is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant located in 3 areas across London; Marylebone, Islington and Hammersmith. Although they have a few vegetarian dishes unable to be made vegan, most of their food is vegan or, has a plant-based option available.
With inventive and impressive savoury starters and main dishes, the menu is everything but dull and cliché. Most importantly though, they have some stunning desserts to get your taste buds tingling; all but one is vegan. The puddings on offer for plant-based eaters include a delicate cappuccino cheesecake, a rich chocolate caramel mousse, a citrus tart and, my favourite, the pecan eton mess with sweet strawberries.
The Gate is the perfect restaurant to go to for an enjoyable evening out with friends. An exquisite meal, finished with a scrumptious vegan dessert and accompanied by a refreshing cocktail (if you like). What more could you want?
Farmacy is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant located in Notting Hill. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, anytime you visit, you’ll be in for a real treat.
Now, onto their classic desserts, which are all vegan, by the way. There is a warm coconut rice pudding served with a crisp coconut cookie. They also have a caramelised banana bread and peanut butter pudding made with peanut cream and ice-cream – mouth-watering. A few other puddings on offer are the rich brownie sundae with fruits and caramel, and the raw chocolate tart served with ice-cream and a chocolate crumble. Very indulgent, very worth it.
Additionally, Farmacy has a selection of refreshing plant-based ice-creams in vanilla cashew, chocolate and coconut. These would be perfect to try on a sunny day in London to keep you cool.
#8: Firmdale Hotels
I couldn’t not include Firmdale Hotels vegan afternoon tea. Firmdale Hotels is a group of beautiful, luxurious and individually designed hotels located in London and New York. Of course, for this article, I’m writing about the hotels you can visit in London.
Firmdale Hotels in London:
- Ham Yard Hotel, Soho (near Mayfair)
- Haymarket Hotel, Piccadilly Circus
- The Soho Hotel, Soho (near Wardour Street)
- Charlotte Street Hotel, North Soho
- Covent Garden Hotel, Covent Garden
- Dorset Square Hotel, Marylebone
- Knightsbridge Hotel, Knightsbridge
- Number Sixteen Hotel, Kensington
In each hotel, they offer an exquisite plant-based afternoon tea alongside their traditional ones. Some of the food provided in the afternoon tea differs slightly at each hotel. However, the stunning flavours are a constant. So far, I have visited 2 out of the 8 hotels within the Firmdale group, the Hamyard and the Haymarket. I’ve gone several times to both and each time I go, I love the tea more.
Within the afternoon tea is a tasty selection of small savoury dishes including delicious finger sandwiches and interesting salads. On top of that, you get an irresistible assortment of sweet treats including pastries, tarts, cakes and macarons. Each vegan dessert looks wonderful and tastes heavenly. However, the freshly baked vegan scones with jam and a plant-based cream alternative is my favourite. A British tea just isn’t complete without a scone!
These afternoon teas are perfect for a special occasion or if you just fancy treating yourself. So, go ahead and book a table, you’ve got nothing to lose.
If you fancy creating your own vegan dessert, follow this vegan banana bread recipe. It’s delicious and perfect as part of an afternoon tea.
Photography by Elissa Cynamon.