London, Ontario is a city of 400,000+ people in the heart of the most populated region of Canada. A short trip from Toronto or Detroit, London has a thriving food & arts scene, and a burgeoning vegan culture. More and more, vegan- or vegan-friendly restaurants & businesses are popping up in #ldnont and there’s less need to travel far and wide to satisfy a craving when the best vegan food is just down the street.
Here is a list of the best vegan restaurants, cafés & grocery stores in London. This list is probably incomplete and will grow all the time. If you have an idea for an addition or would like to submit a correction, let me know at paprikapapaya (at) gmail (dot) com.
(v) = vegan (vf) = vegan friendly
Bakeries and Cafes
10Eighteen Coffee Bar (vf)
This coffee shop located in the Old East Village (near the old Kellogg’s factory) has a great vibe, a pour over coffee bar (which my coffee-obsessed husband was impressed by) and plenty of vegan goodies like cookies, bars, etc. They also have a Nuts for Cheese vegan cheese board!
Boho Bakeshop (vf)
Located on the second level of the Western Fair Farmer’s Market, this little stall has vegan and gluten free cookies, donuts, bars and more available! Everything I’ve tried so far has been really tasty.
Boombox Bakeshop (v)
Based in London’s Old East Village which is becoming more “the place to be” by the minute, this bright pink house-turned-bakeshop features a bakery case full of sweets — from their signature vegan cupcakes to turnovers, cookies and more. They also have coffees, teas and kombucha, and a small seating area to enjoy your treats in-house. Gluten free options available.
Locomotive Espresso (vf)
Located in my ‘hood, my husband tells me this is the best place to buy coffee beans and best coffee in the city. They also have vegan butternut squash soup, a toast bar that offers Nuts for Cheese cream cheese, and likely other yummy things.
Naturally Vegan Company (v)
Located in the “food incubator” area in the Old East Village Grocer, this new all-vegan food stall offers sweets, sandwiches and salads, as well as a multi-course hot lunch service on Fridays that isn’t to be missed!
Rhino Lounge (vf)
Inside Museum London, this gorgeous little place has the most insane vegan CRONUTS and donuts. Yes, croissant donuts. I love the vibe here, the staff is really friendly and I repeat: CRONUTS.
Ritual is London’s answer to the indie coffee shops of Brooklyn and beyond. Plenty of seating, all drinks can be made vegan with dairy-free milk options, and a daily ever-changing assortment of vegan things to nibble on. Most often, you can count on a delicious vegan oat bar on the menu, as well as steel cut oatmeal, soup, salads and sandwiches (often featuring Nuts for Cheese vegan cheeses). Personal favourite.
The Coffeehouse (vf)
If you’re in the Old East Village, want to rest your bones after shopping at the Farmer’s Market, you can head over to The Coffeehouse and find something vegan to eat. They have a raw vegan blueberry orange cheesecake, and have been told they usually have other vegan offerings as well.
The Ground Up Cafe (v)
Located on Richmond Street near Oxford, this all-vegan eatery has sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as delish donuts and more for you to nibble while you try their signature drink, the Coconuck (like a Tim Horton’s double double but better).
Farm Boy (vf)
Although not my preferred grocery store (it’s not very close to me), Farm Boy has a focus on great produce with lots of organic options, a well-stocked vegan and health-focused grocery section, and an impressive salad and hot bar with lots of well-labeled vegan food options (that’s my favourite part!).
Homeopathy London (vf)
In the Covent Garden Market downtown, check out this little wonder (with no signage, as far as I can tell). This is the place for Daiya, Tofutti, Gardein, Field Roast, Amy’s, Tofurky, Sweets from the Earth, Earth Island, all sorts of candies, chips and ice creams, vegan makeup and hair products, cruelty-free household products, and vitamins. Staff is super friendly and helpful, and they’re always willing to order things in or take recommendations of new products to stock. Personal favourite.
Nuts for Cheese (v)
Who says vegans can’t enjoy brie, blue cheese, muenster, and other fancy cheeses? Check out Nuts for Cheese, available in her market stall on the 2nd floor of the Western Fair Farmer’s Market, or at most health food retailers in the surrounding area. Her cashew-based cheeses will impress even the most skeptical of dairy cheese mongers (though you might be inclined to not share and just keep it all for yourself). Try the Superblue, it’s laced with swirls of spirulina and it’s perfect on a cheese and pickle plate.
The original! Back when my husband went vegan 20+ years ago, this was the only store around to get non-dairy milks and whatever other stuff passed for vegan food back then. Good place to buy tempeh, Tofutti and Chao products, as well as Dandies, and lots of other snacks and things. Located in the heart of Wortley Village.
Real Canadian Superstore (vf)
Canada’s big supermarket chain, but with an impressive (and growing) vegan selection of products, I’d be amiss to not mention it. Check out the Natural Value section, where you can stock up on all the big vegan brands—yogurts, ice creams, frozen pizzas, granola and cereal, tofu, kombucha, and a lot more. If there’s something you don’t see but want, mention it to your grocery manager! The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and who knows, they might decide to bring in something that other people will love, too.
A large grocery store out in the Northwest end of the city, Remark carries an impressive selection of vegan foods including Pulp & Press juices, Nuts for Cheese and lots more. They have really great produce as well.
Looking for canned jackfruit, mock meats, exotic fruits and veg (breadfruit or durian, anyone?), tofu and a ton of specialty ingredients? This is your store. Plan to take your time parousing the aisles, and chucking more into your little wheely basket than you thought you needed. Definitely grab canned jackfruit for pulled jackfruit sandwiches, fresh handmade ho fun noodles, check out the frozen veggie meats (the “ham” tube is delicious), stock up on vegan oyster sauce and worchestershire sauce, and check out the various Korean vegan dumplings. Personal favourite.
Bondi’s Pizza (vf)
The first in London to introduce vegan cheese and pepperoni, and I love them for that! This is the place when you want a classic cheese (ask for Daiya!) and pepperoni (ask for vegan!) ‘za. Add pineapple and mushrooms as well, my personal favourite. They also offer their garlicky dip sticks with Daiya cheese, just ask for that as well.
This chain pizzeria offers vegan Daiya cheese if you ask!
Pizza Pizza (vf)
Pizza Pizza now carries Violife vegan cheese!
Pizza Projekt (vf)
I haven’t been here yet, but I have heard through multiple sources that they have vegan options! I’ll add to this once I can confirm.
Rico’s Pizzeria (vf)
Rico’s used to just have one location out in the East End where you could get a reliable, classic, authentic pizza (hold the cheese). Their new, swanky eat-in restaurant downtown across from the Budweiser Gardens not only has a very cozy ambiance, they have a ton of vegan options including cheeses (with Nuts for Cheese), coconut bacon, and unique veggie toppings. Delicious, thin crust. A contender for best fancy pizza I’ve had.
Located near Victoria Park downtown, Stobie’s is open until 4am and now carries vegan cheese and pepperoni! My favourite is the Veggie Tuscan with Daiya, swap out the pesto sauce for regular marinara as the pesto has cheese in it.
TG’s Addis Ababa (vf)
TG’s Addis Ababa is an Ethiopian restaurant near the Old East Village. Owners TG (the chef!) and her husband Sam (front of house) are a dream team of absolute awesomeness — they are both very kind and personable. They have a vegan platter on the menu, ready for you to order. Personal favourite.
Chi Hi (vf)
Chi Hi is a quiet Vietnamese restaurant located in the Old East Village right next to the Aeolian Hall and they have an abundance of well-labeled vegan options — including vegan pho and banh mi subs! The vegan pho is one of my very favourite dishes ever, and will cure what ails you. Personal favourite.
If curries like aloo gobi and aloo mattar are your jam (they are mine), then head to Curry’s. The staff is knowledgeable and will be able to advise which dishes on the menu are suitable for vegans (without ghee [clarified butter], cream, etc.). There’s a ton to choose from, ranging from mild to blazing hot.
Early Bird (vf)
Maybe not the first restaurant you’d think of when you think vegan food, but the Early Bird Diner, located near the Bud Gardens has one of the best vegan sandwiches in the city. The Ginger Beer Battered Tofu Sandwich is absolutely delicious — just be sure to ask for it vegan, as it comes default with an aioli and a bread that isn’t vegan. They’ll happily replace it, though, and I suggest you pair it with their house salad as it’s EPIC and topped with a ton of avocado.
Who says vegan food can’t be classy as fuck? Glassroots fills the void that London had for a while of no fancy vegan fare. Chef Yoda and Sous Chef Tim create a menu that’s whimsical, thoughtful and inspired. Menu changes weekly as they focus on local ingredients, check out their website or Facebook page for details on what’s on for the week. Personal favourite.
Globally Local (v)
Vegan fast food in #ldnont! The first of its kind that I’ve seen anywhere, Globally Local is offering vegan fast food at cheap prices. They have a vegan big mac, ferchrissakes. Also, breakfast items like a tofu scramble breakfast burrito, chia french toast and more. So amazing.
Kosmo’s Eatery (vf)
On Richmond Row near Victoria Park, this cozy place regularly has vegan items (always a vegan soup) as well as items that can easily be made vegan. They have a tofu banh mi I’ve been told I need to get.
Los Comales Latin Food (vf)
If you love latin food as much as I do, this is your place! The staff is so friendly and knowledgeable and they know just how to make things vegan. If you call ahead and give them time, they’ll make sure to get vegan cheese, and will make you something extra special! Try the housemade hot sauce, it’s a great smoky chipotle-habanero blend that’s a nice medium heat.
Marky’s Crepes (vf)
I’ve been hearing for years that Marky’s will make vegan crepes if you call ahead. Why on earth I have never taken them up on this is beyond me (it’s literally down the street from me). I intend to go and try them out ASAP!
Plant Matter Kitchen (v)
Plant Matter Kitchen, in the heart of the Wortley village, is a gorgeous, sunny space that features salads, bowls, juices and smoothies as well as a host of hot entrées. Check out things like their regular Taco Tuesday offerings!
Prince Albert’s Diner (vf)
A London institution that I spent many a night at after punk shows in my youth, Prince Al’s is holding down the vegan tip with classic veggie burgers and veggie dogs, massive piles of fries and always-friendly service. Open late for all your greasy spoon needs. Personal favourite.
Rock Au Taco (vf)
Attached to the Early Bird listed above, this muy authentico taco shop offers both potato (papa) and bean (frijoles) vegan tacos (ask to hold the dairy). Definitely try the housemade hot sauce, it’s delicious!
State and Main (vf)
I’ve been told that this chain eatery out in the West End has vegan chicken that you can substitute in as your protein! Helpful, vegan-friendly staff that knows exactly what can be made vegan (like a vegan chicken wrap or chicken tacos). I’ll be going there on my next trip out there to the nearby Costco!
If you’re looking for an upscale southern Vietnamese dining experience, head to Tamarine. They have plenty of well-labeled vegan options, including avocado rolls, vermicelli bowls, curried long beans with tofu, basil tofu, pad thai, etc….so yum.
Thaifoon has quickly become one of my favourite restaurants for dinners with omnivorous company. The Thai fare is delicious and the cozy ambiance makes for good vibes. My personal favourite is the Drunkard Noodles with Tofu, and be sure to cap your meal off with Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango (just ask for it without the ice cream). Personal favourite.
The River Room (vf)
Located in Museum London, this fine dining restaurant apparently has vegan options at the ready (vegan cobb salad, beet burger, as well as regular vegan specials). I haven’t been yet, but I’ll update with more description once I have been!
The Root Cellar (vf)
The Root Cellar in Old East Village is a cool eatery with a great ambiance and a ton of vegan food options, including bowls, sandwiches, smoothies, a great breakfast burrito, a tofu scramble breakfast plate, nachos…it can be quite busy, so check in advance if they can seat you!
The Works (vf)
If a good burger is your thing, The Works has a veggie patty which you can customize with a large selection of toppings, like peanut butter, jerk sauce, etc. FYI, the gravy for their fries is also vegan. Right by the Covent Garden Market downtown.
Toboggan Brewing Co. (vf)
Toboggan Brewing is a craft brewery with a nice summer patio right in the heart of the city. While you’re enjoying a housemade brew, you can order lentil meat tacos (hold the cheese and aioli) and vegetable potstickers.
Under the Volcano (vf)
Mexican food! Well-labeled vegan dishes are called out on the menu, such as tacos, fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, quesadillas and more. Casual vibe. They bring out delicious housemade, still-warm tortilla chips and salsa (which are vegan) as you wait. I also love the virgin margaritas as a treat!
Wolfe of Wortley (vf)
Although the menu is typically very heavy on meaty things, chef, owner and our friend Justin Wolfe will happily accommodate vegans and whip you up something crazy-delicious if you ask ahead.
You Made It Cafe (vf)
Supporting Youth Opportunities Unlimited (a great organization that helps youth get off the streets and into stable situations), this cafe has several vegan bagel varieties, including a vegan bagel sandwich (with vegenaise), a wrap, great home fries, salads and there’s always a vegan soup option. I’ve heard their almond milk lattes are also really good.
Zen Gardens (vf)
An all-vegetarian Chinese restaurant, with a ton of faux meat options, the MOST DELICIOUS BBQ “pork” steamed buns, wonton soup (one of my favourite dishes in the whole city), kung po “chicken”, and so much more. Best bang for your buck is getting the dinner combo (make sure to order it vegan, as they do have some just-vegetarian options) as that includes a nice tea service, soup, a bento loaded with different things + your main, and a small date square to finish off the meal. Personal favourite.
Grab and Go Eateries
Bar Burrito (vf)
Over by Fanshawe College, a make-your-own burrito joint with a veggie soy option for the protein, you can load up your own toppings and get exactly what you want for a good price.
Lebanese food, where you at! Barakat has very well-labeled vegan options (they even have the word “vegan” on their sign out front) that includes falafel pita, lentil soup, and the world’s most delicious hummus. Seriously. Try the hummus. It’s insane. They also sell accidentally-vegan baklava near the cash register, which is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Open late. Personal favourite.
Burrito Boyz (vf)
Another make-your-own burrito shop, this one is my favourite. They have both veggie soy and sweet potato as your main filling, and you can load up your burrito with all the toppings you desire. The guacamole, refried beans and rice are all vegan, FYI. Personal favourite.
Chil Frozen Yogurt Bar (vf)
This amazing fro yo bar boasts a huge toppings selection (vegan is clearly labeled) and several vegan fro yo options including an almond milk vanilla! One of my favourite summer treats. Located downtown.
I understand Chipotle has a vegan option with tofu, but I haven’t been there yet. I’ll report back when I have. In the White Oaks Mall area.
Dude Dogs (vf)
Beer-basted Tofurky grilled veggie dogs with all the fixins. Mmm. This little non-descript cart in the Beer Store parking lot on Adelaide Street can serve you up this for a small price. A great little spot to stop for lunch.
A healthy food chain with a ton of fresh, health-conscious bowls, salads, burritos, smoothies and juices…I love Freshii! I can reliably go there and get the Oaxaca Bowl (make sure to sub out the yogurt dressing for the cilantro lime vinaigrette, and add tofu for some ‘tein) and it’s delicious every time. My husband’s favourite is the Khao San burrito, which is a South Asian inspired tofu burrito with a lemongrass peanut sauce. Yum.
A big fast food restaurant chain in Canada, which has a really delicious veggie burger that you can totally customize the toppings on. The french fries and onion rings are also vegan. These are located every where, so good if you’re on a road trip or something.
JBogal Foods (vf)
VEGAN PIEROGIES. For real, this Western Fair Farmer’s Market vendors has a popular (get there early!) selection of handmade vegan pierogies (they also offer vegan sour cream!). So unbelievably yum.
Momos at the Market (vf)
Fresh and authentic Nepalese food in the Western Fair Farmer’s Market! Try their veggie curry, noodles, dumplings (momos!), fresh rolls, and fresh smoothies and juices. A Saturday morning farmer’s market staple!
New Delhi Deli (vf)
Located in the Covent Garden Market, this Indian market stall has the sweetest owner ever (shout out to Bahn!) and she always has plenty of vegan options. Sit down, let her serve you a plate bursting with flavour and love, and enjoy her company as she’s the best. Personal favourite.
Piping Kettle (vf)
Also located in the Covent Garden Market, this popular, busy lunch spot always has a vegan soup option, and you can make your own veggie sandwich as well.
Pulp and Press (v)
Fresh, organic cold pressed juices made right here in London, Ontario. You can find Pulp and Press juices at most coffee shops in the downtown area, or visit their storefront on Central Avenue near Victoria Park to grab some.
Thai Delight (vf)
Vegan (called out right on the menu!) pad thai, in the Covent Garden Market. It’s really delicious. Best Pad Thai in London, perhaps? Beware, all other veggie options here have fish sauce.
The Root Cellar Market Kitchen & Juice Bar (vf)
Upstairs at the Western Fair Farmer’s Market, they’ll whip you up a fresh pressed juice while you wait (I love the Sikorski Slammer personally). I’ve also been told they offer vegan wraps, soup and salad.
The Salad Bowl (vf)
A make-your-own salad and sandwich joint in the, you guessed it, Covent Garden Market. They have tofu, vegan dressings and a ton of veg you can load into a salad or pile into a grilled ciabatta sandwich. Bonus, the owner is a super-genius who remembers your order every time without having to tell him. Personal favourite.
Triniman Kitchen (vf)
Triniman is the jam. This Trinidadian restaurant is located in the basement level of an office building, but don’t let the non-descript location fool you: this food is the real deal. Veggie roti the size of your head, and Doubles (chickpea curry sandwich topped with tamarind chutney). Say ‘yes’ to hot sauce.
Union Burger (vf)
A fast food restaurant with a reliable, tasty veggie burger (make sure they don’t put mayo or cheese on it) and fries (get the gravy, it’s vegan!). Located downtown.
Charities, Activist Groups and Other
Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary (v)
Cedar Row makes my heart happy. This completely volunteer run farm sanctuary, located just about 30 minutes outside the city, has regular work visits where you can strap on your wellies and muck about for an afternoon, all to help the resident animals who are all rescues. They also host annual open houses, usually one in the summer and one around Christmas, with a big bake sale that I often donate baked goods to. Just an amazing place run by amazing people.
Fanshawe Vegan Association (v)
A community group of vegans at Fanshawe College.
London Chicken Save (v)
Local vegan group dedicated to demonstrations and bearing witness for chickens.
London Pig Save (v)
Local vegan group dedicated to demonstrations and bearing witness for pigs.
Vegfest London Ontario (v)
Our very own Veg Fest! This is a huge event that happens annually in the fall, and each year it’s bigger and better than the year before.
Western Ontario Vegan Society (v)
A community group of vegans at Western University.