London's first vegetarian restaurant is closing and we couldn’t be sadder

The first vegetarian restaurant to open in London will call time this summer after 44 years in business.

 

The well-loved Food For Thought, known for its consistently good meat-free grub at reasonable prices (and for being popular with celebrities such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers) will close for good on 21 June 2015.

 

A statement on their website said: “The time has come to call it a day. For more than 40 years Food For Thought has withstood the corporate march, refusing to be processed, packaged or pocketed."

 

While much of the chatter online blames rising rents, Food For Thought said this on their website:

 

"The reasons for closing Food for Thought are more complex than the matter of escalating rents, although these have played their part.


“Suffice it to say that we have had enough. We have enjoyed cooking beans but there is no fun when the entire focus is on counting them.

 

“To continue in Neal Street would require compromising the principles on which it has been run. At present there are no plans for relocation. Who knows what the future holds?” 

 

Here's what we'll miss most about Food For Thought:

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Securing that booth at the back

Granted, it isn't always easy to find a seat in this cosy little place but the joy you felt when those seats at the back of the restaurant were free made you feel like you were acing life. 


Tap water wasn’t an issue

Somehow they seemed to be the first restaurant to understand that it was OK to give us water on the table. And breathe.


The strawberry and banana scrunch is a force to be reckoned with

If you've had one of these desserts before then we need not utter another word, but for everyone else you need to know one thing: get yourself down there before before they close in June. This creamy treat is totally addictive. 

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The menu is small but perfectly formed

Dishes such as stews, soups and quiches to make you drool are consistently good and reasonably priced – you can get a hearty lunch for under a fiver. 

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You would never leave hungry

The portions are delightfully huge and the dishes are like a giant hug in food form.


It’s a real London gem

After all, it was the first vegetarian restaurant to open in the capital in the 1970s. History means nothing to these landlords. Sniff.


It was well-loved by some of the most carnivorous of people

*See all other reasons*