For a vegetarian, there’s nothing worse than going to a restaurant to find just one sad veggie option. Prevent such heartfelt disappointment with these marvellous meat-free menus
Photo: Grain Store
Practically an institution in London’s food scene, Mildreds have been serving up budget-friendly veggie fare since 1988. Loved by the likes of Stella McCartney, there’s a no booking policy and it's always busy so prepare to queue – it will be worth it, mind.
Where: Soho, London
Dishes like: creamy leek and mushroom pie with kale and carrot parsnip mash; Sri Lanken sweet potato and cashew nut curry with yellow basmati rice; sunblush tomato and mozzarella risotto cake with a grape mustard cream sauce
How much: from £8.20 for a main
When: noon – 11pm, Monday to Saturday
This is one of Brighton’s best-loved veggie spots and it’s easy to see why: good wholesome unpretentious food. Generous portions are a theme at this haunt so don’t be a martyr and pace yourself.
Where: Brighton, West Sussex
Dishes like: open saffron ravioli with crispy sage; scotch egg with chickpea and grated carrots; ricotta and shallot dumplings with creamy caraway savoy cabbage; tripled cooked chips with truffled mayonnaise
How much: from £12 for a main
When: 12pm-10pm Mon – Thur , 12pm-10.30pm Fri – Sat ,12pm-5pm Sun
As any veggie dining out will know, dessert often surpasses the main course. Not here.
Named after the year the Vegetarian Society was formed, the food here ensures carnivores don’t faint at the prospect of a meat-free meal. The Sunday lunch (think spiced squash balotine with a nut praline, yorkshire pudding, roasties, seasonal veg and ale gravy) is not to be missed.
Where: Manchester and Birmingham
Dishes like: beer-battered halloumi, mushy pea emulsion, lemon curd and sea herbs; squash veloute, gnocchi, burnt leek and feta terrine; curried root vegetable and smoked tofu kedgeree, puy lentils and soft-boiled quail egg
How much: 2 courses for £19, 3 courses for £25
When: 12pm-3pm and 5pm-10pm Mon – Fri, 12pm-10.30pm Sat, 12pm-8pm Sun
This is what happens when veggie food goes posh: creative, beautifully presented and refined food. The dishes may sound slightly odd (brie ice cream and poached blackberries, for instance) but it’s sure to satisfy and surprise even the most devout carnivore.
Where: Holborn, London
Dishes like: fried mushroom, sweetcorn and tarragon sponge with pickled moolie and crumbs; seared seaweed and cabbage with pickled potatoes, soda bread sauce, pickled mustard seeds and foraged seaside vegetables; goats' cheese and toasted cauliflower mille feuille
How much: two courses for £31, three courses for £41.50
When: 2pm-2.30pm and 6pm-10pm Mon – Sat
Have you heard the phrase “meatless panic"? Just suggest to a group of voracious meatlovers that they visit a vegetarian restaurant and you’ll soon see what we mean. The worry seems to be that the menu will be a sort of meat-and-two-veg situation minus the meat, but Terre à Terre will soothe their worries.
Yes, we’re talking about Brighton again but trust us, this is worth it. Terre à Terre is all about indulgence.
Where: Brighton, West Sussex
Dishes like: "big smoked Yukon gold potato packed with pokey paprika Applewood cheddar and sundried hash loaded with buttermilk Capricorn goats cream lava served with blasted quince, red cabbage salt crumbs, salt baked celeriac and roasted onion gel together with hispi sorrel truffle butter slaw and tiny jammed jackets crammed with celeriac and thyme puree, buttermilk goats cream and pine and basil pesto. Finished with smoked tomato sauce and spud snaps." And that's just one dish. Phew
How much: From £14.95 for a main
When: 12pm-5pm then 5pm-10.30pm Mon – Fri, 11am-5pm then 5pm-11pm Sat, 11am-5pm then 5pm-10pm Sun
If you’re a veggie and have been to Birmingham, then you’ll probably have heard of the Warehouse Café. Unpretentious and relaxed with comforting seasonal food and enthusiastic portions. All the grub is locally sourced, organic and fair trade, and you do need the halloumi "fish ‘n’ chips" in your life.
Dishes like: British samphire served with capers, water chestnuts and seaweed set in vegan butter with vegan caviar and crusty bread; battered halloumi with lime, wasabi pea puree and potato wedges
How much: from £6.95 for a main
When: 12pm-2pm and 5.30pm-10.30pm Tues – Sat
Housed in one of the oldest buildings in Bath, Acorn serves wonderfully casual but brilliant plates of food – the restaurant also sources its ingredients from local artisans.
Dishes like: cauliflower fritter with garlic dhal, crispy kale, cumin cauliflower and a tamarind and raisin puree; smoked field mushroom glazed in rich mushroom demi-glace with a potato gallette, salt baked celeriac puree and market greens
How much: 2 courses for £24.50, 3 courses for £31
When: 12pm-3pm and 5.30pm-21.30pm Sun – Fri, 12pm-3pm and 5pm-10pm Sat
This is the place to go when you want meatless versions of classic fare such as bangers and mash or kebabs – all with an LA–style vibe. For the indecisive diner there's an option to build your own meal. Now this could take a while ...
Where: Primrose Hill, London
Dishes like: potato and cashew cheese roulade served with rich mushroom, root vegetable, leek & ale ragu, massaged kale, green beans, a beetroot & horseradish slaw and herbed oil; baja california plate with grilled vegetable & chipotle tofu kebab, black bean & green pepper taquitos, corn & cherry tomato salsa, guacamole, green salad & sour cream
How much: £14 for a main
When: £12pm-3pm and 6.30pm-10pm Tues – Sat, 12pm-8.3pm Sun
This wonderful restaurant in Edinburgh conjures up a wide variety of flavours and combinations in the elegant surroundings of the Old Town. With influences from Thailand to India, the Mediterranean and the Pacific, the menu may sound confused but it’s good. Very good.
Dishes like: Jerusalem artichoke wellington with barley and roasted swede stew; Parsnip and apple Dunsyre Blue pudding with roast potatoes; whisky pannacotta with warm pear
How much: from £10.95 for a main
When: weekdays from 10am and weekends from 11am
Granted, there are some things that might put you off about this place: it’s right by Oxford Circus, it’s self-service, you pay for the food by weight and you basically build your own bespoke meal (this could fall into a positive or negative depending on how decisive you are). While hovering by the plates and bowls wondering whether Korean kimchi might go with the restaurant’s Indian-inflected scotch egg might seem daunting, stick with it, you can do it.
Where: Oxford Circus, London
Dishes like: aloo scotch eggs with spicy ketchup, nasu dengaku (Japanese miso aubergine) and zucchini and feta cakes
How much: it depends how hungry you are, they do it by weight
When: until 10pm Mon – Sat, 12pm-5pm Sun
This family-run fine dining restaurant is packed at weekends and it’s no wonder. With seasonal food with a Mediterranean twist (and a cinema and live jazz music on site) get your table booked early.
Dishes like: hazelnut and cashew pastry roule with date and apricot stuffing, roasted vegetables, mash potato and onion gravy; Italian socca pancake with roasted aubergines, puttanesca sauce, vegetables and rocket salad
How much: £11.95 for a main
When: 5.30pm-10pm daily
OK, so it’s not technically a veggie restaurant but there are so many meat-free options it would be a crime not to mention it. Run by French chef Bruno Loubet, who has had the Michelins and worked with some big hitters, the food is sunny in an almost California dreamin' kind of style.
Where: Kings Cross, London
Dishes like: preserved piquillo pepper, artichoke and vegetable chorizo paella; wild mushroom croquettes with pine needle salt; toasted fermented corn brioche, burnt leeks, slow-cooked duck egg and lovage oil
How much: from £6
When: 10am-11.30pm Mon – Wed, 10am-Midnight Thur – Fri, 10am-midnight Sat, 11am-4pm Sun