Nine of the best restaurants for vegan dining

From Brighton to Bangkok, Tel Aviv to Tokyo – where to find plant-based cuisine at its finest

Cucumber and sticky rice at Vanilla Black
Cucumber and sticky rice at Vanilla Black

Vanilla Black, London

“Apologies in advance, no pasta bake or vegetable curry” reads the website for this fine-dining vegetarian restaurant in Holborn. What you’ll find instead is wholly more interesting, with vegan offerings including a starter of baby fennel with creamed lemon and toast; a main of cauliflower croquettes with endive and cocoa; and a dessert of pear and ginger sorbet with poached pear and pomegranate. 17-18 Took’s Court, London EC4 (vanillablack.co.uk). 

Vanilla Black in London’s Holborn
Vanilla Black in London’s Holborn

Opa, Tel Aviv

The Israeli city is a vegan hotspot, and Opa has a reputation for simple, contemporary plant-based cuisine. Dishes centre on one ingredient cooked in different forms, so expect takes on fennel (served with fennel seeds and tarragon), Jerusalem artichoke (with macadamia, mustard and lemon) and lettuce (with Chinese cabbage, capers and coriander). Ha-Khalutzim Street 8, Tel Aviv 6652308 (opatlv.co.il).

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Daigo, Tokyo

Shojin ryori, the traditional dining style of Buddhist monks in Japan, cuts out all meat and fish. Holding two Michelin stars, Daigo is Tokyo’s preeminent shojin ryori restaurant, serving a luxurious multicourse Kyoto-style set menu of dishes such as tempura sweet potato with bracken fern and artichoke hearts in miru. 2-3-1 Atago, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0002 (atago-daigo.jp).

Homo Vegetus consommé at Joia, Milan
Homo Vegetus consommé at Joia, Milan | Image: Gilberti Ricca

Joia, Milan

From Swiss chef-owner Pietro Leemann comes a Michelin-starred establishment with a menu that’s 80 per cent vegan. This means risotto with artichokes and homemade miso, and cappelletti of radicchio and cannellini beans. Via Panfilo Castaldi 18, 20124 Milan (joia.it).

The menu at Michelin-starred Joia is 80 per cent vegan
The menu at Michelin-starred Joia is 80 per cent vegan

Greens, San Francisco

Opened in 1979, this San Francisco institution is still considered one of the best fine-dining vegan restaurants around. It offers an Asian-inflected menu of vegan and vegetarian dishes like cauliflower griddle cakes with coconut tamarind chutney and shaved fennel and blackened Hodu tofu with cabbage slaw and golden BBQ sauce. 2 Marina Boulevard, Fort Mason, Building A, San Francisco, CA 94123 (greensrestaurant.com).

Tofu at Terre à Terre, Brighton
Tofu at Terre à Terre, Brighton | Image: James Pike

Terre à Terre, Brighton

The UK’s vegan capital has no shortage of dedicated dining options. Its most lauded offering, however, is Terre à Terre, serving a fusion of Japanese, British, Chinese and Middle Eastern cuisine. Expect dishes like hoisin sesame tofu with yuzu pesto, basil cream and turmeric pickled ginger; or chickpea fritters with sumac pickles and aubergine zhuganoosh. 71 East Street, Brighton BN1 1HQ (terreaterre.co.uk).

Set in a beautifully renovated Bangkok home, Bo.lan serves a menu of elevated Thai food
Set in a beautifully renovated Bangkok home, Bo.lan serves a menu of elevated Thai food

Bo.lan, Bangkok

Set in a beautifully renovated home, Bo.lan serves a menu of elevated Thai food. Its Botanical set menu is completely plant based and features traditional plates like stir-fried long aubergine with preserved yellow beans, and galangal-infused coconut soup. 24 Soi Sukhumvit 53, Khlong Toey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 (bolan.co.th). 

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ABCV, New York

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s vegetarian and vegan restaurant has been linked with the “Goop style of transactional nutrition: if you eat X, then Y will (or won’t) happen”. But whether or not you believe that cucumbers help hypertension, ABCV’s vegan food – smoked butter beans with fried capers and ginger rosemary vinaigrette; slow-roasted beetroot with chilli aioli and pickles – is impressive. 38 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003 (jean-georges.com). 

Locavore, Ubud, Indonesia

Indonesian food is very vegan friendly, and Locavore is one of the best places to experience it. Its Herbivore tasting menu ranges from silken edamame tofu with lemongrass miso to honey pineapple braised in black citrus palm syrup, with coconut milk and pineapple sorbet. Last year, it won a Sustainable Restaurant Award for its commitment to local sourcing – from the ingredients to the plates and cocktail glasses, which are crafted nearby. 10 Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (locavore.co.id).

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