Raw food cafes & restaurants in London

Hi everyone I’m back!

Had the most amazing time in London and I miss that fascinating city already.

As you know, (a huge) part of my itinerary in London included checking out the raw and vegan food scene there. Didn’t manage to visit ALL the cafes & restaurants but I did check out a good number of them.

I visited 4 raw food cafes/restaurants in London; each very unique and all giving thier own spin on raw food. Here goes!

Warning: Very long post ahead, I’ll try to summarize as much as possible!

WILD FOOD CAFE

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When I mentioned that I was going to London, a few people highly recommended that i visit Wild Foods Cafe. So I just had to see what the fuss was about and boy was I glad I did. This unpretentious little cafe is so light and airy, the perfect place to hang out for brunch. Oh and i love those big windows because sun beams just stream through and made the whole place so cheery.

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The menu is pretty ingenious, a very creative use of raw ingredients and well, wild foods. What i love about the food is that it is prepared on the spot when you order – even though the waiting time is longer, you can be assured that the food is fresh and made with lots of TLC. The portions are generous and I love how they play with so much colour on their dishes. (Yes, i was eye stalking everyone’s dishes around me) They also have a juice bar on the first floor called Wild Juicery but I was too stuffed after my meal to try.

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Raw burger on an organic sprouted bread with a side of sweet potato wedges. OMG this was so fresh and so good. I LOVED LOVED the dehydrated ontions and sauces. Check out how large thier tomato is too

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Raw Tacos with guacamole and raw mayo…You understand what I mean by generous servings now right

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Raw chocolate and Almond Mousse …hmmm..nothing special, I’ve had better raw cakes

Overall : My new favourite raw/vegan cafe in London!! You betcha i will be back the moment I set foot in London again. Loving the mains and
Location : Wild Food Cafe  14 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden
Nearest tube : Covent Garden

INSPIRAL LOUNGE

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Ever since I stumbled onto Inspiral Lounge on my first visit to London in  2012, I’ve made it a point to visit this cafe every time I’m in London. Located in vibrant Camden Town, Inspiral Lounge turns into a music venue at night and also hosts regular raw cooking classes, open mic nights and performances.

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Raw cakes on display

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The menu serves up raw & vegan dishes and an amazing assortment of raw desserts which have kept me coming back time and time. I ordered their set meal which included 1 raw dish + 1 large plate from the Vegan side bar + 1 dessert. I’m a huge sucker for presentation and was quite disappointed that the vegan plate was just piled with every dish from the vegan side bar. I mean it tasted delicious but I really couldnt tell what I was eating.

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My vegan plate…an assortment from the vegan salad bar

mini-DSCN9313Raw burger – patty was better than the one from WIldFood and the salsa was good. But the flavours didn’t go as well as the WIld Food one.

mini-DSCN9310Their raw ice cream was really not my cup of tea. I tried the vanilla flavoured one and I could still taste the cashew. Texture wise, it wasn’t smooth either. Hmmm…

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Raw choco ganache tart. The chocolate was yummy and decadent but I wish there was more base to balance out the flavour.

Overall : Probably tied with Wild Food Cafe as my favourite cafe in London because I absolutely love the quirky vibe and ambience of the place. I would recommend this place more for desserts, chilling out and people watching. Don’t forget to check if they have offers for their packaged Inspiral products because I bought my kale chips and raw granola at a 2 for 1 promo!
Location : Inspiral Lounge 250 Camden High Street, Camden Lock
Nearest tube : Camden Town

42 DEGREES RAW

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42 degrees raw is the only fully raw cafe of the bunch. Located inside the Royal Academy (enter from the back entrance), it has scattered seating indoors and outdoors…but i would recommend you seating outdoors if the weather is good.

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This is my second time visiting 42 degrees raw. One my first visit, I had the raw lasagna and some Spirulina ball which was very good! Was quite disappointed because this time around the menu was more limited and they only had 2 desserts:( . Most of the food is also pre-packed for take away; possibly to cater for the city crowd. Since i was there for brunch, I settled for a breakfast item and dessert and well, all my disappointment faded away because the my orders were so delicious.

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Raw cashew yogurt with muesli, fruits and nuts. DELICIOUS. I’m gonna make my own soon! mini-DSCN9528 mini-DSCN9536

Raw lime pie with a ginger tart. I was so surprised by how good this tastes….i had to ask the server twice if this was raw.

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Overall : Good for take- aways but I would recommend eating in especially if you love spending a quiet day alone and have time to kill. I spent 2 hours reading/people watching the upper class artsy crowd go in and out of the musuem….quite delightful. Small portions but the food is good. And try the deserts. Like seriously, please do.

Location : 42 degrees raw 6 Burlington Gardens, City of Westminster, London
Nearest tube : Piccadilly Circus

SAF RESTAURANT

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I previously read a review on a London blog and was joking to my friends that SAF was a tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson. Sorry to disappoint Man U fans but SAF actually stands for Simply Authentic Food. I was eagerly anticipating to review SAF because I’ve heard so much about it and its reputation as an “Award Winning Raw Food Restaurant”.

SAF Restaurant is the “posh-nosh” of the raw dining scene in London. Besides being a proper restaurant (the rest are mainly cafes), it has an expensive swanky interior, beautifully plated food and steeper prices.

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Picture taken from SAF, wanted to show you all the interior!

Met up with my friends in London and to my surprise, they actually heard of SAF before and were very willing to try out the food even though none of them are vegetarian! Woohoo lucky me for once Im not eating veggie foods alone. I thought the dishes were well thought through, great flavours and extremely fresh, quality ingredients. How did it fare for my 3 non-veg friends? Well to their (and my) surprise, they loved it too! Everything scored well except for the deserts which were a HUGE let down and scarred my dining experience.cashew cheese

Raw cashew cheese with flax crackers. OO YUMMY!!!!

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Guacamole with veggie sticks. Er…..couldn’t believe i was paying in pounds for this.portobello

Slow Roasted Aubergine Stack….SOOOOOO delicious. The broth tasted very asian! pumpkin soupPumpkin soup with gluten free bread

rainbow saladRaw rainbow salad with sprouted red quinoa, marinated red and white cabbage, carrot, daikon, cucumber, spring greens, sprouted mung bean and lentils…and a delightful  oregano-lemon vinaigrette.

vegan risottoVegan summer risotto – Organic Arborio rice with a miso ‘cream’, fresh broad beans, grilled courgettes, roasted garlic and saffron topped with a shaved fennel salad. This was the star dish of the day. All 4 of us raved about this…and how its better than so many normal risottos.

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Raw tiramisu ——- disappointment. Thats probably how much i ate and stopped. mini-DSCN9356

Ice cream sorbet—there were two flavours banana and grapefruit. The banana flavour was good but the grapefruit one was so sour it tasted rancid. Well, on the plus side, the texture and and taste was exactly like ice cream. Inspiral should take a page from them on this. mini-DSCN9355

Lime mousse tart with coconut crust and berry compote. Looks delicious, tastes okay.

Overall : Its a great place to give yourself a treat and want to dine somewhere nice. Good place to bring people who are interested about raw foods because its spacious enough to sit and talk and you can shop around Wholefoods after your meal!

Location : SAF Restaurant The Barkers Building, Whole Foods Market
Nearest tube : High Street Kensington