Dairy Free London: The Ultimate Guide
(Image source: Pixabay)
I don’t know about all of you, but I am one of those stereotypical British people who classify it as summer the minute it hits anything above 8 degrees. Simply put, the minute I do not have to wear my “big coat” I am dreaming away my life thinking about festivals, BBQs and the possibility of getting to use the rooftop pool at White City House when we move offices. While thinking about how gorgeous summer is, I remembered one of my biggest challenges last year.
Where the hell do you get good dairy-free ice cream in the city?
I recently got diagnosed with a Hiatal Hernia & Anaemia, which I talk about a bit on my Youtube Channel. Unfortunately for me, this means no heavy dairy products. This situation got me thinking a lot. Where to get the best dairy free treats really isn’t something that is covered by guidebooks like this one. So I am hoping to use my knowledge of the city to uncover dairy free London. I recently did a blog on Things to do in Mayfair . Did you know Elan Cafe does great dairy free cakes.
But where are the best places to get ice cream? Where are the best dairy free London restaurants? Also, can you get a dairy free milkshake in the city?
Dairy Free London Restaurants
Let’s start with the obvious one.
Where are the best dairy free London restaurants?
Despite the fact we are known for having some of the worst cuisines in the world, British people SERIOUSLY care about feeding their face. This means we put quite a bit of importance on knowing the best restaurants. Any good Londoner is expected to know at least three good restaurants, one for every budget. Let’s explore some of the places you can eat dairy free in London without having to get a second mortgage to afford some avo toast.
Elan Cafe – Various locations
While Elan Cafe isn’t a specifically marketed dairy free London restaurant, they have plenty DF on the menu. The majority of their menu is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. If you are visiting in the morning, they do a great Chia bowl with almond milk. If a Chia bowl has absolutely no hope of filling you up in the morning, Elan does a dairy free breakfast plate. They also have a lovely selection of cakes available including dairy free brownies.
Leggaro – Various locations
Leggaro started off their gluten free restaurant journey in Soho and then opened a branch in Elephant and Castle. Like Elan, they do not market themselves as dairy free. Their main USP is that they offer a number of gluten free items on their menu. Being such savvy, conscious business people though, they have a number of different options on the menu for those that need to avoid the white stuff. The menu offers up some seriously tasty chances to sample Italian food without having the added worry of accidentally ingesting dairy and being in pain and looking four months preggers the next day. One of the starters they offer is Lamb meatballs in a butternut squash cream – a classic example of a dish you could order off of a menu and assume it would have no dairy. Being one of the cornerstones of dairy free London – they obviously also delve into the trendy food you would find in non-specialist restaurants. The dairy free black in ravioli with salmon and courgette pesto isn’t just incredibly trendy – it’s pretty good for you too.
Mildreds – Various locations
Mildreds is more or less the ultimate vegetarian and vegan restaurant in London. With a fully vegetarian and vegan menu, they have cemented their popularity by opening restaurants across London. By having a presence in Dalston, Soho, Kings Cross and Camden they have managed to strike the right cord between devastatingly trendy locations and places that are just simply easy to get to. There are so many dairy free options on the menu, anyone who cannot have dairy will be spoiled for choice. They even have vegan cheese, if you do want to indulge without the guilt. Check out the burger menu!
Dairy Free London: Ice creams and freakshakes
(Image source: https://www.designmynight.com/london/blog/4-best-freakshakes-in-london)
I think one of the most heartbreaking things about being vegan or unable to have dairy is how many desserts are off limits to you. The one I miss the most is ice cream. I absolutely love ice cream, but I haven’t been able to enjoy it for years. I’m pleased that a number of brands have started to do dairy free alternatives (even if they are horrifically more expensive – I’m looking at YOU Ben & Jerry’s), but it doesn’t cut it when you want to go out and about.
The Gate – Various locations
When I started to go through the dessert menu for the purposes of research, I realised I was actually drooling a little bit. I actually think I got a bit on my cat Albert, but he does it to me all of the time so we’re even now I guess, right? Let’s start with the top. Tiramisu. Vegan Tira-fucking-misu I tell you. But enough about the standard desserts, I did promise you guys ice cream. You’ll find ice cream and sorbets on the menu at The Gate at a reasonable £6 for two scoops.
The Canvas Cafe – Spitalfields
The Canvas Cafe, it could be argued, is the home of THE original freakshake. At £8.00, they are potentially a little steep, but it’s worth it. They make them daily, so the flavours change, and they use almond milk, soya milk, and whichever homemade cakes they have made on the day. I don’t know who invented the concept of putting a cake in an actual milkshake, but whoever then invented vegan ones deserves a medal.
Fortnum & Mason – Piccadilly
The Parlour at Fortnum and Mason is possibly one of the most Instagrammable places in London. Not only are the sundaes they do pretty asf, but they have AMAZING vegan flavours. Choose between banana split and choconut and indulge while being nosey at the inevitably large amount of tourists and rich people.
Dairy Free London: Bakeries
(Image source: Pixabay)
Finding dairy free alternatives in London is exciting, but finding bakeries that do dairy free cakes is on another level. The great thing about how popular the vegan movement is becoming is that it is making it a lot easier for those of us who cannot have dairy for medical reasons to be able to find dairy free cakes. Some bakeries in London are completely dairy free and then there are quite a few that offer many dairy free alternatives to standard cakes.
Crosstown Doughnuts – Various locations
I’m sure Crosstown Doughnuts wouldn’t actually describe themselves as a bakery, more an “American” style doughnuts and coffee shop. The reason they have found themselves on this list is due to the fact that they have a HUGE number of vegan options. They have a dedicated vegan store in Marylebone, but you can pick up a vegan treat in all of their stores. We have a Crosstown right near work and my personal favourite is the vegan Chocolate Ring.
Rubys of London – Greenwich Market
Rubys of London do not have a shop just yet. They currently occupy a stall at Greenwich Market on Saturday and Sunday. They do, however, deliver through the Greater London area. Advertising themselves as an “Artisan Vegan Bakery”, one look at the menu swiftly confirms they have the most incredible menu. Possibly the best ever. You can order things like Raspberry Ripple Cupcakes and Red Velvet Cakes to be delivered straight to your door or workplace!
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