The Happy Vegan

September 27, 2022

“The earth is a gift to us all, whoever we are, wherever we live.”

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II



When Greggs brings out a vegan sausage roll, you know that the zeitgeist is changing. What was considered eccentric, unthinkable even (in restaurant terms) ten years ago, has captivated celebrities and got people talking, if not actually sitting at the table of Michelin–starred vegan chef Alex Gauthier.


So whether you have been a devotee of Mildred’s In Carnaby for the past 30 years, or you’re a recent dabbler in seitan (wheat meat) the many reasons for more plant–based menus are easy to spot. 


There are ethical considerations to do with the treatment of the animals themselves. The reality of factory farming is hard to stomach (pun intended). The planet could do with a break, too, and animal husbandry does contribute to greenhouse gases and global warming. Many vegan restaurants focus on sustainably, ethically sourced ingredients and zero waste. There are said to be health benefits, as well. 


Plus the young have led the way in adopting vegan options. Pre Covid, London was cited as the first city to have more than 100 completely vegan restaurants. When the up and coming generation votes with its eating habits, people take notice.  


You don’t have to be vegan or even vegetarian to include this cuisine in your diet. Vegan menus are no longer deemed a pleasure–free zone. 


So if you are planning a London visit, you might like to read the views of over 20 vegan celebs who are happy to share their thoughts with the world. And while you are at it, check out the best hotel deals London


But before that, here are a handful of vegan venues in the capital:


Vegan Brasserie 

1 Vane Street SW1

One of London’s latest vegan restaurants, located within the Wellington hotel London. Carefully sourced plant–based ingredients. The aim is to provide expertly prepared and tasty vegan dishes for vegans, flexitarians, health conscious foodies, and anyone in need of delicious, healthy food. Vegan samosas, Tofocotpoz, zucchini fries and vegan burritos as well as carrot salmon. Vegan cheesecake a hit. Also vegan pancakes, and vegan full English. Excellent location for Buckingham Palace and St James’s Park 



74 Westbourne Grove W2

Notting Hill, West London. Organic and biodynamically prepared menu. Artichoke pizzeria, ‘Got No Beef Burger’; also vegan high tea.


Gauthier, Soho

21 Romilly Street W1

Michelin–starred chef Alexis Gauthier is vegan himself. Innovative menus including a 9 course vegan tasting menu for the curious. Faux Gras: fine dining in Soho.


Holy Carrot

2 - 4 Hans Crescent SW1

Purple potato croquette, homemade basil mayo, “sexy tofu”. 


Mildred’s Soho

45 Lexington Street W1

Long–standing, veggie–vegan, but mostly vegan with lots of plant based foods. Asian, South/Central American and Middle Eastern flavours, plus burgers. British classics as well as fusion. From mushroom pie to Indian curry.


Temple of Seitan (if only for the name)

43 Parkway Camden NW1

Vegan fast food. Fried chicken that is actually seitan (wheat meat). Also mac’n’cheese and crispy seitan that subs for bacon. 



33 New Oxford Street (at the Old Crown Pub) WC1

Take-out, Fast food, Asian/Middle Eastern

Plant based street food from around the world


The Vurger Co, Shoreditch

Unit 9 Richmix Cygnet Street E1 

Among many offerings: the Auberger (aubergine, gherkin and cabbage). And mac’n’cheese. Banana bagel too.  


What the Pitta

53 Brick Lane E1 

Vegan doner kebabs and Turkish pizza. Fast food.


The combination of a vegan adventure and a booking with one of the posh hotels in London could make for an interesting city break. You might even bump into one of the vegan celebs below. 


The Vegan Celebrity  


Mayim Bialik

Actress and star of The Big Bang Theory has been a vegan for many years and is an animal advocate. She stopped eating meat when she was 19, but went vegan in 2009 and even has her own vegan cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table.


Bimbini Bon Boulash

Finalist from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Bimbini Bon Boulash says “I’m East London’s plant-based princess. I’m like, the most famous vegan in East London because I don’t stop going on about it.” A fine defender of animal rights. 


Russell Brand

Actor and comedian who has been a strict vegetarian since the age of 14, but turned vegan in 2011 after seeing the documentary Forks Over Knives. 


Jessica Chastain

Has been vegan for over 15 years but doesn’t shout about it. Largely for health reasons to begin with, but now talks about environmental and animal welfare concerns.


Fearne Cotton

TV presenter Fearne Cotton says that going vegan was not a hard as she had expected. She stopped eating meat aged 11 (after a TV news item about animal transportation). She got interested and became vegan “incrementally.” She also tries to buy non leather products. She also has a vegan cookbook.


James Cromwell

Probably best known for the words: “That’ll do Pig” in the film Babe the Sheep Pig, Cromwell said it was after he was on set with the pigs that he realised he could not eat meat. “I cared about their welfare and then of course you have lunch and it’s all there in front of you.”


Benedict Cumberbatch

The star of Sherlock and Star Trek has kept his vegan habits to himself for the most part. Once asked about whether he had tried the local cuisine in Singapore while he was filming he said: “As much as a vegan can.”


Peter Dinklage 

aka Tyrone Lannister from Game of Thrones. Dinklage was vegetarian in the past, and went vegan in 2014. He has appeared in PETA campaigns. He takes issue with practices in the meat, egg and dairy industries and had to ask fans not to buy “dire wolves” after huskies became popular thanks to their use in Game of Thrones. It led to dogs being abandoned by enthusiastic owners who could not cope. 


Billie Eilish

Actually raised as a vegetarian and now vegan. She loves animals, was horrified by what she saw of dairy farming in Indiana, and her message is simple: “Leave animals alone.” 


Sia Furler

Australian singer Sia went public with her vegan choices in 2014. She had been a vegetarian for many years, and she campaigns for animal rights. 


Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 champion went vegan in 2017. He initially opted for a plant based diet for health and environmental reasons. He wants the fast food industry to be kinder and greener. He has a chain of his own plant–based burger restaurants called Neat Burger (Regent Street and Camden Market). 


Daryl Hannah

Vegetarian from the age of 11, an animal lover and someone who cares about the environment. Has gone vegan to help combat climate change.


Woody Harrelson 

Actor and vegan activist who has turned many a co–star onto the ethical benefits of veganism. He has been vegan for over 30 years. He says it was one of the “greatest accomplishments” of his life. 


Jared Leto

Leto has been vegan for over 20 years. He loves vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. 


Leona Lewis

Lewis went vegetarian at the age of 12, and fully vegan in 2012. She even had a vegan wedding in 2019. 


Evanna Lynch

Luna Lovegood of the Harry Potter movies: Evanna stopped eating meat when she was 11 years old. She turned vegan in 2014 after realising that the milk in her ice–cream came from cows whose quality of life left something to be desired. She is The Chickpeeps podcaster. 


Toby Maguire

Vegetarian since 1992 and vegan since 2009, Maguire says he never enjoyed eating meat, even as a child. 


Brian May

Queen guitarist and all–round animal lover and activist. He talks about the link between the pandemic and eating animals. “I think it’s time to re–examine our world in a way that doesn’t abuse other species.”



High profile vegan celeb, animal advocate and music legend. His love for his cat Tucker led him to cut meat from his diet when he was 19 years old. “Why am I eating other animals who have…amazing brains and rich emotional lives?” he asked himself. 


Jason Mraz

Grammy nominated singer, vegan since 2011. He said he went vegan in the beginning because of the health benefits. 


Thandiwe Newton

Another star who was inspired by Woody Harrelson to go vegan. She starred with him in Solo: A Star Wars Story. 


Elliot Page

Formerly Ellen Page, and known for the films Juno and Inception, Page has been vegan for about a decade. 


Joaquin Phoenix

In 2020 Phoenix displayed his vegan credentials in his Oscar acceptance speech when he took the dairy industry to task. “We’ve become very disconnected from the natural world” he said. 


Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone of Clueless fame went vegan in 1998. She said she couldn’t reconcile eating meat with having a much–loved pet dog. She is now an animal activist. 


Natalie Portman

Portman says that Tobey Maguire inspired her to go vegan in 2008. She says a vegan diet can be remarkably varied, and kids will eat it too. 


Daisy Ridley

Another Star Wars actress who is a vegan. She also cooked with all vegan ingredients for a Celebrity Bake Off (vegan banoffee-inspired millionaire’s shortbread and a chocolate and raspberry tart).


Ramesh Ranganathan

Comedian Ranganathan was a vegetarian when he was 10 years old and vegan in 2013. He says: “I am better than you if you’re not vegan. In terms of my ethical decision, I am so much better than you. I’m better for the planet, I’m better for animals. There’s nothing worse about me apart from I’m slightly irritating to have round for dinner.” 


Sadie Sink

Star of Stranger Things. She went vegan after working with veteran vegan Woody Harrelson in The Glass Castle. She says it’s “totally doable and it’s not as hard as it may seem.” She was a vegetarian before going vegan.

Black Eyed Peas singer, vegan since 2018 for health reasons (high cholesterol/blood pressure). He now speaks about the ethics of killing animals for food. Vegans are “taking a hardcore gangster approach to wellness and conscious living,” he says. 


This list of vegan celebs is very diverse and though the older cohort (Harrelson, Moby, Brian May) stand out for the strength of their convictions, there is a big push there from the young. Blue Orchid hotels are pleased to offer visitors to London a new vegan restaurant, The Vegan Brasserie, and it is also increasing community involvement by partnering with local artists and local student groups for live music nights every Thursday evening.