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We love food. In fact, we’re obsessed with it.
We cook at home all the time and appreciate tasty, mind-blowing flavour and beautifully executed recipes. It’s not just about healthy eating, it’s about good eating. You know that moment when you discover something so tasty that you wonder how you ever lived without it? That’s what we’re going for on our quest for London’s finest foodie finds. So we’ve chosen places as much for their commitment to wellness as their dedication to unearthing innovative flavours that satisfy and delight. Most of our top London eating recommendations are, naturally, kitted out for wheat, gluten or dairy intolerances.
26 Grains (Neals Yard, Covent Garden)
26 Grains is all about bringing you delicious, wholesome, grain-based dishes inspired by Scandinavian cooking traditions. Their menu features a selection of healthy dishes based on grains, spices, and fresh ingredients. We LOVE this place: the porridge here is awesome and hearty (special mention to the Hazelnut & Butter, Banana Cacao and Nordic Pear options) especially when paired with a Turmeric Almond Latte or Hot Turmeric Chocolate. They do booze too (a more-than-decent wine selection) for those that need a little something to take the edge off a hard day.
Honey & Co (Warren Street W1)
This tiny place brings you exotic flavours from the Middle East and, quite frankly, we could have ordered anything and everything from the menu as everything is delicious and healthy. The ingredients are fresh and well put together: we had the seared beef rump with cumin, bitter greens, sweet peppers and lemon with a side of sweet potato in embers, almonds, dates, honey and spring onions. A healthy, bustling, happy neighbourhood joint that is ALWAYS busy (the best possible sign of a great place to eat, we always think).
Snaps & Rye (Golborne Road, West London)
Scandinavian cooking has been big news in London for a few years, but much of it has been Swedish. Snaps & Rye is Danish. You’d have to have a keen eye to spot the difference, but whatever the national origin, the result is incredible. A stylish W10 eatery serving contemporary yet authentic Scandinavian flavours, Snaps & Rye sources only the best ingredients to great effect.
We had the four-course set dinner (changes weekly) which featured squash with pickled kale, skyr, seeds, sorrel and cod; cumin-crusted scallop with roast cauliflower and curry leaf dhal patty. Light, healthy, delightfully different and there’s even a little shop at the back, selling liquorice and other sweets (the Danes love liquorice…who knew?).
Grain Store (Kings Cross)
Who thought something so cool could come out of an old wasteland that everyone had forgotten about? Just north of King’s Cross station lies a huge urban regeneration project, featuring this gem of a restaurant. The Grain Store has been seriously dabbling with seasonal juices of late, which is what you’d expect from an innovative and sustainable restaurant and bar. And the dabbling has paid off – the juices are delicious.
The restaurant itself sits on Granary Square at the heart of London’s most exciting new quarter, with a pretty open kitchen and good outside dining space for the summer months. The big thing here is veggies. Patron of the establishment, Bordeaux-born Bruno Loubet, gives veggies star billing over meat or fish (although these, too, are yummy). Fermented, sprouting, pickled and smoked ingredients feature alongside the fresh and the seasonal. We rated the raw apple in buttermilk, fermented chilli & miso purée, grilled octopus, kohlrabi, celeriac, the leek & squid open lasagne and the bergamot hollandaise; the roast cauliflower with buttered cabbage is a veggie’s dream come true. Book well in advance, this one’s popular.
Hally’s (Parson’s Green)
For a taste of healthy Californian living, head to café-come-deli Hally’s in erudite Parson’s Green where sunny, organic and ethical produce are the order of the day. Inspired by a road trip to Cali, the proprietors realised that the Golden State had got it right: fresh, well-sourced ingredients and bold flavours soaked in sunshine.
From the modest, local delis of Venice Beach to the exquisite haute cuisine of Napa Valley, California offers something just that little bit glossier than what you’d find in the UK. Try the chorizo, coriander and red onion omelette with watercress for breakfast, but lunch calls for crispy avocado fries with wasabi lime mayonnaise and – our favourite – the meatballs in spicy tomato stew with melted Gruyere on sourdough. Wash it down with matcha latte and call us satisfied.
Little H (Parsons Green)
Hally’s baby sister is another brunch gem for the passionate yogi. There’s a similar focus of breakfast, brunch and lunch but with the additional healthy treat of kale smoothies and chia seed porridges. It’s the ideal place to pick up superfoods galore here, all wrapped up in Californian well-being and served with an equally sunny disposition. Sublime.
This place has juices and organic food totally nailed. Nestled on the King’s Road, we go for the organic bowls and the impressive selection of juices. If you’re heading to a yoga class at nearby Triyoga, then this is the place to go afterwards for a well-earned rehydration mission.
Granger & Co (Clerkenwell, Notting Hill & Kings Cross)
This Australian brunch mecca is awesome and their salads are out of this world: those queues outside? Completely justified. Our favourites from the menu are: raw tuna and avocado poke with brown rice and cherry tomatoes and the carrot and chickpea latke with spiced dhal. Prices are on the high side, but portions are generous – especially the puddings. You must go as the way they combine their flavours with the healthiest of ingredients really is a treat.
Savage Salads (Southwark, Soho & Victoria)
Savage Salads does exactly what it says on the tin: namely, healthy, innovative eating using top notch ingredients. It has a real ‘street food stall’ feel to it and promises fresh salads that keep you full for longer (and they’re pretty damn tasty). For those who thought they were bored of salads and are ready to have their taste buds jolted awake, you can find their stalls in Flat iron Square in Southwark every Monday to Saturday, Berwick Street Market in Soho Monday to Friday and at Strutton Ground in Victoria Monday to Thursday. Their salads make us want to experiment with our own at home. Brilliant!
Grill Market (Holborn & Chelsea)
This New York-ish breakfast, brunch and lunch spot offers some of London’s best organic fare. The meat is free-range and the vegetables are fresh from nearby Covent Garden Market. Their menu is packed with healthy options and we love their pre and post workout training meals and protein shakes. We also have pretty strong feelings about the Breakfast Burrito filled with bacon, egg, pico de gallo, feta, fresh spinach and guacamole. Nom.
Rude Health (Chelsea)
We first came across Rude Health when we were looking for the perfect go-to almond milk and since then they’ve expanded which is great news for all of us. We love all of theirproducts: alternative milks, granola…it’s a health-lover’s Disney Land. Their café on the Chelsea / Fulham border serves up nutrient-dense, natural food like smashed minted pea & smoked halibut toast with roasted tomatoes on sourdough, packed with loads of Omega 3 and a rainbow of vitamins. Frankly it’s food that bursts with flavour and wholesomeness: and is incredibly filling. We’re regulars at the café and the shop in equal measure.
The Wright Brothers (Spitalfields, Soho, South Kensington & Borough Market)
For a top notch seafood menu featuring Asian twists, look no further than The Wright Brothers.The oysters here are some of the best in London, with special mention reserved for the dressed and cooked oyster ceviche, coriander and chilli. Oysters boast a number of health benefits (aside from being a cheeky aphrodisiac) and provide the human body with a number of unique nutrients and minerals.
Health bonuses include: improved blood circulation, accelerated weight loss, boosted metabolic activity, increased tissue repair and the lowering of cholesterol. This place has a ‘sea-to plate’ philosophy: they’re committed to serving up the freshest seafood possible. Oysters arrive daily direct from a Cornish oyster farm and you can even choose live lobster and crab from on-site seawater tanks. Fresh with a capital ‘F’.
The Detox Kitchen (Carnaby Street & Fitzrovia)
This small but perfectly formed health hub is an excellent stop for lunch on the go. The Detox Kitchen serves up super-fresh, bold and delicious food with a very impressive wheat, sugar and dairy free menu. We were very happy bunnies when we discovered the Fitzrovia branch (though it can get very busy) which has two floors, a deli, a salad and juice bar. They’ve also just introduced an all-day eat-in sharing menu featuring small plates and salads. Their food and juice options are packed with vitamins and minerals and you feel ever so virtuous after having a little something from here.
They have a ‘grab & go’ in Selfridges which has proved very popular with those working in the Oxford Circus area, and a brilliant packaged food delivery service that’s doing a roaring trade (it is a little on the pricey side) and is ideal if you’re trying to kick-start a new eating regime.
What we’ve only discovered very recently about The Detox Kitchen is their new wellness studio, located on the lower ground floor at their flagship in Fitzrovia. It holds yoga classes, Pilates, barre sessions, ballet and high intensity training classes, providing clients with a 360 wellness experience. A one-stop shop for centred well-being.
The Good Life Eatery (Chelsea & Marylebone)
Past Harvey Nicks and the boutiques stuffed with blazers and Jimmy Choos, sits the latest outpost of clean eating hub, The Good Life Eatery (joining branches in Marylebone and Chelsea). The décor is odd, with pub-like padded black chairs out of place against industrial concrete walls and caged pendant lights but what’s inside this healthy cave of wonders is pure gold.
Let’s start with the brilliant fact that everything can be delivered (or you can take it away) which is incredibly useful when you haven’t got the time/energy to cook and you want a healthy pick-me-up. The quirkily named juices are fresh and singing with vitamins, enzymes, nutrients and trace minerals – you can almost feel them doing you the power of good.
The food is well put together, with the ‘So Fresh And So Clean’ option – poached eggs, quinoa, kale, roasted sweet potato, omega seeds – appealing to us in particular. We also like the Venice Quinoa Salad (an ode to LA’s Venice Beach) and the flavoursome gluten-free wraps. There is also plenty of opportunity to indulge with ham and cheese spelt croissants and the amusingly named ‘Curry in a Hurry’ bowls are ideal when you want something hot, hearty and quick. As you can probably tell, this is one of our regular haunts. We pop in at least once a week for an juicy injection of superfoods packed with flavour and antioxidants.
Squirrel (South Kensington)
Disclaimer: there is no squirrel on the menu, so fret not. This is the cutest little health-food find in the area and just an acorn’s throw (sorry) from South Kensington tube. Squirrel is passionate about where food comes from and, as a result, is very in-tune with the whole farm-to-table thing. It’s a cosy space, complete with indoor trees and birdhouses giving an overall sense of being in a tree house, which we love. Food is served in acorn bowls and consists of wholesome, filling superfood salads like the Broc Chick (gluten-free AND vegan-friendly).
Come winter, we can’t seem to get enough of their warm grain bowls with our current favourite being ‘Guac ‘n’ Roll‘. For one of the best healthy breakfasts in town, try their poached egg bowls, packed with amazing ingredients and flavours. Another thing we dig about this joint is that it sells ‘kombucha’, a fermented drink that’s excellent for the digestion, very popular in the US but has been slow in its arrival to London.
We’re fans of the apple cider vinegar and collagen-enhancing bone broth packed with free-range chicken bones, onions and carrots. Finally, they do a tumeric & matcha green tea latte with almond milk that will change your life. Just go.
Dishoom (Carnaby, Covent Garden, Shoreditch & Kings Cross)
While not necessarily a wellness hub, Dishoom does, however, do a great line in gluten- and dairy-free meals and is one of the best Indian eateries in London (there we said it). We eat at one of its branches at least once a fortnight (true story): not only is the food to die for, the expensively and intricately designed interiors are a joy to look at. Think plush post-colonial Bombay trappings with quirky details.
Everything in this Iranian-inspired Bombay café is zingy, fresh, consistent and mind-blowing. We breakfast here as often as we can and with good reason: you must (as long as you’re not vegetarian or vegan, of course) try one of the naan rolls, they’re London’s worst kept secret. Our favourites include the Bacon & Egg or Sausage & Egg options. Wash it down with spicy masala chai and start your day on the right foot. The whole menu is excellent and we always leave feeling full of energy, inspiration and naan.
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