FOOD & DRINK / THE BEST HEALTHY EATING SPOTS IN LONDON
Food, glorious food. I genuinely can't stop eating at the moment. Maybe I can just pretend I've got worms...?
I’ve done the whole I’m going to starve myself so much that I constantly feel faint phase and I’ve also done the who gives a s**t, I’m fabulous and can eat everything phase. Neither of those were very good for my body – or mind – so I’ve learnt to find a happy middle ground. I’m more than happy to indulge in a donut or an ice cream on a sunny day but it’s also not unusual to find me happily munching on a stick of celery or drinking a green juice. Balance is key.
Even though it’s much more recognised these days, I still feel like there’s a bit of a stigma toward healthy food and also a lot of people shy away from it because they feel like they’re going to be too restricted. Trust me, there’s more to healthy eating than just a salad or as many say, 'rabbit food'. Side note, there’s nothing wrong with a salad either!
Personally I find it slightly easier to eat healthier at home, just because I try and stock my fridge with lots of fruit, veggies and tend to steer clear from complex carbs... however, when I'm at a restaurant that has a mouth watering-ly sounding burger, with all the toppings, hows a girl meant to resist?! Once in a while I'm definitely up for a bit of guilt free indulgence but more often than not, especially during the warmer months, I try and find healthier eating jaunts for lunch or dinners out.
Just because you’re on a diet, detox or health kick – or need coeliac-friendly, dairy-free or paleo-style dishes to feature on the menu – that doesn’t mean that you can’t still dine out in style. London is such a haven for good food and so I’ve rounded up the best healthy restaurants in London, including superfood pit stops, healthy vegetarian and vegan restaurants, calorie-conscious eateries, raw food specialists and sushi restaurants. Clean eating just got a whole lot tastier.
Taking inspiration from cuisine from all over the world, Ethos delivers beautiful and creative vegetarian food but in no way sacrifices taste. Ethos is a personal favourite mainly because of the pay by weight, build your own plate concept featuring a wide variety of dishes. It means that for someone that gets tempted by almost everything on a menu, I can just try a little bit of everything. There are a variety of dishes, cuisines and styles to choose from, including my favourite Japanese miso-roasted aubergine (nasu dengaku), regularly changing vibrant salads and, show-stopping signatures such as the restaurant’s spring green scotch egg with spiced tomato ketchup.
I still can't believe that not long ago I despised hummus, seriously couldn't stand the stuff and now... well, there's not a week where there's not hummus in the fridge. It's a staple in my household. So any restaurant that is based around the dish was going to be a winner in my eyes.
Hummus Bros have five restaurants across London but I actually stumbled across them on Uber Eats one lunchtime and couldn’t have been more delighted with what arrived… a bowl lined with rich silky hummus around the base and sides, then filled with sauteed spiced chicken, chunky guacamole and a splash of tangy lemon juice. Followed by bite-sized sweet potato falafels. Absolutely delicious!
Farmacy is by far the chicest place to clean up your eating. This organic vegetarian restaurant in Notting Hill is the brainchild of Camilla Al Fayed and "clean indulgence" is Farmacy’s prescription. Think of a house burger made from millet, black bean and mushrooms sandwiched in a sourdough vegan bun with goji ketchup, and plant-based ice-cream sundaes of raw cacao and housemade maca caramel alongside cold-pressed juices and artisanal alcohol. You can rest assured that everything has been considered as much for its nutritional benefit as how it tastes.
Known as "London’s only artisan raw food restaurant" and named after the Japanese word for “raw”, light and bright Nama is the brainchild of chef Irene Arango. Everything on Nama’s menu is 100 per cent meat, wheat, dairy and gluten free as well as being vegan, organic and unprocessed. In theory, it sounds terirble and utterly joyless – that is until you read the menu. They truly blow any misconceptions out of the water in terms of raw, vegan and organic food being limited and their menu features of delights like pizzas, lasagne, sushi, curries as well as a wide variety of scrumptious desserts.
Heralded by A-listers including Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle MacPherson as a haven in the city for wholesome food, it's definitely the place to go to get ‘the glow.’ Essentially, the Detox Kitchen’s mantra is about removing foods that make us feel tired and bloated, and replacing them with a healthy balanced diet rich in plant based foods and lean protein. Located in central London, The Detox Kitchen aims to offer healthy food without sacrificing taste. They offer up dairy and wheat alternatives, and ensure they only using lean meats and the freshest vegetables for their dishes, of which are prepared in their kitchen in Battersea.
The pioneering restaurant is a modern Picanteria that serves healthy Peruvian food and drink, with breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner available. Peru and the Andes are home to some of the world's most nutritious ingredients, such as quinoa, maca, amaranth, Cape gooseberry and purple maze, and Andina pairs these with seasonal British produce to create unique, healthy and delicious dishes. Including of course, their selection of ceviche. Who would've thought, eh?
I hope the above gives you some inspiration of how to eat a bit healthier when out and about in London!