Top 5 ‘Ooh That’s Hearty Fodder’ Veggie Restaurants

Written by: Nancy Smallwood

October is National Vegetarian Awareness month and what good timing. ‘Tis the season for hearty squashes, crunchy radishes, cabbage, kale and apple.

So whether you’re just batting eyelids at the idea of quitting meat or married for life to vegetarianism, take advantage of the autumnal harvest with out top five veggie meals in North London.

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1. The flaky one

Roast spinach, ricotta and mushroom wellington, £13.00, at Jones & Sons

This Dalston institution is famed for its hearty, seasonal Sunday roasts and it’s good to know that vegetarians won’t feel left out. Their spinach, mushroom and ricotta wellington in flaky pastry comes with a generous helping of veg gravy and all the trimmings, including parsnips and yorkshire puddings. They also offer a heap of sides to really up the ante, including cauliflower cheese and polenta.

If you’re planning on heading down, do bear in mind they regularly get booked up so call in advance (though word on the street is that as of next month they’ll be in a much bigger space, just down the road. Hurrah!)

Jones & Sons, 23-27 Arcola St, Dalston, E8 2DJ 

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2. The saucy one

Pho noodle soup with tofu, £8.50, at Que Me

What better way to offset the chill of October than with an enormous, steaming bowl of noodle soup? Vietnamese restaurant Que Me is a relatively new arrival to Stroud Green road, but has become enormously popular with the locals, not least for its pho.

It’ll warm your cockles from the inside out. But if you want to really feel the heat, sprinkle in some red chillis and be generous with the hot sauce. It’s a steal as well, at just £8.50. If you fancy a starter, you can’t go wrong with their garlicky chargrilled aubergine washed down with a Hanoi beer.

Que Me, 145 Stroud Green Rd, Finsbury Park, N4 3PZ 

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3. The crispy one

Cauliflower, dukkah and cumin fritters with two salads, £15.70, at Ottolenghi

Middle Eastern food lends itself beautifully to meat-free cooking. And no self-respecting veggie has managed to avoid exposure to Plenty, the holy bible of recipe books from Israeli chef Ottolenghi. If you’re feeling a little flush, treat yourself at the Islington branch of his restaurant and get stuck into the crispy cauliflower, dukkah and cumin fritters with tangy sumac yoghurt.

The price of your meal includes the choice of two salads from the heaving selection, and there’s loads to pick from. Try out the stuffed peppers with salsa, chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic, or butterbean mash with roast okra.

Ottolenghi, 287 Upper St, London N1 2TZ 

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4. The nutty one

Rasa kayi curry, £4.75, at Rasa

Rasa is the only purely vegetarian restaurant on our list, but for good reason – both veggies and meat-eaters alike flock to Rasa in Stoke Newington regularly. They’ve also been Time Out’s Vegetarian Restaurant of the Year not once, but twice.

Specialising in delicious Keralan cuisine from south India, it’s borderline impossible to pick just one dish from this pink-fronted neighbourhood joint, but if we had to we’d go for the insanely affordable Rasa kayi (£4.50), with cauliflower, potatoes and fennel.

Double up with a side of kovakka olathiathu (£4.25) – a dish with coconut, dry roasted cashews and small cucumber-like tindori.

Rasa Vegetarian, 55 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0AR 

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5. The cheesy one

Baked Pays de la Loire Goats Cheese, £8.95, at Melange

When summer’s well and truly left us for good and only chilly weather and dark nights lie ahead, there’s only one thing you want: cheese. And lots of it. So head to French/Italian restaurant Melange and treat yourself to the Baked Pays de la Loire Goats Cheese with artichokes and olives, with some carby sourdough for an extra energy boost. 

After all, you’re probably almost definitely burning off loads more calories now it’s colder right? Wash it down with a Paris Lady, a cherry and thyme cocktail bound to warm your cockles.

Melange, 45 Topsfield Parade, Crouch End N8 8PT

Melange, 135 High Street, Barnet EN5 5UZ 

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