Swept up in the old world charm of London but worried holidaying there will lead to inevitably consuming pastries, Yorkshire puddings and sub-par coffee the whole time?
Well, London lovers, as a local for quite some time, I can assure you, the game has shifted—with every health food ever now on offer at Marks and Spencers, Pret A Manger and Waitrose, to Instagram-worthy health food cafes popping up at every high street corner in Central London.
I would even go as far as to say, clean eating is taking over scones and high tea. Yep, it’s that big right now.
With high street food chains offering healthy on-the-go food (or ‘ready-made meals’… as Brit’s say) and every weird superfood snack you could imagine, it’s actually about impossible to not get a green juice or cauliflower rice salad wherever you are (Heathrow and Gatwick included).
But if you’re used to Aussie or LA standard… meaning ‘additive-free,’ ‘gluten-free,’ ‘dairy-free,’ ‘vegan’ next-level quality, it’s time to get acquainted with the local London clean eats scene.
But first… a little coffee tip from one caffeine snob to another. For those needing good coffee (especially if jetlag has got you bad), don’t be fooled by the ‘crap coffee’ reputation of London’s past. Just Google ‘Aussie or NZ owned cafe’ and I promise you’ll get a quality fix. Biased? Maybe.
Strong, delicious, coffee-snob approved though? Most definitely.
Read on for the healthy hot spots that will have you drooling and reaching for your phone in the first five minutes.
Plant themed from the inside out, walking up to Farmacy is a feast for the eyes from the outset. A beautiful old building with a green leafy vine arched entry, it’s architectural charm is the epitome of London Instagram-worthy beauty.
With a plant-based menu, Farmacy focuses on being an alchemist that integrates plants and their natural medicinal qualities into a menu that is both delicious and health-boosting, while being entirely vegan and vegetarian.
With a whole page dedicated to drinks and elixirs alone—think syringe shots (i.e. ginger shots), ‘farmaceutical teas,’ adaptogenic lattes and superfood smoothies, there is a bespoke booster for your every individual ailment. Farmacy is sure to leave you fuelled, full and feeling good.
Location: Notting Hill, Inner West London.
Tube route: Central Line, closest stop Notting Hill.
A stone’s throw away from bustling Oxford Street shopping scene, Deliciously Ella Deli is the flagship wholefood cafe of famous British health food blogger Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella blog. With a long-standing reputation for offering wholesome, belly-full, healthy wholefood recipes, you can expect the exact same satisfying, soul-warming, food from her deli.
Think peanut butter and banana porridge, blueberry pancakes, corn fritters for breakfast and sweet potato and pumpkin curry and lentil soup at lunch. A trip to the deli on a cold London day is sure to feed the soul and your insta-feed too (the gold and blue interiors are very regal chic).
Location: Mayfair, Central London.
Tube route: Central, Victoria or Bakerloo Line, closest stop Bond Street.
Website: Deliciously Ella
A cosy nook a little away from the hustle and bustle in upcoming area Balham in South London, Milk’s the perfect rainy day spot to nestle in with an almond milk latte and good book all while comforted by the backdrop of fresh, Scandi chic interiors.
A mix of healthy and wholesome with a side of ‘a little bit naughty,’ the menu has drool-worthy items like—‘buckwheat pancakes in a pink grapefruit mess with caramel grapefruit posset, preserved elderberry meringue & candied dulse’ and ‘housemade cocoa nib granola with Yorkshire rhubarb and strained Sussex yoghurt and citrus’—suffice to say, you won’t be short of hashtags to describe the edible delights here.
Location: Balham, South West London.
Tube route: Northern Line, closest stop Balham.
Located in the overly chic borough of Chelsea, a moment’s walk away from the famous shopping high street, Kings Road, The Good Life Eatery is the best go-to for a healthy quick pick me up.
Satisfying everything from your cold pressed juice, ginger shot or cashew nut milk needs post-workout, through to a protein-based lunch pot—hello ‘The Shred’ (Sweet Potato & Harissa Mash, Shaved Greens, Omega Seeds + protein choice) and Acai Bowl, The Good Life Eatery will keep you fuelled for all the trekking you’ll be doing up and down the Kings Road (and trust me, it’s a looong road).
Location: Chelsea, Inner West.
Tube route: Central line, closest stop is Sloane Square.
Website: The Good Life Eatery
Tucked away in the heart of Westbourne Grove, is the beautiful local hot spot Bodyism, a short walk away from the packed Portobello markets. A health food cafe, boutique gym and wellness centre, Bodyism is a safe haven sure to soothe homesick woes (if you’re Aussie) and your soul, with every brunch item you could imagine (acai bowls, paleo toast etc), alongside their own range of adaptogenic smoothie blends that will help you sleep (post-flight—hello Serenity) and a holistic health spa that offers massages and facials with in-house acclaimed London beautician and facialist to the stars Joanne Evans (with clients like Naomi Watts and Rita Ora to name a few).
Oh and did I mention the whole amazing yoga, Pilates and boxing class set-up as well? So whether you need to stretch out, wind down, refresh puffy ankles or skin, fuel up or sleep, Bodyism has you sorted. Not to mention their beetroot and turmeric lattes are worth their own Insta-post alone. For a made with love latte every time, ask for Alvero (you’re welcome!).
Location: Notting Hill, Central London.
Tube route: Central line, closest stop Notting Hill.
A dreamy, psychedelic, fun and colourful cafe (on the inside) in the heart of otherwise monochrome part of town, Daisy Green cafe is a breath of fresh Bondi air in the midst of upmarket Marylebone.
At Daisy Green, you can enjoy a classic weekend of British ‘bottomless brunch’ shenanigans while feasting on Bondi-esque Australian inspired brunch fare.
Notable dishes including charcoal toast with smashed avo, sweet corn fritters, shakshouka through to the ‘green goddess salad’ and the aptly named ‘The Bondi’ bacon and eggs, there’s sure to be a brunch that will tickle your fancy and tick your colourful, eye-popping Insta-criteria as well.
So popular is the Australian brunch vibe over in London, owners of Daisy Green (Aussie born) now have a whole string of brunch cafes, so if you’re not in Marylebone, don’t worry, there are a total 10 locations to get your Aussie quality coffee and smashed avo fix.
Location: Marylebone, Central London.
Tube route: Central line, closest stop Marble Arch.
Website: Daisy Green Collection.
Less about the Insta-worthy interiors and more about the old school brown box wholesome food charms, Leon is the kind of place you’ll love if you want a satisfying lunch to tide you over in between getting lost in Liberty’s and the throng of boutiques in Carnaby Lane. While it’s technically a high street fast food chain, it’s so not your standard ‘fast food’ affair.
On the menu you can get everything from chicken kale caesar salads, vegan sweet potato falafel hot boxes and gluten-free chicken nuggets through to crushed pea salad and porridge with blueberries, honey and toasted seeds. And unlike other mainstream chains, they still let you tick if you want it—‘gluten-free,’ ‘wheat-free,’ ‘gut-friendly,’ ‘pescatarian’ etc. Winning!
Location: Soho, Central London.
Tube route: Central line, closest stop Oxford Circus.
Tucked away in a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ nook at the start of Portobello road, Farm Girl is another Aussie Cafe you just can’t miss. With a charming outdoor terrace and pastel pink tables, the cafe is one of those artfully curated spaces for optimal Insta-worthy food photos.
One of the original superfood latte crazed cafes in London, you can be sure to get everything from a blue algae, beetroot, red, blue and green matcha, golden turmeric and rose latte at Farm Girl, alongside more standard varieties spiced up with pug dog art and CBD oil added to boot.
For a cosy brunch, they have all your fave buckwheat pancakes and berry porridges, alongside jackfruit tacos and purple broccoli bowls.
Going to Farm Girl is a real trip down the rainbow, to say the least. And the best part? When you leave with a full belly, you can burn it all off with a long stroll down the colourful pastel lined streets of Portobello markets after.
Location: Notting Hill, Central London.
Tube route: Central line, closest stop Notting Hill.
Website: Farm Girl
Potentially the wildest little laneway you could stumble upon in otherwise grey London, Wild Food Cafe is situated in the heart of hidden and highly colourful hotspot ‘Neals Yard’ in Covent Garden.
Wild Food Cafe is a raw food cafe that prides itself as being an oasis for plant-based wellness. A creative, playful and seasonal approach to food, the menu is wildly varied, from foraged fare to raw vegan treats, you can expect all of the goodness and none of the guilt. And if you haven’t come across the famous Neals Yard before, expect the vividness of Portobello road and a feast for the senses.
Location: Covent Garden, Central London.
Tube route: Victoria Line, closest stop Covent Garden.
Website: Wild Food Cafe
For a nutrient boosting juice or protein-packed smoothie you can’t go past the Detox Kitchen, located very close to the buzz of it all in Soho. The Detox Kitchen is a welcome go-to for clean eating gym goers, offering both in-store deli options or take-away pre-packed lunches for the busy health gal on the go.
For Londoner’s or visitors who are missing the sun, a smoothie bowl is your next best sunshine fix that’s sure to leave you happy, satiated and enjoying all the summer feels. Go the raspberry oat or avocado spirulina for an extra green goodness.
Location: Soho, Central London
Tube route: Central Line, Oxford Circus.
Website: Detox Kitchen