For the best vegan pastries in London look no further than Hackney and its many inclusive cafés. It’s easy to spend an extortionate amount of money on an average Pret a Manger vegan croissant, but that doesn’t mean you should. This is your call to head on over to East London during your stay to taste some of the tastiest vegan croissants you’ll ever taste.
Despite having vegan options in pretty much every café, London lacks compared to cities like Paris and Berlin when it comes to fully vegan cafés and bakeries. There are some incredible spots like Gecko in Shoreditch, which is one of the only exclusively vegan cafés in London (as far as I’m aware), that misses out on the list for not always being fully stocked up on pastries and therefore, doesn’t qualify as a top spot for vegan pastries in the city. Here’s to hoping for more vegan bakeries and cafés!
Ngopi is an Indonesian independent coffee shop based in Birmingham and London. Serving Indonesian coffee, traditional dishes and, most importantly, a selection of vegan pastries. Their Dalston-based London café is in an ideal location for those staying in the city as it’s just out of the main City of London and into the Dalston-Hoxton-Shoreditch area which has plenty of trendy East London spots.
Their menu is vegan-friendly as are their pastry and cake options. At Ngopi you have the option of a plain vegan croissant and an almond croissant. But they aren’t any old vegan pastry, they are huge. The enormous pastries are well worth the price, but it’s the almond croissant that makes Ngopi make this list. It’s filled with a luxuriously creamy almond filling that is out of this world.
Relatively new to Stoke Newington Road in Dalston, Moonshot Coffee is taking the vegan pastry game very seriously. The location of Moonshot is ideal as it is very close to Dalston Kingsland station and not too far up the high street, so those browsing the local shops can stop by for a cup of coffee or a pastry.
On the menu is a large range of big croissants starting at a reasonable £2.50 price, you really get your money’s worth if you go for the plain vegan croissant. However, just like Ngopi, their almond croissant is seriously tasty but they go the extra mile with their croissants to serve to vegans wanting something more savoury with their vegan cheese and tomato croissants. But the crown jewel of Moonshot’s vegan pastry range is their House Special Pistachio croissant. Filled with rich pistachio cream and roasted pistachio chunks, there is no better vegan croissant in London.
Situated next to Dalston Junction station and the local library, this is another vegan-friendly East London-based bakery that kills it when it comes to its homemade vegan pastries. The Proof is far more than just a place for pastries, they are all about puddings, cakes and sweet treats. On display is always a large range of exquisite-looking treats, though it must be mentioned that only some are vegan and some are not.
When it comes to pastries, The Proof offers vegan and non-vegan options. Unlike neighbouring Ngopi, The Proof doesn’t have vegan almond croissants but instead vegan pain au raisins. So soft, yet flaky and with a custardy centre that goes perfectly with the raisins, their pain au raisin is one of the best vegan pastries I’ve tasted in London.
Drury is a mini-chain of cafes in London that has a lot to offer when it comes to cakes and pastries, a lot of the selection at their Stoke Newington branch is vegan. They also serve a mean brunch and have great drinks, plus the environment is
very welcoming and friendly.
Like The Proof, Drury serves up delicious vegan pain au raisins. But they go a step further as their pastries are humungous, their vegan pain au raisins is the size of a person’s face. They step up their vegan pastry game by having vegan pain au chocolat as well as plain vegan croissants. That is the perfect spread for anyone seeking a good vegan pastry in London.
Like the Shoreditch-based Gecko café, WAVE is one of the only fully vegan cafés in London. WAVE stands for “We Are Vegan Everything”. Their original Hackney branch has everything that their newer Stoke Newington café has, so either is a good option to visit when in London. This statement by owners Cate and Soph encapsulates what it’s like at WAVE: “We’re
two best friends with a love and passion for vegan cuisine, minimalist homeware and a sunshine lifestyle.”
WAVE and Moonshot Coffee are tied for having the biggest range of vegan pastries on this list with four offerings each. At both locations, WAVE offers plain vegan croissants, chocolate, almond and pain au raisins (all vegan of course). Slightly more on the pricey side, their vegan croissants start at £3.50 as of 2023. These four vegan pastry options are what would be considered normal options for non-vegan cafés with croissants, so it’s really good to have a vegan café that can offer visitors the same kind of experience.
My final verdict of these vegan-friendly cafés is that each place has a lot to offer, with every spot having its own unique selling point when it comes to vegan pastries. Personally, I love that Moonshot has a vegan pistachio croissant and that Drury serves such big pastries which are great value for your money’s worth while also being extremely tasty.
There will be plenty more blog posts about vegan friendly bakeries to come, but for now go read our blog on the Best Vegan Fast Food in London!