1. Vanilla Black, London, UK
London’s foodie scene is so vibrant that it’s no surprise the city boasts more than one top-rated vegetarian establishment. Vanilla Black’s forward-thinking and innovative menu doesn’t rely on bland and stereotypical vegetarian options, like pasta and insipid meat substitutes.
The Vanilla Black team has mastered the art of crafting an exquisite plate of vegetarian and/or vegan food. Available for lunch and dinner, it’s recommended to take the vegetarian or vegan 5-course menu, both at a cost of £55 (US$78) per person; wine pairing is available.
2. Mildreds, London, UK
Mildreds is a popular vegetarian restaurant chain that boasts four different London locations, each with its own unique setting and style. The menu offers a selection of scrumptious starters and small plates including such aromatic dishes as Thai coconut and mushroom soup with chilli and lime. For mains, order the Tokyo bowl (black rice and purple pickled egg served with daikon, miso-glazed eggplant, edamame beans and a jug of miso) or the wood-roasted mushroom and ale pie with minted mushy peas and fries. Mildreds also prepares some of the best veggie burgers on the planet. A beetroot and white bean patty is served with lettuce, red onion, mayonnaise, pickled cabbage and gherkin with the choice of adding cheese (vegan options available) and fries to your order.
3. L’Arpège, Paris
Somewhat of a Parisian institution, three-Michelin-star L’Arpège has been wowing crowds in the French capital for over 30 years with its fresh and fabulous fare. Celebrated chef Alain Passard opened the Art Deco-style restaurant’s doors way back in 1986, but it’s since the early 2000s that the chef removed most meat items from the menu, concentrating on vegetables as the shining star of his award-winning establishment. The chef even started his own organic vegetable garden to ensure the constant fresh supply of produce. Both lunch and dinner services are available, with highlights of both being the unexpected and sublime way that the renowned chef infuses taste, texture and flavour into every veggie dish he prepares.
4. Tian, Vienna, Austria
Embark on a meat-free taste adventure like no other at this Viennese establishment, which is truly in a class of its own. Not only does the gourmet vegetarian restaurant boast an impressive Michelin-star rating, it also prides itself on exemplifying through its cuisine and service its four core values of quality, cordiality, respect and love. Lunchtime diners at Tian can choose from a 3- or 4-course elegant menu which includes items like parsley root served with couscous and chicory, cauliflower with walnut and rosehip, and beets with rice and pickled strawberries. Dinner is a choice between an 8- or 10-course service, including dishes such as eggplant with olive and coriander, and lentils with onions and sea buckthorn. In addition to the thoughtfully prepared dishes, patrons can pair their meal with wines carefully selected by the award-winning in-house sommelier.
5. El Huerto, Santiago, Chile
Since opening their doors in 1980, El Huerto has been serving the Chilean capital’s residents and visitors a tantalising array of vegetarian dishes. The varied menu includes favourites such as tapas, daily soup specials and a wide range of salads and dishes inspired by global flavours. They also have excellent wine and dessert menus, adding the perfect accompaniment to any meal; they even offer yoga and cooking classes for those looking to add more healthy habits to their lifestyle.
6. The Acorn, Vancouver, Canada
Consistently voted as one of Vancouver’s top restaurants, The Acorn in the city’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood takes vegetarian cuisine to stylish new heights. The menu features fresh, locally sourced ingredients, which are combined so masterfully that even self-proclaimed meat-lovers will delight in the meatless offerings. The Carrot (an aromatic gnocchi dish) and Brassica (a kimchi rice dish with cauliflower and salad) are two firm favourites on the dinner menu. For brunch at weekends, consider ordering the Artichoke, which is a mouthwatering dish of southern fried artichoke, waffle, pickled shallots, bourbon-maple syrup and mushroom red-eye gravy. The Acorn is also famous for its open-till-late bar that boasts an excellent range of wines, beer and a host of inventive cocktails.