The Wild Food Cafe in Covent Garden is one of the longer-standing vegan restaurants in town, as in it was there before veganism really took off as a food trend, but it is on the small side. Now there’s a second, bigger Wild Food Cafe in Islington, meaning there’s more vegan grub to go around. And with a ton of plants, big copper-edged mirrors, millennial pink chairs and wooden tables, the Upper Street restaurant certainly has that cool wellness vibe going on.
The drinks list is very comprehensive, with a range of healthy shots, smoothies and juices – we particularly liked the Sour Power (orange, rosehip, hibiscus, lime, mint and kombucha) – for those on the wagon as well as plenty of alcoholic options for those off it. It’s a traditional three-course menu rather than sharing plates, and it’s all plant-based, with a strong raw component as well. Best of the starters was the hasselback squash with saffron pine nut mayo, squash curry cream and a sprinkling of crispy BBQ jackfruit for texture.
Though this site has a new wood oven for vegetable-based pizzas, we opted instead for the Wild Unroast, a lighter and very colourful version of a nut roast with chestnut stuffing, squash puree and baby vegetables, and the Wild Green burger, a raw pink olive and shiitake mushroom patty in an alarmingly green but super soft bun, almost like a bao. And if you think you don’t like kale chips, wait until you try these ones – we don’t know what magic dust the kitchen sprinkled on them but they were GOOD.
The desserts, both the doughnut special (which on our visit came with a salted caramel topping) and the raw chocolate tart, were probably the most impressive in that they felt extremely indulgent even though they were vegan.
The raw aspect can take a bit of getting used to, as it means that many dishes are served warm/cold, but all the dishes we ate were substantial in size so we definitely felt satisfied, and that’s not always been the case with a plant-based meal.
269 – 270 Upper St, London N1 2UQ