Eating as student in London is tricky at the best of times; while London offers a fantastic range of restaurants and eateries it is not known for being cheap and cheerful, making vegetarian student living in London even more of a struggle. However, should you know where to look, vegetarian living in the capital can be affordable and tasty.
Because we know that students don’t have the time to study in London full-time and hunt for the best vegetarian solutions in the City, here is a guide to how to lead a happy, varied vegetarian life in London.
Vegetarian recipes for students
Student cooking can be an issue at the best of times, after all the student community haven’t received a reputation drowned in basics noodles and beans for nothing, but vegetarian cooking as a student can be an expensive and difficult ordeal, particularly in London.
Yet it doesn’t need to be this way; with the Co-operative teaming up with NUS to give students 10% off of their food bill, opting for healthy alternatives to bargain meat-loaded pizzas and ready meals can be cost-effective. Also, getting a vegetable box delivered is another great way of eating and cooking fresh without the hassle and it’s not as expensive as you might think – Planet Organic, a great supermarket of organic food, health and beauty products who also have some great stores across London, offer London-only delivered veg boxes starting from just £9.95 which, when shared with housemates, can be very student wallet-friendly.
In regards to student vegetarian recipes, Student Recipes is a great go-to, being easy to use with easy recipes that have cheapness in mind – few vegetarian recipe sites can beat it for veggie-variety.
The best vegetarian recipes for students are those that you can make on mass and freeze for future meals, like this cheap veggie chilli in tortilla bowls:
- 1 small chopped onion
- a drop of vegetable oil
- 1 crushed clove of garlic
- 1 tsp mild chilli powder
- 1 small chopped chilli
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tin budget chopped tomatoes
- 25g dried red lentils
- ½ tin budget kidney beans
Start by frying the onion in the oil in a deep pan, then add the other ingredients once the onion has softened and slightly browned. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked through and voilà. This can then be frozen and used up whenever it’s needed and then be served in tortilla bowls (which also saves on washing up); simply place a tortilla wrap in an oven proof bowl, bake for 15 minutes or until slightly brown and crisp, then spoon your veggie chilli in.
Vegetarian restaurants for students
For those who’d rather leave the cooking to someone else, they can make use of the capital’s eclectic mix of vegetarian restaurants; here is a list that would not even scare off a London finance degree student.
While regarded as one of the coolest vegetarian restaurants London has to offer, Mildreds in Soho doesn’t have the London prices you might expect to match. With mains all hitting around the £10 mark, their only drawback is it might be hard to get hold of a table!
Tibits is one restaurant that every student has to try during their time studying in London. You won’t be able to stop staring at their giant food boat, the focal point of the restaurant, which will see you battling over which of their delicious vegetarian dishes you want to try first. Sat in the heart of Regent Street’s eating quarter you wouldn’t expect the great prices and relaxed atmosphere that await you inside, and with influences from Asian and Indian to Mediterranean cuisine, it’s one sure to tickle the taste buds of the most fussy of housemates.
If the budget won’t allow, then Rasa is the place to be. A huge hit with vegetarian students as one of the best restaurants in London specialising in South Indian food, it’s won numerous awards and holds some great events too.
For dessert, nowhere beats Yog, with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and a ‘Hoof to Hands’ approach that is ever so cow-friendly you’ll be moo-sing over their range of frozen yoghurts for a while.
Vegetarian shopping for students
The Whole Foods Market has multiple locations across London, including Kensington, Clapham Junction, Fulham and Richmond, and it makes vegetarian food shopping an experience rather than a chore. The Kensington store is the largest of its kind in the world; covering an impressive 80,000 square feet it has such brilliant features as an omelette station, temperature and moisture controlled cheese room, large indoor seating areas with Wi-Fi and weekly in-store tastings and events.
Vegetarian festivals for students
For those who want to take it to the next level, the VegFest is the place for you. Hosting Europe’s biggest veggie event, the London edition will be held at London Olympia in September and offers unlimited inspiration for vegetarian recipes as well as everything a vegetarian student living in London could ever need, or want. A big claim, but justified.
National Vegetarian Week is also one to look out for and will be held from 19th-25th May in 2014. We all know that veggie food is great and the Vegetarian Society has organised the week to celebrate the deliciousness of meat-free food, so why not get involved with your housemates and get everyone to go veggie for a week? Check out their website for more details and find veggie events that are happening near you.
Any other tips and suggestions for London’s vegetarian students? Share them on the GSM London Facebook page.
This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.
Image Credits: Shawn Allen, Olga Filonenko (flickr.com), Tibits, VegFest, Planet Organic, VegSoc