Vanilla Black

4.5
1521 reviews
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£41 and over
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Vegetarian / Vegan
Top tags:
  • Good Vegetarian Options
  • Vegan
  • Creative Cuisine
We decided to open our own vegetarian restaurant back in 2004. We set some standards for the food: no dish would rely on pasta, meat substitutes or heavy spicing.
We would create menus of unusual combinations and flavours which challenged the norms.

At the restaurant we serve a twist on traditional English and French classical dishes, reinvented as vegetarian food.
The fact that it is vegetarian is not the point; in fact it's neither here nor there. The dishes we create here are forward thinking, our food is challenging. It's different. Smashing stereotypes.
You don't even have to be vegetarian.

'Apologies in advance, no pasta bake or vegetable curry.'
We didn't think we would have to put that warning on our website, but we did.

Thank you for visiting Vanilla Black and we hope you enjoy dining with us.

Andrew, Donna and the team
What 1521 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PN
London
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 2

The world has woken up to vegetarianism - fantastic food can be found in almost any top restaurant. Apologising for lack of pasta bake is dated, as unfortunately is their menu - very bland. Nice staff, atmosphere in main restaurants was nice, we were sat in the entrance which was fine but not special.

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R
London
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really excellent original vegan and vegetarian food for a special meal out.

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A
London
1 review
Dined on 12 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten. We had the vegan set lunch menu and I loved everything I ate.
You know you’ve had a wonderful meal when you want to lick the plate and have it again.

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SB
London
1 review
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 5

Never paid so much for eating in such a poor conditions and so few.

Only waiters were professionals and avoud the evening being a total disaster.

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FL
London
3 reviews
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was a lovely experience. Thanks for the nice touch of congratulatory message on our anniversary!

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T
London
6 reviews
Dined on 9 February 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Had tasting menu. Food was really good but staff mumbled dish descriptions so was hard to know what you were eating. Maybe a menu should have been left on table. Was a birthday dinner. Experience was totally marred by waitress charging total bill to one card and then shrugging and running away when asked for help to resolve issue. #awkward

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HL
London
2 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our evening was perfect! The food and service were great! We enjoyed every part of our evening. Especially surprised at the range of the vegan menu which was really different and really tasty! It was such a great experience!

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CS
London
1 review
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our second time after two months and one staff member recognised us. Everything about this restaurant is fantastic: incredibly creative food, great selection of drinks, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great venue and location. We're preaching our friends about this place since the first time and there will be more visits soon.

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CB
London
1 review
Dined on 29 January 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Music was a bit loud, service a bit slow, but food very good

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X
London
1 review
Dined on 28 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The most delicious vegan food I’ve had in years (and I am not even vegan!)

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KM
London
1 review
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazingly creative menu, no silly meat substitutes and wonderfully flavourful dishes. The wine pairing was inspired.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 26 January 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

The starter was nice but not fantastic. Main course came cold and when we returned it came back overly salty (inedible). Didn’t eat half the food. Dessert was very nice best part of the meal. When we came to pay the receipt was brought and we were asked whether we wanted to pay full price. I responded that isn’t my decision, for the restaurant to decide. They chose to charge us the full amount.

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H
1 review
Dined on 24 January 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Interesting cuisine where the vegetables no longer take on their original resemblance. The only hiccups were that when I booked I told them I said my main guest was mushroom averse and the 5 course tasting menu had 2 mushroom dishes so when we tried to change the dish to one without mushrooms, the swap offer was so restricted and communication unclear so we found it easier to keep it as it was! Simultaneously to placing the dishes on the table we were told what the plate was. Imagine, they said it once to every guest at our table of 5 and I still asked them to repeat what they said because they said it so quickly and moved away immediately. After all the vegetables here are served in such a way that you can't recognise them so you may want someone to actually spend a few seconds saying the 'toast' is.... add to that a smile!

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JC
London
1 review
Dined on 24 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From start to finish my visit to Vanilla Black was a delight. I was unfortunately suffering from a severe cold but was still able to appreciate the fine food and surroundings. The fixed price menu is obviously limited but everything was well presented and extremely enjoyable. Staff were ultra-helpful and everything was timed to perfection. I would recommend Vanilla Black to vegetarians looking for fine dining and will certainly be returning at some point.

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DF
1 review
Dined on 23 January 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Sloppy indistinguishable food overvalued and not tasty

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NB
London
2 reviews
Dined on 23 January 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a great bit dinner at Vanilla Black which was outstanding as always.
Great atmosphere, lovely service and delicious food with a surprise birthday dessert ..

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EB
London
1 review
Dined on 23 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I'm neither vegan nor vegetarian and Vanilla Black was a revelation. Exquisite flavours and textures, unbelievable value for money and friendly helpful and efficient people. Vegan or not, highly recommended.

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D
Kent
5 reviews
Dined on 22 January 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed lunch the food and service was excellent. I particularly enjoyed my main which was Celeriac Profiteroles and my dessert which was a Gianduja Chocolate Brownie and Roasted Hazelnut Ice Cream
Tiger Nut Milk, Salted Chocolate and Nutella Powder. This was scrumptious and very rich. The only negative was that rather than spread out the diners they put us all it one section of the restaurant.

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H
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Whilst the restaurant and the food were absolutely fabulous the one thing that Vanilla Black lacks is staff with an energetic/friendly/attitude. On walking in and introducing myself to the hostess I found her extremely cold and unwelcoming. This is not a great start when you are going out to celebrate and have fun. I would even go so far as saying that I found the staff miserable. Vanilla Black - what is going on? This could so easily be a five star review and I am sure Vanilla Black can fix this.

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TF
London
3 reviews
Dined on 18 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We all had the vegetarian tasting menu, it was all fantastic. Some of us found the cured egg with custard (a savoury dish) a bit challenging and others found the cep fudge (desert) too mushroomy or too sweet but it was fantastically creative and delicious. Almost the best thing was the tomato foam Virgin Mary amuse bouche. Would def recommend to any vegetarian but would equally suggest it to unseat and surprise dyed in the wool carnivores.

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p
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

First time at a “fine dining” vegetarian restaurant, not very memorable, just ok as a curiosity.

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LB
Berlin
1 review
Dined on 16 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second visit, as good as last time. The best food ever, for vegan- and vegetarians. I Will be comming back every time I visit London.

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PR
London
3 reviews
Dined on 12 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

A lovely place to eat. The wine is priced very well, with a good selection of alternatives to the usual bland popular choices. The menu was good, very creative food, but most were vegan rather than vegetarian. Where was the cheese? The eggs?

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LJ
London
2 reviews
Dined on 12 January 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

I went with my partner on a Saturday late lunchtime for a celebration and we had the a la carte menu. We had the mock espresso martinis to start us off while choosing which were delightful. The staff were really lovely and warm and the atmosphere feels formal but cosy, so you could dress up or down and be comfortable either way. The food looks scrumptious and very creative but we did think that taste came a bit second to that overall. I would recommend the Shitake mushrooms as a main and also the banana ice cream for desert! We happened to have a voucher as a birthday present but had we not done, we thought it would have been a bit pricey! We both also did need to nibble a bit when we got home. But overall it was a lovely experience!

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N
Hertfordshire
4 reviews
Dined on 12 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Made this a family experience for my wife and two young teenage children. Service and food were very good. The restaurant was very busy for a City restaurant on a Saturday lunch, which had a positive effect on the ambience. We all had the three course lunch menu, which provided enough choice for us all. We plan to go back again as a couple and cast aside the children, for a special treat. Overall experience was very good for us all and worth the effort.

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S
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on 10 January 2019
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 4

Disappointed, particularly with the quantity of food provided. I know a great deal of thought goes into the ingredients and presentation but the dishes were not substantial enough to warrant the prices - each plate seemed to be a composite of separate elements pieced together rather than a complementary fusion of flavours. Also, difficult to remember the detail of what was ordered so spent time trying to guess the flavours and textures. I’m sorry to write such a review as we need to support people passionate about providing sustainable vegan and vegetarian food, plus we were fans of Vanilla Black when it was in York and then in its first years in London. However, we forsook the dessert at £10.50 and bade VB goodbye for good, unless it becomes less ‘corporate’ and better value for money in the future. Positive point - staff were lovely.

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G
London
7 reviews
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely place. Great atmosphere, looks beautiful etc. Service and attention was perfect. Within the vegan menu food selection was not extraordinary- after ignoring the few dishes that contain ingredients I don’t like - was left with basically one starter and one main (and no deserts). The food was good - some dishes were fab, others a bit less overwhelming. Also frankly compared to other nice / m starred places this felt like not a great value for money. Anyways overall positive experience and will most likely come back, but not on my list for the next booking

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MP
London
10 reviews
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff is way too novice for a tasting menu experience though. They were hardly able to explain what anything is, and they were clearly each time reciting something memorised, which we couldn’t really understand over the chatter noise and had to ask multiple times and they just kept repeating the same thing. That kind of experience also heavily depends on the waitstaff, and they failed miserably at that.

Other than that great food and atmosphere. Makes you want to go vegetarian. If only I could cook that kind of food at home all the time!

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AT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on 5 January 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had the vegan menu with wine tasting and loved it. So much creativity, such delicious food! And the wines were paired very well with the courses. The ambiance is cosy and intimate. Would definitely recommend!

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b
London
7 reviews
Dined on 20 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The dishes here are so creative and delicious. There is a super wine menu too. Will definitely come back.

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M
London
13 reviews
Dined on 20 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my vegan daughter for her 20th birthday. Wonderfully inventive food. My husband and I are omnivores but would happily return here on our own. Extremely well priced wine list.

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SS
1 review
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very creative and wonderful food selection. We went for the 5 course menu (vegetarian option) and it was outstanding! The only dish that was our least favourite were the profiteroles as they seemed to be quite heavy and the sauce was a rather thick consistency which felt a bit like a spoonful of peanut butter in the mouth. The flavours were absolutely wonderful and nicely matched. Probably the most outstanding course was the cep mushroom fudge with honey ice cream, brioche and cocoa - a rather unusual dish to incorporate the mushroom into the fudge but was absolutely delightful. I've already recommended it to my vegetarian colleagues and I would be happy to recommend it to the readers here too.

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FT
London
1 review
Dined on 13 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful vegetarian food. Imaginative menu and great service.

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DO
London
12 reviews
Dined on 10 December 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Three of us dined here for lunch - two of us are non vegetarians but not bothered about missing meat or fish in a meal.
The food is very creative and tasty but nothing really filled us up. We sampled the lunch menu (3 courses) and chose one of every dish available and shared them all.
The presentation was superb. We wished we had the menu to refer to whilst eating to enable us to distinguish the flavours dancing on our tongues.
The servers were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. All in all a fabulous and very tasty lunch, just wish there had been something on the menu we could get our teeth into! We will return.

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CV
London
2 reviews
Dined on 7 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

in terms of value, it might have been better to go for the 5-course tasting menu rather than the the 3-course menu à la carte (the latter is perfect for a fairly quick lunch though)

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E
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on 26 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a nice meal at the set lunch. Presentation is beautiful and the food quite tasty and inventive, but portions are on the small side. I loved my cauliflower croquettes; my niece found the courgette a bit stringy.

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JL
London
1 review
Dined on 24 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant in London. Such creative high quality food with down to earth feel and great staff. It’s our go to for every special occasion

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AL
Cornwall
4 reviews
Dined on 17 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What an excellent experience for a non vegit

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j
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 15 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional, elegant vegetarian and vegan restaurant that is absolutely one of my favorite restaurants in the world.

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C
London
6 reviews
Dined on 14 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience dinning at VB. I went there to celebrate my birthday and had an amazing time. Staff was attentive and keen to help in pairing the wine with the food and had been offered an extra dessert. Very happy and will definitely go again.

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