Lisa Lansing

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London day 3 | Tibits, Vegan Hippo, Govinda’s, Yorica, Maloko!

You can see everything I describe here in my corresponding London vlog, linked at the end of this post. 🙂

Since we were determined to try as many different vegan-friendly places as possible, we started our third day in London early. We headed to The Travel Café Southbank for coffee since it looked cute, with cacti and succulents decorating the facade. We passed it on the bus several times and were keen to check it out.

The café was indeed cute, spacious, and the barista very friendly. This was the only café we visited that offered vanilla syrup for my latte. As for the other coffee shops, they only offered lattes as they come without added flavours. I was excited to finally have a sweeter vanilla latte but honestly, the vanilla flavour didn’t come through. My latte was still delicious, albeit more robust than I’m used to! You’ll never find me complaining about coffee that’s too strong, though. It gave me an extra boost as we headed further into the city.

We planned to lunch at Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant since we passed it in Soho the other day, peeked in the window and discovered it looked similar to the Govinda’s Restaurant in Dublin. (This was one of my favourite vegan spots in Dublin. Be sure to check out the one on Abbey Street, as the other location wasn’t as good.) Ivy and her hubby Leo visited me while I stayed in Dublin, and we all were lucky enough to eat at Govinda’s twice. Ivy and I hoped this restaurant in London would be similar.

Since Govinda’s didn’t open until noon, we had a few hours to kill. We didn’t have a proper breakfast back at the hotel. We had hoped The Travel Café would offer avocado toast or something vegan, but sadly they only had a few non-vegan pastries. We started to feel a bit peckish so we walked around Soho some more and popped into Tibits, an all-vegetarian and mostly vegan restaurant, to scope it out.

Tibits is set up like a buffet and the cost of your meal depends on how much it weighs. The breakfast spread was impressive but not as complete as their lunch or dinner offerings (if I had to guess). Tibits also offer coffee, juices, and pastries including a scrumptious-looking vegan almond croissant, which I regret not trying but fortunately, my croissant cravings were satisfied soon after.

It started to rain and continued spitting for most of the day. We wandered around a bit more and stumbled upon Vegan Hippo, an all-vegan café. We hadn’t planned on trying Vegan Hippo but figured why not. It was raining and we noticed vegan croissants on the counter.

Vegan Hippo was very comfortable and a perfect break from the rain. They offered moreish burgers and hotdogs in addition to coffee, tea, and other breakfast foods. I tried their black croissant, made with activated charcoal. I’ve never seen a black croissant before so I had to try it, especially after passing up that almond croissant at Tibits! It was tasty but more sweet than savoury. I don’t think any vegan croissant can top the ones at Picnic in Glasgow. 😉

After poring over their large collection of vegan cookbooks, it was finally time for lunch at Govinda’s. We thought we’d be the first people there since we arrived the second they opened, but were surprised to find a queue in place. That’s always a good sign in my book!

This Govinda’s, like the one in Dublin, was set up like a cafeteria. I ordered a veggie thali, which consisted of several vegan dishes served in wee bowls. It was basically a sampler platter, including curries, rice, a bread roll or papadum, and salad. I also opted for a samosa on the side. (I couldn’t resist!)

The food was excellent but overall, I still prefer the Govinda’s in Dublin. The portions there were massive as they served everything on plates instead of wee bowls, so it’s a better value in the end. Also, the samosas at the Dublin Govinda’s were huge! Definitely the best samosas of my life right there! That being said, I’d recommend Govinda’s in London because nearly everything was vegan. Besides Indian-style food, they also offered veggie burgers, smoothies, and vegan cakes. Everything I tried was delicious and not too oily.

After lunch, we explored Covent Garden since it’s an indoor market. It was full of wee shops, restaurants, tourists eager to stay dry, and even a street performer or two. We didn’t spend much time here as we had dessert on our minds.

We returned to Soho to try Yorica, an all-vegan allergen-free ice cream shop. All the ice cream, froyo, and toppings are vegan, gluten-free, nut-free. So good, but not as good as Cream Crew, an all-vegan ice cream shop in Palma de Mallorca. I might be a bit biased, but hey! 😛 Yorica’s flavours reminded me of American ice cream, lots of chocolate and stodgy goodness, unlike the fresh fruity flavours of Cream Crew. Either way, I’m happy to enjoy vegan ice cream as a treat. Be sure to bring your own spoon as they only offer plastic ones. I didn’t think to bring my own but I’ll remember to keep a spoon in my bag from now on. 🙂

I was completely stuffed after indulging in scoops of mint chocolate chip and banoffee ice cream, so I decided to walk back to our hotel in Peckham. The walk took me close to two hours, but walking is my favourite way to explore a city. Not only is it good exercise, but it also allows me to experience the city on a different level. I notice everything as I walk the streets, as opposed to passing landmarks on a bus. It also put me at ease. It’s easy for me to be stressed without realising it, and bustling around London definitely wore me out.

I felt energised once back in Peckham, and relaxed in the hotel for a bit before Ivy and I set off to Maloko for dinner. Ivy scoped out the menu of this quaint café before and their vegan galettes caught her eye. I haven’t had a galette in years so I was stoked to try a vegan version.

I ordered the Vegan Route galette, which came stuffed with sweet potato, mushrooms, asparagus, peppers, coriander, and a chickpea tahini sauce. It was absolutely delicious even though it looked more like a wrap. These galettes turned out to be thin crepes stuffed full of veg, but no complaints here! Ivy ordered the jerk tofu galette and was very pleased with the spice. The galettes were so good that we wanted a second one. We’re always hungry, I guess! 😛

Instead, Ivy suggested I try a Jamaican patty from Patty Island, just a bit further down the street. Patties, similar to empanadas, are baked pastries stuffed with meat or veggies. Traditionally, patties are filled with meat but this shop also offered vegan patties! The vegan patty was filled with jerk veggies. Delicious and a little spicy!

What a fun day!

Thanks for reading and watching! I hope my posts inspire you to eat your way through London someday.

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