Last day in London | Daily Goods Coffee, Tortilla, King’s Cross

I’m back in Dundee now, with all of my London vlogs complete. You can see everything I describe here in my corresponding London vlog, linked at the end of this post. 🙂

What a trip! Ivy and I were only in London for three and a half days, but it seems like much longer since we packed so much into it!

Daily Goods Coffee was our first stop that last morning in London. It’s located in Peckham, just past the Lumberjack café we visited on our second day, so we didn’t have far to walk.

In addition to coffee, Daily Goods offered toasts, sandwiches, and pastries. I scoped out their menu the previous day as I walked back to the hotel from Soho. 😉 They had several vegan-friendly items on their menu, including avocado toast. Yay! Ivy and I decided to split an order just to nibble on since we also planned to visit Persepolis one last time for a proper breakfast.

My only complaint about Daily Goods is the lighting in the rear of the café. The front half of the café was well-lit with natural light coming in from a large window, but the rear half relied on LED lights. LED lights just give off a strange vibe…the colours of our food, the walls, our skin even, looked strange. Maybe it’s just me but I feel weird sitting in LED-lit spaces. It just feels unnatural.

I popped outside to take a photo of our avocado toast because the lights were so weird. 😉

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This toast was nice as the bread was fresh and homemade. The avocado was seasoned with a few chili flakes and Maldon salt, and the toast drizzled with olive oil served with a lemon wedge on the side. I’ve never tried avocado toast with olive oil but it was delicious! The olive oil was slightly sweet and fruity, a far cry from the cheap store brand olive oil I used to use back in the day! Splitting the order was a good choice, as one slice each kept us comfortably full.

We checked out of the hotel and headed down the street to Persepolis. We were under the impression that they opened at 11:00 because that’s what their sign states, but unfortunately their kitchen opened up 30 minutes after that. We didn’t have time to wait since we needed to make our way to King’s Cross railway station so we decided to forgo breakfast and move on. I’ll just need to revisit Persepolis the next time I’m in London.

We took a bus to King’s Cross and figured we’d sort out lunch before boarding our train. Our train wouldn’t depart until 14:00, so we had just under two hours to wander around the station.

Ivy found a burrito place called Tortilla online, located just outside the station. I was craving burritos ever since I found out Chipotle exists in London, so I was very happy! Tortilla is a build-your-own burrito chain, just like Chipotle. I ordered a large burrito with rice, black beans, guacamole, salsa, and lettuce and it hit the spot. It wasn’t authentic Mexican food by any means (obviously) but it was tasty and filling. (I really miss the real Mexican food in California!)

Besides Tortilla, we found lots of other vegan options in and around the station. There were several food stalls outside the station with vegan wraps, fresh juices, and more. There’s also an M&S shop in the station, so you won’t have any trouble finding something tasty and vegan to nosh on.

Inside the station, we found coffee shops like Caffè Nero, Starbucks, and Pret, but all of them only offered paper disposable cups. I decided to indulge in a soya mocha at Giraffe Stop on the second level of the station because they offered real mugs as opposed to paper ones.

I also noticed a vegan hummus and veggie wrap in their grab-and-go case as I waited in line to order my mocha. Vegan options everywhere! And if I hadn’t downed that burrito, I would have picked up some vegan sushi from Wasabi Sushi also located on the second level of the station. Ivy and I tried their vegan sushi during our 2nd day in London. It was so good!

Luckily, our train was on-time. Four and a half hours later, we arrived in Edinburgh. Woo!

Thanks to Ivy for booking our trains and accommodation, and for being an excellent foodie tour guide. Although I’ve been to London previously, this trip was head and shoulders above the rest simply because she’s familiar with London and the vegan foodie scene. I’m glad I got to experience London one last time before I’m off to Spain! ❤

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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!)

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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, it 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.

London Day 2 | Bibimbap and sushi!

What a day! Last night I passed out around 19:30 and slept straight through the night. I woke up around 07:30, still a bit groggy since we missed a night of sleep on the train. I felt immensely better after a restful sleep in a proper bed. I’m glad Ivy got a good night’s sleep too! She passed out a bit earlier. 😉

This morning after some grapes and blueberries in bed, we headed to Lumberjack for a quick coffee. This cafe was a short walk from our hotel, so we figured why not have a coffee before boarding the bus into the city.

My soya latte was tasty albeit a bit strong as they didn’t offer any flavoured syrups. It’s espresso in it’s truest form, I suppose! It reminded me of the espresso at Pacamara in Dundee. 🙂 The cafe was cute and quiet as we arrived just as they opened at 08:30.

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They had avocado toast and a salad for vegan options as well as several vegetarian options. They had a tasty-looking vegetarian sausage roll filled with chickpeas, and I hoped it was vegan because it reminded me of Folk Cafe’s vegan sausage rolls (super yum!), but we had to pass since the friendly barista wasn’t sure if it was 100% vegan. At any rate, the latte was a perfect start to my day!

Ivy also noticed that the toilet there is actually “twinned” with a “sister” toilet in Afghanistan! If you check out Lumberjack, pop into their toilet and check it out. 😉

Fully caffeinated, we took the bus into the city and walked over Westminster bridge, past Big Ben, and wandered around the city. Our first stop was an all-vegetarian Pret A Manger. This Veggie Pret was originally supposed to be a temporary pop-up. Last year, Pret converted one of its cafes into an all-vegetarian one, serving only vegetarian and vegan food and coffee drinks. It was supposed to stay all-veggie for a trial period of time, but it was so popular that it stayed open a bit longer. And since it was such a hit with the veg-community here in London, Pret decided to keep it open permanently!

Pret even opened a second Veggie Pret because the first one was wildly successful. More and more people are adopting a cruelty-free diet and lifestyle and demanding fresh, healthy options from their favourite cafes. How cool! I hope Pret opens up more Veggie Prets in the future.

Ivy and I just wanted a snack at Veggie Pret since we had more food plans for a proper lunch, so we split their grilled artichoke, olives, and tapenade baguette. Ivy tried this baguette before and loved it, so I had to try it myself! It was delicious and half of it made a perfect snack. It included grilled artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, roasted red pepper tapenade, and whole leaf basil. Truth be told, I could have eaten two baguettes but I wanted to save my hunger for lunch. I’ll definitely recreate this baguette at home, though!

We had a few options for lunch but we decided to try Bibimbap. Bibimbap is a Korean restaurant (no surprise there) serving all different kinds of bibimbap, a traditional Korean dish. Bibimbap is basically rice and veggies served sizzling in a hot stone bowl. Traditionally, it is served with bulgogi (beef tenderloin strips) and a fried egg, but fortunately for us, they offered several vegetarian bibimbap which could easily be veganised by omitting the fried egg.

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We both chose the kimchi bibimbap because we love kimchi aka spicy pickled napa cabbage. The kimchi at Bibimbap was truly delicious! I like to think I’m a kimchi snob since I grew up with authentic Korean kimchi (thanks to my mom). 😛 It really reminded me of my mother’s kimchi, it was that good! I can’t remember the last time I had real Korean food. Thanks to Ivy for recommending Bibimbap and reminding me I need to seek out Korean food more often!

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For dessert, we popped into Chinatown for some sesame seed balls. These are mochi balls filled with sweet bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds and fried. Mochi is difficult to describe without having it in front of you, but it’s a sweet, chewy, rice cake. You can find them filled with sweet bean paste or plain, but I prefer them filled. These are a favourite treat of mine from my childhood (thanks to my mom again). I didn’t realise these sesame seeds balls were fried until I bit into it, so I’m glad I only ate one because it was quite rich!

Then we hopped on the tube and found ourselves in Camden to tour Camden Market. I’m glad we did so with full stomachs because the market was packed full of food stalls! We only walked around for a little while but I lost count of all the vegan options available. It would take me a month or so to work my way through all the vegan delicacies available, including vegan crepes, Korean burritos, Thai, Peruvian, and Malaysian food to name a few!

We walked from Camden market back into Soho since the weather was nice and sunny. We scoped out a few vegan-friendly shops and cafes including Planet Organic and Rawligion, but ultimately decided to score some vegan sushi at Wasabi for dinner. I loathe paying for sushi since I can easily make it myself, but since I’m on holiday away from Dundee and away from my kitchen, I couldn’t pass up Wasabi’s veggie sushi selection.

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This was only £5.75 which seems like a good value, considering it’s a fresh and healthy vegan meal option. The problem now is that the sushi was so good, I could have easily devoured two boxes full!

And as I expected, today turned out to be an epic food day in London! I can’t express how lucky I am to have a friend like Ivy. She’s an adventurous foodie with a discerning palate and a penchant for Asian cuisine. The perfect partner for a foodie holiday!

Don’t forget to check my YouTube channel for daily London travel vlogs. You can see everything I’ve described in this blog post (and more) in the following video. Thanks for watching and thanks for reading this post!