5 of the best zero-waste cafes and restaurants in London

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Many eateries are constantly making efforts to reduce waste and become more sustainable. Here are some of the best zero-waste cafes in London.

Ever wondered where food scraps go? Or the fate of a paper coffee cup?

Food usually goes to landfill and adds to CO2 emissions, furthering climate change and its effects. As for the disposable cups, according to the UK Environmental Audit Committee, out of the 2.5 billion coffee cups that are thrown away each year in the UK (enough to stretch around the world approximately five-and-a-half times), less than 1 in 400 (0.25%) are recycled.

In an effort to reduce carbon footprints and greenhouse gases. Restaurants and cafes are changing their practices and building businesses around sustainability and shared respect for the planet. Here is a guide to sustainable eating and drinking at some of the best plant-based, zero-waste cafes and eateries in London.

Wild Food Café

The mission at Wild Food Café is to bring food, team, culture, hospitality, education, and community all together at its eateries in Covent Garden and Islington. Joel, Aiste and their team pride themselves on their practices, ingredients and methods, which have “the most benefit and least suffering to the inhabitants of the earth”. And everything is nourishing, fun, delicious and empowering to all at the Wild Food Café.

Every detail of this eating experience is meticulously thought-out and centred around sustainability. This zero-waste London cafe strives to find the most wild-crafted and foraged foods from small organic farmers and ethical and local suppliers.

Wild Food Café does not just sell vegan delights, it also hosts many events, including ones on mindfulness, holistic wellbeing, astrology, yoga and more. In addition to all this, it has a cooking school that teaches courses and retreats for any budding plant-based pioneer.

Caravan Coffee Roasters

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✨SWAG BAG GIVEAWAY ✨ ⁠⠀ ⁣⁠⠀ Who else misses a @caravanrestaurants BRUNCH?! 😭⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ This weekend, we're giving away 5 of our SWAG BAGS, which includes 1x 250g bag of coffee, 1x 'Dining All Day' Caravan Cookbook, and 1x CCR Tote Bag.⁠⠀ ⁣⁠⠀ ⁣All you have to do to enter the draw is: -⁠⠀ 1. Tell us your favourite brunch dish⁠ in the comments 2. Tag your brunching buddy⁠⠀ 3. Make sure you're both following @caravanrestaurants & @caravanroastery ⁠⠀ So get tagging – EASY! ⁠⠀ ⁣⁠⠀ ⁣The lucky winner will be announced at 18:00 on Monday 1st June via Instagram.⁣⁠⠀ __⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁣T&C’s Apply.⁣⁠⠀ – Giveaway applies to UK residents only⁠⠀ – Offer excludes 'Iridescence Geisha' coffee⁠⠀ – Parcel shipped by 2nd Class Royal Mail⁣⁠⠀ – One entry per comment ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #giveaway #prize #promotion #swagbag #homebarista #mightyfinecraftcoffee #specialtycoffeeroasters #caravancoffeeroasters #brewathome #homebrewing #londoncoffee #filtercoffee #specialtycoffee #brunch #cookbook #totescool #caravanathome #coffee

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With 5 locations across London, it’s not hard to come across a beverage from Caravan Coffee Roasters. The mission for this organic coffee company is to source green coffee that packs flavor and does not harm the planet. They do this through extensively researching and traveling to the origin of their beans, meeting directly with farmers and communities.

Coffee may be Caravan’s game but fabulous food and sustainability remain a staple of the company. Its coffee cups are 100% compostable and customers can get a 50p discount when using their own reusable cup. Additionally, Caravan sources its produce sustainably, and, where possible, uses its in-house team to make its own staples.


The self-proclaimed “plant-powered people” at Farmstand love all things ethical, from packaging and produce all the way to employees’ pay. The restaurant is dedicated to using only compostable packaging, not selling single-use plastic bottles and providing great vegan food. With over 80% of the menu being vegetarian, the meat that is sold is all ethically sourced.

Farmstand believes that the “environmental crisis is solved by people eating more plants” and encourages people to have at least one plant-based meal a day (OMD). Vegan food can be expensive in chain restaurants. But at Farmstand, the food is priced affordably so it can be distributed widely.

Community is at the heart of everything for Farmstand, even down to the wages; everyone on the team is an owner, who is paid at least the London Living Wage. And the highest-paid person is only paid up to twice that as much as the lowest.


At Farmacy, the team believes food is medicine and prides itself on serving plant-based dishes in new, exciting and comforting ways. From all the way from the soil to the sun, the food it sources supports local, organic and biodynamic farming; so everything in its Notting Hill restaurant is locally produced and, most importantly, fresh.

Using a holistic and sustainable approach to agriculture, the team at Farmacy respectfully harness the nature and its elements in full harmony with its natural cycles. In line with its eco-friendly ethos, the restaurant uses only recyclable or compostable packaging. And strives to ensure food waste is kept to an absolute minimum.

Cafe Van Gogh

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Pasta with Garlicky Greens and Chickpeas all dressed with a Chive and Pumpkin Seed Pesto. This recipe only takes 30 minutes and is packed with nutritious ingredients Serves: 4 3 tbsp vegan margarine 4 leeks (thinly sliced) 1 whole bulb garlic (peeled and minced) 200g kale 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas 100g spinach Black pepper For the Pesto 1 large bunch chives 1 small clove garlic 25g nutritional yeast 100ml Olive Oil 1 large handful toasted pumpkin seeds Juice of half a lemon Salt 250g pasta Cook the pasta alongside cooking the greens and chickpeas, reserve 2 ladleful of the pasta water once drained. In a large heavy sided saucepan, melt the butter and fry off the leeks on a medium/low heat for 5-10 mins until they start to soften. Meanwhile make the pesto. Put the chives, garlic and nutritional yeast in a blender and pour in the olive oil as you blend. Roughly pulse in the pumpkin seeds so they retain some texture. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt. Pour in more oil to loosen if necessary. Set the pesto to one side. Add the garlic to the leeks and fry for another 3 mins. Stir in the kale and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Add the chickpeas (with chickpea water), spinach and plenty of black pepper. Pour in the 2 ladles pasta water and the cooked pasta. Finally toss the pesto into the pasta. #veganrecipe #plantbasedrecipe #lockdownrecipe #recipe #vegan #plantbased #veganlondon #plantbasedlondon #veganeats #veganmeals #vegansofig #recipevegan

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Cafe Van Gogh is a not-for-profit social enterprise that creates great plant-based and veggie food for the local community, whilst making the right ethical choices for their local area, the environment, its staff and its customers. 

The warm, brick-clad 100% vegan cafe is situated in the grounds of Christ Church, just seven minutes from Oval Park tube station and offers a range of stunning plant-based foods, all reasonably priced in line with its ethos. It aspires to be completely zero-waste and does not tolerate single-use plastics; all of its takeaway containers and coffee cups are fully compostable. It also recycles all food waste, which taken away to be composted rather than sent to landfill sites.

Olivia Preston
Olivia Preston
Olivia Preston is currently living and studying to be a world-class journalist in London. Fan of fashion, politics, feminist activism and all things canine. A very happy individual!