Cookbook author, yoga addict and co-founder of BOE Magazine Mīra Manek, gives her top picks of London’s healthiest cafés brimming with juices, artisan raw foods, gourmet salads, date-sweetened bites and almond milk matcha lattes. Whether it’s a raw food eatery or a café brimming with sheer indulgence, all these London spots have something nutritiously delicious to offer.
They might be known for their juices and cleanses, but it’s the Acai bowls that draws me to Raw Press. Whether it’s breakfast or mid-afternoon, these bowls are whipped up with an acai and fruit base, a large helping of coconut yoghurt and honey-sweetened granola topped with various superfoods. The sweet potato with herb butter at lunchtime, with a selection of fresh salads hits the spot if you fancy something savoury. And then there’s a selection of treats from (my very own) Spice Bites and Dynabites to Spiced Chia pudding.
32 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NE
Raw food never felt so indulgent and tasty. Everything on the menu is 100% meat, wheat, dairy, and gluten free. It’s vegan, organic, unprocessed and, so, as nature intended. And yet it’s incredibly imaginative and rich in flavour, from cashew nut cheese and lasagne layered between courgette pasta strips to the fermented blueberry cheesecake and the incredible Grawnola served with thick and creamy probiotic cashew yoghurt (featured image). Nama is most definitely a treat every time! And their caramel shortbread bars are just heavenly.
110 Talbot Road, London, W11 1JR
With a mantra of ‘nourishment is our intention’, The Retreat Café atop Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, serves a vibrant mix of salads, soups and delicious gluten and sugar-free cakes, all carefully formulated by naturopath, chef and founder Kimberley Parsons. The smoothie Bring on Savasana, fuelled with pineapple, avocado, apple, flaxseed oil and lime, is my perfect post-yoga treat. I love working from this earthy homely café before or after a yoga class at Triyoga – and if it’s breakfast, it has to be avocado on spelt toast.
Second Floor, Kingly Court London, W1 5PW
This charming café is the perfect afternoon spot for a bit of reading and writing, and while the glorious display of cakes and pastries is irresistible, the colourful spread of salads is luckily just as tempting. My favourite is the Grilled Aubergine with a mouth-watering Paprika Sauce. The sugar-free dark chocolate truffles make for a perfect sweet ending, unless you want to indulge in one of the incredible pastries, muffins or cakes – certainly worth it as a treat.
Various locations: Belgravia, King’s Road, Mayfair, Soho, Fulham, Brompton
GOOD LIFE EATERY
Located on sophisticated Sloane Avenue, Good Life Eatery is buzzing and exciting and filled with warmth. The alluring colours of smoothies are all the rage, but my favourite dish here has to be the Goodness Bowl, with a cashew nut coleslaw, sweet potato falafels, avocado topped with seeds, lightly flavoured broccoli, edamame beans, served with a small pot of yoghurt dip at the centre. There’s lots of egg dishes for breakfast and a satisfying selection of sweet treats.
59 Sloane Avenue, London, SW3 3DH
BAKER & SPICE
I love the earthy tones and texture of this café – it is simple, genuine and homely. The array of foods from salads to freshly baked croissants are as seductive in appearance and as they are inspiring in taste. It’s the array of salads that really draws my attention – whether I’m at one of the London locations or in Dubai – and so I’ll choose a selection of four salads, and dip into some toasted sourdough on the side. Try the homemade seasonal jams and preserves!
54-56 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia SW1W 9PB; 47 Denyer Street, Chelsea SW3 2LX
If I’m in Soho, Juice Tonic is perfectly located to pick up a quick smoothie or juice on my way somewhere. With a selection of healthy wraps, raw cacao balls, chia puddings and deliciously healthy mousses, Juice Tonic is great for a healthy breakfast or lunch if you work in the area. Taking inspiration from Hippocrates’ quote “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”, everything on the menu is nutritious, delicious and pure.
3 Winnett Street, Soho, London, W1D 6JY
The floods of light pouring into this garden-like space, with pots and plants studded with messages of inspiration and happiness makes Tanya’s cafe very zen. From Superfood and Warrior Salads to Raw Pizzas, Satay Noodles and Taco, I’m always spoilt for choice – this is quite the raw food mecca. And I always want to save some space for the sweet superfood desserts – blueberry cheesecake, peanut butter cups and a variety of delicious hot drinks. And then there’s the superfood cocktails… Where to begin!
35 Ixworth Place Chelsea, London SW3 3QX
Featured image taken from Nama Foods