Mildreds is a vegetarian restaurant that doesn’t really require an introduction to the London scene. It was created in 1988 in Soho, at a time when vegetarian restaurants were still extremely rare, in what was previously a…. strip club. The bet was that Mildreds would last for 6 months before having to close its doors. Almost 20 years later, the restaurant is ever popping and is a rite of passage for all ‘veggie lovers’.
Mildreds is also known for its never ending waiting times to get a table, an unfortunate consequence of its massive success. We decided to try their original spot in Soho (they now have two other restaurants open, one in Camden and the other in King’s Cross), where they only take reservations for parties of 10 or more. Knowing that, we decided to go after ‘typical’ lunch hours to avoid the rush and arrived at around 2:30 p.m. on a Saturday.
Turns out we weren’t as smart as we thought we were; the restaurant was still full as ever, and we were told the wait would be 45 minutes. Patience isn’t our strong suit but we nevertheless decided to wait and had a little walk around the neighborhood while waiting for our turn.
We shared a table with another couple, but we were too hungry to worry about our intimacy. We started off with a detox juice (kale, cucumber, apple and lemon), a classic burger, as well as a sausage and mash dish, very similar to a Belgian “stoemp”.
The burger was absolutely delicious… Without hesitation one of the best veggie burgers we’ve ever eaten. We couldn’t pass off a side of fries, so we opted for the more original sweet potato fries. They were divine; thick but not too greasy, served with a side of basil mayo. The burger must be their best-seller as we saw countless being brought to tables while we ate. The sausages and mash were excellent and full of flavor.
We were both pretty full after the meal, but couldn’t leave without trying one of their desserts. We instantly flashed on the special of the day, the chocolate peanut butter brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a hot chocolate sauce. It was so good that I never would have imagined it to be vegan (without eggs, milk, butter).
The price was rather reasonable, the check came out to 39£ (they add an ‘optional’ 12.5% service charge).
All in all, the restaurant really warrants its praise, and we will gladly go back next time we’re in the neighborhood. It’s a great place to try not only for vegetarians and vegans, but for anyone who is put off by the idea of eating tasteless vegetables.
The pros : 100% vegetarian menu (with a vast majority being vegan). Copious portions.
The cons : No reservations, waiting time to be factored in. Tables in close proximity to one another.
45 Lexington Street
Open from Monday to Saturday, from noon to 11 p.m.