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The Gate Restaurant

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 28 reviews )
Contact 0207-2785483

370 St John St, Islington, London, England, EC1V 4NN

Offers casual vegetarian dining with Indo-Iraqi Jewish influence. All-day mezze bar menu and weekend brunch. Vegan options are marked "vo." Located opposite Saddler's Wells Theatre, around the corner to Upper Street, and a short walk from Angel tube station. Mon-Fri 12:00pm-2:30pm, Mon-Sun 6:00pm-10:30pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-3:00pm

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Organic, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, British, English, Indo-Iraqi

Reviews (28)

First Review by greenknittinggal

pricey but worth it - Edit

i visited the gate in hammersmith twice, even though it's a bit above my normal price range. my parents took me there a bit over a year ago, and back then the food was ok, but not amazing. this summer i was back in london and we went again, and i'm not sure what changed but it was definitely for the better. the food was not just tasty but like fancy extra tasty. we were really impressed. the place looks very nice, has a high-end atmosphere but also not too uptight. if you can afford it it's definitely worth it. otherwise convince your parents to take you there ;)

Pros: Amazing food (since this year), nice atmosphere

Cons: not everything vegan

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Upscale vegetarian cooking, some good vegan option - Edit

The Gate was one of our destinations on this trip to London, as I appreciate the fine choice of vegan food in London (much better than available in almost every other city other than New York, which is a much further trip for me). What is interesting, is that we went in February, and it looks like the menu changed, because I can't even find what I ate (and don't remember it all). I had something that was smoked tofu balls, but it was vegan, and I don't see that on the menu now. And my spouse also had something that doesn't appear to be on the menu. There are vegan options (which is what we want), but perhaps we would have liked a bigger choice. I took two entrees instead of a main dish, because the main dishes did not appeal to me so much. But what I had was delicious, and the type of vegan food that I really appreciate - not those standard vegetable stews and grain, or lentils and grain, etc., that are so frequently found. The prices are not inexpensive (which is why i checked "fine dining", but I realize that good vegan food takes time and effort to prepare - much more effort than grilling a steak.

Pros: NIcely served, Chef-quality vegetarian cooking, Vegan options

Cons: expensive

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Great food, not cheap - Edit

The Gate is a 'treat' restaurant, not a regular local. Last night we were there, with many others, for a pre-theatre meal - it's just across the road from Sadlers Wells so I'd book if you want to be sure of catching the start of the show. We shared some olives and then the mezze platter - full of delicious bites which left us not too full so we could enjoy a desert each (treacle orange and poppy seed pudding, and creme brulee with lovely sharp plum jam). Total cost just over £40 including 12.5% service. We really enjoyed it but it's not a cheap outing.

Pros: Creative food, Great location, Friendly staff

Cons: Quite pricey

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up there with the best - Edit

Had an excellent meal last night. portions were small so had three courses. all were great. restaurant was crowded which given the quality was a bit unsurprising. was also a bit dark. pricey but not excessive.

Pros: yummy, perfect service, trendy

Cons: small portions, too dark, pricey

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Better than I expected - Edit

I am not a huge fan of places that try and make themselves out to be 'fancy', and consequently charge a bit of a premium (although I'm also not from London, so maybe my idea of a premium is different from others) for what is often a smaller amount of food. I like my veggie food cheap, cheerful, and plentiful. However, I was fairly impressed with The Gate.

The food came in decent portions, and, most importantly, had a good amount of flavour to it. I had the grilled halloumi as a starter, which came with a very nice, slightly spicy salsa. This was followed by the aubergine teriyaki, which I found a little overly breadcrumbed, but otherwise good. We had to pass on dessert, having been filled up by the first two courses.

Overall, while it didn't blow me away, I would recommend The Gate to anyone looking for a pleasant evening out.

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Yum! - Edit

Great food that's very tasty and good wine selection. Aubergine dish was amazing as were the stuffed peppers. Plenty of vegan options. Friendly staff.
Vegan puddings could be better.

Pros: great food , lovely staff, nicely decorated restaurant with atmosphere

Cons: needs better vegan puddings

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An Excellent Opening - Edit

After visiting nearly 400 veg/vegan places across Europe this was my first experience of one in London in August 2014. At last, I see why this place is so highly rated. It's quite formal but not pretentious and the menu is excellent with a very reasonable vegan choice. Saturday brunch was the option for us on 2nd of August 2014 consisting of a pan fried smoky scrambled tofu and potato mamoosa served with a delicious vegetable rice schoog and a sweetcorn and chilli mini pancake stack served with refried beans filled tortillas. Yes, both were delicious and washed down with a glass of wine and a much needed bottle of sparkling water. Total bill came to £33 including the discretionary 12.5% service charge which is common place in London where discretionary probably means mandatory. I'm sure this place rocks at night. This is definitely somewhere I would like to come to again. Hey presto, on a second visit on 25th July 2015 yet again for a pre Arsenal Emirates Cup lunch an even better quality experience has reinforced this as a top class capital venue.

Pros: good food, location, setting

Cons: quite expensive, not enough vegan choice

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Rather disappointing expensive food - Edit

Booked a table for early evening midweek to celebrate my and my friend's birthday. There were three other tables filled when we arrived and a lot of staff. I was immediately told that 'we need the table back at 8pm'.
Lots of hovering staff, none particularly friendly or polite.
Food - my aubergine was ok, a little bland. My friends mezze was disappointing and very small - one small teaspoon of hummus, one tiny floret of cauliflower.
Puddings - the crumble was ok, my chocolate nut torte was large (unlike the main), but rather dry and just didn't really work. I left quite a lot of it and I'm not one to abandon puddings. Our tea was brought with puddings, obvuiosly to hurry us along, and despite the place still being half empty, I could see staff constantly checking out our table to see if we were done yet.

Cons: Expensive food , Not that great , Unfriendly staff

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Delicious! - Edit

The Gate is a classic London vegetarian restaurant and one of the few fancier options for vegans and vegetarians. The service is always perfect, the food always delicious and beautifully presented. The spaces in both the Hammersmith and Angel branches are both lovely - this is a good place for a family dinner, or a romantic evening. In particular, the Gate do a wild mushroom festival in the autumn where they do a special 5 course menu made from wild mushrooms and always have a vegan version of the menu - this is such a special evening, an absolute must if you love mushrooms. The only con is that like quite a few vegetarian restaurants in the UK, the most interesting dessert options are usually not vegan. The vegan option will be say a fruit crumble, not a chocolate cake (although the crumble will be good). This applies to brunch too - they started doing brunch recently and this was welcome as there are not many options for brunch as a vegan in London. However, most options are not vegan so while you can eat something yummy, you can't eat French toast or pancakes, which in the US equivalent restaurant you would be able to. A small quibble though, we love this place.

Pros: Some of the best veg food in London, Perfect service, Lovely space

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Very good food and good vegan options - Edit

The Gate is simply a top notch restaurant with terrific veg*n food, including dessert and even wine, prosecco, beer and cocktails. They do rely a bit much on the cheeses for lacto-ovo and that's just superfluous IMO. The service is very good too.

Pros: Superb quality food n bev, Great service, Good vegan options

Cons: Too much dairy on the menu

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Very good restaurant - Edit

I was glad to discover this restaurant, I went in London for my birthday in october and we went to The Gate at Hammersmith twice.
We loved food, people, light and colors...
it was a new experience for us, good food, well done, nice recipes and good presentation in the dish, full of flavors, we loved and we look forward to come back soon.

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amazing food and great sevice - Edit

Food is wonderful, lots of vegan options and large portions. For the quality price is fair :) i forgot to tell vegan option, but they took the dish back and chnged it with the vegan version. Recommended

Pros: food , service

Cons: wine list is poor

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To try - Edit

Very nice atmosphere and waitress. As DAGNY70 said: "The person who greeted us was a little unfriendly when I asked for a table for 2, stating "you didn't book?"" - I thought it was because of our tourists' clothes but now I read these words and I understand that wasn't the reason of the guy behavior.
Excellent food but small vegan portions, unluckily they finished the bread so I was pretty disappointed, it would be perfect to have some with vegetables (but I think it's more italian style)
Very expensive in my opinion (I suggest increase the portions or lower cost)
Poor choice of vegan dessert, only fruit.
They add a service charge to the bill, too bad!
Updated from previous review on Thursday January 31, 2013
Updated from previous review on Thursday January 31, 2013

Pros: Excellent food, Nice waitress

Cons: Expensive, Service charge added

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Fantastic - Edit

Went to the Islington location with a group of friends on Monday night. Everything was fantastic--the mezze plates were delicious and the entrees were each spot on. My friend and I shared because we couldn't decide. We took the waiter's recommendation and didn't regret it.

Pros: Beautiful space, Delicious food

Cons: Kind of small menu

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Great Food And Service - Edit

I've visited this restaurant twice now. First time for an 'express lunch' and second time (last night) for dinner.

On both occasions I ordered a thai green curry style dish, which were very spicy and delicious.

Last night I had the basket of bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and also had soy icecream and fruit sorbet for dessert.

The food and service are great and I would recommend. The food was affordable as well although they do put a 'service charge' on your receipt which I'm not that fond of, not being an English custom!

I was unwell yesterday and also eating alone both times as away due to work but was made to feel relaxed by the friendly staff.

Pros: Great Food, Friendly, Affordable

Cons: Service Charge

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Classy Veg Food - Edit

Really enjoyed the food. Menu was small with several vegan options and wines. Food was really well presented and the flavour combinations were interesting. All was very fresh. Servers were very friendly.

Pros: Small seasonal menu, Great food, Friendly

Cons: Need to book

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Disappointing - Edit

I went to eat here with a friend. It was extremely busy, and incredibly noisy to the point of us almost leaving. The floor plan is just awful. The decor is bland and uninspiring.

They had a number of vegan options on the menu, and I ordered a few starters and a main, re-confirming about three times that I wanted them vegan. Once the food arrived, I asked if it was vegan, as it looked like it wasn't, and after they checked with the kitchen, they confirmed that I was served food with dairy/eggs.

They did apologise and came back with my vegan stuff, but it was very disappointing that this happened in the first place.

All this could perhaps be forgiven if the food is tasty. Unfortunately, it was not. It felt like eating at a countryside vegetarian restaurant in 1980s. The food was bland, tasteless, greasy. There were no spices, herbs or flavours. The entire menu feels dated, and is very cheese and egg heavy. Even the vegan options taste like cardboard.

Very, very disappointing - in terms of food, service and the entire experience. There are so many good veggie restaurants in London, and this is not the one I will be going back to.

Pros: Location

Cons: Food, Service, Vegan options come as non-vegan

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pretentious place - Edit

Food is just average, nothing amazing and nothing new, same dishes and same recipes seen over and over.
Not enough vegan options especially in the dessert menu.
On top of that, staff can be pretty disrespectful and snobbish towards vegans, which is quite annoying and a bed surprise in a veggie place.

Cons: too pricey compared to quality, snobbish staff with no knowledge about w, not enough vegan options

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Fancy-ish vegetarian dining, many vegan options - Edit

Ate here on a Friday night. The place was packed and so conversation levels were very high. I had the vegan version of the Cajun Aubergine dish, it was delicious, reconciled me with guacamole and made me lose my fear of okra. For dessert I had the fruit trifle, which was way too sugary. I couldn't finish it but wanted to take it home with me - the accommodating waiter gave me a ceramic ramekin to take it home in! Pricey but quality food; nice for a treat or special occasion.

Pros: delicious food, lots of vegan options, good service

Cons: noisy, pricey

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Delicious food! - Edit

I took a trip with my mum to The Gate a few weeks ago. Very delicious food with lots of vegan options. Staff were friendly and there was a good atmosphere in the restaurant. My mum is pescatarian so I'm always pleased when she's satisfied at an all vegetarian restaurant. We were really happy with our time at The Gate!

Pros: Delicious food, Friendly staff, Good atmosphere

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A gem of a restuarant - Edit

We've now been to The Gate at least 6 times in the past 6 months and it's quickly becoming one of our favourites for meals out with friends and family.

The restaurant:
The Gate is in a really good location just minutes from Angel Tube station and the bars and nightlife of Islington. It's also handily located for Sadler's Wells theatre (I think a pre-theatre dining option is available)

The dining area is well appointed and large. The layout and decor are reminisicent of restaurants I've been to in Seattle and San Francisco. It definitely creates a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere.

The food:
The menu isn't vast but changes regularly and mixes creative flair with some well-loved classics (eg: Thai and Morrocan dishes). There are usually a couple of vegan options with a couple more that can be veganised. We've always found the food of the highest quality and the portion size good (Our all-time favourite starter were the stuffed courgette flowers!)

If you opt for the bread, you'll be delighted with a varied selection of different breads (from pumpernickel to olive ciabatta) and some dipping oil.

The vegan options on the dessert menu could be more adventurous - a minor quibble as I'm always stuffed by the time dessert comes round!

The service:
In the evening, booking is essential in our opinion - especially if there is more than 2 in your party.

The service is friendly and efficient. Some of our servers have been better than others but it's always been at the best end of service for veggie London restuarants. On the odd occasion when we've witnessed an unhappy diner, the host/manager dealt with the situation calmly and professionally.

Service is very efficient, and although you can see the food being prepared fresh within the restaurant, you won't have to wait very long to dig in!

The Gate is a fantastic restaurant that maintains its consistency for amazing food, great service and an elegant atmosphere. I can't recommend The Gate enough and is a brilliant place to take non-veggie friends and family who quickly forget that they are in a cruelty-free environment :)

This place is a must-see/do as part of any London itinerary!

Pros: Food, Location, Atmosphere/service

Cons: More vegan options would be good

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Lovely food, service friendly but unconventional - Edit

I have been here a couple of times, the second over the Christmas break. Both times I thought the food was good but the service was a little strange. I have now forgotten why I thought this the first time but this recent time the waiter urged us to have some bread while we were waiting for our other food, but then the bread didn't seem to arrive until they were just about to bring the other food. Then the coffee arrived well ahead of the desserts... On the plus side when one of our party got into a strop about the coffee thing the waiter remained extremely polite. Anyway, the food and location makes it a nice place to eat before or after a trip to Sadlers Wells which is practically opposite so I am looking forward to my next visit with interest :-) The tapas (which we had the first time) and brunch (the second time) seemed reasonably priced for this sort of establishment and location.

Pros: Great food, Plenty for vegans, Friendly

Cons: Service unpredictable

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Overpriced - Edit

It was good, and a nice atmosphere, but priced to make me expect something amazing. About 15% cheaper or 15% more creative and I'd give it top marks.

Pros: atmosphere, wine list

Cons: price

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Great Food - Edit

We came here for dinner on a recent trip to London for a gig. The person who greeted us was a little unfriendly when I asked for a table for 2, stating "you didn't book?" This, despite the fact that it was 5:30pm and the place had 3 customers! However, our servers were extremely friendly and the decor was fab, very modern/industrial and cool. It was a little pricey, but we had the set menu (2 courses for £12.50) which seemed very reasonable. The food was really tasty and service was quick (perhaps because it was so quiet!) This was my second experience of a London restaurant adding a service charge to the bill, which I think is extremely cheeky. Maybe it's a London thing, but it feels a bit like bullying! Overall, good food, nice atmosphere, and 80% of the staff were lovely!

Pros: Good food, Cool decor, Mostly friendly!

Cons: Expensive

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Great restaurant, not just a Veggie restaurant - Edit

My wife has long recommended the Gate and we used to go the Hammersmith restaurant. Delighted to see one open in Islington.

We both thought the food was fantastic. Service was a little erratic, but I think that was because it was so new at the time and they hadn't gelled.

Only disappointment was that they had non alcoholic beer on the menu, but not that day.

Took my very ignorant non veggie parents and the food was so good and satisfying that the fact that it was veggie actually wasn't a point of discussion (delightful) and they don't remember it as being a veggie restaurant. Result, thanks!

Pros: excellent food, excellent location, excellent building

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Ideal pre-theatre veg restaurant - Edit

I found this place looking for somewhere vegan friendly for lunch before heading to a matinée at Sadler's Wells theatre. It's certainly a great location, less than 5 mins walk away from the theatre.
I really liked the decor- not what you might expect from a veg restaurant (i.e.slightly hippie/alternative) but with a smart, industrial feel.
On to the food. Unfortunately the mezze wasn't an option as apparently it's not served when the weekend brunch is on but they looked to have some yummy things and mostly vegan too.
The brunch menu wasn't particularly vegan-friendly, a bit heavy on the cheese and eggs, so we ordered a la carte. My Mum and I split 2 mains- the corn cake which comes with roasted vegetables and a black bean, red pepper salsa and the Thai salad of green mango, paw paw, roasted peanuts etc. The presentation was elegant and both dishes were good, although not mind-blowing. Perhaps could have done with a bit more spice? We weren't hugely full so decided on a dessert. Again not a huge amount of vegan options but I was pleased to see a couple (not just sorbet!) Now this was the best part of the meal- a summer brioche berry pudding served with vanilla (soy) ice cream. The pudding was so flavourful with loads of yummy berries. I appreciated the little scoop of vanilla ice cream , although I think a cashew based ice cream, or Swedish Glace would have been yummier.

All in all, this was a good meal- and a restaurant I'd be happy to take both omnis and veggies too.

Pros: Presentation, Décor, Decent range of Vegan options

Cons: A little costly..

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