Lunch breaks can prove trying when it comes to locating a guilt-free sandwich.
For that reason (and based on plenty of experience), we’ve compiled a list of producers and outlets that might help.
Granted, some of these won’t be right for all of you, but all listed are making green efforts in one way or another. And we do aim to cater for the organic vegans as well as the ethically-minded meat-eaters among you.
It’s a work in progress, so do let us know about other worthy listings and we’ll add them to the growing directory. Enjoy.
The Farm Collective
What: All ingredients are sourced by them from UK farms, with an emphasis on provenance and animal welfare. Along with sandwiches, salads, soups and cakes, they serve breakfast fare, pies, sausage rolls and mash.
Where: 91 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, EC1M 6BH
Green Cred: Good vegetarian options, ethically-sourced meat and dairy, locally-sourced, seasonal.
Le Pain Quotidien
What: International chain of Belgian bakeries and restaurants serving boulangerie fare, including soup, salads, tartines, breakfast, homemade pastries and handmade bread, all made with organic ingredients where possible.
Green Cred: Good vegetarian options, organic meat, organic bread.
What: Organic supermarket chain selling everything regular supermarkets do, including sandwiches, salads and hot dishes such as organic meat pies and vegetable lasagne.
Where: Islington, Muswell Hill, Westbourne Grove
Green Cred: Organic groceries, locally-sourced, seasonal
What: Organic and health food supermarket that serves prepared food. Its Kensington store has a market restaurant that serves freshly prepared pizza, sushi, salads, ice cream and waffles.
Where: Kensington, Camden, Clapham, Soho and Stoke Newington
Green Cred: Organic groceries, meat, fish, bread.
What: Boasting celebrity customers from Stella McCartney and Keira Knightley to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, it serves a diverse range of dishes such as raw buckwheat pizza, sprouted chickpea curry and marinated rainbow salad. It also serves healthy desserts including cheeseless cheesecake and carob and lemon pie.
Where: 74 Wardour Street, Soho, London
Green Cred: Caters for vegans and vegetarians as well as macrobiotic and raw(living) diets, Coeliacs(Celiacs), diabetics and those suffering from food allergies.
What: Specialising in healthy vegetarian and vegan food, Beetroot also caters for wheat-free and gluten-free diets. Their concept is to display ten hot dishes inspired from around the globe, together with colourful seasonal salads.
Where: 92 Berwick Street, Soho, London, W1F OQD
Green Cred: Vegetarian, vegan, some organic produce such as rice and tofu.
What: With the aim of changing the face of fast food, Leon uses seasonal ingredients and only buys meat from farms it knows and trusts – it visits them regularly and has received recognition from the RSPCA for the care it takes in doing so. Dishes to eat-in or take-away include sweet potato falafel, moroccan meatballs and cajun crayfish superfood salad, along with breakfast and dessert items.
Where: Carnaby St, Ludgate Circus, Regent Street, Spitalfields, Canary Wharf, Cannon St, Bankside, Strand, Bluewater
Green Cred: RSPCA recognition for responsible meat-sourcing, seasonal ingredients, good vegetarian options, healthy options.
Fine Burger Co
What: Providing a good alternative to McDonald’s, they serve veggie burgers and spiced organic chickpea falafels as well as beef burgers which, they say, come from a range of traditionally reared, grass fed, fully traceable breeds from Aberdeen Angus to Hereford.
Where: Islington, O2 Centre, St Pancras, ExCel Exhibition Centre
Green Cred: Local farmers and suppliers, 100% recyclable take-away boxes.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
What: Another surprising entry, GBK makes it onto the list due to its better-than-most vegetarian offering. The five veggie burgers include aubergine and goat’s cheese, veggie and camembert, puy lentil, mushroom and falafel.
Where: Across the country and international
Green Cred: Good vegetarian options
Pret A Manger
What: Freshly made wraps, sandwiches, salads, soups and pastries along with fruit and snacks, most of which is made on-site or nearby. Unsold items go to charity at the end of each day.
Where: Across the country
Green Cred: Pret electricity comes from 100% ‘green’ sources – a mixture of wind, wave and hydro-electricity. The Pret Charity Run operates a fleet of electric vans that deliver over 12,000 fresh meals to homeless shelters in London every week. This prevents up to 250 tonnes of food from ending up in landfill.
Smiths of Smithfield
What: On the ground floor of this four-floor restaurant, the kitchen serves a wide range of food to eat in or take-away, from roast chicken with sage and onion stuffing sandwiches to beef stew with dumplings, as well as vegetarian options such as the grilled haloumi, tapenade, lemon and rocket on ciabatta.
Where: 67-77 Charterhouse St, London, EC1M 6HJ
Green Cred: Organic and additive-free produce wherever possible.
Fresh! Naturally Organic
What: Organic sandwiches, tarts, salads, pies and soups for meat-eaters as well as vegetarians and vegans.
Where: Small outlets nationwide, as well as Boots, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda.