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Five great spots for World Vegan Day

PUBLISHED: 15:53 31 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:51 01 November 2018

Usually served at the weekends, Black Cat Cafés falafel comes with hummus, roasted red pepper dip, assorted salads, garlic tahini and yoghurt. Picture: Black Cat Café

Usually served at the weekends, Black Cat Cafés falafel comes with hummus, roasted red pepper dip, assorted salads, garlic tahini and yoghurt. Picture: Black Cat Café

Archant

If you’ve been toying with the idea of going vegan, you’re certainly in the right place for it.

Biff's Jack Shack bring you 'vegan AF' junk food in the form of burgers and wings. Image: kimburrowsvegographyBiff's Jack Shack bring you 'vegan AF' junk food in the form of burgers and wings. Image: kimburrowsvegography

Hackney is a hotbed for vegan eating, with a whole host of specialist restaurants, weekend markets and pop-ups to pick between. Right in time for World Vegan Day (Thursday November 1), we’ve picked out five places leading the way across the borough.

Black Cat

This relaxed caf and book shop on Clarence Road is truly a champion of vegan causes. Cooking up “scratch-made comfort food” which is entirely vegan-friendly, pop along and prepare to spend a little while surveying the menu – there is an extensive choice of salads, soups, sandwiches, curries and lasagnes to mull over here. Black Cat recently toasted its fifth birthday, during which time it has also hosted events for a number of admirable causes including Food not Bombs, FRIEND animal sanctuary and Feminist Film Festival.

Roasted butternut squash with sage and almonds from Pamela's pop-up kitchen. Picture: What the Fattoush?Roasted butternut squash with sage and almonds from Pamela's pop-up kitchen. Picture: What the Fattoush?

Black Cat Café, 76a Clarence Road, E5 8HB

Pamela Bar

Dalston’s Pamela is a cocktail bar by trade, but it’s also a big favourite for vegans thanks to its pop-up kitchen. Previous animal-free menus have focused on Mexican and Chinese cuisine, while the current residents – What the Fattoush? – serve wonderfully colourful and fragrant mezze. Look out for the slow-cooked aubergine and pepper as well as the batata harare: spicy, sautéed cubes of potato that won over our editor upon a recent visit. There are fluffy dough sticks dripping with chocolate and orange for pudding and 10 per cent of What the Fattoush? profits go to a charity building skate parks in Palestine.

What the Fattoush? at Pamela Bar, 428 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA

Hackney Downs Vegan Market

This friendly marketplace puts an array of vegan street-food traders at your fingertips every weekend. Take a stroll around the park before stopping by for lunch or an afternoon snack, where you can find everything from seitan wraps to vegan hot dogs and sweet treats from the bakery to organic chocolate bars. Entry is free, there’s always a lovely sense of community and the vegan wares on sale extend beyond the food – there are stalls selling ethical skincare products and soy candles made locally.

Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm, Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT

Biff’s Jack Shack

The team at Biff’s Jack Shack know how to dream big. Fed up of tasteless bean burgers after switching to veganism late in 2016, they developed their own range of products and are now focused on creating the “world’s most filthy, indulgent vegan junk food.” These guys take the humble jackfruit and elevate it to new levels of tasty, whipping up burgers, wings and filthy fries at their Broadway Market stall each week. Biff’s recently reached a new milestone with the launch of their first permanent site at Shoreditch’s Boxpark.

Biff’s Jack Shack Every Saturday at Broadway Market or full-time at Boxpark

Voodoo Ray’s

We get it: normally you’d just want to go home and chill after work on Monday. But when Voodoo Ray’s are plating up their Vegan Queen pizza for £2.50 a slice, it’s probably worth making an exception. Cooking up 22” New York-styled pizza from their sites in Dalston and Shoreditch, the Vegan Queen features lashings of artichoke hearts, green olives, red onions, sun-blush tomatoes and their special green sauce on a thin and crispy base. It’s arguably their finest pizza amongst a very strong field.

Voodoo Ray’s have venues at 95 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB and 2 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6GY

And that’s not all...

Vegan fish and chips are in order at Sutton and Sons, Dalston’s Arancini Brothers took the decision to go entirely vegan at the start of this year, and the Papdi Chaat at Gujarati Rasoi is something you’ve just got to experience: vegan or not.

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