Black cat cafe 009

Vegan-friendly cake at the Black Cat Cafe.

As someone who thinks a cooperative vegan café in Hackney sounds rather amusing, I’ll be the first to tout the Black Cat Café for being unpretentious, tasty and fairly priced.

The café is the reincarnation of the long-standing but now defunct Pogo Café, with new decor and similar food. You order from a daily-changing chalkboard menu and sit at communal tables.

Herbivores will enjoy the fry-ups at weekends and pies, salads and soups during the week. The 25 teas include a panoply of rooibos and blacks, and the cappuccino with Bonsoy ‘milk’ is a winner. Kale is a regular.

It’s the kind of vegan food that’s heavy on animal substitutes: soy and similar takes on ‘cheese’, ‘sausage’ and ‘egg’. The Monte Cristo sandwich is comforting without leaving you laden – and worth amplifying with Sriracha or tomato ketchup. The fry-up with beans, potatoes, pancake, tofu scramble, mushroom and sausage (get the Vegusto for an extra £1) is more gentle than hearty, leaving room for a gingery parkin that’s just sweet enough.

Roughly £10 gets you a drink, main and dessert, in the company of anarchist literature and animal-free pet food. More than one book on display has the anarchist Emma Goldman on its cover, local photography fills the white walls and the front is all red-trimmed windows. WiFi is free, and for active vegans and friends, the Hackney Veg*n Society meet here monthly.

The café feels bright and calm, as you’d hope from a plant-loving cooperative. When full, it’s a buzzing (but not overwhelming) place to be, and when not it’s a chilled space from which to watch the world go by.

Black Cat Café, 76 Clarence Road, E5 8HB



Support us

The coronavirus outbreak has meant that the Hackney Citizen has been unable to print a monthly newspaper for the last three months.

The need for quality news and reliable reporting is crucial - however, this is an increasingly challenging time for local journalism.

Our main source of income, print advertising revenue, fell suddenly - and so we are asking you, the readers, for your help.A one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team get our newspaper back in print and keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

Find out how you can donate.

Thanks in advance for your support, and stay safe.