Black Cat Café – review

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

 

 



Real news stories don't come cheap.

The Hackney Citizen is the borough’s only independent newspaper, and is now in its tenth year.

Our hard-hitting journalism has uncovered fire safety failures in tower blocks, revealed plans to criminalise rough sleepers, exposed dodgy letting agents and reported on many other issues of public concern.

We’ve always been totally free in print and online, but advertising revenues are falling.

That’s why we’re asking for your help.

Hackney Citizen’s high quality journalism is produced by a small team on a shoestring budget, so we’re asking you to make a monthly contribution to fund our work, enabling the paper to survive and thrive.

Support the Hackney Citizen from as little as £2 per month.

Can you spare £4 a month or more? Get the paper delivered direct to your door each month! (UK only)