Vegan capital of the world is not a city
To be honest, I’ve spent a lot of time moaning about London and how it always seemed behind other world capitals when it came to vegan food. It always felt 5-10 years behind NYC, LA and Berlin.
However, things are now changing rapidly for the UK capital and nowhere is heralding in this plant-based revolution faster than the north London Borough of Hackney.
To celebrate it rapidly becoming veganised, I wanted to give you my top ten reasons why Hackney is the most-vegan neighbourhood/district in the UK and one of the finest plant-based destinations in the world.
10 Essential Vegan – Vanessa lives in Hackney and now has launched a six-week kitchen takeover with her Essential Vegan goodness in trendy neighbourhood bar, Haunt. If you love seitan burgers and cheesecake, head here as soon as possible.
9 Redemption Bar – I’ve never been to this venue but it does seem to be a popular choice for a lot of vegans on Instagram. Diners can get their fill of wholefoods and non-alcoholic drinks.
8 What The Pitta – if you need something to fill you up, this is the place. Actually, the kebab wraps are so huge you might actually struggle to finish one. What The Pitta now have a second location in Croydon, but the original location at the PUMP food court in Shoreditch means Hackney will not have to miss out.
7 Club Mexicana – this street food vendor has become a legendary staple of the London food scene and now with this ongoing residency inside Kingsland Road bar Pamela, Mexican-inspired cuisine is in Hackney to stay. While at their street stands you can enjoy tacos, burritos, loaded nachos and fried cheese sticks, this residency is taking things up a notch with handmade tortillas and fancy desserts. All drinks and cocktails served by host venue are vegan, too.
6 FED by Water – this Italian gourmet dining restaurant changed London forever when it switched from a meat and dairy laden menu to one that is now 100% vegan. Last time I checked, they even had a pizza named after me!
5 Made in Hackney – a crucial component of Hackney’s plant-based revolution, this charity funds community education and support work centred around vegan eating by hosting paid-for cooking lessons that can be attended by anyone.
4 Black Cat Café – this café is one of the food champions of the UK. If comfort eating is your thing, you will adore the regular and rotating dishes including burgers, cakes and breakfasts.
3 CookDaily and HOME – imagine two of the best vegan eateries in London being 10 metres apart. Both of these fast food outlets are packed solid with bowls of irresistible cuisine created by genius Chef King. Located upstairs at Boxpark Shoreditch.
2 Temple of Hackney – nothing has taken the UK by storm quite like this vegan fried chicken shop. The shop frequently sells out completely before the end of the day and you’ll often find a line of hungry customers down the street.
1 Hackney Downs Vegan Market – I know it’s a bit unfair to put my own new monthly market at number one, but it really does feel like such a big deal. This is the very first vegan monthly market in London and it is packed solid with some of the best vegan traders in London. The third Saturday of each month at Hackney Downs Studios with plans to have 10 or so food vendors on site each time we fling open the gates.
What do you think? Is Hackney the vegan capital of London? Is there another borough with more plant-based options crammed inside its borders? Have I missed any vegan Hackney landmarks?
The list above features only 100% vegan outlets. There are of course many more that are vegan friendly. There are also vegan places just blocks outside the Borough of Hackney boundaries, such as the wonderful Just Fab.
Get busy in Hackney!