London vegan café celebrates two years
This blog post is a bit personal and soppy.
I hope you are all OK with me bigging up two of my friends and their fabulous business.
Essential Vegan Café is an all-vegan eatery in Shoreditch, London and today it is celebrating two years of trading.
Essential Vegan is an independent café run by chef Vanessa Almeida and her husband Neni.
I got to know Vanessa and Neni several years ago through the vegan scene in London. They would both come along to events I hosted and it wasn’t long until we counted on each other as friends, not just vegan comrades.
Vanessa and Neni work as hard as anyone I’ve ever met in the vegan community, if not harder.
I have seen them pull all-nighters, often multiple nights in a row, in order to prepare for large scale vegan festivals such as VegFestUK. At the first ever Hackney Downs Vegan Market Vanessa was swamped by customers and sold out of everything instantly, resulting in her actually RUNNING home to bake more cakes for attendees while Neni stayed at the stall and chatted with customers.
Their shed/hatch window takeaway stall in the now-defunct PUMP foodcourt in East London was crucial in pushing vegan food forward in the capital. Vanessa and Neni worked tirelessly to make delicious seitan burgers and succulent cheesecakes to keep the hungry crowds satisfied.
Essential Vegan also became famous around this time for their gourmet plant-based cheeses.
Vanessa has invested thousands of hours in order to perfect her handcrafted artisan cheeses. If you consider yourself a vegan cheese fan, you owe it to yourself to get along to Essential Vegan to buy a few of Vanessa’s creations.
As Essential Vegan Café turns two years old, it is also important to recognise how Vanessa has helped put Brazilian food on the London map. As a chef, she is a pioneer in the UK.
Vanessa and Neni relocated from Brazil to London many years ago and it was a dream of theirs to feed traditional dishes from back home to the population of their new home. They have realised this dream with Essential Vegan Café.
Feijoada is one of their specialties and I promise you will struggle to find a weekend brunch as delicious as this anywhere else in London.
I haven’t even touched on the rest of the sensational menu which includes cake, cassava chips, Brazilian cheese balls, seitan wings, salad, quiche, and casserole.
Congratulations to Vanessa and Neni for two years of Essential Vegan Café. I’m truly inspired by your determination, work ethic, and commitment to improving outcomes for animals.
See the exact location of Essential Vegan Café thanks to Google Maps (just a few skips from Shoreditch High Street Station).
See the Essential Vegan Café menu online.
Great stuff! Always lovely to see people doing so well. Especially for such a nice and hard-working pair. I hope they have many more successful years there!