Situated near the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, a social enterprise of St. Margaret's House. All food is vegan with vegetarian options, including pizza with vegan cheese. Also hosts a program of live events, a new art exhibition from an up-and-coming artist every month, live music nights, film screenings, comedy, and spoken word events throughout the year. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, British, English, Take-out
21 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green (/St Margaret's House)
East London, England E2 9PL
020-89833624

Open Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat-Sun 9am-9pm.

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  • Accepts credit cards
reviews

Reviews

First Review by Jemima
TMcC
TMcC
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+36

Nice space, rude staff

2 Posted on 08 / 02 / 2014

The cafe itself is very cute, with lots of outdoor space. However, the waitress was rude and the food bland.

Pros: Nice space
Cons: Rude staff, Tastleless food
jon active
jon active
  • vegan
Contributions
+144

Great when its great but.....

4 Posted on 05 / 17 / 2014

The Gallery cafe is a bit of a hit and miss affair. Firstly you must check the calender to see if the are serving food or have an event on instead, Secondly I have often found the menu to be severely reduced and the options very limited due to stock running out. For instance they do good pizza's but twice in a row when I visited they had no fake meat (ham usually) topping option as it had sold out, that's just incompetent!

Otherwise the place is a nice friendly light space. If the weather allows there is a garden to use out back and there are plenty of big tables for large groups. Nothing really stands out from the menu which is 70% vegan besides the pizzas which when done right are great!

Pros: Vegan pizza's, Close to tube stop, Fair price
Cons: Unreliable kitchen supply, Often closed for events
anianadia
anianadia
  • vegan
Contributions
+28

great breakfast place

4 Posted on 04 / 10 / 2014

Love this place, I've been here twice now and I find it great. Have recommended friends to go here and they were also very happy. Good for breakfast, I haven't tried the lunch.

Pros: pancakes
Cons: not everything is vegan :(

Conor.harrington
Conor.harrington
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

Beautiful space/Average food

3 Posted on 02 / 17 / 2014

I am local to this café so have been there regularly. Each time I say to myself "I don't think I will eat there again". The café space is really open and lively and inviting - a perfect place to hang out.

In the evenings I have been there three times to find that they have run out of everything but one or two things. The Vegan burger and chips is average. A little dry and spongey. The falafel is similar. The specials have mostly been plain and unimaginative and the breakfast was really under seasoned and bland. Agree with the comments about the scrambled tofu seriously lacking. I have been told one evening I was there that the kitchen closes at 8pm on weeknights which feels really early.

They do put on lots of really affordable and accessible community events - such as film screenings, poetry nights, live music - and I believe they are not for profit (connected to St Margaret's house charity) which is really special.

It is a nice place - the staff are friendly enough and it is a really amazing part of London. But they really need to improve their food. Prices are pretty standard for London it's not super expensive. If someone can find me a Vegan burger and chips for less than £7.50 then please do!


Updated from previous review on Monday December 09, 2013

Pros: Beautiful atmosphere, Great part of town, Not for profit charity
Cons: average food , run out of options, kitchen closes too early
rosie
rosie
  • vegan
Contributions
+127

Handy little cafe if you're in the area

4 Posted on 01 / 19 / 2014

Nice little cafe - gets busy so you have to share tables generally. The bulk of the food is vegan - we had a vegan burger and a breakfast. Friendly staff, freshly prepared food and good range of vegan options. Vegan brownies were amazing. Not the most exciting range - sandwiches, burgers, baked potatoes etc but nicely done and freshly prepared and a handy little spot if you're in East London.

Pros: Friendly staff , Good vegan range , Freshly prepared food
Cons: Fairly small , Could clear away tables more
bridget_claire
bridget_claire
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

Amazing Food

4 Posted on 01 / 09 / 2014

I love the burgers and pizza at this place! Makes me hungry just thinking about them. The cafe itself is relaxing, open and bright.

One thing that annoys me is the rules. WHY can't I have a pizza until 2pm? I want it NOW! And maybe I want breakfast at 12pm!

Other than that, great. Great!

Pros: Food, oh it's so good, lovely atmosphere
Cons: The rules.
J-Veg
J-Veg
  • vegan
Contributions
+764

I'm in love with this place

5 Posted on 12 / 08 / 2013

Every time I visit London, I always visit this place. It's a combination of the following things that makes it one of my favourite places:

- There are lots of different dishes for all moods and times of day and it is all delicious
- They have a great range of sweets which are all vegan excluding the muffins, including various cakes, cupcakes, brownies and flapjacks. Some are also gluten free
- The atmosphere is very homely
- It is in a part of London I like
- All profits go to the charity which runs the cafe, which gets invested into community projects

I would even go as far as to say that this place is a must if you are visiting London!

Pros: Delicious food at fair prices, Homely atmosphere, Wide variety of choice
floopylou
floopylou
  • vegan
Contributions
+30

tasty vegan margherita

4 Posted on 11 / 09 / 2013

Came here with my friend. I ordered a vegan pizza which (apart from what looked suspiciously like a fingerprint!) was nice. My friend had burger and chips which she enjoyed. I robbed some of her chips which were tasty. I'd go again if I was in the area.

Pros: tasty vegan pizza
OneNightStanzas
OneNightStanzas
  • vegan
Contributions
+79

OK sure, why not

3 Posted on 08 / 09 / 2013

This is a cute little place that I came across by accident while staying with some friends. We all ordered the vegan breakfast, which was a big plate of food with all the usual breakfast stuff. Hooray, except the scrambled tofu was really rather nauseating :( Kinda wet and... resembling vomit, if I'm honest! The taste was fine but the look/consistency rather offputting. Fingers crossed we just caught them on a bad tofu day?

By the time we'd eaten our breakfasts, we were too full to try anything else, sadly -- the cakes looked delicious! They have a really cool space, though -- we sat out on the little terrace at the front, but inside also looked really cool. The place was busy but we were served really fast, which is great -- there seemed to be lots of staff around and they're obviously pretty efficient!

I guess I'd agree with other reviewers that it also seemed a little pricey. However, I may not be the best judge, as I am not a London native and therefore EVERYTHING seems mega expensive...

Overall, I was happy to have chanced upon this place and would probably go back as I often stay with friends in the area. However, if I were elsewhere in London I might not necessarily make the effort to take the tube all the way here. Nice if you're passing, but not the most special vegan spot in London.

Pros: Fast service, Cool space, Big portions
Cons: Icky tofu, sorry guys!, Maybe a bit £££?
RichiP
RichiP
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

Best Vegan Pizza EVER!

5 Posted on 07 / 24 / 2013

I visit the Gallery Cafe as often as I can, it does the best vegan stone baked pizzas of all time. The cafe is always busy and atmosphere is buzzing.
I have been to a few gigs at the Gallery cafe which were especially nice in the summer as they open the back patio doors and have access to a secret garden.
All of the 'Specials' on the menu are also vegan and I heard that they have stopped selling any egg produce so they are now 95% vegan which is great news.
I would like to see a bigger range on the breakfast menu but for vegan in East London it is the best place try.

Pros: Pizzas, Atmosphere, Vegan Menu
mikey321
mikey321
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+9

Recent visit

2 Posted on 06 / 19 / 2013

Nice place and always seems busy, but let down by basic customer care.
I took a jug of water to the table and before I could fill the glasses, it was swiftly removed by the waiter and returned to the counter, explaining that the jugs should not be removed.
The glasses smelt, toilet cleanliness was poor, and when our food came out the staff looked at each other, laughed, and returned the food to the kitchen.
The food was ok, but as per earlier comments - £7.50 for vegan burger/chips is a bit steep


bencamps
bencamps
  • vegan
Contributions
+412

Could be better

3 Posted on 06 / 13 / 2013

I went here for lunch with some friends this last Tuesday. The space itself is really nice and they have an interesting events calendar with loads going on (film, live music, book launches etc.) The menu is almost totally vegan which makes you wonder why they don't just take the plunge? We all had the vegan burger with vegan cheese which was ok but nothing special really. I have to agree with an earlier review that for East London it's a bit on the pricey side (maybe 2 carrots would be more accurate). With a little more effort this place could be really something special and is worth the visit if in the area.


Caryne
Caryne
  • vegan
Contributions
+177

Decent food, good vegan mains but not cheap

3 Posted on 04 / 14 / 2013

We went here for lunch and was impressed with how popular the place seems to be. There was a good choice of mains, most which seemed to be vegan and also a good selection of takeaway sandwiches/bagels which were also mostly labelled 'vegan'. We had a vegan burger with chips (you get the option of having vegan or veggie cheese on it) and it was very tasty and a good size. It did, however, cost very nearly £20 for two burgers and chips and a couple of soft drinks so, considering this was Bethnal Green not the 'West End', we did think this quite expensive. However, like I said, the place was very busy so obviously people are quite happy to pay it. We didn't have any dessert and though there were a good selection of cakes on the counter none were labelled vegan and, to be honest, I was a little concerned that they were all uncovered which seemed rather unhygenic to me so I didn't bother to find out. I must also say the toilets were a little scruffy and smelly too. Overall, despite the food being good I don't think I would go back here again unless I was in the area, not worth making a special trip for.

Pros: Good Vegan Mains, Vegan takeaway, Friendly atmosphere
Cons: Not cheap, Uncovered cakes, Scruffy toilets
piffelina
piffelina
  • vegan
Contributions
+203

ok - but not all that

3 Posted on 02 / 27 / 2010

it said several signs that everything would be vegan, except for the selections labeled with a "v" (they would only be vegetarian), but i found no vs on the menu at all, and it kind of seems they forgot to write them. i was happy finding that the coleslaw didn't have a v on it, so i ordered that as a side order. i also ordered a breakfast plate and even though i specified "vegan" noone thought to tell me that the coleslaw wasn't vegan, until serving it. also i got my breakfast plate with a small package of dairy butter, which didn't exactly increase my trust.

the breakfast was not the best i've had - the freshpressed orange juice was great though! and we didn't have to wait long before we got our food, despite the place was full. my boyfriend had the burger option, which was basically a burger made of falafel. there should have been some kind of sauce on it, because it was way too dry.

we both got very full and didn't get a chance to taste the deserts. if we're in the neighbourhood again, we might give the soup and deserts a chance.

Pros: fast service, cozy place, vegan deserts
Cons: not that great food, didn't get info on non-vegan stuff
Guest
Guest

A humble cafe with a huge sense of community!

5 Posted on 01 / 15 / 2010

The Gallery Cafe is a charity run cafe that serves up incredibly tasty and mighty portions of vegetarian and vegan food.

It is fast becoming a popular music venue and runs some very interesting groups and clubs for the local community.

There have been some incredibly talented musicians play with FREE Live music happening every Wednesday and Friday. There are various other things happening at the cafe like a knitting club where you can learn to knit or teach others what you know and the poets corner with recitals of rehearsed or original poems.

The cafe is an excellent place to go to during the day if you want somewhere quiet to do some work with free WIFI and the selection of teas, coffees and fruit juices is not to be sniffed at. The staff are warm and friendly and the price of the food and drink is very reasonable and being a charity run cafe you know that your contributing to the 30 or so charities that are housed within St. Margaret's settlement.

If your ever stuck for what to do on a Friday night, I Highly recommend that you check out the Free Fridays at the cafe where you can see some of the finest talent on London's Acoustic and electronic music scene. There is a nice selection of bottled beers and ales, and wines and if you like you can also have a game of scrabble or dominoes.

There is so much going on at this humble cafe that I fear I could ramble on for some time.

The Gallery cafe also takes part in Time Out's First Thursdays, when it opens its doors late for a chance to see amazing art, culture and events after hours. Every month you can see a new art installation from local artists.

They are very on the ball with the promotion of the events that take place within the settlement and you can find literature in the cafe on everything that is happening there! This is a great little Cafe with a huge community vibe and a hub that I am proud to be a part of.

OK so my last rambling "CAKES" You absolutely must try the cakes! Siobhan Makes Mouth watering cakes!


Cons: Limited Wheelchair Access
Siobhan Watts
Siobhan Watts
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

The best cafe in London!

5 Posted on 01 / 12 / 2010

The Gallery Cafe is a real gem of a cafe, situated 2 minutes walk from Bethnal Green Station. It serves fantastic veggie and vegan food, and in huge portions at very affordable prices. The staff are extremely friendly and the service is quick, especially considering how busy the cafe can get at lunchtimes and weekends. The food is really tasty, and will appeal to veggies and non-veggies alike. They have a special and a soup which change daily, as well as all day breakfasts served at the weekends.

The cafe runs a full program of events, most of which are also free. They have live music every Wednesday and Friday evenings featuring lots of talented up and coming musicians, as well as a regular poetry night and a knitting club. They also have one off events run by external promoters and record labels.

There is a great selection of wines and beers, plus hot drinks are served 'til close during live music nights, making it the perfect place to be on a Friday night if you're not too keen a drinker, as well as being great if you are!

There is free wi-fi, boardgames, a good selection of newspapers, books and magazines and loads of vegan cakes too. There is also the obligatory big sofa as well a lovely bright conservatory area that looks out onto a beautiful garden.

The Gallery Cafe is without a doubt my favourite place in London, as well as being one of the most interesting cafe's I've come across. There's always something going on and everyone is really welcoming and friendly. It's highly recommended as a real community hub and somewhere you can really get involved in.

Pros: Friendly Staff, Vegan Cakes, Great Soup!
Cons: No vegan honey alternative , Not many wheat/bread free options
Jemima
Jemima
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+350

Decent place to chill in Bethnal Green

3 Posted on 06 / 28 / 2008

From Bethnal Green Station exit get to the side with the park on it and go to Old Ford Rd. This is parallel to Roman Rd which is next to the station exit. It is near the beginning of OF Rd on the left as you go down it.
There is some outside seating and to go in you walk down a couple of steps to the inside of the cafe. Got there on a warm day when I had been pounding the pavement, when I went in it was like a moderate oven in there - hotter than outside. The back of the cafe is glass windows looking on to a garden. I really wanted to be able to walk out there and sit in the fresh air and greenery but there was no way out. It is a relaxed vibe with a sofa in the front and wooden tables to sit at. Artwork hangs on the walls.
At four pm on a Saturday there were pairs of people and some singles there. There were a few different newspapers to read.

I was in search of an all day breakfast. There was none to be found including at this place - hello, people, get with the program! I asked them if they could do a fry up for me, but both waitress and kitchen were totally inflexible and I had to stick to the set menu. My stomach was totally shriveled and cramping by this stage so I chose the roast. The weekend menu is different to the weekday menu. It is general cafe fare - some ciabatta, pasta dishes, salads.
The roast was a generous plate of bean/ pulse loaf with gravy (onion/ creamy type) and roast vegetables. The loaf was moist enough and had the right amount of salt in it, gravy was creamy type with onion in it and complimented it well and the vegetables were done well.
Only as I got to the end did I find a hair on one of the potatoes..
Beverages include different teas and a few juices. I had apricot juice which was from a carton. The server added ice-cubes which was good.
Cakes were in a cabinet on the counter however my stomach was too distended from the roast to try any.

Aside from complete inflexibility when it came to altering orders, service was friendly enough.

At well under ten pounds it was good value.

This was a pretty good place except for the inflexible staff and hair in food.. Due to the latter it has to be a three.

Pros: Tasty food, generous portions, good location handy but tucked away, Relaxed place for chilling
Cons: Temperature hot on day I went, Hygiene, maybe it was a one off prob

 

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Last updated: 2014/04/27

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

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