Black Cat

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 97 reviews )
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+44-2089857091
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76 Clarence Rd, Hackney, East London, England, E5 8HB

Cooperatively run, not-for-profit all-vegan cafe est. 2013 serving snacks, meals, sausage rolls, samosas, cakes, milkshakes, Zapatista coffee and more. Also sells a variety of retail offerings such as (a large variety of chocolates), cheeses, faux meats, tofu, tempeh, vegan cookbooks and more. Was closed for renovations, but re-opened mid-February 2018. Open Mon 9:00am-9:00pm, Wed-Thu 9:00am-9:00pm, Fri 9:00am-10:00pm, Sat 11:00am-10:00pm, Sun 11:00am-8:00pm. Closed Tue. Check hours before you go.

Categories: Vegan, Western, British

97 Reviews

First Review by HelenGi

cool place - Edit

Always over a workers owned coop. Black cat didn't disappoint with its emphasis on Fairtrade and organic always gonna win my heart.
We were quite late so they were down to four dishes. I had the burger while another had chickpea *tuna* sandwich.
Really good value for London and the food was pretty good.
If your in hackney make it a stop.

Pros: 100%, staff, worker owned

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Cosy, comfort food, great value - Edit

Delicious comfort food, milkshakes and cakes. It’s cosy and small, but service is very quick and friendly. And great prices and big portions. One of y favourite spots to grab lunch on weekends.

Pros: Service, Prices, Choice for both; more and less healthy days

Cons: Small space fills up quickly

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nice and relaxed - Edit

Food here is usually good. I am not a fan of the fry up, sausages are supermarket ones that taste like cardboard, the scramble is that tofu disgusting stuff.
The burger is very nice, is has a charcoal taste to it but means it is burnt on the outside.
Lentil soup is just ok but had before other soup which was amazing. Is better when they serve the soup with toasted sourdough bread.
The cake i had once here was just ok, i can make better.

Pros: Relaxed place, Friendly staff, Cheap

Cons: Really busy at times

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Delicious vegan food. Friendly staff - Edit

I was so glad I decided on this place. The food was delicious and very comforting. I ordered the Lentils Lasagne and the cheese tasted like real cheese! Friendly staff and lovely ambience. I will definitely be visiting this place again. Thank you! :)

Pros: Yummy food, Ethics, Friendly staff

Cons: Odd seating arrangements

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best value lunch in London - Edit

I love the food here, huge portions for reasonable prices. Everything I ate here was so good and healthy, lots of veg with all the dishes. The only problem is that seating is disorganised so when it’s busy for brunch on the weekend it gets very frustrating, you queue to order your food first then you wait for a seat. Should introduce some order in there, but any other time it’s chilled.

Pros: portions, prices

Cons: gets too busy

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Not the black cat cafe you knew - Edit

HappyCow is forcing me to give two stars for a fully vegan place. So be it, but this is not the Black Cat cafe you know form the past, and the owners also distance themselves from it. I would have much more preferred to keep the old style and food choices and staff.

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AMAZING, best London Vegan place in London - Edit

Never got bored of this place, it's tasty, inventive, friendly, it has a cool book section ... and the chef is great :)

Pros: Delicious and tasty, Friendly, Menu changes often

Cons: far from the west end , Busy as hell for Sunday lunch and Breakfast

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best cafe in London - Edit

black cat has been an excellent place to go for food for years now - it is busy even on a monday afternoon because it is consistently good. The food is fresh, varied, generous portions, good value, flavoursome.

Pros: very tasty, good value, can also buy books, snacks etc

Cons: can be busy so hard to get a table

1 Response
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MasonLegrange 15 Feb 2018 - I second that, it's definitely the best vegan place in London :)  


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big, tasty breakfast - Edit

Very hearty breakfasts- too big to finish!

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One of my faves for brunch or lunch - Edit

Been a few times at weekends. The place is usually busy. Nice coffee, good cakes (think they are from Manna). Great cooked breakfast. Haven't had the chance to try more yet.
Also has some vegan products for sale.

Updated from previous review on 2017-07-15

Pros: Vegan brunch / cooked breakfast , Cakes

Cons: That it's not in my neighbourhood ;)

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Loves this place - Edit

I had the chickpea and spinach curry and it was delicious! Huge portion sizes as well which gives great value for money. The smoothies were great as well!

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Nice little place! - Edit

I've been here on several occasions now, having had the opportunity to try breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as desserts and milkshakes. The staff are always friendly and welcoming, the atmosphere is lovely, and best of all, dogs are allowed! Whilst I've never brought my own dogs along (too far to travel) I always enjoy coming in to find a canine friend waiting for some fuss.

The food, however, can be a bit hit or miss. I've had some lovely meals here, and also some distinctly average ones (admittedly, though, the food has never been bad). The portion sizes are also somewhat excessive; I've never been able to finish my whole portion, which seems a little bit wasteful.

On the whole though, this is a nice vegan place to eat and no doubt I will be back again.

Pros: Nice atmosphere, friendly staff, mostly good food

Cons: Food can be hit or miss at times, overly large portion sizes

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Amazing - Edit

Really tasty and affordable food! Really nice portion size

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Amazing food and lovely place - Edit

My (only vegan) friend brought me here for my birthday as a surprise and it was such a great surprise. We could bring our own drinks which makes eating out a bit more affordable if you're having a few glasses of wine as well. There was a lovely atmosphere and the staff were lovely too. We spotted the jackfruit burger being brought out and it looked so good we both ordered it! It tasted as good as it looked! The skin on chips were perfect and there was a delicious side salad as well. We asked for the garlic and herb sauce as extra - ask for it if you go - it's so good!!! We were noth stuffed and couldnt finish everything. You can take away the leftovers if you like too. Couldnt have asked for better food and fun. So highly reccommended!!! I haven't stopped raving about it since we went! Cant wait to go back and try more of the options!

Pros: bring your own drink, nice variety on the menu, cool vibe

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FOOD IS AMAZING - Edit

I had a vegan fry up... Every part of it was amazing. The pancake is one the tastiest I had. The tofu scramble, full of flavor. Everything on it is a 10/10
I also had a peanut butter milkshake which I will HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
One of the best I had so far

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Excellent Establishment! - Edit

I LOVE this place, have eaten here three times my past two trips to London. Made a special trip for lunch there today, not that it's all that hard to get to. Right in Hackney with good transport links. The portions are so big you will be stuffed halfway through your meal. And delicious too. 100% vegan. Including the halloumi "cheese". There are usually two gluten-free options as well. I'm a big fan of the Vegetable Pancake. Very large, comes with salad, yummy mayo, red cabbage, and quinoa. Had a slice of their Lemon Almond Polenta cake too which was very nice. Very reasonably priced. Most mains were £7.50. The atmosphere is also very nice - it's a workers co-op and it is well kept with big tables and books, art, and vegan advertisements along the walls.

Pros: 100% Vegan, Delicious, huge portions, Reasonably Priced

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Big servings!! - Edit

The bowls are so big!! I had a seitan bowl but the seitan was pretty chewy. Otherwise, everything was good. The decoration is cute and there is lots of seating but it can get really busy. Also they menu changes so often I don't really know what will be serving until I get there.

Pros: cute decoration, lots of seating, big servings

Cons: changing menu, can get busy, small daily menu

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Ah-ma-zing - Edit

Definitely one of my favourite places in London. Given it is a non-profit place kinda assures you you get your money's worth. Prices are very cheap for the heap of food that soon will land on your table. The menu changes slightly all the time and there are always options for gluten free people. Their hot chocolate is great too. Cheapest place where to get Vego chocolate from!!

Pros: Fast service, Delicious food, Cheap

Cons: May be too busy to get a seat straight away

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nom nom - Edit

Fabulous place for Sunday brunch. I had the full English and couldn't finish it even though I asked for no bread. Some GF options/alternatives as well. Soups, curries and salads are recommended for late lunches. Go before it opens on a weekend because the queue is massive.

Pros: lots of food , great variety, gender neutral toilets

Cons: too much food eg food waste?, only 1 or 2 toilets

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Saturday Lunch - Edit

UPDATE :
Ok, so been back a couple of times and very much enjoyed!
The staff were lovely and the atmosphere can either be buzzing or warm and homely. Had the Chef's plate which was a HUGE (seriously ..erm 2 meals in one) mix of salads/dips, very tasty plus some vegan halloumi. The other half had the chick pea curry which was basically along the lines you might get at the Sikh temple, can't get realer than that.

[update end]


Jumped on the No.48 bus from Liverpool St (under half an hour) to make a visit having seen the place on Happycow - then realised I'd been there a few years ago when it was called the Pogo cafe which was a similar setup!

Nice interior, with a funky folding facade to let one catch some 'rays on a summers afternoon. Lots of books and interesting flyers about to.

Had a vegan fry-up, lots of food but a little bland for my tastebuds. Not put off on the whole, would return to try some other offerings.



Updated from previous review on 2015-08-02

Pros: atmosphere, value

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Great food, rude staff - Edit

I went to the Black Cat for my first meal in London and the food was delicious. The burger was super tasty as was the soup, but the server was possible the rudest person I've encountered at a restaurant.

Pros: Good vibe, Great food, Reasonable priced

Cons: rude and unhelpful server

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It's simple-go! - Edit

A wonderful place with a changing menu and a mix of naughtiness and healthy food. It gets busy but I've always secured a table by asking others if I can share and people are always happy to. It's more of a community rather than a restaurant. The food is always tasty. A good sized menu with good variety to choose from without getting confused! Portions are big but they will give you a free box for take away luckily! In a great location-Hackney which you can wonder around afterwards

Pros: Fooo food food! So tasty, Community vibe , Varied menu

Cons: Not much change for a tenner- it is worth it!

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Amazing good quality food - Edit

I'd highly recommend the food to anyone, its delicious, the portions are large, and the atmosphere is great.

Pros: lots if vegan options

Cons: none

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The Greatest - Edit

Look- you just need to go.
The food is carefully prepared, the value for money is off the scale.
The staff are great.
The place rocks. I almost live there. It's what all cafes should be.

Pros: Hearty portions, great menu , Friendly staff, interesting book selection.

Cons: Laptop table hoggers!

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Hooray! - Edit

I was very sad when Pogo closed but I am so happy that Black Cat replaced it!

As it is around the corner from me, I have been to Black Cat several times and it hasn't disappointed. I recommend the burger and chips, the chef's special and the pie. The cakes are great too, and the coke float reminds me of being a kid again.

Black Cat is clean, warm and friendly. I really like the shop, as it is a great place to stock up on vegan goodies. The bookstore is also great.

I just wish they were open later, as it would be a nice place to go have a drink and play cards with friends. I also miss the social events that used to happen at Pogo. It would be great if Black Cat had some film nights, fundraisers or other events.

EDIT : Changed to five stars due to general awesomeness of new staff.

Updated from previous review on 2014-01-09

Pros: Tasty food, Cheap, Warm and friendly

Cons: Closes too early, No events

1 Response
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JennyMiles 09 Jan 2014 - Hi there, thanks so much for your review!
We would love to open later, and it's definitely something we're planning to do as soon as we can, but unfortunately it's just not possible for us yet :( However, we do have great plans, including more events and meetups, so it might be worth checking our Facebook page or Twitter occasionally as that's where we post updates & news first.
Thanks again! :)  


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Pretty good but needs improvements - Edit

I've been to black cat many times and the food quality and availability as well as service fluctuates considerably. Staff hygiene (long hair flowing and nose wiping) was a let down and means I probably won't be back. Upon opening they also had no ice cream despite it being a really hot day. Service is generally quite slow. On the positive side the big breakfast was pretty good and they have a good selection of vegan food products.

Pros: good selection of vegan products

Cons: staff hygiene

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