The Cowley Club

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 11 reviews )
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+44-1273-696104
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12 London Road, Brighton, England, BN1 4JA

A radical social centre with a cafe during the day, 5-minute walk from Noth Lanes. Hot food is served 12:30-3:30pm. It's volunteer-run small place with alternative atmosphere. Open Wed-Fri 12:00pm-6:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, International

11 Reviews

First Review by just

pancake day was a Giant L enough to never go back. - Edit

Ridiculously poorly managed pancake day. Understandably there would be a lot of orders but the emotionless cashier could have at least told us this when we ordered rather than have us wait 2 hours to get 2 pancakes... and to top it off there was a big difference in portion size when they were handed to us.

L

Pros: Nice spacious venue, Food tasted ok

Cons: terrible service

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amazing social centre - Edit

the Cowley was my local for a number of years, and is a beautiful anarchist project, where the space is volunteer-run and there are no bosses. Everyone has equal say over how the place is run.

The food changes from day to day: it depends what the volunteers want to cook!

This space is not just a cafe - it's also a bookshop, and there's often a political library open out the back. In the evenings the cafe turns into a bar or an event space.

The Cowley is a good place to meet activists and to find out about local campaigns.

The best thing about this place is that it's accessible for local people who might not have much money. As Brighton becomes more gentrified, there's a lot of poorer people who just can't afford the new cafes that are popping up around London Road. The Cowley ensures that everyone can eat.

Updated from previous review on 2018-01-01

Pros: volunteer-run space: no hierarchy, very cheap - not just for those with more money, also has events, films, talks in the evenings

Cons: a bit dark inside

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The best place to go in Brighton - Edit

The Cowley Club was born out of the ethos of a desire for social change and that everyone's needs should be met as well as no animals should be killed or suffer so it is no surprise that the food is vegan, delicious, generous proportions and at a price that all can afford. What is served changes with whomever is working in the kitchen. So one day, you might get a central European soup and another day a Middle Eastern dish. The food is the real deal national dishes and sometimes fusions. When you enter the Cowley Club, you are entering an exciting microcosm and it would be fair to say that everybody that works down the Cowley is a colourful individual. There is a wall covered in alternative literature books including many on vegetarianism and veganism and recipe books. People tend to loiter for hours eating, browsing the books and making small and big talk. Children are welcome. The Cowley Club is almost totally unique in the UK and the nearest you probably get to it is the retro bars and restaurants of Budapest. It is a community centre in the purest of the sense and in the nights, punk bands play and right royal ruckus occurs so don't be surprised if the Cowley looks a bit ragged and rugged around the edges in the daylight. Well, actually, tons of stuff happens down the Cowley day and night so when you are tucking into your grub - ask for a leaflet for what's going on. Karola is one of the main characters down the Cowley and she is usually to be found in the kitchen cooking up monumental quantities of food when she is not running free bicycle repair workshops and vegan cookery classes. For those that like their caffeine, CC has Fritz Cola which as a friend described is one of blackest colas on the market with the highest EU guidelines legally permitted caffeine levels in it (don't give it to the kids :) ). If you want adventure, good food and a chance to experience the Brighton underworld then come down the Cowley. If you want a bland commercialised food venue then the Cowley Club is not the place to come.

Pros: genuine authentic national and fusion dishes, Super nice people that really believe in it, The food is fantastic

Cons: you'll want to take the cute black cat home, you'll end up wanting to move to Brighton

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Good Grub - Edit

I went here alone for christmas Dinner. Met some nice friendly people and got a big plate of yummy food. Was lovely to have somewhere to go, know it was all vegan and was a refreshing change not to feel like odd one out for eating vegan. Great value.

Pros: Good price , Generous portions, Friendly

Cons: Forgivably disorganized when busy

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Excellent! - Edit

The Cowley Club is a great little place on London Road in Brighton - both the bar and café is 100% vegan and money often goes to support campaigns like Sea Shepherd and Hunt Saboteurs.

The café is open Wed-Fri 12pm-6pm

Thursday evening meals (alcohol on sale too) from 7pm

Sunday roasts often - check listings on website www.cowleyclub.org.uk to see if there's one on

Great value for money! Where else in Brighton can you get a cup of tea for 60p, vegan beer for £3 and a meal for less than a fiver!

I highly recommend going down and supporting this place run entirely by volunteers!

Also the bar is open most nights from around 7pm, and all alcohol is vegan, again check listings on www.cowleyclub.org.uk to see what's on :)

Pros: Inexpensive, Volunteer-run, Community-based

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Its great, tasty wholesome food. - Edit

I really like The Cowley Club. Especially the Thursday evening meals, £4 for a massive plate!

Occasionally the cafe can vary a bit but the chilled out atmosphere and the value for money make up for it.

And its the only place you can drink in Brighton and be certain that everything is vegan from the Ale to the Wine!

Pros: Tasty

Cons: not open enough

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awful - Edit

went here a few years ago, food was cold and the place was full of insalubrious anarchists

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The only bad place in Brighton - Edit

They only had soup & bread, and that's not a meal for me !!

Cons: not tasty, not various, portions not generous

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Great - Edit

Great place, never had a bad meal.

Lots of political events, has a great resource library upstairs with loads of radical lit and films..

My highlight is the thursday night vegan meal, absolutely massive portions of great vegan food for 3.50, and serve vegan beers.

Pros: Great place, Great people, Great food

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Home away from home - Edit

I've been to the Cowley Club a few times when I was on tour with my former band. And everytime we played we were overwhelmed by the great hospitality and the amazing food.
The Cowley Club is run by volunteers, and htey know how to take their job serious. In hte daytime it's a cafe plus a radical bookstore. A lot of young families from different backgrounds hangout there. Quite some young kids playing with each other while the parents are having a cup of tea.

The best thing of the Cowley Club is that it is an autonomous centre. Meetings happen there, concerts, discussions, benefits. All to make this world a bit better... Stop by there if you come across Brighton, it's THE place to meet awesome inspiring people.

Pros: all volunteers, great great food, autonomous space

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Fundraiser roast - Edit

A couple of weeks ago i had a roast dinner at the Cowley. When the food arrived i was unsure if i'd get through the plateful as it was huge(i did!) There was nutroast, the essential roast potatoes, a variety of veg all covered in gravy. The spuds were gorgeous and i enjoyed everything else on my plate, though personally i like a bit more gravy! It was a fundraiser roast for the hunt sabs so i was doing good by eating it too!
If you're into eating in posh restaurants then the Cowley Club isn't for you. It's a not-for-profit social club run by volunteers and is a laid back environment. The kitchen is also run by volunteers so the food varies. The cafe is open Tues-Fri 12-4pm and breakfasts Sat 10am-2pm. Bar meals Thurs 8-9pm £3.50 and the bar is open Tues-Thur 7-11pm, Fri-Sat 8pm-12/2am. There are often Sunday roasts, check their website for info and to see what gigs,etc are happening.

Pros: Cheap food, Fundraiser, Great roast

Cons: Not enough gravy!, Can be noisy at times

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