The Railway Hotel

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 15 reviews )
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Clifftown Road, Southend-on-sea, England, SS1 1AJ

Traditional pub with an extensive vegetarian/vegan menu. A place for like-minded souls to come together for a good old knees-up. It's a bit like CBGB's crossed with Mallory Towers. Generous portions. Soups, risotto, nut roasts, and more, prepared by Chef Del Glover who previously worked for My Kitchen in Leigh before it closed. Children can visit, but not after 9pm. Open Mon 6:00pm-8:30pm, Tue-Thu 12:00pm-3:30pm, Tue-Thu 5:00pm-8:00pm, Fri 12:00pm-3:00pm, Fri 5:00pm-8:30pm, Sat-Sun 12:00pm-6:30pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Take-out

Reviews (15)

First Review by djmoonlight

cosy pub atmosphere yet restaurant quality food - Edit

So you walk into this old fashioned cosy pub where you think you will only get some beer and perhaps chips and that's it. But you couldn't be more wrong. Their food is restaurant quality! It's amazing! We had a seitan burger, wild mushroom gnocchi and cashew curry plus 3 different deserts and we were amazed - it was so delicious, plus good size portions and lovely service. Definitely recommend it to everyone!

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great food - Edit

Good rotational menu, calzones are fantastic and have bought several meet eating friends or relatives here that loves their food. Love the tofu fish and chips too. The vegan breakfast was borderline too realistic for me personally but probably fantastic to bring a transitioning/ new vegan/ veg to try.

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Best risotto EVER - Edit

I've eaten at the Railway a fair few times now. Their veggie burgers are the best bar none, just fantastic. I haven't tried their pizzas yet but can really recommend the vegan "fish" and chips (amazing!) and best of all, their vegetable risotto: wow.

Pros: The food!, The prices!, It's a pub!

Cons: The Railway is a 'spit n sawdust' pub. I like it,

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Best in area - Edit

MCLP is vegan, so we have tried all the local restaurants around. This is far and away the best...We have been back many times and even brought our parents, its that good.

Pros: well cooked, good portions

Cons: desserts could be better

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Delicious pizza - Edit

Had pizza at the Railway on a Sunday after Christmas. They were short staffed and we had to wait 1 hour for our food. It was worth it though! Delicious pizza!! Nice vibe and friendly staff. Recommended :)

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Amazing - Edit

Everything on menu was vegan or had a vegan option. Most dishes were gluten free (Or gluten free option), including GF pizza. Food was really special and reasonably priced. Lots of real ales (sadly I couldn't sample as I was driving). Great vibe: can't describe it but an LP of "Carmen" was playing when I first went, a variety of punk classics on the jukebox the second time. If I lived near Southend I would go there every week.

Pros: Lots of vegan and gluten free choice, Amazing vibe, Good value

Cons: Too far from where I live

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Best part of our South-End-on-Sea experience! - Edit

We are a vegan family of 5 from Israel, traveling in the UK on holiday, and while visiting an old friend in South-End-on-Sea, we checked HappyCow for a dinner recommendation and were rather surprised to see a pub at the top of the list. We were a bit hesitant, especially in thinking about the kids, but the reviews were so good, we decided to give it a try anyway... and boy were we pleasantly surprised! We walked in and were immediately taken by the authentic pub atmosphere, complete with old tattered comfy sofas, half-broken pianos, and a former church pulpit re-purposed as a DJ stand. Only then did we notice the menu on the wall, almost all of which was vegan, extremely creative, and definitively mouth-watering. We basically ordered one of everything, and could not have been more satisfied. The staff were very friendly and talkative - happy to explain the history of the place and its recent transformation - the portions were enormous and very fairly-priced at £7 each, and the food itself was so fresh, healthy and yummy! They even had a few toys for the younger kids to entertain themselves while waiting for the food to arrive, and the owner was more than happy for my son to play the grand piano for the small crowd there in the early evening. We couldn't stop raving about the experience, and would definitely recommend this to anyone in the area. I wouldn't hesitate to return to South-End-on-Sea just to eat here again!

Pros: Fresh, healthy, creative dishes, Enormous portions at fair prices, Very friendly, welcoming staff

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perfect - Edit

We had booked to come here for a couple of weeks. Eventually came and was unsure when turned up as the place looks like a typical music venue. Ordered the food and OMG was amazing. Even got live music. Loved it. Perfect menu with huge vegan choices. Deffo coming back and soon.

Pros: vegan menu, vegetarian menu, prices. mega cheap for veggie and vegan

Cons: look of venue

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Worth going to Southend for this alone - Edit

Imagine if Jools Holland believed in animal rights and opened a pub, it might be something like this. I'd almost consider relocating just to live nearby such a lovely place.
We were there on a Monday night which is open mic night. The open fire was lit & everyone was demonstrably enjoying the music, the owners of the bar occasionally jumping on the piano to play while the audience waited for the next act set up their gear.
Unfortunately the kitchen is closed on Mondays but we went back for lunch the next day and had the Crass burger. A huge (homemade) bean burger with a generous portion of salad and chips.

Pros: Friendly staff, Atmosphere, Huge portions

Cons: Kitchen closed on Mondays

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Happy to recommend - Edit

Visiting on a Tuesday lunchtime, we were happy to discover this friendly and relaxed vegan/veggie pub just down the road from Southend Central railway station. What others may describe as shabby, we perceived as well-worn and characterful. The decor has a definite faded charm that hints of the heyday of the railways in bygone days.

The menu board boasted an interesting variety of veggie and vegan options and all were very reasonably priced (£7.00 for a main meal). We both opted for the Crass Burger - one with home-made potato wedges and the other with home-made chips. The food was attractively presented, and the portion sizes were very generous. The salad was well dressed and the coleslaw a real treat. Condiments came out of bottles, not packets, which makes a pleasant change these days.

All in all, two happy vegans enjoyed an exceedingly good lunch (and tea with soya milk!), and will definitely be returning to The Railway Hotel when we visit Southend-on-Sea again.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday April 02, 2013

Pros: Good choice of vegan options, Excellent food, Good value for money

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Excellent honest pub food - Edit

I visited the Railway last Saturday (19.01.13) with my mate and could not have been more impressed! I'd found out about it beforehand from Happy Cow and was already looking forward to trying a crass burger, I certainly wasn't disappointed. The burger, salad and wedges were all great, my mate had a calzone and was also suitably impressed. The bar staff were very friendly and the place itself nice and cozy - I've read about other people saying it's run-down but if you like a 'real pub' you won't feel this way. Another customer informed us of a punk gig taking place that evening in their venue upstairs so we went back for this and had a great night and jumped around like teanagers. If I ever find myself in Southend again the Railway will be my first point of call!

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What a surprise - Edit

My brother was trying vegan food for a day as a birthday gift to me and whilst in Southend we needed to eat. I checked the website and it looked like no food was served on a Saturday so we went to a nearby cafe that offered vegan food, Closed, even though the times on the door said it was open. The Railway Hotel website did mention they can usually cater for small parties so I called and they said food would not be a problem. We arrived minutes later and despite the pub looking a bit run down in the harsh light of day, the guy behind the bar was very friendly, started us on a tab, served drinks and took our orders. My brother and I had the Crass burger with homemade chips, we were informed the burger was named after a band, and for the others not eating dinner we ordered some garlic bread and (I thought) chips for the table.

The burger and chip meals arrived with a side of garlic bread and wedges instead of chips, I couldn't be happier. I gave the kids some of my chips and had instead what looked like sweet potato wedges with a sweet chilli sauce, so good. The burgers were big and came with a good amount of onion cooked to perfection in them. The rest of the plate not taken up by the burgers was salad and the delicious homemade chips.

I mentioned earlier the pub was a bit run down looking in the harsh light of day, well this did make the very high quality food look a bit out of place but it was clean, the toilets were clean and the look of the pub I imagine changes at night when it fills up with people coming to listen to the very frequent live music they have.

The pub is located near to the high street and just a few hundred meters from the train station so should make easy travelling for most. During the day this is a perfect place for me, easy to get to, quiet and friendly. However, I do think I will have to make a visit one evening to sample the live music just out of interest. I know I will be back here to eat again but I am not sure if I will have the strength of will to try something else off the menu knowing how good the Crass burger is.
Updated from previous review on Saturday August 18, 2012

Pros: Friendly, Delicious, Decor

Cons: Decor

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Work in progress....but use it, or lose it! - Edit

The pub is a work in progress and the menu on the website, etc will be reflected in the evolving nature of this pub from a live music venue into a veg*n food venue in it's own right as more locals and visitors to Southend get to know about it.

Centrally located near the main station with meter parking nearby, (free parking after usual meter expiry hours), there was a lot of band activity on my visit prior to a gig and it is welcome to discover a live music venue that serves veg*n food!

Everything on the menu, (Thai curry, pizza, calzone, a selection of chick pea and vegetable hand made burgers), can be made vegan and all the food is fresh and cooked to order.

Two great selling points for this pub, (well...other than the friendly staff, live music and central location), are that a) the food is great, (we tried the vegan calzone, vegan burgers and the vegan Thai curry), and b) the prices was very fair and portion sizes good! £6.50 per main dish...

Be patient and take a newspaper or chill out for a drink while food is being cooked to order...as when the food arrives, you'll be so happy that you tried this place!

Use it...or lose it! Don't let any more veg*n places close down in the Southend area!

Pros: All menu items can be made vegan, The prices are fair. Good portion size, Friendly staff

Cons: No vegan desserts yet...

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Look past the shabby chic - the food's great! - Edit

I have to say, I was amazed to read that this pub has been refurbished because it looked to me like it's not been touched in decades! It's a big ol' pub with a shabby wooden floor, disused cocktail bar and ancient chairs/tables - not what I was expecting. However, it has a charm of its own, even if a little odd. Old 33rpm records were being played and there was an eclectic of punk/artist types when we visited, including an eccentric gentleman who was sporting the sort of hat only the mother of a bride would wear, complete with netting.

To be fair, we sought out this pub not for its decor, clientele or drinks (though if you want an orange juice it'll be freshly squeezed), but because we'd heard it had a vegetarian menu and on that score we were not disappointed. Prices were reasonable and portions good. As for the grub itself, it was absolutely delicious. We had the Halloumi Stack Sandwich and Alternative Sausages & Mash (fat Glamorgan leek & cheese sausages, sweet potato mash and a red pepper sauce) and we can thoroughly recommend both. The vegan chocolate cake was actaully more like a chocolate sponge pudding as it was round, served hot and accompanied by an orange sauce. It wasn't very sweet, but still tasty (and good value at only £2!).

I'd say that first impressions of the pub are deceiving, because while it might look a bit rough round the edges, its food makes it a hidden gem. We travelled a fair way to try lunch at the Railway Hotel but we'll definitely be back.

Pros: Taste of food, Value for money, Polite and friendly service

Cons: Shabby decor was a bit of a shock

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tasty treat - Edit

vegans of southend were filled with a great sadness when the one and only veggie restaurant shut down, so it made everyone happy when local alternative pub decided to make their menu purely vegetarian and vegan!
I have ate here twice now. The first time I had the vegan burger which was a large vegetable burger with a generous serving of sauteed potatoes on the side and today I tried the vegan thai green curry which was delicious filled with veg and had a lovely kick. The meals are all £7 and are generous portions, the vegan items are marked clearly on the menu with a V.

Pros: tasty, reasonable price, generous portions

Cons: can be busy, not always available

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