Dairy free recipes and food reviews

Review: The Gallery café in Bethnal Green

Review: The Gallery café in Bethnal Green

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Having recently moved to east London, it seemed like time to find a great dairy free brunch place. Gallery café didn’t disappoint: while the menu is completely vegan, non-vegans won’t feel like they’re missing out.

There are the classic brunch options: Full English, American pancakes, avocado toast, with a few unusual ones thrown in: Turmeric, matcha, and beetroot lattes. There’s also a good amount of vegan sweet treats: croissants, carrot cake, brownies etc.

Gallery cafe outside
The outside of the Cafe, definitely worth visiting on a nice day.

I wasn’t quite prepared for how popular this place is – there was a queue when I arrived at 11:40am on Saturday, when I mistakenly thought I would’ve missed the breakfast crowd. By the time I got into the café, all but the avocado toast was sold out, so that’s what I reluctantly opted for. I mean, how good can avocado toast really be without a poached egg? Very, very good as it turns out! Perfectly creamy avocado on a piquant piece of sourdough toast, topped with a grilled tomato and a drizzle of fresh garlicky pesto. The surprising star of the show was in fact the tomato, it had a beautifully smokey char-grilled flavour that easily elevated this to one of the best avo-toasts I’ve had (and as a millennial living in London, I’ve had plenty).

The avocado toast was to die for; creamy avocado, garlicky pesto, a beautifully chargrilled tomato on top of crispy sourdough!

Another surprise was the turmeric latte. It was aromatic, savoury, creamy, and a perfect amount of natural sweetness. The sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper on top was particularly delightful.  I would definitely recommend it if you want to try something a little different.

Tumeric latte
My first turmeric latte but definitely not my last. Creamy, a little sweet, and a little savoury.

After my first trip, I knew that I needed to go back at some point to try the other options, so a few weekends later I found myself in Bethnal Green again with a craving for a turmeric latte (I’ve already mentioned that I’m a millennial living in London haven’t I?).

This time I was in luck, the café wasn’t too busy and most of the menu was still available with the unfortunate exception of the potato pancakes which I wanted to try. Instead, I opted for the full English: two veggie sausages, tofu scramble, sautéed mushrooms, spinach, homemade baked beans, fried potatoes, and sourdough toast.

Suffice to say, it was delicious and filling. The sausages were great, more like a veggie stuffing or nut roast than an actual sausage but they did the job. The beans were also excellent, I’m not a fan of tinned beans but I loved these homemade ones, they had a perfect balance of sweet and salty with a good bit of spice. The tofu scramble didn’t convert me though; it didn’t really deliver on flavour and could have used a bit more salt and spice.

Vegan full english gallery cafe
The vegan full English was pretty filling. The sausages were definitely the highlight, very well seasoned and herby. The homemade beans were also excellent, much better than the tinned variety. Can’t say that I really liked the scrambled tofu though.

I also got the chance to try a matcha latte this time. As expected with matcha, it tasted a little grassy and earthy, definitely a must for green tea fans but I’ll be sticking to the turmeric latte in future.

Let’s talk price, the avocado toast was an affordable £6 and would probably top my recommendations. The full English was £8.95, making it a good choice for those who like a large portion at a reasonable price. The lattes were all £3, so at the pricier end but definitely worth it. All in all, everything on the menu is very affordable for London, not to mention fresh and high quality. I will definitely be going back to try some of the dishes I missed and I recommend you make your way there if you ever find yourself in the area!

The garden at the Gallery Cafe.
We sat out in the garden since it was a beautiful day, seems like everyone else had the same idea.

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