If you’re looking for vegan friendly restaurants in London then Rehab Hackney, with its delicious, colourful, healthy and fun vegan food and drinks is for you.
On a bitterly cold January day, the kind where the rain seems to be falling horizontally right into your eyes, I took the Overground across London to Homerton. I met my friend Rachel – of Little Veggie Eats – at the station and she led the way to Rehab along a route that only a Hackney local could possibly have followed.
While there are increasingly more and more vegan friendly restaurants in London unless you know where to go it can be hard to find them. Hackney is a good place to start and Rehab, on Well Street, is well worth a visit whether you’re vegan yourself, looking for somewhere to entertain a vegan friend or possibly just one of the many people who is open to trying and eating more plant-based food.
Rehab Hackney is described as a medicinal vegan cafe and bar. They provide healthy, fresh, vegan food and drink that is good for you without being boring. If you’re into food as medicine you’ll love Rehab. If on the other hand you just love good vegan food then you’ll love Rehab as well.
After the trek across London in the cold I needed something warming so I started with a golden milk drink. I’ve heard so much about turmeric being wonderfully good for you and I cook with a it a lot but apart from the odd smoothie I haven’t tried it in a drink before. The golden smoothie is made from turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, coconut oil, maple and heated oat milk (a gluten free alternative is also available). Now this golden milk claims to support, amongst other things, a healthy brain and memory function and improve sleep. I can’t say that I have noticed a difference in these areas but quite possibly seven and a half years of parenting will require more than one golden milk drink to put these areas right! I liked it though – I mean it was a bit odd drinking something that tasted of turmeric but once I got over that I enjoyed it.
Rachel opted for the Magic Cacao – a vegan hot chocolate with reishi mushrooms – alleged to be one of the most potent healing herbs on the planet. But did the hot chocolate taste of mushrooms? Rachel says no – but she could detect a savoury taste. She did finish the lot though so it must have been good.
Rehab also do alcoholic drinks but seeing as it was lunchtime and we both had children to pick up later we were obviously too responsible to try any of the cocktails – I’ve got my eye on the Zing for next time.
On the food menu there are open sandwiches, which would be great for breakfast or brunch, salad bowls and winter specials including hot pots and pancakes. As a long term vegetarian I am so used to only having one or two – or maybe three if you’re really lucky – items on the menu to choose from that when I visit a vegan or vegetarian restaurant I find it all a bit overwhelming – in a good way! Once we’d eventually decided I had the Mexican bowl and Rachel had the Rainbow bowl. They were both delicious and absolutely enormous. I couldn’t finish mine – which as anyone who knows me well will know is unusual!
The Mexican bowl comes with spicy beans, nachos, smashed avocado, salad, beetroot hummus, kimchi and cashew cheese. I’m a total avocado addict so obviously loved that aspect of the meal and the beans were gorgeous too. I’m still getting used to vegan cheese but this cashew cheese is one of the best that I’ve tried. All bowls cost £11, sandwiches are a little less.
There were two dessert options – I had the raw cake, made with peanut butter and banana.
Rachel had the raw brownie.
What’s it like for kids/babies?
There are no high chairs at Rehab Hackney, although I was told that they’re planning on getting some. The restaurant is pretty spacious and there’s plenty of space for buggies next to the tables. And there’s a baby changing unit in the toilets. In terms of whether kids would like the food – well that’ll depend on your kids. My younger two would definitely enjoy the Turkish Bowl but I’d struggle a bit with my eldest who is not a fan of vegetables. He’d probably have ended up eating pancakes.
What are your favourite vegan friendly restaurants in London? Let me know in the comments.
Rehab Hackney is at 271 Well Street London, E9 6RG
Disclaimer: I was invited for a free meal at Rehab in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.