ABOUT THE GALLERY CAFÉ
The Gallery Cafe first opened its doors in 2006 and is St Margaret’s House’s largest in-house community project. As well as offering low-cost vegan dishes, locally-ground coffees, vegan sweet treats, and healthy juices, we also host an exciting programme of live events and monthly art exhibitions from up-and-coming artists.
During summer weekends, you can bask in the sunshine on our sun- trap terrace and back garden, whilst spending the rest of the year getting cosy inside the cafe with nice music , access to speedy wifi, and friendly faces.
Not only have we won Best Cafe in Bethnal Green at the Time Out Love London Awards for the last three consecutive years, but all profits generated by Gallery Cafe go straight back into St. Margaret’s House, so by hanging with us, you’ll not only enjoy award-winning food, drinks and good vibes, you’ll also be helping to support the local community.
**WE DON'T TAKE BOOKINGS, SO JUST COME ALONG AND GRAB YOUR SEAT.
vegan FOOD and drinkS
All food served at the Gallery Cafe is vegan and made fresh, every day by the busy bees in our buzzing kitchen. From daily specials to our tasty menu staples we use locally sourced, seasonal ingredients wherever possible, as well as serving a collection of coffees, speciality lattes, Tea Pig teas and of course our famous vegan hot chocolates.
We want to prove that a vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to mean going without.
More people are vegan in the UK than ever before and since we opened our doors in 2006 we’ve celebrated the benefits of a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. At the end of 2017, we switched out our dairy milks for plant-based ones, which was the final step in us becoming a fully vegan cafe.
We did this as we know veganism is an important part of building a more sustainable future. Rearing livestock for animal-based products requires far more land, water and energy than producing grain and, according to a 2016 Oxford study, the adoption of a vegan diet globally would cut food-related emissions by 70%.
So whether you’re new to the vegan movement and want to try something different, or you simply want to grab a coffee on the go, there are lots of ways to make small changes to your everyday life that make a big difference towards a more sustainable future.
Take a look at our food and drinks menu.
We host a variety of live music nights, film screenings, comedy, book clubs, open mic and spoken word events throughout the year, as well as one-off festivals and special sessions. Most of our events are free or affordable priced to make sure everyone can come along and enjoy themselves. If you are interested in putting on your own event in the Gallery Cafe or anywhere else at St. Margaret's House, please contact our events team.
Living up to its name, the Gallery Cafe hosts monthly art exhibitions, showcasing some of London’s best and brightest up-and-coming talent. From illustrators and painters to mixed media and photography, all kinds of artists exhibit with us, enjoying exposure to the often arty crowds now spending time in Bethnal Green. Find out more here.
One of the main issues that come with cafes and coffee shops is the use of disposable plastics. Whether it’s plastic cutlery or coffee lids, the world is filling up with the stuff and although it all might seem a little hopeless, there’s always something that can be done. All our packaging is 100% recyclable and we welcome the use of reusable cups; we also strive to use majority local suppliers to reduce our carbon footprint, and did we mention - we’re vegan?
We are passionate about sourcing fresh food and top quality ingredients from local suppliers. We sell Five Points beer brewed in Hackney and London’s only locally brewed cider - Urban Orchard, which is made entirely from apples donated from people’s gardens - pretty nifty, right? Many of our suppliers are within a mile radius of St. Margaret’s House and our delicious coffee is from Allpress, based in Dalston, where they roast their own beans.
OPENING HOURS AND INFO
MONDAY - FRIDAY
8:00AM - 8:00PM
(KITCHEN CLOSES AT 7PM)
9:00AM - 8:00PM
(KITCHEN CLOSES AT 7PM)
9:00AM - 7:00PM
(KITCHEN CLOSES AT 6PM)
On Bank Holiday weekends, we will close at 8pm on the Sunday and 7pm on the Bank Holiday Monday.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CAFE CLOSES LATER FOR PROGRAMME EVENTS, AND MAY CLOSE BRIEFLY FOR EVENT SET-UP.
The Gallery Café is part of St. Margaret's House, and can be contacted on
020 8980 2092
WE DON'T TAKE BOOKINGS, SO JUST COME ALONG AND GRAB YOUR SEAT.
AS FEATURED IN...
Just Veganin looks at a different amazing vegan restaurant in London each episode, and the Gallery Cafe were featured in their first episode.
"Hosted in the tiny and atmospheric chapel situated around the back of St Margaret's House, this pop-up cinema fits just 35 with a different theme every week. You can expect screenings from different genres, different decades and different countries. St Margaret's House itself is a local community charity in itself and a destination well worth supporting."
"Best café in Bethnal Green 2014, 2015, 2016"
"Yummmmmm so much hummus."
"The Gallery Cafe is a neighbour restaurant everyone wishes they had on their doorstep. The menu is easy to navigate with all allergens listed. Come and taste one of the best brunches in London."
"These guys offer a great Full English and I had a fantastic Vegan Breakfast Quesadilla - yes vegan cheese has come a long way too. No problems for gluten-free vegans here, their Chai cupcake and brownie bites were some of the best cafe food I've had in a long time."
"Their food is always so impressive, and they do breakfasts, cakes, sandwiches - basically everything you could ever want. They also have theme nights (they do Chip Shop every last Thursday and serve tofu fish and chips, which is obviously delicious, and Diner Night every Tuesday with vegan hotdogs, burgers and mac and cheese)"
Top Jaw featured the Gallery Cafe in their video of the best vegan restaurants in London.
Sorted Food went in search of the best vegan food in London, and stopped off at the Gallery Cafe for breakfast!
Heaven for arts-loving meat-haters and easy on the wallet, the Gallery Cafe is part of Bethnal Green’s St Margaret’s House community project, which hosts art exhibitions, film screenings, live music, spoken-word nights and comedy performances, as well as festivals and arts-and-crafts workshops. In addition to the oh-so-fashionable avocado on sourdough toast, hot vegan and veggie options include a full English with vegan sausage and scrambled tofu. Alternatively, how about a quesadilla – a tortilla wrap filled with refried beans, vegan or dairy cheese, tomato, vegan sour cream and wilted spinach or scrambled tofu?
"Part of the St Margaret’s community project, this snug burrow is a non-profit vegan and vegetarian café that tempts even the most hardline carnivores."
"The Gallery Cafe is a unique place to eat and relax, situated near the Museum of Childhood and York Hall in Bethnal Green."
"Out in Bethnal Green, you’ll find the community and charity hub known as St Margaret’s House. Here, you can do yoga or take an art class, but we’d recommend heading straight to the cafe. Start with breakfast – either the vegan full English or a stack of American-style pancakes should do nicely – and watch it get better from there. Absolutely everything here is vegan, so kiss a not-so-fond goodbye to the days of going off-menu!"
"Just a stone's throw from the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, this non-profit vegetarian and vegan cafe is run by community charity, St. Margaret's House Settlement. With focus on the local population, the social hub arranges a diverse listing of affordable live music (from folk to blues), open mic nights and a free Sunday cinema club that caters for myriad tastes. The Gallery Cafe also lives up to its name by holding monthly art exhibitions as part of First Thursdays organised by Whitechapel Gallery."
"There's little not to love about this vegetarian and vegan not-for-profit cafe in Bethnal Green. The food is superb, covering everything from a Full English veggie breakfast with hash browns and scrambled tofu to fiery breakfast quesadillas and of course, pizza - with vegan or dairy cheese."
"This café is a community project, so spending hours in its garden — decked cheerfully with bunting and with large tables for stretching out with a paper — is virtually a good deed. "
"This welcoming café in Bethnal Green is relaxed and a bit rough around the edges in a good way. The 'signature' - sourdough toast with tofu scramble, spinach and garlic mushrooms - is the one to order, but if it's sold out (as it regularly does) the 'lighter breakfast' does a similar job - swap spinach for tomatoes."
"For a hearty start, visit The Gallery Café. This cosy not-for-profit café is part of the St. Margaret's House charity, which is all about community wellbeing."
A BRIEF HISTORY
Did you know that from 1900 until the late 1980s ,the Gallery Cafe was used by St. Margaret’s House as a place for the residents to provide social welfare services for local people? Since then the cafe has played host to lots of organisations including a Vietnamese luncheon club, the Rathbone Society, who ran a training project for people with learning difficulties and Triratna Buddhist Right Livelihood Cooperative, who were the first group to introduce vegetarianism to the mix.
Since reopening the cafe in 2006 under St. Margaret’s House, we have moved to a fully vegan menu, as well as opening our beautiful back garden during weekends and installing a stage area in the conservatory for our vibrant programme of event.