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A letter from our founder chef Vanessa Almeida

It seems like a lifetime away, after going vegan, when I decided to study nutrition with a focus on veganism and, as suggested by my sister-in-law, created a blog to share my recipes which made me very excited with all the possibilities that the new diet gave me.

Soon after that, I started to work on my first cookbook, with my husband Neni helping with the photos and design. Promoting my book, made me discover another passion which is running cookery classes and cookery demos.

In 2014 I decided to quit my daytime job and started to cook and bake for a living, doing markets, residencies and fairs for a few years until 2017 when we opened the first vegan Brazilian cafe in London and it became everything I hoped it would be and more!

The first vegan
cafe in London

Since the pandemic, in 2020, we’ve taken over the kitchen at Dalston Superstore, the perfect home and partnership for us as it aligns with our beliefs and inclusiveness at the heart of our business. From the cakes we bake for your parties to the products we sell in shops, it has been quite a ride.

All the people who came to eat our food and the ones who worked with us over the years helped shape Essential Vegan into what it is today and for that, we are very thankful.

Lots of love from all of us.

Vanessa and the Essential Vegan team.

We have been receiving amazing reviews over these ten years

WOW! I cannot fault this place at all. The food is DELICIOUS!!! Especially the ‘cheese’ dishes - they don’t taste of overwhelming coconut like lot of alternative cheese dishes do. Lovely food, lovely staff and lovely place. I would even go as far as to say its one of the best vegans places I’ve ever been to worldwide!

GeorgieTripadvisor - 6 years ago

Absolutely delicious food and really welcoming staff, they’re clearly passionate about food and creating a wonderful culinary experience. I’m so glad they’ve opened a cafe, previously had best burger ever at one of their pop ups. Had most delicious cake this time- passionfruit cheesecake. Can’t wait to try everything on the menu.

TKGoogle - 5 years ago

This cafe offers a delicious selection of burgers and unique sides served to you by a team of super lovely and friendly staff. The interior is humble but chic. But what really stood out to me were the sweet treats. I had the chocolate and coconut cake which tasted absolutely amazing. It was moist and not too sweet and you could tell it was homemade and honest. I can't wait to go back to try the selection of coffees to pair with more cake ...!

AngelaGoogle - 4 years ago

I had this amazing vegan Brazilian food and some lemon+ chocolate desserts and oh my! So delicious! Fantastic staff. friendly and engaging. Prices super reasonable. I am definitely coming back for some feijoada soon!

David BGoogle - 3 years ago

I really loved my incidental stop over this place for a quick tea and a cake, on the way from the flower market. The delightful and friendly young waitress helped my doggie with water and was truly charming and helpful. The cake was superb, the entire place seems very well managed, super clean and friendly. We aren’t vegans, but my wife enjoyed her pancakes very much as well.

AlexanderGoogle - 2 years ago

I visit them to try their wknd brunch. Fantastic food. The vegan cheese balls and Salgadinhos were excellent (although it is vegan, it emulated the Brazillian original receipt perfectly). I loved the margarita toastie and the salpicão sandwich. It made me feel at home. Thanks for the experience and delicious food.

MichelleGoogle - a year ago

Had so much fun!! We love Ian! Food was fabulous, staff were lovely.

GeorginaDishcult - Oct22