Hackney Vegans: meal fun in one night


Una Cita Vegan Pop-Up

Fat Gay Vegan’s Una Cita Mexican pop-up restaurant brings in the crowds and Corona.
Photo: Kristina Manente

Being vegan in London isn’t the hardest thing in the world in comparison to some other cities, but it does have its challenges when going out to eat. A new trend of pop-up vegan supper clubs has started. Ranging from Chinese cuisine to BBQs and beyond, these special dining experiences have been tantalising the tastebuds of many Londoners.

Many of these pop-ups and events are run by Sean O’Callaghan, better known as the Fat Gay Vegan. With a popular blog and a host of events under his belt, Sean has become the guru of vegan London.

East London Lines spoke with Sean about the project:

His Mexican pop-up, Una Cita, is fully decorated with banners imported from Mexico City. Sean has spared no expense, even going so far as to cover the counter with dozens of Virgin Marys. La lucha libre, Mexican wrestling, plays on a large screen at the far end of the restaurant. As the crowd pours in and the Corona gets flowing, it’s an uproariously good time.

Esquites, tacos, and churros are on the menu tonight. Looking at some of the dishes, it’s hard to believe they’re actually vegan. And upon tasting them, it’d be hard to realise it too. The tacos are meaty, the esquites are creamy and savoury. The chocolate to dip the churros in is as rich as can be. Cool Chile Co. partnered with Sean for the event, supplying authentic Mexican ingredients.

The crowd at Una Cita is a mixed bag of regulars and new-comers, some vegan for more than a decade, others brand new, and some not vegan at all.

A selection of Una Cita diners were happy to speak with East London Lines about the pop-up:

The food was delicious, the company grand, and with a sold out venue, Mexican pop music in the background, and churros all around, The Fat Gay Vegan was very pleased – as he told East London Lines:

Una Cita is far from the only vegan restaurant that is popping up around East London. There’s been a steady rise in these fun one-night-only dining experiences, you need only go to websites such as www.londonpopups.com to find out.

Meriel Armitage, who runs her own Mexican vegan pop-up, showed her support of the mini-culture by chowing down with the rest of Una Cita. Her Club Mexicana is as equally as popular, and she had lots to say about the rising food scene.

East London Lines learnt a lot about the vegan scene from Meriel:

Club Mexicana has a delicious meal waiting for you on Saturday May 17. There’s still time to chow down, just grab tickets from Edible Experiences here and head down to Black Cat Cafe, 76 Clarence Road, E5 8HB at 7.30pm.



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