“We believe in good food, and kindness” is Lele’s motto Valentina, the founder, grew up in an Italian culture and wanted to bring this simple, honest approach to food to London.

The setting

Lele’s café is on Hackney’s busy Lower Clapton Rd, only 10 minutes walk from Hackney Central Overground station. There’s also a Lele’s in Dalston which also offers a dinner menu.

The space

Lele’s has a modest exterior and the interior has a welcoming, calming aura. House plants are everywhere – filling the shelves and countertops and mini cacti dot the windowsill-table. Mosaic floor tiles complement the mis-matched, up-cycled tables and stools.  Overall, the ground-floor is bright and airy thanks to large glass windows and a spiral grey staircase leads to a downstairs area with more seating.

What else?

Lele’s has been fully vegan since December 2017.

They also cater at big events and markets like Vegan Nights.. The café is dog-friendly with a jar of free doggy biscuits and water too.

The fresh juice test

Lele’s have a nutritious juice and superfood drinks menu and make all their juices to order. Their green juice was refreshing and light with a great balance between sweet and vegetable-savoury. It was a cooling blend of apple, spinach, lemon and celery.  The Root juice was equally as refreshing, if not a little fiery thanks to the fresh ginger. It was blended with apple, carrot and beetroot and packed with zest and zing.

What we ate

The menu at Lele’s is fully plant-based with options for gluten-free eaters.

As well as the seasonal menu, there’s a selection of fresh patisserie and cakes, sandwiches, bagels and vegan “sausage” rolls and a salad station. We decided to review the giant couscous stuffed roasted red pepper with a side of creamy raw slaw – a blend of walnuts and roasted root vegetables and potatoes.

The set menu offers the best value for sweet and savoury breakfast, brunch and lunch options. From sweet French toast and coconut, banana and chocolate drenched pancakes to porridge bowls, nourish bowls and Lele’s vegan full English. We chose the Marmite Avocado Toast. It was made with thick and chewy sourdough and topped with lashings of Marmite and creamy smashed avocado. It was generously drizzled with tahini, toasted pumpkin seeds, smoked paprika and a side of rocket. It was packed with flavour and texture and was a delight to eat.

With the sweet selection, we were spoilt for choice. Eventually, we chose their peanut butter cookie and a peanut butter cookie sandwich. A crumbly, chewy oaty cookie studded with big chocolate chips with a more-ish peanut butter flavour and texture. They were huge. The cookie sandwich used the same rich peanut butter bake smeared with thick Biscoff cookie spread for an indulgent treat.

We also tried their Oreo brownie on a staff recommendation. It was deliciously light and moist, quite spongey and topped with crunchy Oreo cookies. Finally, we couldn’t resist the signature chocolate croissant. It was a flaky, “buttery” rich pastry filled with a chocolate spread that melted in the mouth.

It was perhaps the best vegan croissant I’ve tasted – you couldn’t even tell the difference between it and a non-vegan pastry.

 

What we’d go back for…

All the food, cakes and drinks at Lele’s were  so impressive, I would go back in a heartbeat. They also offer monthly afternoon tea events which showcase their beautiful patisserie delights as well as savoury sandwiches with scones, jam and vegan cream.

The bill

Green juice  £4.20
Root juice  £4.20
Salad  £6.50
Marmite avocado toast  £7.50
Peanut butter cookie  £2.00
Peanut butter cookie sandwich  £4.00
Oreo brownie £3.50
Chocolate croissant  £2.00

Lele's

50 Lower Clapton Rd
London E5 0RN

02034898761
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