The cafe is independent of the church it’s adjoined to and is run by community interest company Raw Ingredients. It’s open every day except Monday for lunch, and stays open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, when you’re invited to bring your own alcohol for . Brunch is served on Saturdays, from 10am, and a hearty roast dinner is added to the menu on Sundays.
The lunch and dinner menus change every week, but you’ll find creative dishes such as a beetroot burger served with beetroot chips and slaw; jackfruit and aubergine shawarma; vegan mac ‘n’ cheese; lentil bolognese on penne; and jerk plantain with mango salsa and turmeric cous cous.
On the tantalising Saturday brunch menu: huevos rancheros with homefries and smoky black beans; jerk plantain with scrambled tofu; a full vegan ‘traditional’ cooked breakfast, and more. The Sunday menu holds its own too, with a nut roast wellington served with roast vegetables and gravy. The food is always tasty and the portions generous.
When you enter the cafe, vibrant Van Gogh prints and impressionist murals welcome you into an airy room that opens up onto a large courtyard with seating. Colourful fairy lights lead the way up a spiral staircase to a charming room with many angles, many small windows and ‘The Starry Night’ painted on the ceiling.
There’s nothing pretentious about Café Van Gogh – with its chequered tablecloths and bric-a-brac on the shelves – and that’s probably why it attracts a good mix of people. It’s the type of relaxed place you can enjoy with a group or on your own. It’s the norm to see people reading the weekend papers or working with a coffee. So, if you’re looking for a quirky, arty cafe with great food and friendly staff, you’ve found it.