Food with feeling

You're guaranteed a warm welcome at The Feel Good Cafe (credit Judith Burnett)
You’re guaranteed a warm welcome at The Feel Good Cafe (credit Judith Burnett)

Judith Burnett visits a vegan cafe in Chingford

On a wet and windy Saturday morning I called into Chingford’s only vegan café to find a bustling community hub serving some of the best vegan food in London.

The Feel Good Café, tucked away in Village Arcade, Station Road, was co-founded by Idan Naor and Izabela Rudnicka in 2015.With a degree in psychology and an interest in motivation and self-help, Idan started the café following a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and ME. Key to his recovery was changing his diet and mastering nutrition.

“I love running the café because I know that I am doing my small bit for animals, helping the planet, and providing good food. I’m a people person and veganism contributes to people’s health.

“I’m passionate about the positive impact of plant-based diets on the environment, our mental and physical health, and animal welfare.”

The café employs seven people including chefs Badrule, Ashley and barista Anna. They are responsible for the sweet, spicy smells of coconut Thai stew; zesty Buddha bowls; and best-selling ‘no bull’ burger. The breakfast menu includes American pancakes with maple syrup, banana, nuts, seeds and cream. The café also provides takeaway snacks such as vegan sausage rolls.

The Feel Good Café is included in an up-coming television documentary Living Vegan, has gained hundreds of five star reviews, and has been ranked among the top ten vegan cafes by restaurantguru.com.

“When they told us our ranking I couldn’t believe it,” said Idan. “Our little café in Chingford has scored this high! We were delighted.”

Idan and the café’s ‘network’ of nutritionists and health advisers give talks to local schools and contribute to community events such as the Wellness Festival held on Chingford Green. Idan also speaks to patient groups in local GP practices. “Being part of the community is an important aspect,” he says.