Review: Hank's Deli, Ipswich - 'delicious vegan food in a chilled out cafe'
PUBLISHED: 19:00 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:04 19 September 2019
Nicola Warren checks out the ultimate vegan burger and more at town centre deli.
On a sunny September Sunday, I met my friend Amy for a bite to eat and a catch-up.
Despite the warm weather, we decided to sit inside Hank's Deli, on Lloyds Avenue in Ipswich, as it was nice and cool inside.
Hank's is a vegan café, where savoury and sweet treats are on offer - the latter displayed on the front counter where you can't miss them.
When we visited, there was a huge, chocolate Bourbon biscuit cake and Oreo brownies among the desserts available. But more on those later.
Behind another counter are some of the savoury offerings, such as tofu quiche and BBQ jackfruit in a brioche bun.
What caught Amy's eye in this counter, though, was the falafel wrap, which she chose to have with salad (the other option is coleslaw).
I stood there, looking at the counter and menu behind, agog for a little while. I'm not vegan but I don't eat meat, and I can't eat much dairy, so I'm not used to going to a café and being able to choose anything from the menu.
Would it be the Chickn' Moc-nuggets, a No Cluck Chickn' burger, gyros fries? Finally, I settled on Hank's ultimate burger with coleslaw.
Drinkswise, I very nearly ordered the house lemonade, but when I realised you could pick drinks from the fridge too I got a Dalston's cherryade. Amy picked up one of their orangeades.
It would all be brought out to us, so we sat at one of the tables at the back of the café.
I very soon had drink envy - because Amy had asked for ice with her drink, and it came with a reusable straw too!
But I was happy with my cherryade, I had fancied one for ages and the Dalston's one, which I hadn't had before, was the best I've tried.
Dalston's, I was interested to discover, blend craft sodas in London.
It is one of many vegan brands stocked on Hank's shop shelves. And as well as food and drink there are toiletries and household products from refillable brand Bio D, if you're trying to cut down on your plastic usage.
Soon, our lunches arrived and we tucked in between chatting. I think the ultimate burger is the best vegan or veggie burger I've ever had.
The bun was packed with a vegan burger, two bits of vegan bacon, double burger sauce, vegan cheese, gherkins and two crispy onion rings.
Even though the burger was a bit overdone on one side, this was delicious. The burger sauce was really tasty and everything just worked really well together. I've always thought that one thing which would stop me from turning vegan is cheese, but the vegan alternative in this burger tasted just like the cheese slices you get in any other burger.
I had been given a knife and fork, but I just picked the burger up and went for it, probably making a bit of a mess in the process.
The coleslaw was creamy and had a kick of spice to it too.
Amy enjoyed her falafel wrap too - this was packed with falafel and roasted courgettes and peppers, hummus, lettuce and ras el hanout dressing. She really liked the colourful salad, which had strawberry and mango in.
We were surprised by how filling both dishes were. But, after seeing that dessert counter, we couldn't say no to tea and cake.
After placing the order, this was soon brought over. The tea was served with oat milk - I was pleasantly surprised by the creamy taste and I'm hoping to buy some to replace my soya milk at home, as that has quite a distinct, chalky flavour to me.
Amy's Biscoff 'cheesecake' had a lovely sweet, creamy, slightly coconutty flavour (I had to steal a small piece to try).
My Lotus biscuit brownie was crisp on the outside and lovely and chewy inside. It was very rich and filling but, as we were there for quite a while, I managed to squeeze it all in eventually.
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We headed out into the warm sun, keen to walk around town to help the food go down, and pledging to go back to Hank's very soon.
Cold drinks include kombacha, iced tea, iced coffee, lemonade and non-alcoholic cocktails. If you need to warm up with a hot drink, there's filter coffee, tea and hot chocolate (complete with vegan cream and marshmallows).
It's a laidback, welcoming place, with friendly staff and gender-neutral cloakrooms.
Talking of the facilities, these are down some steep stairs so it's probably best that the cocktails are of the non-alcoholic variety! The soap by the sink was Bio D geranium hand wash, so it was good to try it out as I'm interested in buying their products.
Two lunches, two soft drinks, two desserts and two teas came to just over £28. Most main options are around £5, so it's a good spot to get a takeaway in your lunchbreak. There are also little bites, such as hummus and pitta, and beans on toast, for £3.
Really nice and welcoming. When ordering the tea and desserts, they apologised for the wait - but I really hadn't been waiting that long. And even if I had been, the cakes would have been worth the wait!
Although I have a very sweet tooth, it has to be Hank's ultimate burger.
Delicious vegan food in a chilled out café with really welcoming staff.